Desserts for the Deserving

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The need can be anything from a new baby to a hospital stay to the loss of a loved one.

The desire on our part is the same, to make life easier for the recipient.  To give them a gift of a warm, comforting, homemade meal.   

When my church reached out and asked if I could bring a meal to a family that just had their first child I said yes before she could finish talking.  Having just have had a baby myself, I know how wonderful a small kind gesture can be!

So in addition to the main grub, I decided to bring them a fun dessert.


I made the six different cakes in jars!  They are roughly a single serving each, or if you are like me, they are half a single serving.


Each jar is different and each has its own distinctive frosting.

But here is the fun part.

I made them all from ONE cake recipe.

White Cake

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup milk

4 egg whites

2 cups cake flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine sugar and shortening until well blended.  In separate bowl, beat egg whites until light and frothy. (about 3 minutes)  Sift baking powder into flour.  Add flour to sugar mixture alternating with the milk.  Add extract.  Gently add egg whites and fold in until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes depending on your stove.

Baking tip specifically for jars:

Add 1/2 cup cake batter to well greased jar and bake at 325 for 35-45 minutes.  The goal is to make sure the center is not raw, hence the longer cooking time.  Start watching your jar at 30 minutes to make sure you don't over-bake.

Here is how I made six different cakes with one batter!

In every recipe I added the suggested ingredients to 1/2 cup of the plain white cake batter.

(I used this buttercream recipe and Cool Whip for my whipped topping)





 Doh!  That should totally say PEACH, not peace.  Sorry!




This was a fun and easy way to make sure everyone gets something they would like!


I also tied a tag onto each jar describing the contents.  I sorta had this vision of the new mom sitting at her kitchen table at 2:00am feeding her baby with every jar open in front of her and shes sampling a little from each one.

Maybe that was less of a vision and more of a fantasy.  Cause like, I am still feeding my three month old at 2:00am.

I also added little words of encouragement on the top of each jar… a Bible saying on a couple, "Congrats", "Blessings", easy sayings like that.

This whole project with definitely a labor of love and I felt so privileged that I was able to offer up a small gift! 

If you try it, be sure to leave a comment and let me stop by and gush over your Dessert for Someone Deserving!




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  1. says

    Amanda – this is genious! I know I’m like, a year and a half behind on reading either of your blogs, but I’m in awe of your skills. You just keep growing and growing in your baking and photography talents and I just adore your creations. I just wanted you to know. Oh, and I’m most definately going to try this.

  2. EmilyH says

    What a blessing to that family. I have also been on the receiving end of sweet ladies in our church delivering a meal. This takes it to a new level.

  3. Skye Malcom says

    I love this idea. I had my third baby 6 months ago & this time around, we were brought food of some sort almost every day for a couple of weeks. It was awesome! I think maybe because my son is in elem. school this time, there’s a new network of moms who appreciate the gift of food – and help with bringing the other kids to & from school. Anyway, these jars look awesome & I’m totally going to use those recipes to pay it forward :)

  4. Kimberly Koelzer says

    in regards to the vanilla cake in a jar. How much vanilla do I add to the 1/2 cup white cake? And how much vanilla to the frosting?
    Also, in regards to the frosting….how much cool whip is needed to make the base frosting?
    Thank you,

  5. Tiarra says

    I was hoping to send these overseas to my husband who is deployed…will they stay good in the jar? The cool whip frosting seems a bit time sensitive!

  6. Jessica says

    Wonderful! I’ve been looking for an idea for our monthly Kids Cooking Club and will definitely be using this idea so that each child can customize their own cake!

  7. Rachel says

    One trick I like to do is freeze my batter. I measure out what I need by putting water in the pan and then dumping that into my measuring cut then that is how much batter I need to put in a zip lock. This means that all I have to do to make a quick gift or an easy but still fresh dessert is pull out a bag and thaw. I even portioned out frosting. Freeze in an uncovered jar. Once youโ€™re sure itโ€™s solid, no more expansion, put the lid on. Or just use the baggy again. Easier for applying, less dishes. If your backing in jars just freeze in the jars and then thaw and back as you like.

  8. says

    I was looking for some “cupcake in a jar” inspirations, and stumbl’d upon your blog from Pinterest and already fall in love with your posts. Really nice.
    You had simple, but a wonderful idea. I absolutely love it. And these jars look awesome, thinking about to make also come gifts from it.
    Thanks and have a nice time.

  9. Terrie says

    This is just what I was looking for. I have to bring birthday cake for 5 people at work and wanted to make each person’s “cake” different. I’m making these for a crowd. How many jars will this recipe make? I plan to make about 30-40 mason jar cakes. Thanks for sharing.

  10. susanem says

    Do you need to add baking powder or soda to the cake mix recipe? I want to make these real soon. Not sure if either is needed. Love the idea of making different cakes with one mix.

  11. says

    I have been wanting to make these since you first posted this and I finally found a reason to! I was only able to find small Mason jars so I ended up making 12 cakes instead of six. I have no idea how they taste but they looked good and I am hoping that the recipient likes them. Thanks for the idea!

  12. Akhila Bhiman says


    I LOVE this idea!

    I know I am 3 years too late but I am planning on making these for Christmas this year and I have a few questions.

    What was the size of the mason jars you used?
    How many mason jars did this recipe make? I know you said 6 types of cakes but wasn’t sure if that meant 6 jars.
    Does the cool whip frosting last long enough for overnight sitting and thena couple of hours of travel and sitting time (room temp) or would you suggest going with the buttercream frosting?