Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars {& striped frosting tutorial}

AKA: “Why yes, you may have that raise” cupcake jars, or “Oh my gosh I think I love you” cupcake jars, or “Yes of course we should agree to a ceasefire, in fact let’s do dinner tonight”  cupcake jars. You get my point, right?  I have no other words, these are amazing.  It’s like Christmas in a jar. It’s a rich fudgy cupcake filled and topped with a creamy and decadent peppermint ganache.  Then topped off with a cool,sweet layer our favorite frosting (also peppermint spiked) and sprinkled with crushed candy canes.  And striping the frosting is just icing on the cake!  Literally.  I put them in jars because that just makes them extra fun, and it’s like this great personalized little gourmet gift.  It might seem like a lot of steps, but really it doesn’t take all that long.  If you want to break up the load, I would suggest making the cupcake and ganache layers and then screwing the jars on and storing overnight.  Then next day (or even couple of days) when your kitchen is nice and clean again just whip up some frosting and pass them out fresh.

The cupcake itself is out of this world.  I adapted it from a recipe in a book that both Kate and I love.  I knew just looking at the recipe for the first time that it would be rich and fudgy because the ingredients and method are more along the lines of a brownie than a cupcake.  Skip the electric beater on these babies, all you need is a wooden spoon.

It starts with melted butter and chocolate.  How could anything that starts with melted butter and chocolate not end well?

And like I mentioned, just stir in the dry ingredients by hand.  That actually makes this recipe really quick and easy, no messy beaters and butter fluffing.

Fill up your cute little jars.  These are the same jars we use for our Pie in a Jar.  The cupcakes will rise and you need room for both the frosting and the ganache, so fill them no more than 1/2 way full.

Pop those in the oven, and you can prepare your ganache while they’re baking.  Cream.  Chocolate.  Peppermint.  Can’t go wrong there either.

Take your cakes out to cool, and your ganache will be setting up/thickening at this point as well.

Some of your cakes may have a little well in the center which makes a great little holding spot for the ganache.  You can also take a paring knife, or an apple corer works great, and hollow out the center like this:

It’s really up to you.  If you don’t have a lot of space on top you might want to hollow out the center.  If you’ve got room and want more of a layer of ganache on top, then skip the coring and just pour the ganache on top.

Once your cakes have cooled to close to room temp (a little warm is okay)  pour ganache over each one.  If your ganache has gotten too thick to pour at this point, just warm it up in the microwave in about 10 second intervals.

Then tilt the jars around so you get a complete chocolate cover.  This actually helps keep the cupcake part really moist and fresh so you can wait a day or two to share them, or finish them if you don’t have time to do it all at once.

The last step is the frosting.  I’m using our favorite frosting recipe. If you haven’t tried it, you need to!  If you make it and love it, then you must must try it with the peppermint extract.

I’m going to show you a fun trick to getting that candy cane stripe! You’ll need gel food coloring (available in the baking isle, a clean paint brush (I keep a set just for baking/cooking) and a piping bag.  This works great with parchment paper bags too (in fact, I think it sticks a little better to parchment) so if you have a tip and some parchment you can just make your own.   If you don’t have anything but the food coloring you could try winging it with a large ziplock bag with the tip cut off.  that would probably work just fine, it just might be a little difficult to have the food coloring stick to the bag as you’ll see in the next step.

Fold down the outer edge of your bag so it sits open by itself. Dip your brush into your food coloring and paint lines up the side of your bag.  And yes, I’m completely aware that mine looks freaky- like my piping bag got attacked by a bear or something.  I paint all the way down to my tip.

Then carefully add your frosting.  Try to plop it in there right in the center so you don’t have to mush it around too much.  As you pipe out the frosting, the color will come out in lines and you’ll get a great candy-cane stripe!  (On a side-note, try this technique with rainbow colors and colorburst cupcakes- how amazing would that look?!)

Just give it a nice swirl, being careful to not go above the top of the jar, and then sprinkle some crushed candycanes on top.

Now you can place the lids and rings on and dress the jars up any way you please.

When you bust into that baby you’ll get all three layers of frosting, ganache, and cupcake.

Oh sweet peppermint fudge cupcake jar, will you marry me??

Tie on a ribbon or two and you’re set for giving.

I made some cute tags for mine.

