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How to Bake a Mason Jar Cake for Soldiers


My husband is a soldier deployed for the fourth time, this time to Afghanistan. He always appreciates the care packages his family and I send full of books, magazines, healthy snacks – and sometimes cake. Since I bake a cake a week, it would be a real shame not to share the goodies with the soldiers! Baking a jar cake is really simple, and a great way to send a special treat from home, made with love. They keep really well because the heat seals the jar so tightly and it lasts the week or two it takes for the care package to arrive where your loved one is deployed. Here is a handy guide on how to bake jar cakes to send to soldiers overseas.

Step 1: Sanitize the Mason Jar

Take the two pieces of the lid and the jar apart. Put the glass jar in a pot of hot water and bring it to boil over medium high heat on the stove. Boil the jar to sanitize it, then remove it carefully from the hot water with tongs to cool.

Step 2: Grease the Jar

Once the jar is completely cooled, spray the inside liberally with a non-stick spray like Pam or waxed paper with butter. This way the cake doesn’t stick to the edges of the jar too much and it’s easy for your soldier to eat your delicious cake!

Step 3: Fill the Jar with Cake Batter

After you’ve made your cake batter (use any of the cake recipes on this site for your cake batter – they won’t be disappointed!), fill the sanitized mason jar about halfway with cake batter. Don’t forget the cake will rise as it bakes, so remember to only fill the jar half full.

Step 4: Bake the Cake in the Jar

Bake your cake inside the jar according to the normal recipe instructions – including temperature. However, it is wise to start checking on the cake about 10 minutes before the normal done time. Sometimes the jar cakes bake a little faster than a full-size cake would. The best way to tell if it is done is to insert a toothpick or skewer tester in the center and make sure it comes out clean. Also, the top of the cake should spring back when lightly pressed.

Step 5: Sanitize the Jar Lids

Shortly before your cake finishes baking, boil the two parts of the mason jar lid just like you did the jar itself.

Step 6: Sealing the Jar

Make sure to use gloves so you don’t burn your hands on the jar! Pull your jar cake out of the oven. Run a clean, damp cloth around the rim of the jar to get rid of any crumbs or baked on cake. Screw the lid tightly onto the jar while it’s still hot.

Do not frost or decorate the cake. Pick a good, flavorful cake recipe and they won’t miss it, I promise. Some people send a store-bought container of frosting on the side. I have also baked pumpkin bread and other breads in jars, and it turned out fantastic. Let your jar cake cool and then ship it out as soon as possible! The sooner the jar cake gets there, the better. Your soldier can run a knife right around the edge of the cake and plop it out of the jar – or if you’re lazy like me, you can just eat the cake right of the jar.

Edit: One reader below said it might not be safe to bake breads and cakes in jars because the temperature doesn’t get high enough to guarantee baking off all potential bacteria. She linked to a white paper on the safety procedures that you should read. Mail takes about 1.5 to 2 weeks to get to my husband in Afghanistan and the cakes have been fine, but there appears to be some risk involved. If you do decide to go ahead and bake jar cakes, be sure to sanitize those jars and seal those lids tight, and advise your soldier to check them carefully before consuming!

Like this tutorial on how to bake mason jar cakes for deployed soldiers overseas? Check out (and share!) my tutorial on How to Bake, Pack & Ship Cookies to Deployed Soldiers Overseas in Care Packages.

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Heather Physioc is an SEO/CRO professional in Kansas City. She is a vegetarian food-lover who finds joy in cooking, baking and finding funky new restaurants. She leads a pack of dogs, including her beagle Ford, and her shepherd-collie-retriever mix, Otto, and also has a cat named Ahab. She lives with her military spouse, Luke.
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109 Responses to “How to Bake a Mason Jar Cake for Soldiers”

  1. christy says:

    WOW!! I absolutely love this idea and, as always, I love how you write! Not only is Luke blessed for having you as a wife…but we are all blessed by your thoughtfulness and great ideas.

