Shipping Cupcakes in a Jar

I have been wanting to make these for MONTHS now. Cupcakes in a jar seem like the perfect gift to send someone. More than half of our immediate family members have birthdays in October, November, or December, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to try this out on some of them.

I decided to make two flavors of cupcakes and send one of each to the lucky family members. I wanted to go with relatively ordinary flavors, so I went with yellow funfetti cupcakes with chocolate frosting, and chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I also threw in some add-ins with the cupcake and frosting. In the yellow cupcake jars, I added sprinkles and in the chocolate cupcake jars, I added crushed up Oreos.

For the girls, I used my hot glue gun to attach some ribbon to the ring of the jar. I didn’t figure the boys would like ribbon on their jars. Once I got the cupcakes made, I froze them. Then I put them in the jars with their frosting and froze them overnight. I shipped them the next day so they would defrost as they made their way to different parts of the country.

The yellow cupcakes were split in half (down the middle) and frosting was piped down in between the two halves of the cupcake. Then more frosting was piped on top of the cupcake with more sprinkles. With the chocolate cupcakes, the tops were pulled off and a layer of frosting and crushed Oreos was added. Then more frosting and Oreos were layered on top of the cupcake top.

Based on what I heard from the lucky birthday boys and girls, the shipping cupcakes in a jar is a good way to go. The cupcake to frosting ratio will have to be perfected. Fellow cupcake lover, Clara, did recommend that shipping cupcakes this time of year is better than in the summer. If you’re shipping to locations where the temperature is hot, you want to be careful with your ingredients – cream cheese frosting could be a bad idea in that case…

My sister (Happy Birthday Brooke-i-poo) sent me a picture of her cupcake just before taking a bite. She did say it was a bit dry. But in my defense, the box did sit in her apartment office for four days! Also, the top part of the cupcake did stick to the top part of the lid because of the frosting. Maybe I shouldn’t fill them so full next time… Or put them upside down so the frosting isn’t on the top? I’ll have to think about that for next time…

For the chocolate cupcakes, I used my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe and a standard cream cheese frosting. The yellow funfetti cupcake and chocolate frosting recipes are shown below.

Not-So-Yellow cake, from Confections of a Foodie Bride - I made a half batch and got about 15 cupcakes
3 cups cake flour – I used AP
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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Let cool completely in the pans before removing the cakes and frosting.

Hershey’s Perfectly 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.

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17 Responses to “Shipping Cupcakes in a Jar”

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    1
    CB — November 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I love it! Where did you get the jars? Now I totally wanna do this for xmas gifts!
    /Clara

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    2
    Jen — November 9, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    I looked everywhere and just couldn’t find them. I ended up ordering them from Amazon. They weren’t very cheap so that was a bummer…

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    CB — November 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Ah bummer. What size are the jars? I wonder if Ikea would have them? Whats the amazon link?
    /Clara

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    Jen — November 9, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I ordered them from here. You want the wide mouth jars so the cupcakes fit and the 1/2 pint size is perfect.

    The yellow cupcakes didn’t rise much so I added more frosting to fill the jar and the chocolate ones rose quite a bit so they had less frosting. My sister said that the chocolate one had the perfect amount of frosting or could use a smidge more, so you want a cupcake that has at least a small dome.

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    ttfn300 — November 9, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    haha, i’ve never seen that before :) love it!

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    Katie — November 10, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    OH FUN! I’ve seriously always thought about doing this and never did. I’m starring this post to remind myself at Christmas. Too cute!!

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    Janna — November 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I have been dying to try this ever since I saw it last year on someone else’s blog. They actually baked the cake in the jar and then iced it like a cupcake. I am going to have to order some of those iddy jars! Too cute!

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    Beth — November 16, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Hmmm…might have to do this for Christmas instead of those “ingredients in a jar” thing we were thinking of.

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    Renée — March 12, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I really want to try this, but I keep reading online that you shouldn’t put frosting in the jar because it will get moldy by the time it reaches its destination. I’m sure you would have heard if it was moldy when it got to your friend right? I would just be so embarrassed if that happened. Any help?

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    Jen — March 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Renee – I’ve done this twice and both times haven’t heard of any mold. I froze the cupcakes/frosting in the jars prior to shipping them. I also shipped in the winter. My one sister even didn’t go get her package from the office until a week after it arrived and it was still good. I would guess she ate her cupcakes about 10 days after I sent them. I’m not sure if shipping in warm weather will have an impact on potential mold…

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    Renée — March 12, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Alright I’ll definitely give it a try then. It will make for a very good Easter present for my faraway friends =)

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    Jen — March 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Oh that’s a good idea!! I might have to order some more jars and do the same myself…

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    Hillary — June 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    What a clever idea! I would love to get a cupcake in the mail! :) Maybe I’ll send out Valentine’s Day Cupcakesnext year!

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    CuteCupcakesAllTheTime — May 6, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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    CuteCupcakesAllTheTime — May 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Love these!! We have featured you on our blog. http://cutecupcakesallthetime.blogspot.com

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    Pat — February 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Did you freeze them before shipping? The jars looked frosted…

    • beantownbaker — February 24th, 2013 @ 10:21 am

      I did freeze them. They defrosted as they were shipped. I’ve done it with and without the freezing depending on the weather and whatnot.

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