Mason Jar Mini Cakes + A Paper Crafts Giveaway!

August 9, 2013
mason jar pumpkin cakes

Exciting—I was asked by Paper Crafts magazine to write a post for this week’s blog hop + giveaway, sharing my favorite holiday treat and a stylin’ way to package said treat. Nifty, eh? And what’s even more exciting is you can win a free copy of Paper Crafts’ Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 8 at the end of this post!

Did you know that you can bake cake batter in Mason jars? No? Oh my gosh, was your mind just blown? It’s okay. Mine was too when I found out.

mason jar pumpkin cakesTwo things you should know about baking with jars:

  1. Don’t try canning your cake by sealing the lid on top of the jar right when you take it out of the oven. Some may have success with this, but most generally agree that this isn’t safe, bacteria-wise.
  2. Use wide-mouth jars. A jar with a narrower mouth will complicate things for ya.

It works, I promise! But if you are nervous about baking in jars, know that another option is to bake the cake normally and then break it into pieces for your jars, adding spoonfuls of frosting here and there for a parfait-like treat.

(You can use any type of cake batter for this, but here’s pumpkin!)

mason jar pumpkin cakesMason Jar Pumpkin Cakes

Makes enough batter for about six tall 12-ounce Mason jars.


1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg


If you haven’t already, you should check out my basic cake baking method and my list of cake baking tips! Every cake batter recipe I post follows that same method, and my cake baking tips are great tips to memorize for whenever you’re preparing a cake batter such as this.

First, clean your jars and lids thoroughly and dry them completely. Then grease the jars on the insides.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a larger bowl, beat the butter at a high speed, and gradually beat in the sugars. Then, beat in the eggs one at a time.

Now you will gradually be adding the dry mixture and the purée to the butter-sugars-egg mixture. To do this, alternate mixing in some of the dry mixture, followed by some purée, followed by some dry mixture… You get the picture. Do that until you’ve incorporated the dry mixture and the purée completely. Just don’t over-mix here.

Finish by incorporating the vanilla and spices.

Baking time. Fill your jars just over halfway with batter. Then, set your jars in a cake pan or baking dish—give them some breathing room here—and add some water to the bottom of the pan or dish. This creates a hot water bath that helps prevent the glass from breaking in the oven.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Use a skewer to test for doneness.

Remove the jars from the oven and let them cool completely. Finish by piping your favorite frosting into the remaining space in the jar. I used my caramel frosting recipe here (coming soon!), but feel free to change it up with another frosting recipe such as one of these.

Note: I find that it’s best if you leave some room between the top of the frosting and the lid. It makes it easier to see the frosting in there and makes for better presentation.

They look heavenly, am I right?

mason jar pumpkin cakes

mason jar pumpkin cakesDecorating Your Jars for Gift Giving

Good news! You’re already part of the way there since you baked the cake right in the jars. Now feel free to decorate your jars to your heart’s content with ribbon, tags, paper labels, and the like. Here’s what I did for mine:


vanilla cardstock
black ink pen or stamps and ink
striped wooden spoons
sprigs of pine needles or the like (bonus points if you get it outside for free)


Cut out a circle from the vanilla cardstock to fit inside the lid of the jar.

Decorate your circle and tag with the black ink pen. I wrote “for you from me” and “Mmm! Pumpkin cake.” in lettering à la Lindsay Letters using the technique I discuss in this Paper Crafts post. (You can, of course, use stamps and ink for this, but I being the nomad I am at the moment don’t have a heavy supply of stamps and such on hand. So…ink pen it is!)

Secure the cardstock circle inside the lid of your jar.

Cut a piece of jute long enough to go around the circumference of your jar twice.

Use the jute to tie the spoon, sprig, and tag in place. Finish with a bow.

mason jar pumpkin cakesAw… C’est si mignon.

Free Giveaway: Win a Copy of Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 8!

