I've been drooling over some mason jar cakes on Pinterest lately and finally decided to try it out. I made these up for Mom's birthday last week, and they were delicious and quite the hit. They were a lot easier to bake than I imagined,....
....of course that is after I learned how NOT to make them.
I've included the "Easy, not crazy" recipe and directions as well as my Do's and Don'ts.
While these are delicious and cute I think my favorite part is that they are portion controlled and contained in a jar which is nice for messy kids (not that it really helps either THAT much.) Here it is, Enjoy!
Lemon Strawberry Jar Cakes
1 box lemon cake mix
1 small lemon jello instant pudding mix
4 large egg whites
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup oil
Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups confectioners sugar
2 tbls Milk
Berry Filling Ingredients
Thick strawberry (or raspberry) Jam
Candied Lemons Ingredients**
(totally not necessary)
2 lemons thinly sliced
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
If you are going for the gold and making the candied lemons, they need to be made a day or two in advance (I had no idea). Boil sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat. Place slices in pan and simmer for 5-7 mins. Place lemons on cooling wrack and cool until hard. )A really long time.)
To the cake:
Preheat oven to temp indicated on your box cake. Mix cake ingredients for 2 mins. on medium setting. Fill sprayed and floured mason jars half way with batter. Place jars in a 9X14 pan that is filled with a 1/4in of water. Place in oven and cook for 30-45 mins (depends how large your jars are, the small ones I did took 30mins, the 1/2 pint jars took 35. Insert fork and just test every 5 mins to see when done.)
While cake is cooking make your frosting. Cream butter and shortening together then add sugar,vanilla and milk. You might need to add more sugar or milk to thicken or thin. Place in fridge while waiting for cake to cool.
Once your cakes are done place jars on a cooling wrack and wait until they are 100% cooled. If you decide that just spooning jam and frosting on top isn't "cool" enough or rather the cake to frosting ratio just won't cut it, then you can be ambitious and layer. Knock the cake out of the jars. You'll have to rewash the jars as they are all crumby and not nice looking. Cut cakes into 4ths, place one layer into jar, spoon in a dollop of jam then frosting, place next cake slice and repeat with dollops and layers. Top with frosting and lemon slice.
Sometimes I get a little too ambitious, this was one of those times.
You got the "easy" recipe, keep it that way. Here are the Do's and Don'ts I learned on the first go around of these delicious cakes.
DO stick to a recipe.
DON'T think that because you don't stick to recipes while cooking you can do the same thing while baking. Baking and cooking are totally different.
DO use milk when the recipe calls for milk.
*DON'T use whipping cream in place of milk thinking that it is "heavier" and "yummier" and therefore will make the cake taste better.
DO use jam for your berry filling.
DON'T try to make your own berry filling, especially DON'T use cornstarch and gelatin to thicken your mashed up strawberries.
DO start with a small amount of milk *not whipping cream* when mixing your frosting, add more later if you need to thin.
DON'T dump in a large amount of milk all at once and then have to use an entire bag of powdered sugar to thicken resulting in a week of frosting sitting in your fridge and you eating a spoon full every time you enter the kitchen.
In the end, this CAN be super easy, make it that way.
(No this isn't a cooking blog but yes I have been cooking whole lot lately, hence the posts.)
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