Chocolate Jar Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I realize I’m late on the cupcake in a jar trend, but there’s a reason. When I first heard of it, I thought it was a pretty silly idea. But then it occurred to me that it was brilliant for camping trips or picnics, since there’s always the issue of how to transport frosted cakes or cupcakes. I’ll never buy one of those cupcake carriers, but I’ve got plenty of jars around the house. You can even use old jelly jars. The cakes even bake right in the jar – no need for cupcake liners and muffin tins. The Chocolate Cupcake recipe is vegan by chance, but I also make a vegan version of the cream cheese that’s great. Just substitute vegan cream cheese and margarine (such as Earth Balance).


Chocolate Jar Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


About 12 cupcakes (depending on the size of the jars)

Prep Time / Cook Time


Activity Guide

Car Camping, Day Trip, Picnic


  • 1 cup soy or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract, divided
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt


  • Mixing spoon
  • Mixing bowls
  • Jars with lids
  • Piping bag or large zip-top bag
  • Mixer


For the cakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease jars.
  2. In a large bowl, combine soy milk and vinegar. Add the sugar, oil, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon of the almond extract and mix well.
  3. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In two batches, add the dry ingredients to the soy milk mixture. Mix until combined.
  4. Divide the batter among the jars and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the remaining extracts and the powdered sugar and beat until the sugar is fully incorporated.
  2. Frost the cupcakes (here’s a great cupcake frosting tutorial), screw on the lid, and transport to your favorite spot.

15 thoughts on “Chocolate Jar Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. just discovered your blog! what great camp recipes and I am enjoying reading your camping recommendations! I will be camping in the Shenandoah area for a week starting tomorrow and will try a few of your recipes.

  2. Hey! Awesome idea! How long do you think they will last? Say if I have a week of camping, do you think we need to eat them the first or second night?

    1. Hey Maya! I probably wouldn’t keep them longer than a day without keeping them in a cooler. If it’s warm, they won’t last long at all. But if you can keep them in a cooler, I think they should be good for a few days.

  3. How long will cupcake with cream cheese frosting last in air tight sealed jar before the cream cheese goes bad? Do you have to refrigerate them?

  4. I tried these, and you were right they did last 4 days in cooler while camping , and Then I tried them again for Father’s. Day …….I had to prep for large gathering a week in advance for Father’s Day and they lasted over 7 days prior to gathering, and they tasted so fresh and delicious. I thank you for your advice concerning storage. The Dirty gourmet rocks…!!!!

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