Bake moist and scrumptious chocolate cakes in a jar and indulge your friends and family with a real treat! It all starts with a delicious one-bowl chocolate batter, laden with white chocolate chunks. Said batter is then baked in sterilized canning jars and sealed immediately after baking, which gives cakes in a jar a long shelf life.
Cakes in a jar gift
You can easily prepare them in advance and have them at hand when you need a delicious homemade food gift. I also share a cute idea to decorate the jars with a free printable label and pretty lace ribbon. Hurry though if you want to bring these treats to friends.
Otherwise, you might find yourself sitting on the kitchen floor, spooning jar after jar, trying to ease your guilty conscience by committing to a jog in the park later. Not that I ever did anything of that sort, of course. 😅😉
Ready to bake your own batch of delicious chocolate cakes in a jar? Read on to learn how to make these yummy creations and what tips for baking cakes in a jar you should follow for long shelf life.
How long can cakes in a jar be stored? – Tips for baking cakes in a jar
So, how long can cakes in a jar be stored? The answer is up to six months. The shelf life is determined by three factors: properly sterilized jars, the right ingredients, and the internal baking temperature. Here is what you need to know:
- Use glass jars and lids that are heatproof and intended for canning. Personally, I find twist-on lids to be the easiest to use in this instance. Of course, mason jars with a disk lid and metal ring or jars with rubber seals work perfectly as well. Use jars with a wide opening and straight sides or a tapered bottom. I don’t recommend using glasses with a narrow opening as it will be difficult to remove the cake from the jar. Read the first step of recipe to learn how to sterilize the jars.
- Pound cake recipes without fresh fruits are ideal for canned cakes. Cheesecakes or cake batters made with fresh fruits have a much short shelf life (up to a week) and need to be refrigerated. My recipe is for moist and scrumptious chocolate cakes with chocolate chips and can be stored for 3 months.
- The internal baking temperature has to reach 160°C (320°F) to store the cakes for up to six months. Use a digital kitchen or meat thermometer to check the temperature. Immediately after baking, insert the thermometer in the center of a cake and take the temperature.
- Bake the cakes without the lids on. Once the cakes are done, seal the jars immediately. This creates an airtight vacuum, which extends the shelf life of the cakes.
- The cakes should be stored in a dry and cool place away from sunlight, moisture, and heat sources. A cupboard is best. Once opened, consume the cakes within 1 to 2 days.
Gifting chocolate cakes in a jar
Who doesn’t love a bit of baked chocolate bliss? The long shelf life and baking method make cakes in a jar extremely giftable. These little cakes are perfect treats for many occasions. Bake them in mini jars and gift them as favors at a wedding or party.
Cakes baked in larger jars are lovely additions for gift hampers or individual presents. I decorated my jars with printable labels form our Chelsea Blooms collection and pink lace ribbon. You can also add a thank you tag, little greeting or get well soon card.
You can also enjoy the cakes as dessert after an informal dinner and serve them with cream, fruit compote, caramel sauce, or ice cream, my favorite option.
For the chocolate cakes
- 90 g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 30 g (2 tbsp) cream cheese
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil (e.g. canola or sunflower), plus some extra for greasing the jars
- 2 eggs (UK & Europe: M / US, Ca, AUS & NZ: L)
- 125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 15 g (1/8 cup) cocoa, sifted
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 60 g (1/3 cup / 2.1 oz) chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (Any type of chocolate is fine, I used white.)
For baking & packaging
- canning jars with lids (see size recommendations below)
- printable labels (download below)
- lace ribbon
- clear double-sided tape
- Sterilize the jars. Wash the jars and lids in soapy water and rinse well. To dry, lay the jars and lids on a baking tray (sheet) and sterilize them in the oven at 120°C (250° F / gas mark 1/2) for 15 minutes.
- Grease the jars. Using a pastry brush, lightly grease the inside of each jar with melted butter or vegetable oil. Be careful to stay clear of the rim of the jar. The glasses are hot so be careful to avoid burns.
- Preheat the oven. Place the prepped jars on a baking tray (sheet) and preheat the oven 170°C (325°F / gas mark 3).
- Mix the wet ingredients. Put the granulated sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and cream cheese into a large mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held mixer, combine the ingredients until the mixture looks pale and fluffy, for about a minute. Then incorporate the vegetable oil and the eggs, one at a time, until well blended.
- Add the dry ingredients. Add the sifted flour, cocoa, and baking powder to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently folded chocolate chips or chopped chocolate into the batter.
- Bake the cakes. Fill each jar 2/3 with batter and be careful not to spill batter on the rim or outside of a glass. Bake according to the baking times listed above. The cakes are done once a cake tester or skewer inserted in the middle of a cake comes out clean, and the cake center no longer looks runny. If you want to check if the cakes have reached 160°C (320°F), insert a cooking thermometer to check the temperature.
- Seal the jars. Working quickly, place a lid on each jar and close it tightly. The jars are extremely hot, so be very careful not to burn yourself and wear kitchen gloves to protect your hands from the heat. Then let the jars cool on a heat-resistant surface.
- Decorate the jars. Once the jars have cooled, trim a piece of lace ribbon long enough to fit around a jar. Apply the ribbon to the jar using clear double-sided tape. Attach a printable label on the lid and another label to the bottom of the jar denoting the date of baking.
Always wear kitchen gloves when handling the hot jars. Your kids can help you preparing the batter but handling the hot jars is an adults-only task.
The recipe makes enough batter to fill:
- 8 to 9 120 ml (4 oz) jars | baking time: 20 – 25 min | great for favors
- 5 to 6 150 ml (5 oz) jars | baking time: 25 – 30 min| great for hampers and gift baskets (this is the size I used)
- 3 to 4 300 ml (10 oz) jars | baking time: 30 – 35 min | great as individual gifts
Adjust the baking time according to the size of the jars. Start checking the cakes after 15 minutes baking time. If you need more jars simple double or triple the amounts of ingredients.
Shelf life and storage of the chocolate cakes in a jar
If properly sterilized and sealed, the chocolate cakes in a jar can be kept for up to three months. Store the cakes in a dry and cool place, away from sunlight. A cupboard is ideal. Once opened, consume the cakes within 1 to 2 days.
Print the labels
Print the labels on A4 or letter self-adhesive or sticker paper. Cut out along the outlines and apply to the lid or sides of a jar. Use your printer’s setting to adjust the size of the labels if needed.
Free Printable Cake in a Jar Label
Click on the button to download your free printable labels to gift the chocolate cakes in style!