  2. GC says:

    This is a fantastic idea. I presume you used a wide mouthed jar. Guess what I will be trying next?! Love, GC

  3. Sarah K. says:

    My husband’s birthday is coming up and he’s currently deployed to Afghanistan and I LOVE THIS IDEA! Thank you for sharing. About how long do the cakes last though? Mail is taking about 3-4 weeks to get there, so is that too long or will the cake last that long? Thanks again :)

    • denise says:

      Hi, I saw that you said your husbands birthday is coming up and for mine (and for my brother in-law) while they were deployed i sent him a party in a box, with cake, candles, pinata (already stuffed with candy), party hats, punch balloons, noise makers and they LOVED it. My brother in law said that was the best box he ever got, and told my MIL that she needs to learn how to make boxes like me lol

      • denise says:

        sorry guess i should read the dates lol

      • Sabrina says:

        OMG Denise what a great idea for a birthday box! I never in a million years thought about a piñata. My husband just left and will be gone for his birthday. I’m totally doing this. Thanks!

  4. Amanda W says:

    @ sarah K
    I have seen this on other websites as well and as long as the jar remains sealed (meaning the center of the lid doesnt pop up) then they can last months, its once the jar has been opened that the clock starts ticking…so the same concept as canned veggies or fruits

    • Heather says:

      Thanks, Amanda! One thing that’s important to note is that you want to seal it while it’s hot so the suction makes it REALLY air tight – and screw that cake jar lid on tight tight tight, too!

    • Shelly I says:

      The only concern I would have here is with botulin which can occur in a vacuum and has no visible signs of its presence, so having a seal doesn’t necessarily make it safe. I would certainly recommend more research before leaving unrefrigerated for long periods of time.

  5. [...] skills from the cake decorating class I took.) I put about 20% of the batter into a jar to make a jar cake to send my husband in Afghanistan. .gallery { margin: auto; } .gallery-item { float: left; [...]

  6. Libby says:

    This seems like a really neat idea but I’ve heard that it’s not advisable–the breads do not reach a high enough temperature to kill all potentially harmful bacteria, and when you seal them, those bacteria can multiply.

    There’s a pdf available from the University of Georgia Extension about the potential problems: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/uga_can_breads.pdf

    I have send homemade cakes in the mail before, but I usually freeze them, then package the frozen cakes with ice packs and send them by a method where they will arrive in 3-5 days. I’m not sure what to do when mail takes 3-5 weeks, sorry.

    • Melissa says:

      there is NO WAY to send a package & it get there in 3-5 days..it has to go through US customs & then through the Army stuff before it even comes close to my SO’s FOB.

      • Lee Feaya says:

        not every package is sent overseas. she never said she was sending them out of the country.

        • C Woods says:

          I send boxes to Afghanistan all the time in 3-5 days. I would always mail them from my post office at the airport. Any other post office in the city would be delayed a couple of days to a week.

          I will definitely try these cakes and see how it goes. I’m glad the temperature will be changing there soon.

  7. Krystal says:

    I sent a Cake to my hubby after reading the directions and following them step by step and hr said the cake was spoiled by the time (3 weeks) it got to him in afghanistan. :(

    • Heather says:

      Awww bummer! What kind of cake did you try? It didn’t have any fillings or frostings did it? Did the lid come unscrewed or anything?

  8. Janessa says:

    I want to do this i bought the jars and everything but im nervous because my hubby just got 2 packages is sent over a month ago….I’d hate for him to get it and it be spoiled he loves his cake i wouldnt want him to see it and get excited then it be spoiled :(

  9. Mellynn says:

    I did this and sent them to my husband in Iraq. It only took a week to get there but there was no problem with the cake. All the guys in his squadron LOVED it.

    With any canning you boil the jars before hand to kill any bacteria. Common sense tells you if it isn’t sealed, smells funny or isn’t cooked all the way not to eat it. It has to be a lot safer and sanitary than normal baked goods.

    People worry too much!!

  10. Kelli says:

    Has anyone tried this with cheesecake…. or would it not work because generally you refrigerate cheesecake?

