Creative DIY Gifts for Foodies

Skip the standard box of chocolates and make your own batch of infused hot chocolate, steamy spiked cider or creatively flavoured butters for gifting

Credit: Joanna Tymkiw

Citrus-cranberry kiss and dark chocolate sea salt butters make delicious DIY gifts for foodies

From citrusy orange hot chocolate, to spiked apple cider to creamy flavoured butters, these homemade foodie gifts are easy, creative and will make an impression

These delicious DIY gifts can be customized to co-workers’ tastes or brought along to a party to help a hostess out. Not only are they easy, but most can be made with items you probably already have on hand.

The best way to package these is in a good ol’ Mason jar, which you can find at the dollar store in a variety of sizes. Finish them with a bow and you’re good to go!

Note: All of these recipes can be easily multiplied to give you a higher yield.

Dark Orange Hot Chocolate

Purchasing presentable boxes of holiday chocolates for friends and co-workers can really start to add up. This equally indulgent alternative is as sweet a gesture to your peers as it is to your piggy bank.

Keeps for: 1 week, refrigerated


  • 1 litre milk
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 5 strips orange peel
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped


  1. Add milk, sugar and orange ingredients to a pot over medium heat.
  2. Gently simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Once milk is warm and steaming, remove a few tablespoons from pot and add it to bowl containing chopped chocolate.
  4. Stir until chocolate is melted.
  5. Whisk chocolate mixture back into pot of simmering milk.
  6. Once combined, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before packing.
  7. Advise to re-heat before serving.

Grown-up Apple Cider

Instead of toting a bottle of wine along to your next holiday party, why not bring something every guest will get to enjoy and the host will be sure to remember? 

The addition of fresh ginger and black peppercorns gives this cider added warmth. The rum kick makes it a celebratory yet soothing night cap.

Tip: Pressed apple juice gives this cider a wholesome, rustic flavour and deep amber colouring. You can find it in the refrigerated juice section.

Keeps for: 2 weeks, refrigerated


  • 2 litres pressed apple juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 star anise pods
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 2-inch piece of peeled ginger
  • ½ cup dark rum


  1. Add all ingredients to a large pot. Boil on medium-high until reduced by half (approx. 20 minutes).
  2. Remove from heat, add rum and allow to cool to room temp before packing.
  3. Advise to re-heat before serving.

Flavoured Butters

Everyday ingredients combine to make these extraordinary butters. Their flavour will brighten up any baked good, from crunchy toast to fresh scones.

Note: For butter to soften you can leave it out overnight. However, 2 hours should do the trick.

Keeps for: 2 weeks, refrigerated

Citrus-Cranberry Kiss

Honey adds a soft sweetness and makes these flavour-packed butters smooth and spreadable.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. liquid honey
  • Pinch fine salt

Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 oz. dark chocolate, finely grated (use zester)
  • 2 tbsp. liquid honey
  • Generous pinch flaked sea salt


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 pinch fine salt


  1. Add all ingredients to bowl or stand mixer.
  2. Beat or whisk until well combined.
  3. Add to jars.

Homemade Gift Giving Tips

  • Adjust recipes to fit the size of your jars.
  • Use gift tags to label the item.
  • Remember to add an expiry date and instructions for reheating, if applicable.
  • Also, to be safe, make an extra note if it contains alcohol.