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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13 Responses to “Chocolate M&M Cookies”

  1. #
    Katie — October 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Jen, I totally love your blog. You always ahve the BEST treats! I LOVE the picture with all the cookies resting on the m&ms. GREAT idea! 🙂

  2. #
    Jigginjessica — October 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Looks beautiful as always!

  3. #
    stephchows — October 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    perfect use of pink! So interesting about how the cookies reacted to the way you rolled them! Thanks for the heads up!

  4. #
    oneordinaryday — October 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Your cookies look great and that’s a good tip about getting them to look their best too. My kids and all their friends love these cookies. I’ve made them a few times since I first posted them and they never last long.
    thanks for the link!
    ~ Michelle

  5. #
    Chocolate Shavings — October 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Those are beautiful and perfect for such a great cause

  6. #
    The Novice Chef — October 21, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    What an adorable picture! Also helps that they are for a great cause! 🙂

  7. #
    Natalie — October 21, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    M&Ms are my favorite treat and I love that during this month everything is PINK! The cookies look fantastic.

  8. #
    Kat — October 21, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I am bummed I missed your Power of Pink contest as I was utilizing October to raise awareness around breast cancer too! I made some cookies and have a post on my site:
    I like the chocolate cookie base of your cookies! Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to checking back and seeing all what people make towards your challenge 🙂

  9. #
    tastestopping — October 21, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    A chocolate cookie topped with chocolate candies? What could be better? Perhaps a tall, ice cold glass of milk to go with them! They look divine. I’m wondering if you might skip the rolling and flattening by creating a wide log of dough (without M&Ms), slicing to the thickness desired, then pressing candies on top? Seems like the dough might be fairly easy to shape into a log. A quick pop into the fridge before slicing would help firm it up. Just a thought! I can’t wait to try them.


    P.S. Not sure if I’ve invited you before, but I’d love to publish any of your photos that FoodGawker and TasteSpotting decline! Thanks. 😀

  10. #
    nutmegnanny — October 23, 2009 at 3:15 am

    I love the dark chocolate and pink M&M contrast. What fantastic cookies:)

  11. #
    natalie — February 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. #
    natalie — February 25, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I just made your recipe for these cookies yesterday and took them to church. The kids went nuts and they’ve never turned out as pretty as they did this time. Thanks for the helpful tips because my m&m cookies have never turned out prettier! 9 minutes was also perfect timing as well.

  13. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — December 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Both pretty and I’m sure delicious! I love how you showed the comparison between batches to give better suggestions for prettier cookies. The final batch are definitely the prettiest of the bunch. I love that the pink pops w/the chocolate cookie.

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