Holiday Cards and More
Are you just so pumped now for packaging treats come next holiday season? Want 297 more ideas for festive bags, tags, cards, wraps, and more? Then enter to win a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 8, courtesy of Paper Crafts magazine! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite holiday treat is, and one commenter will be selected at random.

This giveaway is open until Tuesday, August 13, so check back here on Wednesday, August 14 to see if you won!

And by the way, here are the other gals participating in this week’s Paper Crafts blog hop in case you missed ’em.

Lorena Cantó Lavería
Kalyn Kepner
Erin Lincoln
Jeanne Jachna
Nina Yang
Amanda Coleman
Karolyn Loncon
Kelly Griglione
Vera Wirianta Yates

And don’t forget to head back to Paper Crafts Connection for another sweet giveaway!

Let the commenting begin!

Love, Maurine

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  • Reply Lyndal August 9, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Looks DELICIOUS Maurine! Love the pine cone decoration too!

  • Reply Michelle August 9, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Yum! I've never had pumpkin cake, I think I'll give it a go. 🙂 My favourite holiday treat… Mmmm… I don't know. At Christmas time, I love the fresh juicy mangoes and cherries we get, the best part of Summer!

  • Reply Sus August 9, 2013 at 11:30 am

    My favorite winter holiday treat is hot cocoa with peppermint and homemade marshmallows.
    I absolutely love your handwriting!

  • Reply Chriss Blagrave August 9, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Darling presentation, such a clever way to give baked goods and that little spoon completes the gift- love this! I love shortbread cookies,pumpkin pie and date squares too 🙂

  • Reply craftymom205 August 9, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Love this project. Love hot chocolate and apple cider during the holidays.

    craftymom205 at yahoo dot com

  • Reply jcobb August 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    My fave treat is my homemade rock candy. But after seeing this it just may become pumpkin cake! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Gregsgirl's crafty corner August 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    what a great idea to bake in the jar, I love this! I love to have a treat at Christmas I love Stollen which is a German Christmas cake, my hubby and I went to Germany for xmas 2011 and we sampled it and fell in love!

  • Reply Kimberly Rendino August 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Your handwriting is amazing! I was shocked to read that wasn't a stamp, lol!!!

  • Reply Sandra August 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    what a fun idea … I am going to be spending a lot of time at your site!
    Sandra ltb

  • Reply susan opel August 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Mind. Blown.

    You are pretty much filled with all sorts of awesome, Maurine!

  • Reply Dana August 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    WOw!! I would have never known!! I love your decorations for the jars! Very vintage wintery!!

  • Reply Khadeeja Ashai August 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    This is SO adorable! I remember some pumpkin stuff being made at my apartment and it was so delicious. I think my favorite treat though is that cinnamon apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top! I don't know if it's totally winter-timeish, but it always makes me feel like it's the best winter treat 🙂

  • Reply TLady August 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Maurine! Your BEST PHOTO was when you held the jar of Pumpkin Cake! WHAT A FABULOUS PHOTO!!!!!!!!:) LOOOOOOOOOVE your idea!!!!:) AND your jar of Cake is SOOOO PRETTY & PERFECTLY DONE!!!!!!! Packaging IS IMPORTANT!!!!!:) (I'm thinking you should be a FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHER….) 🙂

  • Reply Jingle August 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful! The cake looks incredible and the presentation is just amazing! Fabulous!

  • Reply {VICKI} August 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    the Best was saved for last!
    Pupmkin is my very fave and this is the MOST FABULOUS IDEA!
    thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Carol McCready August 9, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Very lovely gift and packaging.

  • Reply Barbara August 9, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    This is so cute. I had never seen this method before….love pumpkin cake and the way you created the packaging!

  • Reply Diana Enns August 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    What an awesome way to give some homemade treats – great for those SR neigbhors or to give to residents of SR living facilities. Thanks bunches.