  11. Jennifer says:

    I just adopted a soldier and although I LOVE the though, I don’t think I will chance it not getting there in enough time. BUT I will be trying these in smaller sizes for the staff at my kids school. I think they would love these for a picnic luncheon! Thanks for the idea!

    • Navy Mom says:

      I recently ran across a recipe for a jar cake where you add water then microwave it. You might feel a bit safer with this method. If you would like it e mail me at la2cabo@yahoo.com and I’ll be happy to send it to you. Thank you for adopting a soldier. My son is coming up on his second 9 month deployment and I know how much they appreciate the things from home.

  12. Belinda says:

    I’d never heard of this until the other day when I was on Skype with my son who is deployed (Afghanistan); he mentioned his roommate was eating one. While he didn’t exactly “ask” for me to send him cake baked this way, he did “hint”. I’ll be baking soon – thanks for the clear instructions.

  13. Tammy says:

    This would be cute cute cute if made in baby food jars, for parties at school! Wonder if I can find seals/lids that size to reseal the jars?

    • Heather says:

      That’s a fun idea, Tammy! You wouldn’t have to bake them for very long at all. They’d be like mini cupcakes!

      • Sarah says:

        If you plan on serving them within a day or two of baking them, there is no need for s sealed lid! It would be just like baking and serving them them as cupcakes!

    • Susan says:

      If you are baking for local consumption, you wouldn’t need to be concerned about the lids “sealing.” So go ahead and bake those mini-cakes…cute idea! I have been doing this for years with quickbreads (pumpkin, banana, etc.) and I put a round of holiday material between the lid and the ring. It makes a great teacher gift!

  14. Donna Duemmel says:

    Thanks for the extra tips re: sanitizing jars,etc. My son-in-law loves pumpkin. Do you have a good pumpkin recipe?Thanks

    • Heather says:

      Donna – I have TONS of pumpkin recipes! Pumpkin is one of my favorites. I’ve sent at least two pumpkin recipes in jars to my husband in Afghanistan. Check these out. This is a list of pumpkin recipes here on Fifty-Two Cakes: Pumpkin Dessert Recipes

      • Donna Duemmel says:

        Thank you! I esp appreciated,as I said, the sanitizing tips as I was little leary re: the possibility of “bacteria”,etc. I feel more confident now! Bless you and your family!Sounds like if I follow the directions, the mailing “time” will work out if he eats it right away and i am sure they will! :)

        • Heather says:

          You’re so very welcome, Donna. Lots of positive thoughts and well wishes with your family too. I know your son-in-law and his unit would really appreciate some yummy pumpkin jar cakes. My husband and his friend that he works with out there always rave about getting such a personal taste of home. Come back and let me know how it turned out when you’re done! :)

  15. Heather says:

    Really tough call, but I’m gonna go for the pumpkin guts bread! http://www.fiftytwocakes.com/pumpkin-guts-bread/ My second was the pumpkin cream cheese roll, which you would obviously have to send without the cream cheese part, but it was SO good with or without the cream cheese: http://www.fiftytwocakes.com/pumpkin-cream-cheese-roll/

  16. Denise says:

    I love this. My son is in Afghanistan as we speak and called today. I make treats like beef jerky and cookies; but he told me about cake-in-a-jar today and asked me to look it up. I love the idea so much I will be sending a bunch for his fellow Marines as well. thank you so much

    • Heather says:

      How wonderful, Denise! Let us know what you end up making and how he and his buddies like it. :) I’m actually headed to Fort Polk soon to get my husband – he’s FINALLY done with his deployment!

  17. Denise says:

    Hey Libby; as I have hear from my son the health codes (lol) are pretty lax there. He has already suffered from many stomach problems there. I feel my cake will be fine compaired to what my son has to eat from the villages there.

  18. kathy tram says:

    I have mailed the cakes in the jar 2 times already and my son said they were awesome!! no problems and I shipped in the massive heat they were having. I am now trying the apple pies in a jar and muffins for Thanksgiving!!

  19. [...] and packages of spiced cider or hot cocoa. Or if you are really creative, try baking some of these desserts in a jar or even pies in a [...]

