For anyone struggling with last minute gift giving for birthdays, holidays, or any special occasions, you're far from alone. I'm usually on top of my game with gifts, but sometimes I have to get creative. I came up with the idea of making this vegan chocolate cake in a jar while trying to think of something easy to gift to my sister.

When she was younger, she had an alarming amount of allergies. This chocolate cake recipe was the only one she could safely eat, so it quickly became her favorite comfort food. The cake also happens to be vegan, making this the perfect gift for your vegan foodie friend/family member.

Decorating the Jar

Marissa Duncan

To make this look like an actual gift, you have to decorate the jar. I started with an empty 14 oz Classico tomato sauce jar. If you don't have one of those, any jar of the same size will work. I tossed the original lid and settled for buying a 12 pack of Bernard regular snap lids for sanitary sake. I also found Raffia and a roll of faux burlap to liven up the jar.

I used plain white paper and leftover wrapping paper to make a small tag for the jar. On the tag, write the wet ingredients that will have to be added to the dry ingredients when the cake is being made.

Marissa Duncan

Cut a circular piece out of the faux burlap and glue it to the top of the lid. This will add a little extra pizzazz to the jar.

espresso, coffee
Marissa Duncan

Gather a few strings of raffia and tie it around the neck of the jar. Attach the tag by stringing a strand of raffia through the hole and tie a knot.

tea, water
Marissa Duncan

Now, the jar is done. But it's always what's on the inside that matters, right? Below is the recipe.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • Prep Time:20 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:50 mins
  • Servings:8
  • Easy


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cups oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Step 1

    Gather the dry ingredients that you will be putting in the jar. These are flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, and salt. I find it easier if I have all the ingredients laid out.

  • Step 2

    Measure the ingredients and put them into the jar. I discovered the hard way that it's a lot less messy if you use a funnel to pour the dry ingredients in.

    coffee, milk, tea
  • Step 3

    Once all of the dry ingredients are inside the jar, screw on the lid and your part is done. Since the ingredients are mostly all white, the cake mix doesn't look too impressive and it's hard to believe it will taste like chocolate. Once it's stirred though, the cocoa will spread out and make it look more chocolate-y.


Now that the jar is finished, all that is left for the lucky person who gets this gift is to add the wet ingredients and bake it. Start by pouring the contents of the jar into a bowl and adding the wet ingredients (oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water). Mix these together, pour the batter into a greased 9 inch baking pan, and put it in the oven at 350 degrees. After 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the cake clean, take the cake out and let it cool for ten agonizing minutes. Decorate (but who really has time for that?) and enjoy.