And since I love you all I’m going to share!  Note that the background is white, I just printed mine on light pink cardstock because I was out of white.  Click here for a file you can print on cardstock and cut out.  There’s a place to write “to” and “from” and also a little space for a note.  Like maybe “You owe me.”  Just an idea.

If you love this idea but don’t have jars, they make amazing cupcakes too!  Love these cute papers I bought from Wilton last year.

The recipe will make about 8 jars or 12 cupcakes.  And with the cupcakes you might have a little ganache left.  So eat it.  With a spoon.




  1. Thanks for these! I've been trying to figure out what kind of gifts to give my daughter's preschool teachers and I think these would be perfect. Who doesn't love chocolate? 🙂

  2. I'm so glad to find this today as I was just wondering what kind of baked good to share with my son's teacher this year. Now I know!!! Can you give a little advice regarding storage? Refrigerate or countertop? How long is the shelf life? Thanks!

  3. What are your thoughts on shipping this? Do you think it would hold up? I live in Utah currently and would like to send these to my parents and siblings in FL/GA for Christmas

  4. LOVE this one! Also, just wanted to tell you that I love your blog. I love all the pictures (step by step etc.) and I love your recipes. Thanks for spending the time. Happy Holidays!

  5. This is great! I featured you today on Today's Top 20!! I'd love if you stopped by!


    1. has. A huge variety, fair prices, with cheap shipping. (At least cheap compared to the other sites I visited). I ordered 200 of the 4 oz jars, they were the perfect size, $50 for shipping…. On a side note, I LOVE this blog, thank you for all of the fabulous ideas!!

  6. LOVE IT! I WANT ONE NOW!!! Could you send some to WYOMIONG, please?!?! I have always been a little afraid of your perfect frosting – but I have no choice, I have to try it!

    Happy Day,
    Jasey @ Crazy Daisy

    PS – Have you figured out how I might be able to get a signed copy of your new cookbook to Wyoming? …kidding…. well, maybe kidding 😉

  7. Oh. My. Word.

    special treat for my mother in law…. or maybe I'll make these for my little guy's holiday party.


    thanks for sharing these!!!

  8. To all who are asking about storage, see my updated note at the end of the post. I think it answers all of those questions.

    Alex- It really depends on where you live. You'll have to check around, I find them local restaurant supply stores and also Walmart for decent prices.

    Jasey- Want to fly me to Wyoming?? I'll come for a visit! lol

    Angie- I'm not sure about shipping. Wintertime might help because they should stay nice and cold! If you try it I would probably reverse the filling and ganache as I mentioned in the storage note. But if they did warm up, the ganache would melt all over, so it kind of depends on where you're sending them. Want to mail me some as a test?? 😉

  9. I'm really excited about making these! Awesome!

    Also, I couldn't get the link for the Mason jar labels to work. Is it just me? lol

  10. I'm definitely making these for Christmas gift and maybe party favors. But I am not able to print the jar toppers and I see it's not just me.

    Anyway, thanks for another great idea!

    Of course, it was just this morning that I was thinking … what do I give those nice ladies I visit every month??? … and here it is.

    THanks, AGAIN!!

  12. Oh wow! I'm gonna have to make these, but there is no promise I'll be sharing with anyone. 🙂
    I'm probably going to have to make the cupcakes (I think my jars are lost somewhere… yeah, that's it)'s too bad there will be leftover ganache!

  13. These are adorable! I think I will make them as favors for my sister in law's shower we are hosting. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. These will definitely be finding a spot on the holiday trays I do for the extended family! I have this feeling I need to make a few extra for "quality control" 😉

  15. AFancher- it should work- if it's glass or plastic the color might not "stick" quite as well to it, but give it a shot! Another option is to color half of the frosting pink and then alternate it with white when you put it in the bag or tool.

  16. Seriously just fell off my chair! And I think there is a puddle of drool the size of the Great Salt Lake on my computer desk. 🙂 Who says I'm giving these as gifts? hee hee. No these would be perfect for my daughter's teachers, and some neighbor gifts! Thanks so much for sharing! I might just have to whip up a 'TEST' batch. Just to make sure I'm doing it right. haha!

  17. I'm seriously amazed by this one and can't wait to try it. I'm sharing with all my readers at next week. Thanks so much for this amazing recipe!!