  • Reply Helen F. August 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    BEAUTIFUL packaging, Maurine! I may just have to try this 'baking in a mason jar' idea ~ looks fun. Thanks for the recipe too 🙂

  • Reply Sue D August 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Love how you decorated these jars and thanks for the idea and the recipe.
    slrdowney at hotmail dot com

  • Reply Lillian Child August 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Okay, Vera, your project has definitely caught my eye … I have a plethera of little wooden spoons and just picked up some holiday washi tapes and this sweet treat would be PERFECT for my monthly card ladies to enjoy during the holidays!! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this idea (and recipe) with us! I'm going to have a blast making these up!!

  • Reply PamSpradlin August 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Oh my gosh…this is one unique gift and I love this idea. For sure I will try to cook in a jar now. Your jars were decorated so nicely and festive. I am thinking that this would be a fabulous idea for dessert at a party. Especially for those that would pass on dessert, they would have some to take hope and it would be all for them!

  • Reply Betty August 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! Love everything abt this…packaging, recipe, and tips!!

  • Reply Kavitha Vadhri August 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Lovely recipes and amazing packaging. perfect.

  • Reply Lynda August 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Wow Maurine, this is fab! Love the spoons too!

  • Reply Jeanne J August 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I love this idea! Your photos are wonderful and you've got me interested in trying something new! These are so easy to transport and can be enjoyed just about anywhere!

  • Reply Bobbie Brock August 9, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I will have to try this one – I love pumpkin! Love the jars!

  • Reply August 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Love the idea of making cakes in the jars. Your step by step instructions are wonderful, so thank you!

  • Reply ScrappinFabPam August 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    This is awesome.. Cake in a jar.. Who would have thought.. Great idea..

    Be Blessed

  • Reply Michele Washburn August 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    This is a fantastic idea! Thanks so much for a great packaging idea and a recipe to go with it!

  • Reply Vera Yates (Ling) August 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Love the recipe and the packaging is perfect.

  • Reply SapphireGyrl August 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I love ginger cookies, but I might have to add this pumpkin cake.

  • Reply Benwah August 9, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    A very cheerful way to give a homemade gift. The jars and the pumpkin bread recipe. Good way to give a soup recipe also.


  • Reply Darlene S. August 9, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Love pumpkin cake (anything pumpkin). What a clever idea baking them in mason jars! The striped spoons and pine cones finish them off nicely.

  • Reply snowbear August 9, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    I want to do these!!!

  • Reply Helen August 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Looks yummy! My favorite holiday treat are the butter cookies I make every year and have my hot chocolate with peppermint with them 🙂

  • Reply cghundley August 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    These look so tasty and
    cute in the bottles!
    Wonderful use of the
    Carla from Utah

  • Reply DJ August 10, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Lovely recipe and love that you can bake the pumpkin cake right in the package! Thanks for the great idea!

  • Reply Lindsey August 10, 2013 at 12:19 am

    I love pumpkin anything, so this recipe sounds delish! And your jar decorating is perfectly festive. My number one Christmas treat fave is shortbread. Yum!

  • Reply Amy August 10, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Love this – the idea, recipe, and the packaging!

  • Reply Noreen August 10, 2013 at 12:42 am

    I like the little holiday spoon you include with your gift.

    Crafty Journal

  • Reply Beatrice Lawson August 10, 2013 at 1:12 am

    The best part is the cute packaging!

  • Reply HawaiianLibrarian August 10, 2013 at 1:57 am

    Pumpkin cake in a jar is clever; totally love the whole packaging with the spoon, too. Mahalo for sharing.

  • Reply Donna Chartrand August 10, 2013 at 2:12 am

    So they could have their cake and eat it too! Perfect! TFS.

  • Reply Renee August 10, 2013 at 2:43 am

    This is so pretty and looks delish! Love the spoon and the stamps!

  • Reply ~Shari August 10, 2013 at 3:51 am

    Oh you have really got my holiday juices flowing now!
    LOVE jar cakes!
    Thank you for the inspirations!

