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 8ร—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 “M&M Cookies to Celebrate Valentine’s Day”

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    1
    Carrie — February 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I love freezing dough but somehow most ends up in my tummy unbaked when I do that ๐Ÿ™‚

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    oneordinaryday — February 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    What a great gift! I’m thinking that would be wonderful for all sorts of occasions. Thanks for the idea!

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    Carly — February 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    These are adorable and I love that idea! Two questions, though: 1) Were these as good as the cookies from the other recipes? and 2) When you freeze them, do you bake right from frozen?

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    4
    Jen — February 12, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Great questions Carly – As far as comparing them to the other cookies. I enjoyed the chocolate M&M cookies the best, but they were REALLY chocolatey. The other non-chocolate M&M cookies were a bit more chewy and they had nuts in them, so they had a different vibe. This recipe was more of a classic M&M cookie for sure.

    As far as baking from frozen, you can def just go straight from freezer to oven. Bake them ~13 minutes instead of ~11 and take them out when they look done.

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    Cara — February 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    these were delicious!

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    stephchows — February 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    they look so cute all frozen up ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Leanne — February 12, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I love the pink and red M&Ms. Thanks for the idea of freezing the cookie dough.

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    Memรณria — February 12, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I was going to ask you the same thing as Carly, well the first question. These cookies are cute. Your freezing method reminded me that I have a bunch of sugar cookies still in the freezer! Do you know how long cookies can stay in the freezer?

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    Jen — February 12, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    I don’t know how long they will last in the freezer. I have a tendency to forget about things in my freezer… I’d guess a couple months? Anyone have ideas?

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    nutmegnanny — February 12, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    What festive little cookies ๐Ÿ™‚ I love them! I also like the fact that you froze them. I bet they were delicious. Make sure to enter the All Through the Year Cheer event for Valentine’s Day ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Julie — February 13, 2010 at 4:49 am

    I think that sounds like a great way to spend valentine’s day. It can be intimidating the way it’s so hyped up. The cookies look very festive, love ’em!

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    Vivian - Let's Try These... — February 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    We don’t do “valentine’s day” either since my MIL was born on the 14th and daughter’s birthday is the 15th – besides, its more important to say you love someone everyday, not just one day out of the year. Love the idea about freezing the cookie dough in preshaped form and giving that away. Wonderful idea!

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    Deborah Dowd — February 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I am looking for cookies that travel well for my soldier adopted through Soldier’s Angels and these look like a winner!!

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    14
    Kerstin — February 14, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Mmm, these were so tasty! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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    Amy (Sing For Your Supper) — February 16, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    These are just too cute!! I love M&M cookies too!!

    http://www.singforyoursupperblog.com

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    bcallegra — February 17, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Just had to add my two cents on the idea of giving cookie dough frozen and ready to be baked – genius! For some reason, I’ve never thought of that, even though I’ve given cookies frozen to people to be defrosted when they’re ready to eat. I love the dough idea!

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    Megan — February 20, 2010 at 2:16 am

    YUM-these look absolutely delicious! I love the pink and red M&Ms!

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