  18. These look fantastic!

    Just an idea- it would be super helpful if you added a note to the top of your recipes that gave an estimate of how long it takes to make. Like on other recipe sites, they give you a prep time, cook time and ready in time. That's always one of the first things I look at. In any case, you do have some amazing things here!

  19. Seriously?!! I think my saliva glands just kicked into overtime. This is an incredibly yummy and AMAZING idea! What a perfect little gift to hand out to neighbors! Hopefully I'll be able to get a few delivered before I devour them all! 🙂

  20. I just wanted to thank you for this great idea and I especially appreciate you including the labels! Although I love to put things like this together, I am not creative. You have given me a complete idea that I can make tomorrow. Thank you so very much for sharing your talents.

  21. That looks soooo delicous! I will be making the recipe this holiday season, especially since I luuuv chocolate! This is such a pretty presentation too.

  22. I rarely take the time to post on the blogs I follow, but THANK YOU so much for the amazing work you do on yours! I just LOVE all the creative ideas and have NEVER been disappointed in anything I have tried making!

  23. Just found your blog a month or so ago and I love it! Off topic, if you don't mind sharing, but what is the name of the silverware in the photo? I love the handle on the the spoon!!

  24. What an awesome idea!!! Thank you so very much for the excellent pictures and tutorial. I think these will be great for the bake sale auction our church is having in a couple weeks!

  25. My mouth is watering and i didn't even finish reading but thanks to Living Locturto i am now following all your lovely ideas 🙂

  26. These look so fun! Gonna make them for our mail carrier and garbage pickup guys! Thanks for the tag template too. Perfect!

  27. Let me just say, for the record, that this site is pure evil. I would say more, but I have to make a grocery list for morning.

    1) cocoa powder
    2) mini wide mouth mason jars
    3) well, you get the idea…

  28. Oh my! My oldest daughter (a bakeholic at birth) just found this recipe and I have to tell you – not only does this look amazing but I think I'm in love with most of your recipes. Thank you!!!! Great photos too

  29. Hi there – I am so excited to try this great recipe, thanks for sharing! Any tips on converting this to baking time for a cake recipe, by any chance?

  30. I am wondering if there is another option for the frosting on top. I have tried three or four times to make the frosting called for in the recipe, and it has never turned out. Would just a regular buttercream frosting taste just as good?

  31. Brad, you can really use any frosting you like. I like the one I linked because it's not too sweet and with the cake and the chocolate, there's plenty of sweetness! I would just suggest if you use a regular buttercream, you go light on the sugar.

  32. Holy Schmoly Girls! I think I gained weight just looking at this post. Delicious! I can't wait to make it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 I'm linking this up on FB. -Shelley {}

  33. This is my FAVORITE idea this season! In fact, I posted a link to it on my latest blog post. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea & can't wait to make it!

  34. My icing job definitely did not turn out as pretty as yours but the packages are SO darn cute! CANNOT wait for the kiddos to pass them out to their parents/grand parents at our first Christmas party tomorrow!

  35. I was thrilled to try these cupcake jars, but I have to post this warning. I can't find the jars anywhere. My last stop is Hobby Lobby, but since they are closed on Sunday I have to wait (and my hobby lobby is 30 mins away). I tried target, michael's, walmart, and the grocery store. It has been very disappointing. I made them in ramekins for serving at dinner, but will have to order the jars online for holiday gifts. Plan ahead!!

  36. I could only find 8 ounce regular mason jars, not wide mouth. Will that work okay? I literally have never baked anything before but I wanted to try this for a contest at work 🙂

  37. I could only find 8 ounce regular mouth jars. Is that okay? I'm not a baker, but I want to try this for a dessert contest at work. Thanks!

  38. These should come with gigantic warnings! WARNING, melting butter and chocolate is yummy, try to resist eating it all up before you make into the fudgy cupcake goodness. WARNING, tasting everything is a strong probability and hell on your diet! WARNING, Sara and Kate RULE!!!

  39. where did you get those jars? I have been to walmart only to find the 8 oz tall and the 8 ozsuper duper short jars but nothing in between like you have.

  40. I have a question. I really want to make these. I really want to do it in the jar, however, the only 8 oz. jars I could find were the quilted pattern one. I'm nervous they are taller than what you used. Will these work? Or should I just make the cupcakes in papers?

