Baking in jars is ready-made for warm weather. You end up with perfectly contained self-serve portions ideal for toting to picnics or hauling out to the backyard on a tray. Set them out on the picnic table or buffet, let your guests do the rest. Watch this video CHOW Tip on baking in jars with Karen Solomon, then—as inspiration—check out 5 recipes for self-contained summer baking!

1. Cakes in a Jar


San Francisco cookbook author Karen Solomon came up with this recipe in part to figure out what to do with slightly damaged fruit. Layers of fruit and cobbler-esque cake fill Mason jars for the ultimate portable picnic dessert. Karen came up with this recipe in the summer, but she recommends using whatever fruit is in season; she also says this recipe is a good use for slightly damaged fruit. Get Karen’s Cakes in a Jar recipe.

2. Strawberry-Blueberry Crisps Baked in a Jar


Toss blueberries, strawberries, a little lemon, and some cornstarch in a bowl, then spoon into Mason jars. Cover with a buttery, crumbly streusel topping and bake until bubbling and browned. Get our Strawberry-Blueberry Crisps Baked in a Jar recipe.

3. Turtle Cheesecakes in Jars

Dakota Chic

Turtle cheesecakes (you know, that irresistible combo of chocolate, caramel, and pecan, baked in cheesecake form) look really cool in jars. They tease your guests with sweet, luscious layers. Get Dakota Chic’s Turtle Cheesecakes in Jars recipe.

4. Mason Jar Cupcakes

Katherine Marie.

Unusual, since you bake the chocolate cupcakes in muffin tins, then transfer to Mason jars with layers of delicious 5-minute buttercream icing. Serve these super-cute confections at a shower or birthday party. Get Joy’s Hope’s Mason Jar Cupcakes recipe.

5. Pumpkin-Spice Cake in a Jar

The Paper Mama

“Mason jars are everywhere,” says The Paper Mama blogger Chelsey, “so why not fill them with cake?” In this case, pumpkin-spice cake (left), and mascarpone cheese frosting! Get The Paper Mama’s Pumpkin-Spice Cake in a Jar recipe.

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