504 Main by Holly Lefevre: Bake It! Jar It! Can It! Cakes Baked in a Jar
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bake It! Jar It! Can It! Cakes Baked in a Jar

About 15 or so years ago when I was  a single gal...who didn't cook - I mean, I occasionally baked chocolate chip cookies, stirred up some Rice Krispie treats, and threw together 7-layer cookies (the easiest, yummiest thing on the planet) - my mom bought me this book called Cake in a Jar. Great! Yipppeee!...What am I supposed to do with this? I kept it anyway. 

Now at the time, this little gift ranked right up there with the cellphone my parents gave me for my twenty-first birthday...yeah that is what I needed...no one had a cell phone (then), and if they did it was the size of a file cabinet. Secondly, I was young and had no money, and now had a $200 dollar a month cell phone bill...I called it the "gift that keeps on giving." It did however pay off during the L.A. Riots.

OK, back to the point...fast forward a few years. Now, I am living the newlywed lifestyle and ready to tackle baking, canning, whatever (not all of this was successful by the way) - I was determined to be domestic! My first attempts at making a Cake in a Jar were comical and a lot of burnt fingers followed. However, I have since mastered the Cake in a Jar, and enjoy...actually look forward to making these every year.

Well, this year I am getting a jump start. The invitations for informal little get-togethers have started to pour in, and I thought that these would make a quaint hostess gift. The best part is I can make them now, and store them (they last for months). They will be ready and waiting for me when I need them. I also make them as gifts for friends and some of the people at my hubby's work.

I usually decorate the jars with ribbon or some sort of label. This year, I am making these labels using scrapbook paper and a circle cutter....and my printer.
Here's what ya need:
  1. Wide mouth pint-size canning jars (you can use 1/2 pint and larger...it just takes experimenting with the amount of batter and length of baking time) and lids. I just bought some platinum lids and they really make the jars look fantastic...of course, if you buy the box of jars, the standard lids are included.
  2. Cake mix and/or recipe. I swear by the Cake in a Jar book that is sold through Cookbook Cupboard. It is the only recipe source I have used for these cakes and the instructions are super easy...and the book is only $3.95! I will not be sharing the recipe here, because I do not want to get sued. I used the Vanilla Rum Cake recipe for this batch (hint, hint - I used a box of cake mix, a box of pudding, and some rum)! The Kahlua Cake is to-die-for! See the end of the post for some additional recipe sources.
  3. The ingredients to complete the cake mix (eggs, oil, water, etc.) or the ingredients for the recipe...duh!
  4. Bath Canner with rack (I used to use a stock pot...but this is so much better)
  5. Cookie sheet (to bake them on)
  6. Skewer to check for doneness
sterilizing jars
 Here's how to do it:
  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Sterilize jars while you mix up the cake batter
  3. Remove jars and let dry, then grease with butter, shortening, etc.
  4. Place 1 cup of batter into each pint jar
  5. Wipe rims clean
  6. Place on a cookie sheet and put the jars into the oven
  7. Sterilize your lids while your cakes are baking
  8. Bake for about 45 minutes
  9. Remove cakes from oven, dry lids, and place lids on cakes
  10. You will start hearing them pop and seal
Voila! You can canned a cake....
trust me people will be amazed!

batter in the jar

baked cakes

 canned cake
 Here are some resources for cake in a jar recipes, tips, and hints
Ideas from The Kitchn

I think I will saute some bananas in butter, brown sugar, and a wee bit of rum, spoon this over the cake, and top it with fresh whipped cream...delicious!

Here are a few recipes I have made in the jar:

Happy Baking!

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  1. I ran across these at a bake sale this year and fell in love! The gift possibilities are unending!! I have the recipe sitting on my counter waiting for me to purchase the cans.
    Thank you for sharing and reminding me I need to get a move on!
    Have a wonderful day!

  2. I can't wait to try this! I never canned anything in my life until this past summer we had a bumper crop of peppers and Mr. RW Letters suggested we try canning. I was totally intimidated, but he grew up on a farm and had seen it done and convinced me it was do-able. And I've seen cookie mixes in a jar before but never a baked cake--it looks so fun! Thanks for another great idea!

  3. I can always expect something clever and unique from you! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love those...so I can tell you how many i will need and you can whip them up for me??

  5. That's so creative! I love that you can make them and store them away.

  6. I feel so stupid! I've seen cakes baked in a jar before, but I never realised they were actually "canned" or preserved! I've never made them so I assumed you let them cool before putting the lid on. Now I get it!!

