For some brides, popping the question to their bridesmaids is the best part of wedding planning. To others (like me), it’s super scary and stressful to try to make this question special without making your friends feel obligated to say yes. I mean, seriously. If your friend spent bucko dollars and time just to ask you to be a bridesmaid, wouldn’t you feel like you HAD to say yes (even if you couldn’t afford it, or didn’t want to)?
Well, we’ve found the perfect compromise with today’s DIY “Will you be my bridesmaid” ombre cupcakes in a jar! I love this little gift because it’s SUPER adorable, affordable AND shows your friends how special they are to you without the added pressure of a large gift or gesture. I almost forgot the best part … our cute inkjet transfer “Will you be my bridesmaid” napkins! Your girlfriends will be so surprised to see their hidden message waiting for them!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Half pint mason jars (I recommend the Kerr brand because they are made in the USA)
- Pink grosgrain ribbon
- Plain cotton white or cream cloth napkins
- Metal spoons
- Inkjet fabric transfer paper
- Full sheet label paper
- Cake mix of your choice (I recommend white or strawberry cake)
- Red food coloring
- Buttercream icing (I used the kind that comes in a can in the baking aisle)
- Gallon size Ziploc bag
- “Will you be my Bridesmaid,” and “Let them eat cake” printables (Come back tomorrow for these Freebie Friday printables!)
Optional: Pastry bag with frosting tips
1. Wash mason jars. Take off the tops and set aside.
2. Prepare your cupcake batter using the ingredients listed on the box. Separate your mixed batter evenly into three separate bowls. Tint cake batter using red food coloring. (Tip: Add less coloring than you think you’ll need. You can always add more in, but you can’t take it back out! Start by doubling the amount of coloring in the next bowl, and so on. For example, if you add 2 drops of red into your first bowl, then you should add 4 drops to the second and 8 drops to the third, etc. This is how you will achieve that nice, even ombre effect of light to dark batter.)
3. Fill your cupcake tins with the different shades of batter. DO NOT MIX the batter. Use cupcake papers if you wish. I just sprayed my pans with cooking spray. Bake cupcakes according to the directions on the box.
4. Once your baked cupcakes are completely cool, slice each one in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Now we can get to stackin’! Put one half of the dark-pink cupcake into the mason jar first. If the cupcake isn’t filling up the space, go ahead and gently smash it a little with a spoon until it lays evenly in the bottom of the mason jar. You want a flat surface to apply the frosting.
5. Fill the Ziplock bag (or pastry bag) with the buttercream frosting and snip off the corner of the bag. Twist to apply the first layer of frosting on the cupcake layer. (Click here to see how to make a Ziplock piping bag.)
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with your medium pink cupcake layer and the light pink layer. Add a final layer of icing on top. Your mason jars should now be completely filled with ombre awesomeness!
8. Print our “let them eat cake” labels on full sheet label paper, cut out and affix to the top of your mason jars! Print our “will you be my bridesmaid” image on inkjet fabric transfer paper and iron onto your cloth napkins using the paper manufacturer’s directions. (Tip: DON’T iron too long or the white space in your image will start to yellow.)
9. Fold the finished napkins (with the message hidden) and tie to the mason jar using matching grosgrain ribbon. Wedge a spoon between the napkin and your jar, and VIOLA! You’re finished!
These beautiful desserts are sure to make a great impression with your bridesmaid hopefuls! After all, isn’t it the thought that counts when it comes to close friends (though a little treat never hurt anyone)?
Happy baking! I hope your bridesmaids will love this gift as much as we do!