Thursday, December 22, 2011

How to Make Christmas Cupcakes in a Jar

Last night* I put my cupcake in a jar planning to good use and made just over two and a half dozen cupcakes in jars to give out as holiday gifts. Overall, this project was not terribly difficult, but it did have many repetitive steps and could be considered tedious at times. Believe it or not, I prefer making complicated decorated cakes to making cupcakes or cookies or really doing any project that involves a lot of repetition. Thankfully my husband stepped in and helped me with the process of decorating the jars. Having company always makes a repetitive project more fun!

The good news is that these carrot cake cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, adorably packaged in jars, were very well received as gifts. Seeing others delighted at something I, or in this case we, made always makes a project worthwhile for me.

Here are the steps I took to complete this project:

1) Prepare your jars.
I used 8oz Ball Regular Mouth Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars. I purchased mine at my local Publix grocery store for about $9 per case of 12. To prepare them for this project, I washed them in hot soapy water and rinsed them well. Then I laid them out on paper towels to dry.

2) Bake your cupcakes and make your frosting. I do not have any pictures of this part of the process. I chose to spray the muffin tins with non-stick spray and bake the cupcakes without using paper liners.

3) While the cupcakes are cooling, decorate your jars.

I used some Christmas scrap booking card stock I had previously purchased for 75% off at a Michael's after Christmas sale to decorate my jars. With my husband's much appreciated help :), I traced the center circle of the jar cover on to the card stock and cut them out. I then hot glued the card stock circles to the tops of the jars. The finished products looked like this:

4) Cut the cooled cupcakes in half. Place the bottom half of the cupcake in the jar. Using a large piping tip on your piping bag, pipe some of your frosting of choice on top of the cupcake bottom. Then add the cupcake top. You may have to squish it in a bit to make it fit. Finally, pipe some frosting in over the cupcake top and add your festive decorative sprinkles of choice.

5) Place the cover on your jar and add the wooden spoon. I used this Martha Stewart baker's twine I purchased at Michael's to secure the wooden spoon.

I tied the twine around the glass jar just under the lip of the metal jar cover. However, as both my husband and I handed out the cupcake jars out to our coworkers we discovered that the twine loop and the spoon was slipping off the jar. We solved the problem by pushing the twine loop back up the jar and up over the metal jar top. To make sure the spoons are securely secured I would recommend taking this approach from the beginning and tying the loop tightly around the glass jar just under the metal jar top and then pulling it up over the bottom lip of the jar top. This will ensure that when you slip the wooden spoon under the twine loop it is fastened securely.

And that's it! Enjoy handing these cupcakes in adorable decorated jars out to your friends and family!

*I began writing this post the day after I completed this project and I am attempting to publish it dated for that day 12/22/2011.

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