  41. April, are they the short and squatty jars like in my picture? They should only be about 2" tall. If not, then you could still bake them in jars, it's just not quite as convenient to eat and the baking time might have to be adjusted a bit.

  42. Thanks for sharing such a DELICIOUS treat! I doubled the recipe and made them for my husband's coworkers. They loved them and wanted the recipe, as I suspected they would. They turned out great and looked so festively cute, especially with the tags you made for them! Yet again another keeper from OBB! THANKS!

  43. I made these tonight and they were so easy and fun. I found a "better homes and gardens" brand of the jars (box of 12) at Wal-Mart. I have to admit I didn't do the icing… I found red&white striped icing already in the tube with 2 different tips included (by Wilton) in the Christmas section at my Wal-Mart! Next time I'll do the icing too so it'll have the peppermint flavor, I promise!!
    Also, I was only able to fill 6 jars with my cupcake batter (not 8). I don't know what I did wrong, but I only needed 6 for this batch anyway. I agree with Barb from a week ago… I love doing stuff like this but I am not creative, so your step-by-step instructions help me so much. Thanks a million, and keep up the good work.

  44. Oh my..words do not express..I have been slightly blessing over these in my head sense I saw the post…I started casually gathering the ingredients inthe name of potential holiday gifts..telling myself that all that hard p90x work was still going to pay off but secretly knowing that I only do it so that I can eat these yummy treats..I made these tonight you know "for my daughter's kindergarten teacher " …I don't want to sound dramatic but they are perfection and I totally get why you want to marry it…

  45. Oh my..words do not express..I have been slightly blessing over these in my head sense I saw the post…I started casually gathering the ingredients inthe name of potential holiday gifts..telling myself that all that hard p90x work was still going to pay off but secretly knowing that I only do it so that I can eat these yummy treats..I made these tonight you know "for my daughter's kindergarten teacher " …I don't want to sound dramatic but they are perfection and I totally get why you want to marry it…

  46. Where do I begin? I have to say this is the best and tastiest idea ever! I didn't use wide mouth jars since the regular ones were so much cheaper.
    I made sourcream cupcakes w/almond fudge ganache, and some with almond buttercream frosting and some w/caramel buttercream. Then sprinkled some crushed chocolate chips and almonds. The ganache and frosting recipes were so amazing and simple to add tsp of almond extract! They were out of this world!! Can't wait for the book! Hope it has lots of pics!!

  47. A friend of mind made this for our playgroup Christmas party. OH. MY. GOSH! These were heaven! You know that cake "Better than sex"? This just took away it's title. All of us still talk about and bug her to make more. I guess I could make my own, but it's so much more fun when someone else does it.

  48. I made these as Christmas gifts for my co-workers! HUGE hit! Everyone loved them. My Young Women will be making these soon for Valentines day gifts. you guys rock!

  49. I made these back in December right after you posted it, twice in fact. Since my husband and I ate the whole first batch, I had to make a second batch to share with family and friends.
    Tuesday night I was totally craving them. So I made them again, omitting the peppermint since its not really spring flavors. (I made them in cupcake form) and took some to work. I am a queen at work now cuz of these!!! they are my absolute favorite things ever!!!!

  50. I was wanting to use your template to make labels for the lids but your link isn’t working….anyway you could email that to me or get the link to work? I’d really appreciate it! 🙂 These are amazing and such great treat gifts!!! You ladies are fabulous!!!

  51. I made these as gifts for girl friends last Christmas 2010–I was just recently asked for the recipe so I gladly sent a link to your blog. My friend notified me that the link for the labels had been disabled and was wondering if I had saved a copy … to my horror I had not!! Anyway to get this pdf from you? Thanks in advance!

  52. I just made a 1/2 batch trial. ganache is delish. But, I can’t get the printable labels to work! it says access denied. am I doing something wrong? 🙁

  53. Is it really an 8 oz jar? I tried it in that size but it’s taller than the one in your picture and I didn’t have enough filling for all 8 jars. I was thinking your pictures look more like 4 oz jars?
    Love your site- it’s my go to place for all things tasty! Thanks for making the rest of us look creative when we copy you!

