Am I the only person in the world who has missed out on this cake in a jar trend? Apparently so. My teenage son caught onto to it way before me (and he’s not well known for his love of all things kitsch and cute) and challenged me on Facebook to knock him up a couple. Yeah, yeah, I said, I’ll get to it. That was a month ago, but this week as I was still ‘convalescing’ (read having a very lazy week) I decided to give them a go. It was almost worth having the flu for. We haven’t looked back, and have been gorging ourselves on cakes in jar every lunch time since.
This post, then, is for all you out there who may be like me and have spent the last year with your heads in a culinary cave and have been baking your passé cupcakes in regular paper cases. I have messed around quite a lot with the original recipe taken from Karen Solomon on youtube to create three different flavours and, I think, to improve the fruit to cake ratio amongst other things. If you’ve never tried them, give them a go. They are really sweet little additions to anyone’s lunch box (if you have teenage sons though, like me, maybe keep them simple as I did and leave off the cute little labels and raffia ties) but they also make gorgeous presents or picnic desserts. They do keep for up to a week in the fridge with the lids on, but it is worth bearing in mind that, as they are not made with eggs, they will get a little harder. This is hard won information: I had to hide one to test this out. In my house nobody keeps cake for up to a week, fridge or not. We all belong to the have your cake and eat it school of thought, but that is just how it should be. Once you’ve seen and smelt these little gems lined up on your stove top cooling you’ll be exactly the same.
Cakes in a Jar Three Ways
The quantities given are for one 270 ml jar, it makes it easier to multiply as necessary.
One thoroughly washed 270 ml canning jar, or jam jar.
60g pain flour
60g caster sugar
a tiny pinch of salt
45g diced butter
For the Pear and Chocolate:
Half a pear
12g dark (70%) chocolate
For the Apple and Blueberry:
25g blueberries (Frozen are fine)
Half an apple
For the Sticky Toffee:
20g chopped dates
20g dark muscavado sugar
75 ml boiling water
Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C and prepare your jars. They should be placed in a roasting dish, not touching and , if possible held in place with some lentils or baking beans.
Mix the flour, sugar and salt together.
Put your choice of fillings into your jars. If you are making the sticky toffee, just put the dates into a jar.
Top off with the flour mixture, then the cubed butter.
If you are making the sticky toffee, place in the oven for around ten to fifteen minutes until the butter has melted then top with the muscavado sugar and booing water and return to the oven.
Place the jars, in their roasting dish into your preheated oven and bake for around 45 minutes.
Remove, leave to cool, top with cream if you’d like, put the lids on and decorate the jars in whatever cute fashion you choose. Or just eat them.