    What a great idea for the holidays!!

  7. That is SUCH a cool idea! I've never seen this before... this may be my Christmas gift to the sisters this year. Not the actually baking of cakes in a jar but I'll buy them the book LOL!

  8. Very cool! I will definitely give this one a try. The banana's, brown sugar and rum sounds like a very yummy touch.

  9. I've never heard of this. It looks like a great gift!

  10. gosh - you are so smart! love it! i can bring the jar right to bed with me! no more messy plates and forks! just suck it out of the jar!

  11. WHAT!?! I've never heard of such a thing! This has got to be the craziest, most unique idea out there! I love it! However, me and baking have never gotten along, so as much as I say I would like to try this, my husband would likely ban me from the kitchen after my attempts. But they look beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Make sure you check out my blog today for a chance to win an apron! It would go great with your canned cakes.
    Blessings friend!
    Kelli @ SustainingCreativity

  12. I have to have that cookbook now! I used to make gingerbread in a jar for Christmas gifts but haven't done it in years, the Rum cake and the Kahlua one both sound soooo good!

  13. what a fabulous idea!!

  14. Does that cookbook give very detailed/precise directions for the dumbasses like me? I am a baker to be sure, but have never attempted anything like this. Yet I'm so inspired by the idea---I want to try it!

    so cool! But like Lee, I'm thinking I could just place an order and you could make them for me...right?!!?! lol

  15. This, I am sure, is one of those beautiful things in this world about which I may have never known without the miracle that is blogland! I am mesmerized by this cake in a jar! Thanks for sharing...you've expanded my world. =)

  16. I've never seen this. What a great idea.

  17. I just stumbled upon your blog ~ it's great!

    Love this idea ~ I'm going to have to give it a try for holiday gifts.


  18. So if I just move in with you and be your slave you'll teach me all of this stuff right? you are amazing! xoxo


  19. Holy heck I am allll over this. i will let you know how it goes!

  20. I wonder if this will work with fruit cake? I love this idea and such a thoughtful, yummy, unusual present!

  21. You just gave me an Ah Ha moment! I usually make homemade fudge or pralines for this season's get togethers. Now I am going to attempt cake in a jar. I've done cookies in a jar, but this...this is ready to eat when you pop the top! Love it!

  22. What a great gift idea.....
    and can I just say Y.U.M.M.Y!!!

    (I don't cook, bake, can, blah blah blah...any of the above.. single girl lifestyle is right... my poor baby boy!)

    Tami G

  23. This is awesome!! I've never seen anything like it, thanks!! I totally going to try this.



  24. I may have to try this! If I do I will blog about it and give you credit ;).
    I have to say though....Did we really make cookies as single gals, or did we just eat the dough

  25. Hi'ya Holly.. thanks for popping in on me at sandwich. I have to tell you, I'm thinking about making these cake in a jar. Fantastic and unique, just like all the rest of your page. Sigh.... it's women like you that make me wish I'd have been a better study... Glad you're here. Keri

  26. I never canned anything before! I'm usually a cut and dump girl, but this look like such a great idea!

  27. I know what I'm giving mine and my husband's endless onslaught of aunts and uncles for Christmas now!

  28. psssst: i have something for you over at my place :)

  29. This is great!! I just started canning this summer but did the basics - apple sauce, tomatoes and peppers. This is a great idea, thanks!

  30. How cool. I'll have to try that!

  31. What a cool idea. I have nver heard of this before. I thought for sure you were going to talk about the dry ingredients in a jar, not really baked in the jar. I have go to try this!

  32. Wow, I have never seen this idea before...fantastic! I can't wait to try it! Thanks...now following your blog! Liz

  33. TESTIMONIAL ~ Oh my frickin' goodness, your vanilla rum cake in a jar is heavenly! So moist, so tender, and just the perfect hit o' rum! Yum, Holly, big YUM! Thank you. You have more, you say? Hmmm, I feel an univited pantry raid coming on :o


  34. Holly- I sure miss these lovely treats. I do recall being one of the proud recipients of this lovely and thoughtful gift : ) Keep these great ideas coming! Miss you to pieces!!

  35. Anonymous8:08 PM

    Brilliant!!!! These are amazing. Can one person be so creative???

  36. ooh my goodness! I have never heard of these.. how is that possible? these are AMAZING!! youi just filled my family Christmas list!

  37. What a cool idea! i love it.

  38. You've been featured on Whistlin' Wednesday at Be Wit'n Wise!

    If you'd like to see, please click here:



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