Cake In a Jar

Cake In a Jar

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 8 jars
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
604 Calories
26g Fat
90g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 604
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 233mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 90g 33%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 76g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 66mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's no doubt that cake is fun to bake and even more fun to eat. This technique for making cake in a jar turns a mini dessert into an adorable and portable treat. In fact, the jars can even be decorated with ribbons or labels to create edible gifts. Feel free to experiment with your favorite cake and frosting combinations for various holidays and celebrations. These make ahead desserts are great for birthday parties, baby and wedding showers, or even just a picnic in the park or at the beach.


For the Chocolate Cake:

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Cake In A Jar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. Line an 15 x 10-inch rimmed baking sheet with non-stick foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

    Cake In A Jar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

    Cake In A Jar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. In another large bowl, combine the vegetable oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract. Beat until well-combined.

    Cake In A Jar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined and the cake batter is smooth.

    Cake In A Jar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking sheet pan and spread into an even layer. The cake will be thin. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes. The cake is done when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and springs back when lightly pressed. Cool completely before cutting and layering in the jars. 

    Cake In A Jar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the confectioners' sugar and butter. Add just enough milk to achieve the desired consistency and mix in the vanilla extract. 

    Cake In A Jar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. Fill a piping bag with the prepared frosting. 

    Cake In A Jar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. Using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out circles of the cake. Reserving remaining cake.

    Cake In A Jar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  10. Place one circle in the bottom of each 4 ounce canning jar. Top with a swirl of frosting. Continue layering until you reach the top of the jar. Sprinkle some of the cake scrap crumbs on top. Continue until all the jars are assembled.

    Cake In A Jar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  11. Top the jars with the lids and refrigerate until ready to serve. Decorate the jars with ribbons or gift tags as desired. Bring the jars to room temperature before serving.


  • The cake portion of this cake in a jar recipe can be baked in advance. After baking, allow the cake to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to assemble. The cake does not need to be defrosted before layering in the jars.