    1. Yep, they are 8 ounce. Sounds like you used the tall, narrow jars and what you want are short, widemouth ones.

  54. I’ve been waiting a year to make these and now’s my chance. I’m signed up to bring dessert to the next Empty Nester’s (at least I’m not hosting this one, so no, I’m not losing sleep worrying about it). Gotta keep up the reputation of bringing something awesome. This will do the trick!

  55. Just made 3 dozen of these yummylicious treats for teacher gifts, etc… They are time consuming, but not hard, and they are absolutely delicious and beautiful when finished! I found wide mouth half pint jars at Meijer for those who live near that store. Also- I measured out a little less than 1/2 cup (the equivalent of 4oz.= 1/2 jar) of batter and the recipe made exactly 8, as promised. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  56. These are so cute and delicious! I made these on the weekend and brought them into work as a little gift for the holidays. My co-workers loved them and wanted to know the recipe!! For those of you in Canada, you can find the jars at Canadian Tire.

  57. I can’t get the labels to print:( They come up as a pdf on my screen, but then the printer just shoots out a blank page. Any suggestions?

  58. I just made 32 of these for teachers, friends, etc… We made them last year and they were delicious and a HUGE hit with everyone. Thanks for all of the good ideas!

  59. Where did those of you who used the short wide mouthed 8 oz jars find them? I live in a small town and we only have Walmart. They didn’t have them and I can’t seem to find them online! I’d really like to try these though so if you have any suggestions, please e-mail me!


    1. I made these cupcakes as December birthday presents for some of the women at church and I couldn’t track down any short, wide-mouthed jars either…(I live in a town so small we don’t even have Walmart- oh, the horror!) Anyhoo, I used just regular 8oz. jelly jars and it turned out just fine. Everyone we delivered cupcakes to loved them. Either they were desperate for a chocolate fix and were willing to dig deep to get every bite or the novelty of the cupcake-in-a-jar outweighed the inconvenience of a tall, skinny jar!

  60. Hello,
    I have been searching for a good mint frosting recipe (I found one I’m going to use, from another post of yours!), but I wanted to let you know that the link to the mint frosting recipe from this page doesn’t work. Just thought you’d want to know, so you can fix it for the next person who needs it!

  61. I just made these to bring to work for a birthday and they are delicious! I didn’t want to buy jars, but I wanted to serve them in something because of the ganache, so I bought small wide plastic cocktail party cups. I cooked the cupcakes in plain liners, then removed the liners and put the cupcakes in the cups. They fit perfectly and look super cute!

  62. I’m having the same problem with printing. When it prints, it’s just 2 randomly placed red squares and one small rectangle with a hint of the design. Would you be able to email the pdf to me? BTW…I am tempted to hoard all these jars to myself, but alas, I have to give away all 12! I made enough for a 13th, just to be sure it wasn’t poisonous…they are DEFINITELY poison, I tell you! Nice work!

    1. Go to and get some round, print to the edge labels. I got some in craft brown, they have a dozen templates that are easy to use. Turned out really really cute…

    2. Sorry I missed this Elizabeth- December was pretty much a blur to me! I’ll check out the printing issue for future use.

  63. I just made these for friends this Christmas. They turned out wonderfully! Made a batch of vanilla/peppermint frosting, then a second batch of just peppermint with red coloring and swirled them together. Found some tiny candy cane sprinkles to top it off. Thanks so much for this recipe!

    P.S. I found my half-pint wide mouth jars at Ace Hardware, for those who are wondering. Ordered them online and they shipped to the store. Merry Christmas!

    This is a before or after dinner mint that packs a lot more than a refreshing feeling after you consume it. This is pure delight for your taste buds.

  65. Your link here to the frosting you recommend we use is broken. So bummed! I guess I’ll do a search and make a guess. 🙂 Anyway, it’s hard to keep track of them all on a large website, so I thought you’d want to know. Thanks!

  66. Love reading about these. And where & who the people are giving them to.
    They sound great & if I was into baking again, they would be on my list to do. But, since I’m 93 & not baking/cooking much anymore I won’t make them.
    Enjoy, Emae

  67. Hi Ladies,

    I clicked the place for the frosting recipe and it does not take me to the recipe. I want to make these for Christmas. Can you help?


  68. I can’t find anywhere the answer to the question: how long can you keep them in the refrig after they’ve been assembled. If I want to sell them at an event the customers would like to know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.