It can be complicated and costly sending cupcakes to a loved one in the mail (or sad if the cupcake makes it there but is smashed). I even have a cousin who rides his bike everywhere and wants a way to transport his cupcakes by bike without the frosting getting smashed...so how do we solve this problem?!
I call one of my solutions to this cupcake shipping problem "Cupcake Kaleidoscopes!" Some may call these "cupcakes in a jar" but I call them "cupcake kaleidoscopes" because the cupcakes look extra pretty from the outside and you can stare in awe at every enticingly beautiful angle before diving in. You stack them inside the jar like a layer cake.The cupcakes are already baked and cooled before stacking them inside the jar.
Order from bottom inside: sprinkles♥frosting♥cake♥sprinkles♥frosting♥cake♥frosting♥sprinkles!
As long as you pack the cupcake kaleidoscopes tightly in bubble wrap and popcorn before boxing them up, the cupcakes shouldn't get smashed in transit!
In addition to cake & frosting, for interest, you can sprinkle a bunch of fun surprises inside-like cookies, candies, candy bars, fillings, caramel, peanut butter cup gems, rainbow confetti sprinkles, edible glitter. Textures and shapes are what define a kaleidoscope! I like to add edible surprises to the bottom of the jar, just like the extra fudge or caramel on the bottom of a sundae!
You could send..
A cupcake in a can! I made these on TV recently, Fox 11 Living With Amy!
You start out with a can like this (preferably one with a flip tab on the top).
To prepare the cans for baking, remove the paper from your empty can. Keep this paper if possible-you can use it as a template to make a decorative wrapper for the outside of the can. Remove the bottom "lid" from the can with a can opener. Do not remove the top lid part that has the flip tab. The magical thing is that the person who receives your cupcake as a gift can open the top with the flip tab like it is the first time the can has ever been opened. They will wonder how you fit the cupcake inside! Do not throw away the bottom lid piece that you just removed. You will be using decorative duct tape or shipping tape to re-tape the bottom piece onto the can after the cupcake / cake has been baked inside the can and decorated. Grease and flour the inside of the can.
Fill the inside of each can about half full with cupcake batter and set on a baking sheet, or a baking sheet with mini holes on the bottom for better circulation. You could also bake these directly on your oven rack, but make sure you only fill halfway or batter will explode all over your oven! Bake at 325 for about 28 minutes.
This is what they look like after they are baked. Mini cakes!
Once your cake in a can has cooled, you can remove it from the can.
Cut the cake with a serrated knife so it is level, or you can cut into different "layers".
Sprinkle sprinkles inside of what will be the "top" of your can.
(You have to think backwards here)...
Swirl frosting on top of the sprinkles.
Set your cake back inside of the can..
For a surprise, you can put fillings or frostings on what will be the "bottom" or in between cut cake layers before you seal the can shut. Remember that lid you removed before? Seal this back on your can using decorative duct tape. Your can is closed.
Flip the can right side up now and it'll be such a magical surprise inside!
You can decorate the outside of the cans! Use the wrapper from a can as a pattern/template and cut different cardstock prints out to use as decorative wrappers for your cake in can. I used double stick tape to stick these patterned "wrappers" to the cans. I also like tying bonus gifts to the can! Bows and ribbons and spoons to dig in!
Hint: I use USPS Priority Mail 2 Day Express, Regional Rate Box A to ship these little cupcakes and cakes in a can. (the boxes are free and the shipping is pretty reasonable). This box size fits two jars that cuddle up right next to each other after they are wrapped in bubble wrap.
There are other options too..in case you want to enjoy your cake in a can more locally..
(this was a screenshot from my video guest appearance on Fox 11 Living With Amy, thank you Amy Hanten!) As pictured here... you don't have to put the cake back in the can. You can use your cake in a can as a mini smash cake or a fun cake to decorate at parties. Can you imagine making a bunch of these for a cupcake decorating party and setting them in the center of a painter's palette?? Every one would get to decorate their very own "mini cake" with frosting and sprinkles!