  20. Stacia says:

    So how about banana nut bread and quick breads like that? Would the fruit be okay?

    • Heather says:

      I sent pumpkin bread once and it went very smoothly! Just seal that jar extra tight and send it as soon as humanly possible. Beware of Christmastime shipping delays, too.

  21. Cathy says:

    I heard about this and after reading all the comments, I’m going to bake banana bread tonight in a jar! My son is deployed in Afghanistan and will love a treat from home. Thank You!!!

  22. Lisa says:

    Hello, I just tried my First every Cake in a Jar and am sending them out today to the soldier I write to. I am sooo excited. I hope this works. I pen pal through adoptaplatoon and this will be so cool to add. Thanks for the information. I did leave a questions on the death by chocolate cake though for you if you get a minute.
    Cheers, Lisa

  23. Christine says:

    My Fiance is stationed in Korea. I’ve sent cookies and little treats but have never tried to make a cake and send it overseas. My idea for Valentines day was red velvet cake. Also his birthday is gonna be coming up soon. Its always nice to get a birthday cake when your not expecting to get one at all :). Ive tried this idea sending jar cake stateside and its worked perfectly!

  24. Emily says:

    Hi, I would love to try this out but my hubby loves brownies more then cake… have you tried that yet? Do you think it would turn out ok? Thanks for any input! :)

    • Heather says:

      Hi Emily! I have not tried brownies, but I believe it could work. Remember not to ice the brownies, though! If you do decide to try it, let us know how it turns out so we can share it with other milspouses!

    • Dana says:

      I make brownies for my husband in a jar. When he was deployed in 07 I sent them to him and they were a big hit. He is now deployed again and asked me where his brownies were..lol Do them the same way. I always listen for my jars to ping as they cool so that I know they sealed correctly. Making them this way allows him to savor them and make them last as long as he likes and doesnt have to eat them all up in a couple of days.

  25. Gerrie says:

    I have baked several types in them. The recipe I have, calls for you to have a small over flow, create a muffin top. When it is done baking while it is still hot, you need hot pads to do the next step. You lay the jar on it’s side and run a knife down across the top. Wipe the the crumbs off. Place the canning lid on it and screw the top on – not to tightly. What this does, is seals it as it cools – just like you were canning it. My husband loves when I do this, he gets a muffin cake top and cake for later down the road.

  26. Kayla says:

    Do boxed cake mixes work for this as well?

  27. Lee says:

    I tried making these, but now I’m afraid to send it. I guess I didn’t fill the jar up enough, and now it looks like condensation has gotten into the top part where there is no cake. Is it still ok or should I try again filling them more?

    • Heather says:

      Did you wipe the rim of the jar before sealing it? Did you seal it quickly while it was still hot? I wouldn’t stress the condensation too much as long as you sealed it VERY tight and you’ve warned the person receiving it to approach carefully (which you should do anyway, regardless of the condensation). But next time you do it, make sure to fill it just a bit over halfway.

  28. Chelsea Kemp says:

    Hello!
    I know you posted this a while ago but I have a question. My boyfriend loves banana things so I was hoping to make banana bread. Do you think that would work? I’m worried that since it contains real bananas it may be a problem.
    Thanks!

  29. Courtney says:

    Does anyone suggest a certain jar cake to try for my first time?? this is such an amazing idea!! my husband is also in Afghanistan, and he wld love some goodies like this. hes a big cake eater too!!

  30. Courtney says:

    maybe ill try Carrot Cake…mmmm wht number is tht? and wht if i was to buy a container of icing/frosting from the store and mail it with the jar carrot cake? wld it expire before it gets there? and i was gon ask, when u send it in the package, wht do u wrap it with so it stays in place and wont break? and thanks Heather this is an awesome IDEA!!!!

  31. Claire says:

    I made jar cakes and sent them to my boyfriend in Afghanistan last month. I actually took any used glass jars I could find in my house (pasta sauce, almond butter, and salsa) and washed them in the dishwasher THEN sterilized them on the stove.