  • Reply jusaweecatnap August 10, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Oh this looks so good! Love that spoon you added. I can see this wouldn't last long–it begs to be eaten.

  • Reply gabriella August 10, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Wow that looks like fun

  • Reply Dhez August 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    YUM! I totally love jar cakes.. well anything cakes hehehe! Love the other recipes you posted on your blog and will be trying some of them out too! TFS!

  • Reply marylouh August 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I've never tried baking in mason jars but it sounds like a good idea to try. Would make an unusual present. Love the presentation on the outside of the jar too. thanks for sharing.

  • Reply bzyPTmom August 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I've not tried baking in jars–this is a most awesome idea! In fact I plan to make a gluten free pumpkin spice cake this weekend, for my family and to freeze to take on a trip–when you have to eat gluten free, you have to bring food with you when you travel.

  • Reply Mary-Anne V August 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Wonderful project…love the look of the final packaging.

  • Reply Barbara H August 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    I had no idea you could bake in a jar, definitely have to try this. I also liked how you decorated the jar and I have to order the striped wooden spoons. Great ideas here.

  • Reply TJ Butler August 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Everything here is just so classy and stylin! Love the jarred pumpkin cake – what a fun gift to receive and the packaging is just so classy!

  • Reply Lynne in NI August 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Oh wow, what a fabulous gift idea! Beautifully packaged too 🙂

  • Reply pajaropr August 11, 2013 at 12:48 am

    For some reason I could smell the pumpkin cake….Beautiful

  • Reply Lindsey August 11, 2013 at 2:22 am

    This is too cute! I've always wanted to try cakes in a jar but wondered if they really turn out. These look amazing, and I love pumpkin, so I'm going to have to finally give it a try. And I'm pretty sure this is what I'll be giving to everyone…I just love how adorable it looks in your decorated jar.

  • Reply Heather Maria August 11, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Mmm Maurine, your pumpkin cake sounds and looks delicious! I never knew mason jars could go in the oven! What wonderful and cute packaging and the little wooden spoon is the sweetest touch!

  • Reply heartforhandmade August 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Wow, they are indeed lovely. Great recipe and packaging. Each element just works perfectly together.

  • Reply Loly Borda-Towery August 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    What a cool idea! and they look great TFS

  • Reply Unknown August 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply Denise Bryant August 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    These look so pretty and festive! Love this idea! The recipe sounds great too.. I love anything with pumpkin!
    My favorite treat for holiday baking is a Snowball Cookie recipe that I make every year.

  • Reply Isha Gupta August 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Your pumpkin cake sounds yumm!! Love the pancaking too.

  • Reply Katie August 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Really neat idea, I have never heard of doing this! Sound so yummy too! Also love your presentation. Great job. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Katie B.

  • Reply Cynthia Xavier August 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Oh boy, that is so clever. Very festive looking – wonderful job.

  • Reply Lisa Norstrom August 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    My favorite holiday treat is… sorry too many to list – love traditional recipes from my family and every year I bake TONS of cookies – this jar idea is so cool I may have to consider it!!! Love the little spoon!!!

  • Reply Kathy Mc August 13, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Earlier in the blog hop I committed to saying fudge is my favorite, but I truly love any sweets during the holiday. Now your decorated mason jar pumpkin cakes is an excellent idea for gifting, especially all decked out like yours. TFS and what a fun blog hop!

  • Reply maria f. August 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Must admit this is my first visit to your blog, but it won't be my last. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Beautiful project and fantastic presentation.

  • Reply Janis August 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Wonderful project! It does seem a little scary to bake in canning jars, but I bake in glass all the time. Not why this should seem so different!
    <3 J

  • Reply Sue B August 14, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Pumpkin + mason jars = love

  • Reply Unknown October 13, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    You are wonderful and creative, oh and your treats are delicious! !! Thank you so kindly for being my person party baker, your the best !!

  • Reply Maurine Dashney October 13, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Oh, you're so welcome! Any time 🙂

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