Start with clean, dry one pint canning jars. Be sure to follow the washing instructions on the canning jar box. If re-using jars, be sure to use brand new lids and seals. You'll need 6 jars for the batter of one 2-layer recipe. * Wide mouth 1 pint jars will work best when trying to "dump" the cake out.
It's neat! ANY quick bread-type cake can be baked in canning jars. I usually bake one jar first--you have to know how high the batter rises. I usually fill one jar 1/2 full bake it to see how high it rises, then go from there. (This provides you with chow while you're baking the rest!) You don't want the cake to come out of the top of the jar, only to within your recipe (how far you filled the jars)! Once you've established how high the cake rises, you can go from there. The first time around is a bit tricky because you won't know how many jars you'll need.
Most of the recipes I've tried I end up using around 8.
Sterilize as many jars as you think you'll need so you're prepared.
Make sure your lids are new, the rings don't have to be.
As the jars do seal, the cakes are as moist as the day you put them into the jars--sometimes more so.
The baking times will vary--the moistness of each cake recipe will determine the time.
Most of the recipes I've tried bake in 35-40 minutes. Start checking the cakes at 25- 30 minutes and go from there.yes, the cakes do slide easily out of the jars if you use WIDE MOUTH MASON JARS. (They can be found at most grocery stores next to the pectin and other canning supplies. Kerr and Golden Harvest are 2 other brands readily available. Many brands also come with decorative labels, or you can make your own.)
There will be a little condensation on the lids and some in the jars so when you seal them it's trapped inside. Don't worry about getting the water off of the lids before placing them onto the jars, the added moisture doesn't hurt the cakes in the slightest. Quick bread-type cakes work best, I've found that lighter cakes tend to fall when the jars seal.These make wonderful Christmas gifts and you can start up to 5-6 months ahead! Single friends really appreciate these because each jar makes enough for one or two people.
Try them, they're fun to make and delicious to boot! Several folks have asked me how long the cakes can be safely stored...I'm not sure. The longest I've been able to keep them (without getting eaten) is 6 months. The jars do seal, just like any canned good.
You don't have to refrigerate the jars, just keep them in a cool , dark, dry place. Check the jars occasionally by pushing down on the lid (in the middle) if you're storing them for your own use; if the lid moves up and down, that means the seal has broken. If you've checked the jars frequently, more than likely they're safe to eat; otherwise, toss the cake. If you give the jars away, be sure to tell the person to check the jar periodically (if they plan on storing it for any length of time).
Not only are the cakes tasty, they're very pretty to decorate. A hot glue gun is a vary usefull tool to have! You can glue on dried flowers, ribbons, dough-art...you name it, it can be glued onto the lid, ring and side of the jar.
I usually cut out a piece of cloth (about 3 inches larger in circumference than the lid), using pinking shears or some of the fancy scissors out there now (so the cloth doesn't unravel) or if you sew use some fray check, place a wad of cotton or batting in the center of the lid (take the ring off-- the jar lid should be sealed by now), then place the piece of cloth on top and replace the ring. Decorate as desired.
Unsealed jars should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 2 weeks. Sealed jars may be stored with other canned food or placed in a freezer. A properly sealed quick bread will stay fresh for up to one year. The cake is safe to eat as long as the jar remains vacuum-sealed and free from mold. If you are concerned about the safety of storing your cakes, an alternative is to store them in the freezer.
RECIPE FOR PINT SIZED CHOCOLATE CAKE
Pint Sized Chocolate Cake
1 stick plus 3 Tbsp. Butter or Margarine
3 cups White Sugar
4 Eggs1 Tbsp. Vanilla
2 cups Applesauce, unsweetened
3 cups White Flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/8 tsp. Salt
Prewash 8 pint-sized wide mouth canning jars (be sure to use the kind that have no shoulders) in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, dry and let them come to room temperature. Grease insides of jar well. Beat together butter and half of sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and remaining sugar, vanilla and applesauce. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the applesauce mixture a little at a time: beat well after each addition . Pour one cup of batter into each jar and carefully remove any batter from the rims. Place jars in a preheated 325-degree oven and bake for 40 minutes. While cakes are baking, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and carefully add jar lids. Remove pan from heat and keep lids hot until ready to use.
When the cakes have finished baking, remove jars from oven. Make sure jar rims are clean. (If they're not, jars will not seal correctly) Place lids on jars, and screw rings on tightly. Jars will seal as they cool. Cakes will slide right out when ready to serve. Unsealed jars should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 2 weeks. Sealed jars may be stored with other canned food or placed in a freezer. The cake is safe to eat as long as the jar remains vacuum-sealed and free from mold. If you are concerned about the safety of storing your cakes, an alternative is to store them in the freezer.