    In the jars I made plain ol’ Funfetti cake mix (thats what my bf requested!) and 2 containers of store bought funfetti frosting and some graham crackers to put icing on (incase the cakes went bad before they got there)….and some spoons and knives for all the guys to share!

    The box did end up taking 3 or 4 weeks to get there, but my bf said that the cakes still tasted great (oh btw, i added a box of instant vanilla pudding mix to the batter before baking to keep the cake moist) AND he had left over frosting to put on the graham crackers which was also a big hit with his friends.

  32. Jazzy says:

    Thank you so much! My best friend’s birthday is coming up and I’ve been looking for something as special as this to send him. Just hope it makes it to Japan in one piece lol.

  33. Katie says:

    just food for thought…if you’re afraid of bacteria from the eggs, you can substitute. 1 tsp unflavored gelatin = 1 egg

  34. Erin says:

    It takes about a month for sailors to get packages so sticking to store bought is best for the navy.

  35. Kay says:

    If you substitute knox geletin for the eggs in the recipe the cakes last even longer!! Survivalist do this and they last for 6 months.
    Egg Substitute
    Use Knox or store brand Gelatin as an egg substitute when making baked goods. 1 tsp. of unflavored gelatin mixed with 3 tbsp. cold water and 2 tbsp. hot water equals one egg. Do not mix until ready to add to recipe.

  36. Cindy says:

    What is the baking time for pint jars (we actually purchased the Ball Collection Addition Jars)?

    • Heather says:

      I’ve never baked in pint-size jars, but my guess would be to shorten it quite a bit (baking cupcakes takes a lot less time than baking whole cakes) – however glancing at a few other recipes online it looks like it might not be very different from the original recipe. Just remember, you can always ADD time, but you can’t REMOVE it. So start low, and add time as necessary. Definitely report back and let us know what you find!

      • Cindy says:

        We used the the unique 1/2 pint collection jar and it took about 28 minutes to cook. We started watching them at 20 minutes and first check with toothpick at 25 minutes and 28 minutes they were done. Next we will be making brownies. Hopefully by then we will have an address for the Marine that is stationed in Japan.

  37. Felicia says:

    Hi…was wondering if putting a little cinnamon and sugar mixture in jar first and on top of mix when baking would matter with sealing and with staying fresh. My son is in Afghanistan and loves zucchini bread and we always bake in loaf with cinnamon sugar topping. Thanks

  38. Ginny says:

    Hi, I am about to bake about 20 Pint sized jar cakes to send to my husband and his team in Afghanistan. I was considering the pineapple upside down recipe that you have on here, but was wondering if the pineapple would be ok for the jar cakes. Any ideas for keeping the cake extra moist? Also, what recipes do you recommend for the jar cakes that came out awesome for you? THANKS!!!

    • Heather says:

      I think the pineapple upside down cake would be ok – I’ve never tried it. Skip any toppings and extra fruits, though. I recommend carrot cake, triple chocolate cake, zucchini bread, lemon raspberry cake… really ANY cake that’s high in flavor without needing frosting. Do NOT make cheesecakes, though. The cake stays extra moist inside the jar anyway as long as you do the jar cake procedure exactly.

      • Navy Mom says:

        Here is a recipe posted on the USS Stennis Friends & Family F.B. page that sounds wonderful:

        Pineapple Upside Cake in a Jar
        by Gina Angel on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 5:57pm ·

        Brown Sugar/Pineapple Topping (in this case the bottom)

        16T Brown Sugar

        8T Butter

        8 Pineapple Rings

        8 Maraschino Cherries

        Melt 1T Butter and 2T Brown Sugar in each clean mason jar. Add the pinepple ring and place cherry in the center.

        Pineapple Cake

        2C All Purpose Flour

        2C White Sugar

        1t baking soda

        1t baking powder

        1t Salt

        3 Eggs

        3/4C Vegetable Oil

        1 (20 ounce) Can Crushed Pineapple with juice

        1C Chopped Walnuts (optional)

        Mix together sugar, eggs, and oil. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in crushed pineapple with juice and nuts. Poor cake batter over the pineapple brown sugar mixture. Fill jars just over half way and place on a baking sheet.

