Cake in a Sealed Jar

This easy recipe for Cake in a Sealed Jar is perfect for mailing in care packages to friends and family. Best of all, this cake in a jar will stay fresh for for at least a month!

If you enjoy this cake in a jar idea you might also like my No Bake Key Lime Cheesecakes In A Jar.

Cake in a sealed mason jar with a Happy Birthday tag on it

This Cake In A Jar Is Great To Mail For Birthdays

This might be my new favorite blog post. I’ve been wanting to make and post this for a while. The main purpose for cake in a sealed jar is what I used it for a few years ago – sending it in a care package to my friend Janelle’s boyfriend (now husband) for his birthday when he was deployed with the military to Afghanistan.

I was wanting to send Jeff a box of a bunch of things he loved – food, magazines, etc. I can’t really remember the order in which things happened, but at some point Janelle mentioned that Jeff”s birthday was coming up and she was trying to figure out something to do for him. Another friend of hers had sent a cake to her husband that she ordered online. It apparently showed up in a less than awesome form and didn’t taste terribly great.

Side by side images of Cake in a Sealed Jar, one with a birthday candle in the jar, one with a fork in the jar

I Love That This Cake Can Stay Fresh For Weeks

When I was looking for some ideas online of things to send, I saw the idea of cake in a jar buried way down in a comment on a website. I looked for directions on how to do it so that the jar would be sealed and the cake would stay fresh for a few weeks. Then I gave it a shot!

Cake in a mason jar with a birthday tag on it and a fork removing a bite

Jeff said getting the cake was awesome! I sent a few jars of cake and a can of icing. He was so kind to share it with others and apparently it was a hit.

An open mason jar filled with cake next to an open container of chocolate frosting

So if you’re looking for something special to send your loved one in a military care package, this is a good choice. You can use a box mix or a cake from scratch – whatever you want! I’ve also included some printable tags that you can print out and tie onto the jars with a little message. Download the tags here.

Free printable tags for Cake in a Sealed Jar

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Cake in a jar with frosting

Cake in a Sealed Jar

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 Mins
  • Cook Time: 35 Mins
  • Total Time: 55 Mins
  • Yield: 6-8 jars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This easy recipe for Cake in a Sealed Jar is perfect for mailing in care packages to friends and family. Best of all, this cake in a jar will stay fresh for for at least a month!



  • 1 box of cake mix (or 1 recipe worth of a cake from scratch)
  • 68 mason jars with lids and rings


1. Prepare your cake batter according to the directions.
2. Fill the mason jars with batter about half way, no more. It will rise to fill the jar as it bakes. Keep the rims of the jars clean.
3. Put jars on a cookie sheet to keep them from tipping over while baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. While they are baking, put your jar lids in a pot of boiling water.
5. When the cake is done baking, remove one jar from the oven at a time and screw on the hot lid using oven mits. Set on the counter to cool.
6. It will seal as it cools. It should ‘ping’ as it seals. If you don’t hear a ping, wait until it’s completely cool and press on the top of the lid. If it doesn’t move at all, it’s sealed.
As the cake cools, it will pull away from the sides of the jar, making it easy to pop out of the jar when it’s time to eat!

Keywords: cake in a jar, cake in a mason jar, cake in a jar recipe, recipe for cake in a jar, how to mail a cake, how to ship a cake, military care package ideas, care package ideas, birthday care package


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  1. Lisa R

    I want to try this to send to my son for Christmas. He is a marine and is currently deployed but I am curious if there is a certain type of jar I use? I’m worried about the jar exploding in the oven. Also, does this only work with cake or does it work with brownies too? 

  2. Nicole

    Is it okay that there’s like condensation inside the jar post lid? It looks like the bottom of the cake is soggy.

    1. Lindsay

      It’s been a while since I’ve made this, but it should be okay. If I remember correctly the condensation dries up.

  3. Kimberly Hildebrand

    I have used this recipe 3 times to prepare for sending to my husband oveseas. Each time the yellow cake smells funky after I open the jars. It makes me so sad because I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!!! I really want him to have cake made by me on his 30th birthday and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!? Could it be the grease spray I’m using? Is there a trick to not having condensation? The first time the cakes didn’t completely fill the jar so I thought that could be the problem. The last time I filled them more than halfway and they baked out of the jar and I had to push the lids down on top to squish the cake in, filling the jar completely. Still smells funky! Only after 6 days. Help!!

    1. Lindsay

      Hmmm, does it taste bad even though it smells funny? Could it just be the smell of the cake mix? I’m really not sure what would cause that. I’m sorry!

  4. Janelle

    I just had to comment on this! I used this recipe 5 years ago to send birthday cake to my boyfriend who is a Marine and was deployed in Afghanistan. The cakes made it from NY to Afghanistan in the summer heat and were fresh when he opened them. The ironic part is.. my name is Janelle, and he is now my husband! 🙂 I circled back to this recipe just now to make another cake in a jar, and when I read your actual blog about this it gave me chills! Thank you for sharing!! <3


      I’m not sure that I know exactly how long they’d last. It took them several weeks to get to the person I sent them to and they arrived wonderfully. I’d say 1-2 months is best.

