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 “Alton Brown’s “The Chewy””

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    1
    Bridget — March 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Aren’t they the best? They’re so addicting. I’ve actually starting using the same ingredients, but mixing them like a more traditional chocolate chip cookie (i.e., softened butter instead of melted), because I like the dough better with softened butter. The baked cookies were just as good. Best of both worlds!

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    Laure — March 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    These look gorgeous. Don’t you just love AB??? 🙂

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    Julie — March 6, 2009 at 4:06 am

    The cookies look great. I love AB too..he’s such a dork (in a good way).

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    CoCo — March 6, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I love the ATK/CI Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I will have to try these to see what I think. I remember seeing that the recipes looked similar so I am sure I will love them.
    Another AB lover here. My husband gives me a hard time about my DVR list with him but loves it when I give him a fun tidbit or cook him something from AB.

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    Jen — March 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I completely agree CoCo. Hubby does the same thing. I sometimes even watch episodes I’ve seen before! Hubby doesn’t like to admit it, but he loves AB too. Sometimes he’ll be the one saying “AB says to do this…”

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    foodess — March 9, 2009 at 3:38 am

    They look SO good!! I am a sucker for a chewy chocolate chip cookie. Although, I must side with your hubby – I prefer mine with just a bit of chocolate.

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    Naomi — March 9, 2009 at 6:46 am

    How much is a stick of butter? I’m not in the US and have never come across this measurement before.

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    Jen — March 9, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Sorry about that Naomi – 1 stick of butter = 8 Tbsp. Does that help?

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    Dani — March 9, 2009 at 11:46 am

    this is very similar to the ccc recipe i use, but anything that makes it chewier is good in my books! i will have to keep this one in mind 🙂

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    Naomi — March 13, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Yes Jen, thank you!

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    Allie — June 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Yum! I will definitely be trying these. I always chill my cookie dough too usually because I’m too busy with 3 little ones but I also read that article in the NY times awhile ago and I felt like I deserved a nice big pat on the back for always doing the 24hour chill 🙂 Great post and beautiful cookies!

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    Susan — June 23, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I love Alton Brown because of his scientific approach to cooking and baking. I’ve been baking “The Chewy” for years. One thing I do differently: Before chilling the dough, I scoop it into balls. This makes the process much easier. Sometimes I freeze the balls for baking later. After I place the balls on parchment, I carefully place a few extra chocolate morsels on top, pointy side up. This extra step produces picture-perfect cookies every time.

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    Desiree — July 2, 2016 at 1:56 am

    The Chewy is my go to recipe for cookies. I make a few alterations, occasionally, such as substituting 1/4 of the brown sugar with dark brown sugar. I bake small portions in mini muffin tins; one batch makes 48 cookie bites that are super chewy and the perfect size bite. I’ve made them every year for Christmas gifts for a few years now.

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