        Bake at 350* for 35-40 depending on oven. While cakes are baking you must boil the lids for the jars. When the cakes are done you must put on the lid and sligtly screw down the ring. They will seal within minutes and will be ready for storage or shipment.

        6 jars of homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake ready for shipment to the hubby!!! I hope he loves them! :)

  39. tina says:

    I have seen this with cake websites everywhere but i didnt even think of bread. this weekend im going to make banana bread and send it out!!! THANK YOU SO MUCh!! My husband is going to LOVE THIS!

  40. Vanessa says:

    This is SUCH a great idea and I’m super excited to try this! I was wondering if you’ve ever sent/heard anything about the beer cake recipe? I’m worried the beer will not do well with shipping… then again, it’s already been cooked. I’m just not sure. I want to send my marine a “half-birthday” care package since I missed his birthday in March — just to give him something goofy to smile about. :)

  41. Lori says:

    This is awsome! My son’s birthday is in a few weeks and I wanted to send him a birthday cake. Any tips on packaging the jars so they arrive intact? He is going to absolutely flip when these arrive!
    Thanks!

  42. Sue says:

    I am planning on making pink lemonade cake and a chocolate lava cakes in a jar for a bake sale in a couple of days. I was wondering if you think it would be o.k. to put a little frosting on the top of the pink lemonade cake before sealing and storing it in the refrigerator until the day of the bake sale. (I know you recommend against putting frosting on cakes for shipping over seas)

    • Heather says:

      If it’s getting sold in a bake sale just a few days later, I imagine it’s not as much of a concern as it would be to send it overseas which takes up to 2-3 weeks at times.

  43. Carolyn Brooks says:

    My grandson gets a package in Afghanistan in a week or less from Texas.

  44. Carolyn Brooks says:

    I mail him chocolate cakes in jars and he loves them. Sorry I did not get those together. He is at Bagram.

  45. danielle s says:

    I send these to my boyfriend all the time sometimes it takes 3 weeks to get to him.. other times it takes a month and a half! I have tried cakes, cookies, brownies, muffins & even my own version of an apple crisp (prepare apples like you would for an apple pie.. put some in a jar & layer with uncooked oats mixed with brown sugar.. bake & then seal). He loves all of them & they have made it there every time just fine. I also get the mason jars that have the wide mouth top.. especially with cake because when opened it will slide right out and then you send a container of unopened frosting in the package as well so he can apply it himself! :)

  46. Denise says:

    I have made many batches of pistachio cakes in a jar. The recipe does not use frosting but a syrup that I spoon over the hot cakes and then seal. I have opened them almost a year later and they are still yummy and moist. My warrior loves them and so does his squad. My Blue Star Mom group made them and sent them out in our Christmas Care Packages and received many thank yous. Its a little bit of home for them.

    • Angela says:

      Hello Denise!

      I just read your post as I was reading a lot of them….due to some mention of health concerns.
      I really wanted to get the overall picture as to if there is a problem.
      When I can across your post I was so excited!
      I am a huge fan of pistachio!
      Would you consider being so generous and sharing your recipe with me?

      It sounds yummy!
      Thank you for your consideration!

      Kind regards,
      Angela angelarts2@yahoo.com

  47. Amber says:

    This would be perfect for college kids too!

  48. Shelly I says:

    Please use caution when leaving unrefrigerated. Because Cake is a low acid, high moisture food, sealing it in a jar creates a vacuum which creates the perfect environment for Botulinum. This bacteria can be deadly, has no visible signs of its presence, and could cause harm by breathing it in or being close to the source – you don’t even have to eat it. PLEASE check out these sites before deciding whether to ship these overseas. I don’t want to cause alarm, but I do want to make sure our soldiers make it home safe.
    Thanks!
    http://mrssurvival.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=22006
    http://www.pickyourown.org/botulism.htm

  49. Tiarra says:

    Would your fresh strawberry cake recipe work for this? Minus the frosting of course. Alternatively, would the strawberry purée which is used as a filler for that recipe be ok in a separate jar? My husbands on his second deployment!