  5. Anna

    I just did these and mailed to my husband who is in Okinawa. It took 14 days exactly to get there and I was extremely disappointed when he said the cakes were no good. Not sure what happened because I did these exactly how you said to.


      That’s so disappointing! I’m sorry. Did you hear the seals on the jars pop as they cooled? I wonder if they didn’t quite seal fully or something happened during shipping? 🙁

      1. Anna

        They were definitely sealed. When you touched the center of the lids they didn’t move. There was a fair amount of condensation inside the jars after I put the lids on… I’m wondering if that had anything to do with it?!

  6. Rupal

    i just made these and planning to send overseas…. I noticed the condensation after sealing the lids … I’m hoping that won’t be a problem. 🙁 The lid isn’t moving so that must be a good sign? I really hope they stay fresh.


      If I remember correctly I think the condensation happened for me too. If the lids are nicely sealed, they should stay fresh.

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  8. amanda

    What about the condensation that accumulates in the jar once you put the tops on after taking them out of the oven? Wouldn’t all that moisture cause the cake to spoil?


      I’d suggest placing them in the water while the water comes to a boil and then leave them for a few minutes.


      I think I saved a couple for 2-3 months just to make sure they’d last and they did. They seal very well.

      1. Kolleen

        I have read in another post 3 months is what she saved hers and they were good. They were unfrosted. I am trying to find someone who has saved them longer.

  9. Daphne

    Thanks so much for this idea! I made these in the smaller mason jars and sent several to my son in college to enjoy with some friends. It makes about 10 small jars. They turned out great! I kept one here so we could try it too. It was only a week but the cake was super moist and fresh. It guess I filled my jars a little more than half full because they cooked over the top of the jars. I just cut off the top, making sure rim was clean, and they sealed perfectly. Thanks for the idea to make his birthday away from home special. He said it was a really cool idea.

  10. Geryel

    Hi! I love your post! And I love the candle idea for a birthday!
    My boyfriend just got deployed to Djibouti, since the temps there are so hot I haven’t quite been sure if this is an option for me, I’m scared to spoil it. But my question is did you boil the jars before putting the batter in them? Just to sanitize them, or did you wash them with just soap and hot water?

    Thank you so much!


      Hi Geryel! I just washed the jars before putting the batter in. Only the lids get boiled. The jars heat up when baked with the cake in them and when the hot lids get put on and the jars cool, that creates the suction that seals the jar. I hope that helps!

  11. stephanie

    this is so awesome…I am about to send a package and this will make it so much more personnel!!..
    going to get the 4th of july confetti cake mix…so excited

  12. Snickerdoodle Cake-in-a-Jar | The Monday Box

    […] adorable gift tags on my jars come from lifeloveand Lindsay, who has successfully sent cake-in-a-jar to a deployed friend, offers some great […]

  13. themondaybox

    Hi, Lindsay! Thank you for the adorable printable tags! I am going to link to your site and this page in my next cake-in-a-jar post. 🙂 My whole blog is care package recipes. It can be hard for people to find great recipes and ideas like this one that make shipping homemade goodies possible. I am sure that your friend and his buddies were thrilled with your delicious care package!

    1. Life, Love and Sugar

      Thank you, that’s great! What a great blog idea! It definitely can be hard to find good ideas. I originally found this one hidden in comments of another article.

  14. Mireya

    Tried sending my husband some cookies and cheesecake brownies before and they were green when he got them… I’m going to try this and hope it works!!
    I bought quart sized mason jars and I only needed one for this.

    1. Life, Love and Sugar

      Hi Mireya! As long as it’s sealed correctly it will work. Just make sure that after the jar cools the circle in the center of the lid doesn’t move/pop when you press on it.

  15. bakerhomemaker

    Beyond excited about finding this. My husband is going out later this year and he will be over for his birthday. I was trying to think of how I could send him something and so far could only come up with fruit cake, as it lasts. This is such a brilliant idea. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Life, Love and Sugar

      You are so welcome! I’m glad you found it! It works wonderfully and I know my friend’s husband and friends loved it 🙂

  16. Jessie Homemaker

    I’ve been considering doing this for my boyfriend who is deployed. He’s been begging me to send him baked goods, and I haven’t had the courage yet! I have a serious fear about food spoiling, and I would hate for it to go bad before it gets there. But this seems like a valid, sanitary and reasonable form of transportation! I think it would be cute to bake these in some mini mason jars as well! Kinda like a cupcake in a jar? <3

    1. lifeloveandsugar

      I think mini mason jars would be great! And don’t worry about them going bad – as long as the top doesn’t move when you push down on it after it has cooled, it should be good and sealed. The friend I sent them to LOVED them and said they were super fresh!

    2. Wendy

      Jessie, I used Lindsay’s advice (and aadorable tags) for a successful military care package, but there was no intent for it to last months….only the 1 1/2 weeks necessary to arrive and be eaten! Shipping in the summer needs a bit more caution. Spoilage of any food is more likely in extremely hot weather. I sent my mason jar cakes in cooler weather. If you search for desert safe recipes you will find many that are delicious and safe for military care packages! 🙂

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12