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4th of July Cupcakes in a Jar

How cute are these cupcakes in a jar? Well, thanks to my new obsession, Pinterest, I found them on The Tomkat Studio website and had to try them.

Now I did them a bit differently than the original site’s recipe called for, but you can just as easily follow the one they did by following the link above to The Tomkat Studio. Her recipe didn’t list a yield quantity, but the way I did it, using 2 boxes of cake mix instead of one, yielded enough to make a full case (12 jars) and extra batter for 6 cupcakes. The original recipe also baked the cakes in 9″ round pans, but since I was using 2 mixes I used 13″ x 9″ pans. For icing I fiddled with the Easy Vanilla Buttercream icing from Cook’s Illustrated. I prefer a real buttercream, but this icing still has butter in it and the confectioner’s sugar allows it to stand up better in hot, humid weather.

4th of July Cupcakes in a Jar

You’ll need…

Jars (I used a case of 12 1/2 pint canning jars)
2 white cake mix (from a box or from scratch)
Frosting (see recipe below, but you can use canned)
Tomkat Studio Memorial Day Free Printables (use 3 of the 4 designs)
Prepare 3- 12″ x 9″ cake pans by greasing the pan lightly (I used spray canola oil). Prepare the batter of your favorite white cake (from a box or from scratch). Measure 2 cups of cake batter into 2 bowls. Color one bowl of batter red, and one blue (using concentrated gel coloring).  Fill first 2 pans with the colored batter. Pour 2 cups of plain white batter into the third prepared pan and with any remaining batter you can make cupcakes. Since I was baking less batter than would normally be put into this size pan, I watched the pan closely in the oven until it was lightly browned on top and it sprang back when touched lightly, about 15 minutes.

Once baked, cool cakes completely. Prepare a batch of frosting (see recipe below). Remove cakes from pans and place on a work surface. Then, use a 2″ round cookie cutter to cut out circles of cake. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round or star tip. Layer cake and frosting as shown above (red cake, a little frosting, some sprinkles, white cake, a little frosting, some sprinkles, blue cake, a nice swirl of frosting for the top layer), some sprinkles.

*Note- the cupcakes in a jar could also be make using cupcakes, cut in half, then used as directed above.
Dress up your cupcakes in a jar with ribbon and The Tomkat Studio Free Printable Memorial Day designs. Use the printables as cupcake toppers (if you are serving the cupcake jars open), or as a finishing label, if you plan to use the cupcake jars as favors or gifts.

Easy Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Any of the buttercream frostings (see related recipes) can be made ahead and refrigerated; if refrigerated, however, they must stand at room temperature to soften before use. If using a hand-held mixer, increase mixing times significantly (at least 50 percent).

4 sticks unsalted butter , softened
5 cups confectioners’ sugar (5 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoon heavy cream


In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

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