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Put a Lid On It: How To Ship Cupcakes in Mason Jars, from Beantownbaker.com

How-to: Cupcakes in Jars, a guest blog post from Beantown baker
Continuing our monthlong celebration of birthdays and all things sweet, Jen from the very sweet site Beantown Baker has dreamed up a thoughtful way to share birthday cake with friends who are far away: cupcakes baked in Mason Jars! Here she goes:

One of the things I love most about baking is sharing my baked goods with other people. Whether it's baking something for a friend who had surgery, got a promotion, or for no reason at all, I get real joy out of baking for other people. Since most of my family is 1000+ miles away, they don't usually get to experience my baked goods. Last fall when we were coming into what I call birthday season, 6 birthdays from Oct-Dec, I really wanted to bake for my family members with birthdays coming up.

Since cupcakes are my favorite thing to bake, I decided to send them cupcakes. I had seen this idea online and decided to give it a shot. I sent cupcakes in a jar to family members across the country. They were all pretty shocked when the packages came. It was fun to get the phone calls from each of them thanking me for the creative way to share my baking with them. My Dad loved it so much, I've been told that he tells everyone about it. As a not-so-subtle hint, he also gave me a box of new jars for my birthday. I think he's expecting more cupcakes in a jar this year for his birthday!
Cupcakes in Jars: Guest Blog from Beantown BakerCupcakes in Jars: Guest Blog from Beantown Baker

How to Make and Ship Cupcakes in Mason Jars


You'll need: a batch of cupcakes (Jen's recipe for Funfetti cupcakes with chocolate frosting follows); one half-pint Mason jar per cupcake, plus ribbon for garnish.
  1. Bake cupcakes as directed and allow to cool completely. Remove cupcake liner and cut cupcake in half either vertically or horizontally. Place 1/2 of the cupcake into a sterilized 1/2 pint wide mouth jar. Add frosting to jar. At this point, add some fun extra, such as crushed Oreos or sprinkles. Place the other half the the cupcake in the jar (if you cut the cupcake vertically, it is easier to put both halves in the jar and pipe frosting between the two pieces). 
  2. Frost the cupcake as if it weren't in a jar. Add lid and ring to jar. Decorate with ribbon if you want. Be sure to tell your recipients to slide the lid off the jar as opposed to just pulling it up. Otherwise half of the frosting will stick to the lid.
  3. Mail immediately or place in freezer for a day or two then mail them. I like to freeze them and let the thaw as they are traveling to the unsuspecting recipients.

Cupcakes in Jars: Guest Blog from Beantown Baker
Yellow Funfetti Cupcakes
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and line with parchment paper two 8×2-inch pans (These cakes rose over the top of my 2-inch pans - you could very well have a mess on your hands if you try 1.5 inch pans). Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Place butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat for 3 minutes on MEDIUM-HIGH speed until the butter is light and creamy in color. Stop and scrape the bowl. Cream the butter for an additional 60 seconds.
  3. Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl before each addition. Add the eggs one at a time. Reduce the mixer speed. Stir vanilla into the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer. Stir in sprinkles.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife or off-set spatula. Lift up the pan with the batter, and let it drop onto the counter top a couple of times to burst any air bubbles and allowing the batter to settle. Center the pans onto the lower third of the oven and let bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake is lightly brown on top and comes away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Let cool completely in the pans before removing the cakes and frosting.

Chocolate frosting
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
  • 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar - I used 2 1/2 cups
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.



Keep updated on all of Jen's sweet adventures on beantownbaker.com!


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Reader Comments (43)


You may also like to see these as well - they also look yummy!


August 25 | Unregistered CommenterLashyLashla

Now here's s fab idea!

August 25 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

ARGH! That is so, so cute! What a fun idea. I'll be linking to this if you don't mind.

FABULOUS, chic idea!

August 26 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

Cake in jars have been around for awhile, in a slightly different form that this. Usually the cake is baked in the jar and a clean, warm canning lid is applied while the jars are still hot. It's called "open kettle method", and while it doesn't improve the shelf of the cake, it does make it easier to ship.

I like your take better though, because it includes the best part of the cupcake, the frosting!

August 26 | Unregistered CommenterKit Kat

Now I know what to do for my siblings for their birthdays!

I love it!

August 26 | Unregistered Commenteralanna rose

thank goodness! my best friend just moved to san fransisco to go to school and i've been idealess of how to ship cupcakes down to her. perfect!

August 26 | Unregistered Commenterdylan

What an awesome idea! I have some friends I need to ship a care package to so this is perfect. Thanks!!

August 26 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna

I really want to try this! I can't even imagine how excited people are to get these cupcakes in the mail. What do you package in? How much does it cost to ship?

August 26 | Unregistered CommenterCupcake Activist

This is some serious fun! I think this is the ultimate in portable cake.

August 26 | Unregistered CommenterPeabody

Greatest. Idea. Ever. I am so going to try this! Thank you for posting this. It's genius!

August 26 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Browne

i've done this too, and let me tell you... there's nothing better then mailing a yummy homemade cupcake to someone who is in need of a sweet reminder!! i've done it both ways, frosting on top, and also frosting in the middle...
and by the way... your site gets me inspired... thank you for that!!

August 26 | Unregistered Commenterbecky

The title this post reminded me of the Squirrel Nut Zippers song :) very cute!

August 27 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

this is the cutest thing i've ever seen! but i think it needs a new name...something else besides cupcake. i agree that eating a cupcake the traditional way is part of the experience (for me anyway) and eating it out of the jar would make the experience different. (maybe i'm a little anal too though haha)

August 29 | Unregistered CommenterMellz

Do you have any thoughts on doing this with cream cheese frosting? I'd love to send red velvet cupcakes this way, but it definitely needs a cream cheese frosting.

I'm considering freezing it for a couple days (all happily packed in its mason jar), wrap with saran wrap, then aluminum foil, then some small frozen freeze pops, and newspaper.

Love the idea!

August 29 | Unregistered CommenterElizabethLacy

What a great idea. I think that I am going to do this to celebrate my birthday with the 2nd graders I teach. I'll bake the cupcakes and they can put them all together at school and take it home as a birthday treat!

August 29 | Unregistered CommenterStaceybug

Wow what a bunch of great comments – glad you all like this idea. I know my friends/family members love the idea!! I wanted to respond to some of the questions I saw in the comments.

HLEure – I searched all over for these jars. The only place I have found them is on http://www.amazon.com/Kerr-12PK-2PT-W-Jar/dp/B0000BYD0F/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1226248754&sr=8-2" rel="nofollow">Amazon.

Anonymous – I asked my recipients to save the jars and send them back to me or give them back next time I saw them. One of my sisters uses her jars to hold jewelry and other small items on her dresser.

Cupcake Activist – I just packaged the jars in a lot of tissue paper. I don’t remember the exact shipping costs, but it wasn’t too much. I sent two cupcakes in a jar to each of my recipients.

ElizabethLacy – When I sent these last year, I did send some with cream cheese frosting. I did what you mentioned. As it says above, I like to freeze them prior to mailing so they thaw in the mail. I’ve also only done this in the winter, so I wasn’t too worried about the frosting going bad or anything.

August 29 | Unregistered CommenterJen

They don't only look delicious but they also look so cute.They can be a perfect gift to your loved-ones.Nice idea too.

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