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Mail cake to anyone - sealed and fresh in a jar

Cake baked into jars that can be shipped with frosting and candles.

Birthdays are a big deal around my house. Plans are made for weeks in advance and my kids especially love the power of getting to pick all their favorite meals to celebrate their special day and cake always plays a large part of their plans. This year my 20-year-old son is serving a religious mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and wasn't able to be home on his birthday for the first time in his life. I thought and thought and googled and Pinterested for way too long trying to find ways to make the day special without actually being able to see him. One of the best ideas I found was this genius Cake in a Jar on this website - Care Package Surprise: Cake in a Jar | . You bake up cake inside pint-sized mason jars and ship them. The recipient gets cake that will still taste moist and delicious despite spending long days or even weeks being transported. This is a great way to send a tasty treat to anyone you can't see in person and also anyone who may not have access to baking supplies or an oven – someone serving in the military, a college student, missionaries, and anyone else who doesn't live locally to you. It's fast, pretty inexpensive (especially if you have some jars laying around) and shows you care. Plus – you know, CAKE. Let me show you how it's done.

Video tutorial:

Supplies to make cake in a jar:

Ingredients to make cake in a jar.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.*

a box cake mix – Each cake mix will make four pin jars of cake

the ingredients listed on the back of your cake mix. Mine needed 1 cup of water, 3 eggs and ½ cup of oil

4 Pint-sized wide mouth mason jars with lids and rings for each cake mix like this (there are five in this picture because I thought I could stretch the cake mix to one extra jar but nope, you just really need four.

A small pot

A pair of tongs

To send with the jars:

a tub of frosting

plastic knife

plastic fork


ribbon and other decorations to make the jar cute

these free adorable tags -

Free tags to attach to cake baked into a jar.

Let's get started making cake in a jar!

Washing jars to get them ready to bake cake into them.

First you must wash your jars. Since I was only making one batch, I handwashed my jars. If you hate handwashing or you are making more than one cake, you could also run them through a dish washer cycle. We just want to make sure the jars are clean and ready to go.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (even if your cake box instructions say differently) and then follow the instructions on the back of your cake mix box to whip up some delicious cake batter.

Spraying non stick spray into jars to get ready to bake cake into them.

Grease the jars. I used a non-stick cooking spray. This way all of the cakey goodness will come out of the jar whether your recipient is plopping the it out of jar onto a plate, or just forking directly into their face, we don't want to waste any cake here people!

Cake being baked into jars.

Fill the jars a little less than half way with cake batter. You don't want to do more than this because the cake will expand as it bakes and if it sticks out too far past the rim you will have to trim it back to get the lid on which looks slightly less attractive.

I also use a wet paper towel to wipe off the jar rims at this point so no cake bakes onto it.

Place all the jars into a pan large enough to hold all the jars. This will make it much easier to move the jars into the oven and back out again. I used a 9x13 inch pan.

Pop those beauties into the oven and set a timer for 23-25 minutes.

Boil jar lids to get ready to put them on top of cake baked into a jar.

While your cake is cooking, take out the mason jar lids, put them in pot, cover them with water and boil them. You don't need to boil the rings, just the lids themselves. This cleans your lids and also gets the wax on them warmed up for what's to come. Once you have boiled them and are a few minutes away from your timer going off, turn off the heat and leave the lids in the water.

I like to prepare for the next step by laying out a dishtowel on my counter and placing the screw on jar rings on it so they are ready for action.

Ding! It's time to check your cake for doneness. You do this the same way you would for a full-sized cake. Carefully remove your baked cake jars in the pan with an oven mitt and set somewhere heat safe near your dishtowel.

Using a toothpick to test cake baked into a jar to see if it is done.

Use a toothpick or fork and insert into the center. If it comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached to it, it's ready to come out. If not, just put it back into the oven for a few minutes and then check again.

Putting lid onto cake baked into a jar.

Using your oven mitt, remove one of the jars from the pan and set it on your dishtowel.

Flipping jar over after putting lid onto cake in a jar.

Immediately use a pair of tongs to remove a lid from the water, quickly dry it off using a separate dishtowel or paper towel, and pop it on top of one of the jars. Screw a ring down onto the jar and then place it upside down (with the screwed on lid at the bottom) onto your dishtowel.

As it cools, the heat from the cake will seal the lid onto the jar. Sometimes you will hear a small pop when it seals but not always.

Once the jars are cool, test the lid by pushing down in the center. If the lid is flat and can't be depressed, it has successfully sealed. If not, just know that that particular jar will need to be eaten soon because it did not seal. All of mine have sealed so far, but check just to be sure.

Free tag to attach to decorate cake in a jar.

Decorating your cake in a jar:

The only thing left to do is decorate the jars. I've got a very cute tag you can print out for free here. Adding ribbon with some sticker adhesive, or hot gluing it on will make this gift all the more adorable.

Free tags to download and print to attach to cake baked in a jar.
cake in a jar gift tags

Isn't that just the coolest thing?! Cake! In a jar! And it will stay fresh for much longer than usual and can be shipped. Seriously fun.

I sent along a jar of frosting and a plastic knife and fork, some candles and a box of matches so he would have something to blow out as we sang Happy Birthday over FaceTime.

All the jars need to wrapped in bubble wrap with some layers of the bubble wrap along the bottom and sides of your box so that the jars survive shipping.

I'd love to hear who you mailed cake to so don't forget to tag me!

Happy crafting!


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