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Cake in a Jar & Botulism

Have you heard of these cute little cakes in jars? Cake batter is poured into canning jars with head room, and baked. The canning lid is slapped on when the cake is pulled from the oven, while it's still hot. Supposedly, it creates a seal, which allows the cake to be stored at room temp for up to a year. There are articles that say it's safe and there are articles that say the procress produces an environment for botulism.

What do you think? I really think it's a cute idea for inexpensive, but thoughtful Christmas gifts, but, of course, I don't want to make anyone sick! If you don't think that this process is safe, is there a safe way to freeze small cakes and baked goods? What type of cute container would you use to still show off the product?

Re: Cake in a Jar & Botulism

  • I would not consider it safe. Only acidic items are safe when canned at home (without additives).
  • I don't think it's safe either, since like PP says, canning usually requires acid or low acid items are very particular, requiring pressure cooking.

    You can probably just gift them the baked good in a jar, closing it after the cake has cooled off and let them know that it will get stale at the same rate as other baked goods! :)

  • If I make the cake in the jar, cool it, then put on the lid, would it be possible to freeze? Some of the recipes suggested doing that. But then I'd be a little afraid of the jar going from frozen to the oven (ie: explosion?!?)...

    Maybe I should just find a new idea!

  • You could freeze it, but the problem is that the cake has to completely cool and then you could put it in the freezer.

    You can't go from freezer to oven though, however, you could thaw it out completely and probably put it in the microwave for a few seconds. I'm not completely sure there though!

  • Not sure how safe it is, but can't imagine a cake that has been sealed up in a jar for awhile would taste the best...
  • I know a lot of the ladies on the MN board make these to send these to  husbands for birthdays when they are deployed.  They also send a can of frosting along.  I know the husbands all love them and have never mentioned getting sick from them.  I'm guessing they probably eat them soon after they receive them... I wouldn't wait a year. 
  • You could just layer all the ingredients in a jar with a little recipe card, like this:

    image

    image
  • If you are really worried, however, you should consider making a baking mix for gifts. That way, all they need to do is dump the contents, add a couple of cold ingredients and instant cookies!

    I really like this mix idea from Bakerella!

  • I saw these first on Beantown Baker (nestie MrsDW_instead). They're not meant to be free of bacteria; as far as I know, she really wanted to be able to ship cupcakes to her friends and family across the country. Her post is here: http://www.beantownbaker.com/2008/11/shipping-cupcakes-in-jar.html.She doesn't bake them in the jar though. Why would you bake them in the jar when it's (in my opinion) easier and safer to do it her way?
  • Mix in a jar it is!

    Off to search for some more "recipe" ideas that I can make Christmas-themed!

  • image geekchicbride:
    I saw these first on Beantown Baker (nestie MrsDW_instead). They're not meant to be free of bacteria; as far as I know, she really wanted to be able to ship cupcakes to her friends and family across the country. Her post is here: http://www.beantownbaker.com/2008/11/shipping-cupcakes-in-jar.html. She doesn't bake them in the jar though. Why would you bake them in the jar when it's (in my opinion) easier and safer to do it her way?

    I guess I don't get it. Does she bake them in cake pans, and then just shove the baked cake into jars and add frosting? Then freeze them?

  • image AMBeede:
    image geekchicbride:
    I saw these first on Beantown Baker (nestie MrsDW_instead). They're not meant to be free of bacteria; as far as I know, she really wanted to be able to ship cupcakes to her friends and family across the country. Her post is here: http://www.beantownbaker.com/2008/11/shipping-cupcakes-in-jar.html.She doesn't bake them in the jar though. Why would you bake them in the jar when it's (in my opinion) easier and safer to do it her way?

    I guess I don't get it. Does she bake them in cake pans, and then just shove the baked cake into jars and add frosting? Then freeze them?

    She bakes them in a cupcake pan, then puts half of it in a jar and frosts it with a piping tip. Freezing probably isn't necessary if she ships immediately and it's not summer.

    She's usually on most of the day, so if you have questions I would page her. 

  • check out this site. they have lots of cake mixes in a jar.


  • image heyrebekah:

    You could just layer all the ingredients in a jar with a little recipe card, like this:

    image

    I was going to suggest something like this.  I made all kinds of 'gifts in a jar' one year for casual friends/co-workers.

  • image geekchicbride:
    image AMBeede:
    image geekchicbride:
    I saw these first on Beantown Baker (nestie MrsDW_instead). They're not meant to be free of bacteria; as far as I know, she really wanted to be able to ship cupcakes to her friends and family across the country. Her post is here: http://www.beantownbaker.com/2008/11/shipping-cupcakes-in-jar.html. She doesn't bake them in the jar though. Why would you bake them in the jar when it's (in my opinion) easier and safer to do it her way?

    I guess I don't get it. Does she bake them in cake pans, and then just shove the baked cake into jars and add frosting? Then freeze them?

    She bakes them in a cupcake pan, then puts half of it in a jar and frosts it with a piping tip. Freezing probably isn't necessary if she ships immediately and it's not summer.

    She's usually on most of the day, so if you have questions I would page her. 

    As mentioned, I bake them regularly and then put them in the jars. I did is as an easy way to ship cupcakes to friends and family. Let me know if you have other questions about what I did. Here are the links to the times I've done it:

    http://www.beantownbaker.com/2008/11/shipping-cupcakes-in-jar.html

    http://www.beantownbaker.com/2008/12/checking-more-things-off-my-list.html

    http://www.cakespy.com/2009/08/put-lid-on-it-how-to-ship-cupcakes-in.html

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