Leftover Batter? Bake Cupcakes in Mason Jars!

Just like trying to figure out how to spend a generous gift card, having too much batter on your hands is not a bad problem to have.

And that’s exactly where I found myself this weekend. Not with the gift card problem (although if you’d like to send me one, feel free!), but stuck in my kitchen with a pool in the bottom of my mixer bowl made from the generous leftovers of batch-and-a-half of chocolate cake batter.

You see, it all started when the recipe called for two 9″x2″ cake rounds, but I was making three 8″x2″ cake rounds. I had to pull out my old geometry textbook (just kidding, I Googled it) and find the formula for the volume of a cylinder. I calculated exactly how many cubic inches I need to fill my three 8″ pans, and then figure out how many batches of two-9″-cake-rounds cake batter I needed to make to fill them.

Sound complicated? It was, for a writer like me. You see where this is going.

I messed up my measurements and had a little bit too much cake batter on my hands.

So what’s a girl to do?

Easy. I pulled out my mason jars.

If you ever find yourself with just a little bit extra cake batter, you can try this project, too. Rather than bust out your 12-cup muffin tin and waste your cute cupcake liners filling two or three measly cups, just bake cupcakes inside of 4-ounce mason jars like these.

The jars are reusable, don’t require a muffin pan to hold their shape and make your extra cupcakes easy to store (or to ship!). The only downside is the fact that you have to do a few extra dishes. Which is terrible, really. I’m sorry.

Still, I found it was worth cleaning the mason jars to be able to enjoy fresh-tasting cupcakes throughout the week. I filled three mason jars (these quilted 4-ounce Ball Jars, if you’re wondering) ¾ of the way with my chocolate cake batter, then rest them on a cookie sheet in the oven and baked according to the recipe’s directions. When they come out, let them cool completely and tightly screw the lid back on your mason jar for safe keeping.

If you happen to be thinking right now that these don’t have to be accidental cupcakes, I want you to know that I totally agree.  I think the mason jar presentation is pretty darn cute. You could totally bake up a batch of these for a party. Just make sure to serve them with a fork!

Oh, and if you’re curious about what delectable flavor of cake and frosting I happened to be lucky enough to have extras of? Tune in tomorrow for the recipe. Spoiler alert: It has chocolate and coffee.

UPDATE: Oh, lucky you! It’s right here:

>> Coffee-Scented Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Coffee Buttercream


  • September 13, 2011 5:48 pm


  • September 14, 2011 3:01 pm

    Love this idea

  • Tania Dias

    September 14, 2011 8:02 pm

    Now,I know the secret! I love that idea!

  • February 11, 2012 12:53 pm

    Such a cute idea and I am always looking for something to do with my 4 oz. quilted mason jars:)

  • karen

    June 9, 2014 4:20 pm

    i love this but i’m having a VERY hard time cooking in the 4 oz mason jars. i read you’re supposed to place the mason jars in a bath because they can crack. however it takes VERY long to cook them and the batter doesn’t isn’t coming out right. how did you do these???

  • Penny

    August 17, 2016 2:25 pm

    Ditto Karen, I thought you had to cook in mason jars with water??

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