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Sunflower Cupcakes in Jars

Our Sunflower Cupcakes in Jars are the perfect summer picnic sweet. This cupcake recipe is almost too cute to eat — almost. 

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16 - 16 serving

Total Time

Prep Time

Cook Time


Leaf Decorations

  • 8 green gumdrops
  • Green edible glitter


  • 1 package (15.25-oz.) yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1/3 c. oil
  • 1 tsp. orange extract
  • Golden yellow concentrated food coloring


  • 2 1/2 c. butter at room temperature
  • 5 c. confectioners’ sugar from 2 (16-oz.) packages
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c. milk


  • 16 (8-oz.) jars such as canning jars
  • 1/3 c. mini chocolate chips
  • Candy ladybugs directions in the notes



Line rimmed baking sheet with wax paper. Knead 2 gumdrops together; between two sheets wax paper, roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Sprinkle with edible glitter; roll over to press glitter into gumdrops. Using small knife, cut out 1 1/2-inch to 1 3/4-inch long leaves from gumdrops. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining gumdrops; set aside uncovered.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners. On low speed, beat cake mix, eggs, orange juice, 1/2 cup water, oil, and orange extract 30 seconds until blended; on medium, beat 2 minutes. Tint golden yellow with food coloring. Divide batter among liners. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer from pans to racks; cool.


On medium speed, beat butter until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. On low, gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, then vanilla. Transfer 1 cup frosting to bowl; tint golden yellow with food coloring. Transfer yellow frosting to pastry bag fitted with small leaf tip (such as Wilton #70); reserve. On low, gradually beat cocoa and milk into remaining frosting; on medium, beat until fluffy, 2 minutes. Transfer about 1/3 of chocolate frosting to another pastry bag fitted with medium star tip (such as Wilton #1M). 


Remove liners from cupcakes; cut each cupcake in half crosswise. Place 1 bottom half cupcake, cut side up, in bottom of each jar; pipe on layer of chocolate frosting. Top with 1 cupcake half, pipe on chocolate frosting, then add top cupcake half smooth side up.

Pipe ring of yellow frosting on each cupcake top. Press gumdrop leaves into frosting, as shown; pipe petals on top, leaving about 1-inch opening in center. Fill centers with chocolate chips. Decorate with ladybugs.

For ladybugs, using black edible color food marker, decorate red Spree candies.

What You'll Need

To make sure these sunflower cupcakes go off without a hitch, it'll take a bit of ingenuity and everything on the checklist below!

Rimmed Baking Sheet with Rack (A two in one as you'll need the rack later): $35.99, Amazon

Parchment Paper Sheets: $11.99, Amazon 

Gumdrops: $7.99, Amazon

Edible Glitter: $12.99, Amazon

Cupcake Pan $19.47, Amazon

Cupcake Liners: $6.80, Amazon

Mixer: $61.13, Amazon

Orange Extract: $7.75, Amazon

Yellow Extract: $2.89, Amazon

Pastry Bag: $5.18, Amazon

Wilton #70 Leaf Tip: $5.30, Amazon

Wilton #1M Star Tip: $4.40, Amazon

Black Edible Food Marker: $7.95, Amazon

Spree Candies: $9.27, Amazon

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