  50. Nancy Kane says:

    I have baked cakes in jars for years… I have stored them in the cellar and when I wanted a sweet treat all I had to do was open a jar… They will last a long time… I have had them on the shelf for 6 months, and they were great… I sterilized the jars and lids before using…..

  51. kat says:

    Ive tried this with simple lemon batter cake for my hubby when he was deplyed and it worked out fine, but what about cake with sprinkles (Not icing) in it, just for christmas gifts for family?

    • Heather says:

      I haven’t tried it with springles, but I think it should be just fine if it’s baked into the cake! If you’re feeling uncertain, perhaps send a store-bought package of sprinkles and store-bought icing on the side. :)

  52. Valerie says:

    When shipping to soldiers overseas, here’s something to remember…..if you ship it Priority mail, it goes by plane for the entire trip and is MUCH faster. If you ship ground regular mail, it sits on a truck traveling to where it will eventually go by plane over seas and takes a significantly longer time to get there.

  53. Katessa says:

    If ur sending it to someone stateside could u put icing on the cake or is it just best to not.

  54. Dee says:

    Shelly is correct. Botulinum is an anaerobic bacteria, does not require any oxygen to thrive so it makes no difference whether the container is airtight or not. It is a highly pathogenic bacteria, hence the very strict rules for canning. There is no way to see its presence visibly or via taste. The same effect Botox has on the face, botulism has on the respiratory system. These gifts are better saved for local friends.

    • tom says:

      Dear foodies
      I have been reading thru many blog’s and forums and something that i hear so often is about the threat of all these bacteria. My family has been canning for generations as well as drinking raw milk making our own butter dried meats and cheese with no problems. Yes there always a chance of these bacteria invading your home preserved food there is just as big or bigger of a chance of picking up there same bacteria in anything yo buy from the store. Im not a government conspiracy theorist but what many ppl have to see is the fda usda and so on will tell you something is not safe as long as there is any minuscule chance of something going wrong. For any one truly worried about bacteria remember the next time you grab your tooth brush know that there is a nice friendly colony of fecal coliform bacteria growing on it. Ie look up the old white house recipe book for canning many of the recipes in that book call for no processing times at all and that’s how everyone did it and guess what it wasn’t mass genocide in the streets. I still know ppl who can with out processing . The idea that you can protect yourself from every little danger is in life is laughable . So enjoy one of these tasty cakes instead of reaching for that twinky that’s full of preservatives and have just about as much of a chance of carrying any one of those and more nasty bugs.

  55. Bianca says:

    I’ve been reading up on sending jar cakes because I want to send my boyfriend a cake for his birthday. He lives in Florida, so I was wondering since it takes about 3-5 days to get there if the cake spoils that fast? Also, would the cake be better if I substituted the egg for gelatin even though it’s staying in the states? I don’t want my boyfriend getting sick with anything I make him, but I really want to send him a cake! Would it be just fine with egg and everything (minus the frosting)?

  56. [...] that can be made travel safe. I found very helpful directions and recipes at Loving a Soldier and Fifty Two Cakes. Both sites offer the experience of military families who have included these cakes in numerous [...]

  57. Hewahine says:

    My sailor son’s about to deploy in a while, and his favorite cake (weirdly enough) is a weight watcher recipe for spice cake (just a box of spice cake mix, and a 15 oz can of pumpkin) I’m thinking with no dairy or eggs it ought to be OK. This cake in a jar thing is about the only thing that makes me look forward to him going away LOL (aside from him coming back of course :-))

    • Heather says:

      Your son and family will be in our thoughts and prayers! Good luck with the deployment – no doubt it will go swimmingly and the jar cakes will be a huge hit with him and his buddies. :)

  58. Kaycee M says:

    What did you put on your customs forms when sending these cake jars? Such a great idea! I can’t wait to send this to my boyfriend this week!!!!

