Mouth-watering mason jar gift idea: Pumpkin bread

Emily A. is a Hallmark editorial director with a knack for crafting some seriously tear-inducing cards…and some seriously smile-inducing gifts. Read on for an easy and tasty mason jar gift idea perfect for your Thanksgiving host!

Thanksgiving Hostess Gift Idea | Deluxe Pumpkin Bread in a Jar |

This time of year you won’t have to look very far to find an opportunity to give someone a gift. Whether it’s celebrating the holidays with co-workers, expressing gratitude to neighbors or just sending someone a little long-distance love, this cake mix in a jar is a great way to say “Hey!” to someone who means a lot.

It’s also a great way to give someone a meaningful yet convenient experience. By giving your friends or family almost everything they need to bake pumpkin bread, you are giving them an opportunity to share a dessert with whoever is around their table. And because it’s shelf-stable, you are also giving them the freedom of baking when it’s easiest for them. Not to mention, this is a nice, edible gift you can actually mail with no problems.

The components of the bread mix look lovely inside the jar, and you can use any jar that holds one dry quart. Of course a mason jar works perfectly, and I think by now we all have one of those lying around in our cupboards. But spruce up this project with a jar or glass canister of a different shape or size if you’d like. Use a wide-mouth mason jar to allow easy filling and packing, and if you have a canning funnel, so much the better.

Round out this gift with these printable recipe cards and labels, to add a nice personal touch. (It’s always lovely to look back on recipes written in the penmanship of an old friend or family member, so I left room for you to write in the recipe yourself.) Include the full recipe in case your friends or family want to recreate this bread later on their own, but specify that all they have to do with the bread mix is add the three wet ingredients.

You could even include a small pie pumpkin (2-3 pounds) and a dozen farm fresh brown eggs from the farmers market. If you’re delivering this gift locally that would make a bountiful and beautiful arrangement.

Make a couple of batches all at once and have ready-made gifts just waiting to give when you need them. This would also make a unique addition to a bake sale. And it might not hurt to make an extra one to keep in your own cabinet, just for those times during the season when you suddenly find yourself in need of a pumpkin bread and no time to bake or buy one. You can whip up one of these in under an hour and with hardly any mess if the mix is already made.

Feel free to explore other recipes if you have a favorite vegan or gluten-free cake you like to make or give. Any recipe that requires mixing all the dry ingredients together first would work well in a jar.

Emily’s Deluxe Pumpkin Bread

For the mix:

  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon all spice
  • 18 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 13 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup choc chips

To finish the cake:

  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs


  1. Prepare the layered mix:
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until well blended.
  3. Place mixture into a 1-quart jar and pack down.
  4. On top of the flour add the brown sugar layer, the white sugar layer and the oats, packing each one down before adding the next.
  5. Add the raisins and chocolate chips.

Give these instructions with the cake mix:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 9×3 bundt pan (or use two loaf pans).
  3. In a large bowl, combine 1 can of pumpkin, ½ cup of vegetable oil and 2 eggs, stirring until well blended and set aside.
  4. Place contents of jar into a medium bowl and mix until well blended.
  5. Add dry mixture into the pumpkin mixture, stirring until well blended.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (use less time for two loaf pans) or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

My recipe was inspired by this one, but I modified my pumpkin bread to include favorite spices and flavors and more whole grains.

Printables designed by Hallmark designer Leslie S.

Are you giving homemade gifts this year? Show us! Tag us on Instagram, @think.make.share



Leave a Comment

  1. 8.31.16 | Reply
    Linda Rose Farrugia wrote:

    How long will the dry ingredients stay in a “ball jar” for gift giving. What would be the “expiration” of these ingredients in the jar.

    • 8.31.16 | Reply
      Emily wrote:

      Great question! I would say it depends on both the ingredients AND the jar. Most of these dry ingredients I’ve listed in this recipe are very shelf stable. And a mason jar would be air tight (I’m not sure about Weck jars). The only caveat is if you use a less-shelf-stable type of flour, like the whole wheat I suggest. So I would say that if you use an air tight mason jar, you could keep this mix on the shelf for 6 months if you use all-purpose flour; 3 months if you use whole wheat flour. Here is a bit more info on whole grain storage:

  2. 8.31.16 | Reply
    Alma Villar wrote:

    It looks delicious!

  3. 8.31.16 | Reply
    Audrey wrote:

    What size/weight can of pumpkin is needed to finish the recipe?

    • 8.31.16 | Reply
      Emily A. wrote:

      Another good question! You need to get about two cups of pumpkin puree to replace the canned pumpkin in the recipe (a 15 oz can holds just slightly less than 2 cups of puree). So according to this awesome website (linked below), you’ll need a 2 pound pumpkin to get 2 cups of puree. I’d say go for a slightly larger one just to be sure since different pumpkin varieties have more or less flesh than others – and make sure you’re getting a sugar or pie pumpkin – not a carving one. Any extra pumpkin puree beyond the 2 cups needed for this recipe can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for 6 months to use for other recipes.

      Cooking the fresh pumpkin is easy – just cut it in half, clean out the seeds, paint a little oil on the cut side, then bake it (cut side down) for 45-60 at 350 (until you can poke it through with a fork). Scrape out the flesh and puree in a food processor. Here’s a good tutorial if you need it.

      This is making me excited for pumpkin season!

      • 8.31.16 | Reply
        Audrey wrote:

        Thank you!

  4. 8.31.16 | Reply

    Sounds so good for pumpin breas

  5. 8.31.16 | Reply
    Opal Collier wrote:

    Always enjoy your newsletter and do save recipes when the ingredients do not include too many items which have a trip to more than one food store.
    Your recipes are often asked for by my guests. I do have several recipes that were my mother’s creations. She was very good in the kitchen!

  6. 9.2.16 | Reply
    Linda H wrote:

    This sounds delicious , thanks for sharing it.
    Could you tell me where to find the printable labels and recipe cards? I can’t seem to find them. Thanks

    • 9.2.16 | Reply
      Emily A. wrote:

      In the blog post where you see “printable recipe cards and labels” underlined in the fourth paragraph, you should be able to click on that and it will open a new window with the printable page.

  7. 9.7.16 | Reply
    Barbara Culleen wrote:

    How many jars does the recipe fill?

    • 9.8.16 | Reply
      Emily A. wrote:

      Hi Barbara! This recipe will yield one quart jar. Thanks!