Put an end to cupcake abuse
Everyone loves cupcakes and they are the perfect size for traveling, but all too often the cupcakes experience significant damage somewhere between point A and point B. A cupcake that is smeared with icing and crumbling is not very appetizing.
Using small, half-pint Mason jars with screw-on lids is the cutest idea ever. Rather than putting a whole, frosted cupcake in the jar, you will want to slice the cupcake into layers and separate the layers with buttercream, sprinkles, nuts, and whatever other additions you can think of.
Not only will the cakes arrive safely — they will be just as gorgeous as they were when they left the house.
What you'll need
You won't need many supplies for the cupcakes, but you will need a few things that you might not have around the house.
- A set of glass jelly jars with screw-on lids. You can find these at most variety stores and many grocery stores.
- A cake recipe, cake mix or bakery-made cupcake. Use your favorite recipe to make one dozen cupcakes. Since you will be putting these in the jars, it is better to spray the cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray rather than using cupcake papers which you'll have to peel off later on.
- Frosting. Use your favorite recipe for buttercream. Frostings that rely too much on perishable ingredients such as eggs or cream shouldn't be used if the cupcakes are being shipped across the country or will be held in warm temperatures for an extended period of time.
- Sprinkles, nuts, chocolate chips or other add-ins. Remember that the layers in the jar are part of the whimsy and beauty of these desserts. Using sprinkles and other ingredients will add color, texture and flavor to your cupcake creation.
Assemble the cupcakes
Before you use the jars and lids, it is a good idea to wash them in very hot water to kill any bacteria that may be present. This is especially true if you will be mailing the cakes to someone. Dry the jars thoroughly and set them aside.
- Bake your cupcakes just as you usually would. Allow them to cool completely before proceeding.
- Slice one cupcake in thirds and place the bottom third, cut side up, in the jar. Spoon on a thick layer of frosting. Using a piping bag will make this easier and more attractive.
- Add a layer of sprinkles, colorful candies or whatever you'd like and then top with the next layer of cake.
- Press the cake layer down gently but firmly. Repeat until all of the cake is used and end with the frosting and sprinkles.
- Screw the lid on tightly.
It is fun to use a piece of raffia, string or ribbon to tie a plastic spoon in a coordinating color to the jar. If you are giving the cakes as gifts, you may also want to add labels to let the recipient know the exact flavor in each jar.