Cake in a Jar

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If you’re looking for a creative way to serve individual cakes, look no further than this Cake in a Jar recipe idea. It’s as simple as layering colorful cake and frosting in a mason jar for one cute and delicious dessert.

painted mason jar lid
close up of layered cake in glass jars

You might remember me sharing this Cake in a Jar idea a few years ago as part of my caticorn-inspired party. I loved these little mason jar cakes so much that I thought they deserved their own post.

You know an idea or a recipe is a good one when you come across it again several years later, and you look at it with the same joy and delight. I will also freely admit I snacked on those cakes for a couple of days after the photo shoot.

colorful cake in a jar with a spoon beside it


Here are all of the ingredients I used to make cake in a jar:

  • Cake Mix
  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Confectioner’s Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Food Coloring
  • Sprinkles
boxed cake cut into circles using a cookie cutter

How to Make

  1. Start by baking your cakes. I used box cake mix because I think it works just as nicely. The trick is to bake the cake in sheet pans to ensure a thin layer of cake. This will allow you to layer more cake in your jars. Alternatively, you can use your favorite homemade cake recipe. It will work the same way.
  2. Because it’s my favorite, I used my go-to cream cheese frosting for this recipe. I highly recommend homemade frosting over store-bought. The homemade version is simple to make, and the flavor is a hundred times better.
red, orange, and pink icings in bowls
  1. With the cake baked and cooled and you frosting prepared, use a round cookie cutter (the size that fits into your mason jars) and cut out rounds of cake.

frosting on top of cake in a jar topped with sprinkles
  1. Once the cake and frosting are prepared, layer the cut cake rounds in your mason jars. After each layer of cake, pipe or spread a layer of frosting. Shake some sprinkles on the frosting for pizzazz.

spray painted teal lid on a mason jar filled with layers of cake and frosting
  1. Continue layering until you reach the top of the jar. Then cover with a lid.

With that, your mason jar cakes are ready. Not only are they cute and delicious, but they are easy to pack and transport. In fact, they’d make a delightful dessert for a summer picnic!

Whatever you do with it, this Cake in a Jar idea is a fun and clever way to serve cake. With plenty of batter flavors, frosting recipes, and styles of jars to choose from, you can let your creativity run wild.

cake in a jar desserts on a party table
half eaten cake inside of a container

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions people often ask about cake in a jar. If you don’t see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.

What is Cake in a Jar?

Also called cake jars, these cute desserts are a creative substitute for cupcakes. They are basically mini layered cakes in small mason jars. Since each mason jar cake has its own lid, this is a perfect way to protect the mini cakes from germs.

I also happen to prefer the taste of cake over cupcakes, and this is a fun way to enjoy the best of both. Plus, no more feeling awkward while everyone watches you cut the cake—this portable dessert is ready to go.

What are some different ways I can decorate the mason jar lids?

As you can tell, I got creative with my jar lids. I added a bit of whimsy with a colorful cat-adorned lid. (More details on how I made the jars can be found here.)

However, an unpainted mason jar lid could be just as beautiful. Tie off the jar with twine for a rustic touch.

painted animals and lids on mason jars filled with dessert

How long will mason jar cakes last in the refrigerator?

If you are making cakes in a jar ahead of time, I suggest only doing it the night before or the morning of the event. The longer they are in the refrigerator, the more the frosting will begin to change consistency. They taste the best fresh! If necessary, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Can you freeze cake jars?

Yes, you can definitely store them in the freezer too. The only thing to remember is that as they thaw they will change consistency slightly. Keep them in the freezer for up to 6 months. Again, I would suggest enjoying these as fresh as possible for best results.

Can you make ice cream cake in a mason jar?

Yes, it would be so much fun to make mason jar ice cream cakes! If I were going to do that, I’d soften some ice cream and place it in a frosting piping bag. Then, I’d use the bag to pipe the ice cream into the mason jar in between layers of frosting and cake. Then, freeze them just long enough to solidify the ice cream again.

cake in a jar pinterest image

More Mason Jar Desserts You’ll Enjoy

 I hope you’re feeling inspired to try making cake-in-a-jar? If you do, please leave a comment and a 5-star rating below. 

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Adorable and delicious Cake in a Jar! #recipe #cake #cupcake #masonJar

Cake in a Jar

If you’re looking for a creative way to serve individual cakes, look no further than this Cake in a Jar recipe idea! It’s as simple as layering colorful cake and frosting into a mason jar for one cute and delicious dessert!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, cake in a jar, mason jar cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 24 servings



  • Begin by preparing both cake mixes according to the package directions. Add food coloring to each of the prepared batters to achieve the desired color. (I used teal gel food coloring.)
  • Bake the cakes in two greased and floured half sheet pans. Follow package directions for baking. You’ll know the cakes are done if a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • In the meantime, prepare your frosting. With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and salt for about three minutes or until smooth.
  • Then, one cup at a time, add the confections sugar, mixing between each addition. Next, add the milk until the desired consistency is reached. (More powdered sugar may be added to thicken the frosting.) Finally, beat in the food coloring until the desired color is achieved.
  • After both sheet cakes have cooled, cut out cake rounds from each. Use a round cookie cutter that is the same size as your mason jar (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter) to cut out the rounds. You will need need a total of 72 rounds (3 rounds per mason jar).
  • Begin by layering the cake rounds and frosting in the mason jars. Start with a cake round, then frosting and sprinkles and then another cake round and more frosting and sprinkles. Finish off with a third cake round. Top with your cat-ified mason jar lid to complete.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I make a lot of desserts in a jar. These are my least favorite for one reason, too much icing. It would be better with pudding or whipped topping in one of the layers.

  2. Super cute! We’re going camping over my daughter’s birthday. How far in advance do you think I can make these (kept refrigerated)? Thanks in advance!

  3. Love your mason jar cakes! Can you please let me know what size cookie sheets you used and does one full box cake fit in each sheet? Im new to the game…😏

  4. This would be fun to do with strawberries and whipped cream and sponge cake … I’d use some of my jam jars… Or pudding and cake? Some form of summer trifle? No doubt you could come up with all kinds of variations.