4th of July Cupcakes in a Jar
These 4th of July cupcakes are always a hit! Strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, and cake make these cupcakes in a jar a delicious addition to any summer celebration!
These fourth of July cupcakes are super simple to make, easy to clean up, and very simple to modify for your own personal flair.
They are served in Mason jars making it super easy to enjoy while you are hanging out on the deck, in a lawn chair, or on a picnic blanket. Much easier to hold a Mason jar than trying to balance a plate in your lap!
We use a simple recipe for doctored up cake mix to get super moist and flavorful cupcakes then we top them with whipped cream and fresh summer fruit.
Add strawberries and blueberries for that red, white, and blue vibe like we did with our 4th of July fruit pizza, or use any of your favorite summer fruits.
You can also add chocolate chips, candy, or sprinkles for a more festive feel!
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Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cake mix – We suggest yellow cake mix but you can use chocolate, red velvet cake, or any flavor you like.
- Vanilla instant pudding – We use vanilla because it complements the cake without changing the desired flavor but if you can change it up if you want like we did with our lemon cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes.
- Sour cream – We don’t recommend using light or fat free sour cream as it can affect the consistency.
- Vegetable oil – The light flavor of this oil won’t change the flavor of your cake like olive oil can.
- Eggs – We always use large eggs unless otherwise specified.
- Vanilla extract – for that added hint of vanilla sweetness
- Heavy cream – There is no substitute for this you need heavy cream or whipping cream to make homemade whipped cream.
- Powdered sugar – Just a little powdered sugar will sweeten your whipped cream.
- Gelatin – you’ll use unflavored powdered gelatin to help the whipped cream hold it’s shape for longer.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla adds a subtle flavor to your whipped cream.
- Fresh Fruit – For these red, white, and blue version we use strawberries and blueberries but you can use any fruit you like.
You’ll need 6 wide mouth pint jars for your cupcakes to go in.
How to Make Cupcakes in a Jar
Step 1 – Preheat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2 – Make cake batter. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, instant pudding, sour cream, and vegetable oil. Mix together using a whisk attachment on low speed until the ingredients just come together. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each egg until it is fully incorporated into the batter.
Step 3 – Prepare pan. Prepare a muffin pan by lining each tin with cupcake liners. Scoop approximately 3 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup.
Step 4 – Bake. Place the cupcakes in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes. You will know it is ready when a toothpick stuck in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Step 5 – Cool the cakes. Remove cupcakes from the oven and let them cool completely. While the cupcakes cook make the whipped cream.
Make Stabilized Whipped Cream
We make stabilized whipped cream for this recipe, but you can substitute with Cool Whip if you don’t have time to make your own!
Step 1 – Mix gelatin. In a small dish combine the gelatin and water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Step 2 – Whip the cream. Pour the heavy cream into your mixing bowl and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.
Step 3- Add sugar. Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and continue mixing on high for 1-2 minutes or until the whipped cream forms soft peaks.
Step 3 – Heat the gelatin. After the gelatin has sat for 5 minutes, place the gelatin in the microwave and cook for 5 seconds. Stir after cooking and if it isn’t fully dissolved cook for another 5 seconds.
Step 4 – Add the gelatin. Pour the gelatin into the whipped cream and continue to mix on high speed for 2-3 minutes until the whipped cream forms stiff peaks. Place whipped cream in a piping bag.
Assembling the Cupcakes in a Jar
Step 1 – Add whipped cream to Mason jars –Set up 6 clean wide-mouth pint jars. Pipe approx. 1 inch of whipped cream into the bottom of each jar.
Step 2 – Add cupcake – Remove the paper wrapper from the cupcake and place one cupcake on the whipped cream layer.
Step 3 – Add strawberries – Slice strawberries and place them into the whipped cream surrounding the cupcake. They should be placed with the wider end of the strawberry down in the whipped cream and the tip pointing up. They should form a ring around the cupcake.
Step 4 – Add blueberries – Fill in gaps between the strawberry slices with blueberries.
Step 5 – Repeat – Add a second layer of whipped cream on top of the cupcake and repeat steps for cupcake and berries.
Optional – If you are serving the jars with the lid off you can add whipped cream on top and a few more berries for garnish.
