Ready to Party: Cupcake in a Jar

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it’s a cupcake. In a jar. How freaking cute is that?!

Seriously, how do people come up with these things? I have no idea, but I’m glad they do, so that I can re-create them.  I got the idea here, while looking for ideas for cupcakes for a bachelorette party.  Not only are these adorable, but they are also GREAT for parties.  Since everything is stuffed (I mean, carefully arranged) into a jar, it makes for easy and mess-free travel. It’s also great for a party like the one I went to, where guests might want to eat the cupcake, but are too full (or hungover) to do so right then. The jar makes it much easier to take home with you and save for later. Also, free jar.

The bride-to-be basically gave me one guideline for the cupcakes: They could NOT be red velvet. So of course, the cupcake in a jar recipe I found was for red velvet cucpakes. Which I do think make for a beautiful looking jar cupcake.  I decided to go a different way, though, and took my inspiration from Curly Girl Kitchen.

I altered the recipe a little to make it more jar friendly – for instance, I skipped the ganache, and decided to pour the caramel into the jar instead of soaking it into the cupcake.

I started by baking the cupcakes and letting them cool completely.  I used cupcake liners because I didn’t want to risk them sticking to the pan, but if you don’t want to go through the hassle of removing all of those liners, you can just make sure to grease your cupcake pan well.

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After letting them cool completely, I removed the cupcakes from their liners and cut them in half (horizontally, so you have cupcake tops and bottoms).  Then, I made the caramel and icing, so that everything was ready before I started assembling.

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Start with putting the bottom of the cupcake into the jar. It should fit perfectly.

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Then add a dollop of icing:

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Pour in a little caramel:

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Add the cupcake top (broken into pieces), some more icing, some more caramel, some toffee pieces and BOOM. Cupcake. In. A. Jar.

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Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
4 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 t. pure vanilla extract

Toppings

Caramel – I cheated and melted caramel candies and added a little bit of water and sea salt, but if you have the time, making your own caramel is pretty easy and delicious

About 3/4 cup of toffee pieces

Vanilla Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1 T. maple syrup
1 T. pure vanilla extract

Preperation:

Purchase and set out 20-24  8 oz mason jars.  Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners, or grease them, or use baking spray.  Set out butter and eggs so that they are at room temperature when you use them.

Cupcakes:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk (with a regular whisk) together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.  Add the eggs, milk, sour cream, oil, and vanilla and whisk together on low speed with the whisk attachment, slowly increasing to medium speed.  Divide the batter into the liners and bake for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Caramel:

Melt caramel and sprinkle sea salt on top

Vanilla Buttercream:

Clean the bowl and whisk attachment of your mixer and beat butter on medium to high speed for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.  Scrape the butter down the sides of the bowl and out of the whisk. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar, slowly, and beat on low. Increase speed to medium as everything combines.  Add milk, vanilla, and syrup. Beat on high for 1 minute.  Scrape the sides and the whisk again, and add 1 more cup of powdered sugar. You can add more or less depending on how thick you want the icing.

Assembly:

Place bottom half of cupcake in jar. Spoon caramel on top of the cake (just enough to cover it lightly). Then add a dollop of the icing. I used a cookie scooper to do this, but you can just use a spoon or pipe it in to the jar. Add a few toffee pieces. Place the top half of the cupcake on top of the icing. I broke it into 3 pieces to make it fit. Add more icing, more caramel and more toffee. Place lid on top.

Decoration:

I bought plastic spoons and tied them to the jars with hemp. (Bakers twine would be ideal, but if that isn’t available, hemp works just fine. I bought it in the craft aisle with the necklace making stuff.) You can also add some sort of label or sticker to the top of the jar if you so desire.

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