Cakespy: Pumpkin Cake in a Jar Recipe


Quirky, cute, sometimes controversial, always delicious recipes from Jessie Oleson.

Cakespy: Pumpkin Cake in a Jar Recipe

Jessie Oleson (aka Cakespy) drops by every Monday to share a delicious dessert recipe. —The Mgmt.

[Original artwork and photographs: Jessie Oleson]

If you really want to see something horrifying this Halloween season, try shipping a cupcake. Trust me, it's not pretty.

However, if you want to share some sweetness with friends and family who may be far away, there is a solution: bake your cakes in jars. Yup, that's right: bake up some delicious pumpkin cake directly in jars for contained, easy-to-ship parcels which can be topped with whipped cream or frosting when they've reached their destination, making for a sweet and thoughtful treat.

Note: You can choose your own adventure when it comes to the size of your jars. I tried a variety, including 8-ounce, pint-sized, and even baby food jars (smaller jars will require less baking time). The key is to choose jars with a fairly wide mouth, so that the cake will be easy to scoop out with a spoon when it's time to eat.

When it comes to frosting or whipped cream topping, I don't suggest topping the cakes before shipping, but you can frost or top them and then put the lids on for short-term transit (for instance, if they're packed in a lunch).

  • Yield:8 to 24, depending on jar size


  • 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh or canned pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. 1.

    Cream the butter in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment at medium speed until fluffy, then add the sugars slowly, continuing to mix until creamy and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the pumpkin and water.

  2. 2.

    In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and spices. Add to the pumpkin mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Add nuts, if desired.

  3. 3.

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Pour batter into well buttered or greased jars. Fill each jar slightly more than halfway full. (Keep the lids and rings off to the side though). Bake for about 30 minutes if you're using baby food jars, 40-45 minutes for pint-sized jars.

  4. 4.

    Remove from oven and let cool completely. Place a circle of waxed paper on top of the cake to protect it from sticking to the top of the jar, and put the lids on the jars.

  5. 5.

    To serve, open jars, and slide a knife around the inside of the jar to loosen the cake. You can remove the cakes from the jars or eat it straight from the jar, but rest assured that they're far tastier when topped with frosting or freshly whipped cream directly before serving.