Who doesn't love cake, especially when it comes in jars? I wish I could take credit, but the concept isn't original. Nonetheless, people are wowed when they see them.
Some know that traveling with a whole cake isn't the easiest thing to do. The cake might slide around in whatever vessel it's being stored in, and the frosting might get mangled. If it gets to the destination intact, then there's the messy cutting, portioning, plates and utensils to deal with.
Hence, the jar! With a little easy work at home, these cakes are easy to transport, the portioning is already done, and people can easily take them home. And no cake vessel to take back home and clean, either!
Here's how mine started: Lots and lots of lemon zest. And a Mountain Dew. I made this cake late the night before the party where I served this, so I had plenty of Mountain Dew to help keep me awake.
After my first sip of the unnaturally neon green bubbly beverage, I added the zest and sugar into the mixing bowl.
This gets mixed with plenty of butter (and another sip of Mountain Dew).
Once that's creamed together, I alternate mixtures of buttermilk and cake flour (and a gulp of Mountain Dew).
Then the batter is done! I made a double recipe and spread into two different 13x9 prepared pans. I gulped more Mountain Dew.
After baking for 35 minutes, the cakes look golden brown and delicious. I rewarded myself with more Mountain Dew.
After cooling, I cut out the cake circles (using a round cookie cutter) to fit in the jars (I used wide-mouth pint jars). Chugged another Mountain Dew.
Then I made the frosting (I opted for frosting instead of the glaze that's suggested for this recipe). I suppose you could make the frosting while the cake is cooling, but I got preoccupied with a nap first (not enough Mountain Dew). When I woke, the frosting went like this:
I mixed the zest of three more lemons, a whole stick of butter (then drank another Mountain Dew), a pound of cream cheese, two pounds of confectioner's sugar, two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract, and a couple toothpick shmears of summery lemon yellow gel food coloring. This makes a LOT of frosting. Keep in mind that I made two recipes of cake.
I put all the frosting in a zip-top disposable bag, snipped a corner and piped the frosting into the jars after placing a cake round in each one.
Another cake round goes on top of the thick layer of frosting. Then on top of that (and another Mountain Dew later), a thin layer of frosting goes on top before placing the lids. Voila! Cake in a jar. The only additional accessory I needed to provide was a plastic spoon with each jar.
Here they are at the party:
They were a hit. I hope I didn't accidentally pour any Mountain Dew in the cake batter or frosting. No one mentioned any "off" flavors. Or maybe it just added to the flavor. Hmmm.
Regardless, this is a fun concept for any party. And they're fun to make! I'll definitely do this again.