Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cake In A Jar - Tutorial

Cake In A Jar Tutorial

If you haven’t already heard of this great gift idea or in my case ‘care package item’, then you are in for a real treat today!  I recently stumbled across this idea while looking for home baked gifts to send to hubby and our military mates.

So what exactly is it? Well it’s just like the name says - It’s a mini cake inside a mason jar and it arrives moist and fresh and is delicious and the best part is ... It’s homemade! 

Getting The Cake Into A Jar

You will need –
A cake mix – (packet mix works just as well)
Jar(s) – Please see my experimental notes at the bottom on best option(s) to use.
Items to decorate jar(s) – For this tutorial I have used, cardstock scraps, paper scraps, double sided sticky tape, embellishments – button(s), plastic spoon(s), ribbon and the following digital images from The Crafty Pad Designs  –Fabulous Friend Ticket, Thank You Muchly Ticket & Daisy Chains of Summer Circle Sentiment

Making the Cake in the Jar - Method -
1. Make the cake batter according to instructions for the recipe.
2. Sterilize your jars by boiling in hot water.  I additionally then place them on an over tray in a hot oven for 5 mins (this allows the water to evaporate).
3. Grease the jar(s) by liberally spraying the inside with cooking spray.
3. Fill jar(s) no more than half way with batter.

Looks like Mummy is on the right track so far!

4. Place jar(s) on oven tray and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  This stage is extremely important!  Do not under cook the cakes or they will spoil and possibly cause food poisoning to the recipient.  If anything slightly overcook them if you are unsure. 
5. While baking, boil jar lids in a pot of water.  (I again place these in the over after-wards to evaporate the water)
6. When cake is cooked, take one jar at a time and cover with hot lid.  Screw on tight.  If using canning jars the lid will seal as it cools and you should hear a ‘ping’ when it seals.  If you do this stage while the cakes are still hot, condensation will form on the cake inside and cause it to spoil, so ensure the cake is cooled.
7. As the cake cools it will pull away from the jar, this allows it to easily slide out.
8. Do NOT frost the cake in the jar! This will result in the cake spoiling.  You will need to send the frosting separate, though I tend to make this mix with plenty of chocolate chips in the mix so that frosting is not as necessary.  

10. Decorate the jars.  I find they look adorable with a decorative strip around the middle and something added to the lid. 
11. Don’t forget to add some plastic spoons or forks, I like to try and accommodate these onto the top of the lid by tying them on with some ribbon.
9.  Wrap the jar(s) well (bubble wrap is preferable, but newspaper or clothing and other items will protect it also) if you are posting them.

My experimental notes on jars – It is recommended to use mason jars (canning jars) but as these are extremely hard for me to find in my small town I did experiment with jars in my first trial run.  I found lids with a rubber seal worked best and also adding a thick layer of glad wrap (plastic food wrap) between the lid and jar also worked.  Both produced the same result in still keeping the cake fresh and moist for 10 weeks.  Lids with no rubber seal but covered with a glad wrap cover still resulted in the cake not spoiling but they were not as moist as the others.  All my experiments were also subject to all the elements they would endure by going through the post - They were placed on the floor of my car in a box to roll around in the hot sun, under cover, through heat and cold.   If you do use canning jars the cake should stay fresh for up to a year, I only need my cake to stay fresh for no longer than 12 weeks and therefore and am happy to use the other jars.  My hubby also (most of the time) has enough sense to not eat or continue to eat something if it doesn’t taste or look ‘right’.  The kids and I all scoffed down on the test samples and I didn’t manage to kill them (*shucks* lol) or me and we are all still fine and normal or as close to normal as what we ever where.  **Please note I am not an expert in any form on ‘canning procedures or food preserving’ and these results are based solely on my own experimentation and canning jars are the preferred option for use with this recipe**

How to decorate the outside of the jar(s)
Materials needed
Adhesive – doubled sided tape, hot glue gun
Cardstock (mine is from my scraps)
Paper (Designer paper is again from my scraps)
Embellishments – Ribbon, plastic spoon(s), button(s), bling, flowers  ect

Measure the middle circumference of the jar and cut paper matted onto cardstock to required length.
Adhere adhesive to back of cardstock and stick to jar, making sure it is centered around the whole jar and the ends kiss together.
I like to place my image over where the ends have kissed to hide this and it makes a gorgeous embellishment to the jar as well.   
For the lid, I like to cut another circle of Designer Paper that has been matted onto cardstock and adhere that to the center of the lid.
Thread some ribbon through a button and affix in the center of the lid with hot glue. 
Tie your spoon onto the top of the lid with the ribbon.
Additionally you can add ribbon or twine around the lid of the jar, the decoration options are endless according to your own taste and style likes.

Here are a few I have previously made to give you some inspiration. 

 I hope you enjoy this tutorial as much as me!
Please come back and leave me or the fabby girls at
The Crafty Pad Challenge Blog a link back to your creation!
We would love to see your makes from this!

We are only mid-week into this weeks challenge at The Crafty Pad as well
so there is still plenty of time to join us for our
Just Because Challenge
and this would make a perfect entry!

4 Treasured comments:

Cheryl said...

WOW AMAZING,love how you have decorated the jar!!! What alot of work,but so worth it and very very clever!!

Juliet A said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial! You made several important notes that I would never have guessed - I did not realize that heating the lid alone would be enough to create a vacuum seal, and I assumed that the cakes would need to be hot to get a good seal.

Doesn't baking the cakes create enough heat for sterilization?

Dawnll said...

Such a great posting and such a fun idea...
The extra tips are really such important details. I am going to try this at home and see how they do.
Thanks for sharing
blessings to you, Dawn ll

hollybeary creations said...

This is a great idea for a deployment.. Never would of thought to send homemade Cakes.. Thanks for sharing this idea. Next Sea Tour I'm doing this for sure.

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