How to Serve Them
We recommend removing the lid before serving and topping with a little more whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries, but there are other alternatives.
If you are making these ahead of time you can screw on the lid now and store in the refrigerator. Then when you’re ready to serve top with a little more whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries.
If you want to serve them with the lids on so guests can open them and eat then when they are ready you can leave the top on. We like to tie a piece of twine around the jar and stick a plastic spoon through it for the perfect grab and go dessert!
We use a stabilized version of whipped cream because it can last up to 2 days in the refrigerator and it will hold up at your 4th of July party or summertime BBQ, as long as you don’t have it sitting right out in the hot summer sun.
Stabilized whipped cream is a sturdier, home-made whipped cream. Regular whipped cream will often start to melt or deflate a short time after being made. Stabilized whipped cream has something added to it to give it more stability.
In this recipe we use gelatin, but other recipes use ingredients such as corn starch, xanthan gum, cream cheese, or meringue powder. This isn’t a 1:1 substitution so if you prefer one of these you’ll need to find an exact recipe for it.
We don’t recommend letting it sit out for more than 2 hours since it is a dairy product and can spoil.
Tightly close the lid on the Mason jar and store in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Top with more strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream before serving.
If they are stored in the refrigerator these cupcakes can last for up to 2 days before serving.
We don’t recommend letting them sit out on the counter, or outside at a party, for more than 2 hours since the whipped cream is made with dairy.
Yes, mason jars can be placed in the freezer. Fill jars according to instructions and tightly seal with the lid. Freeze for up to 1 month. Let thaw in fridge before serving.
Looking for More Summer Dessert Ideas?
- Frozen Strawberry Pie
- Red, White, and Blue Fruit Pizza
- Fruit Pizza
- Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
- Easy Cherry Turnovers
- Cherry Cheesecake Dip
- No Bake Cherry Cheesecakes
- Strawberry Angel Food Cake
- More Summer Recipes…
4th of July Cupcakes in a Jar
- 1 box Cake mix, we suggest yellow cake mix but you can use any flavor you like.
- 3.4 ounce Box vanilla instant pudding
- 3/4 cup Sour cream
- 3/4 cup Vegetable oil
- 3 large Eggs
- 3 tablespoons Water
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- 4 cups Heavy Cream
- 3 teaspoons Powdered gelatin
- 4.5 tablespoons Water
- 1/4 cup Confectioner’s Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 pint Fresh Blueberries
- 1 pint Fresh Strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl combine the cake mix, instant pudding, sour cream, vegetable oil, and 3 tablespoons of water. Mix together using the whisk attachment on low speed until the ingredients just come together.
- Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing after each egg until it is incorporated into the batter.
- Prepare a muffin pan by lining each tin with a cupcake wrapper.
- Scoop approximately 3 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup.
- Place the cupcakes in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- While the cupcakes cook start making the whipped cream. In a small dish combine the gelatin and water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Pour the heavy cream into your mixing bowl and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla and continue mixing on high for 1-2 minutes or until the whipped cream forms soft peaks.
- After the gelatin has sat for 5 minutes place the gelatin in the microwave and cook for 5 seconds. Stir after cooking and if it isn't fully dissolved cook for another 5 seconds.
- Pour the gelatin into the whipped cream and continue to mix on high speed for 2-3 minutes until the whipped cream forms stiff peaks.
- Place whipped cream in a piping bag.
- Set up 6 clean wide-mouth pint jars. Pipe approx. 1 inch of whipped cream into the bottom of each jar.
- Remove the paper from a cupcake and place it on top of the whipped cream layer.
- Slice strawberries and place them into the whipped cream to form a ring around the cupcake, with the wider end of the strawberry down in the whipped cream and the tip pointing up.
- Fill in gaps between the strawberry slices with blueberries.
- Pipe in a second layer of whipped cream over the top of the cupcake.
- Place a second cupcake on top of the whipped cream.
- Place sliced strawberries around the cupcake.
- Fill in the spaces between the strawberries with blueberries.
- If you are making these ahead of time you can screw on the lid now and store in the refrigerator. We recommend removing the lid before serving and topping with a little more whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries or if you prefer you can serve them sealed in the mason jar.
This recipe was originally published on May 15, 2015. It was republished with an updated recipe and new photos on June 13, 2022.