  59. Francesca says:

    Hello!
    Quick, but possibly silly question….(I’m very new to the baking scene) but I had just bought my first set of mason jars (pint) and the instructions on the packaging say “Do not use boiling water to heat Seal Lids -Recommended water temperature is 82°C/180°F” – it recommended to just use soap and water for the lids. What do you recommend I do? My husband is on a COP in Afghanistan that is away from where the mail is delivered so it can be anywhere from 10-30 days that it’ll take him to receive his mail. Thanks in advance.
    Francesca

    • Heather says:

      Great question Francesca. Glad you read the instructions. The boiling point of water is typically 212 degrees, so perhaps wash with soap and water first, then in a pot bring water to a boil, then turn the heat off and heat the lids that way? That would be my best guess. I would also consider writing a baking date on the jar with a permanent marker and advising your husband to tread very carefully and make sure the cake has not spoiled. We’ll be thinking about you and your husband during his deployment!

      • Yvonne Ring says:

        I do use a permanent market and write the date the cakes were baked. Then they can make an educated decision when it arrives :-)

  60. Belinda G says:

    Has anyone tried the 2 Ingredient cake recipe for the cake in a jar? I copied and pasted this recipe from SparkPeople by user DANADIANA

    1 box of cake mix- any of your liking, choc, yellow, white, red velvet, etc

    1 can soda, regular or diet- any kind

    Directions:
    Put dry cake mix in large mixing bowl, add a full can of any soda and stir. Add to cake pan and bake as directed on cake mix box…Enjoy!!! Makes the most moist cake ever!!! this recipe does not work well for cupcakes or cake that will be decorated. It is very moist and does not stand up well to decoration. Eat a piece of this cake w/ no frosting for a great dessert!!! Enjoy

    Number of Servings: 16

    • Heather says:

      I have not tried this as I do all my cakes from scratch, but I’m a little concerned that the cake is so moist you can’t decorate it, so would it be so moist that it opens it up more to bacterial invasion? I’d tread carefully with this one and if you decide to do it, please tell your soldier to be extra careful before devouring the whole thing – like try a bit and make sure he doesn’t have any “bathroom problems” in the next day or so afterward.

  61. Dawn says:

    I did a trial run with this yesterday & it looks awful-pulled away from sides & shrunken into a weird looking cone shape! How do I avoid this?

  62. Valerie says:

    Does anyone know if you can do a Pineapple Upside Down Cake in a jar? Using canned pineapples of course

  63. Ashley says:

    I just made these and about to send out to my boyfriend for his bday coming up.. I am sure I won’t get a reply today but I am skeptical because of the moisture in the jar. I followed instructions exactly as specified but because of the heat and moisture from the lids it seems like this may be a little sketchy by the time they get to Afghanistan. Has anyone else found the moisture in the jar to be a problem or have any suggestions on how to prevent that?

  64. Yvonne Ring says:

    I made these for my daughter’s birthday in April (her birthday is May) and sent them. They loved it! I sent a birthday box similar to the one described in an earlier email (Donna). I just today made three to send with a Fourth of July box to her in Afghanistan. She is so excited. The moisture is fine. The important part is to take care of the jars (sanitize, etc.) and to be sure that the lid is sealed. If that’s good- mine have been just fine.
    I will be sending my son-in-law a birthday box with German Chocolate Cake in jars (I just send the store bought frosting with it). I think that they are so excited to get a “taste” of home!
    My daughter sent me a picture of the “powdered” eggs made into a breakfast- I know that they do all they can to make it comfortable, but … needless to say, a homemade cake has to be a highlight! :-)

  65. LB says:

    When you put it in the oven did you place it on a cookie sheet?

  66. Anna says:

    Has anyone tried this with a Red Velvet cake? My husband’s birthday is coming up soon and that’s his favorite… I would love to be able to send him his favorite cake while he’s deployed! He’s Navy so he is on a ship, a bit different as he is not in the extreme desert heat. But I know Red Velvet cakes are a little trickier than other cakes to bake normally. Wondering if I should try to bake it from scratch or if it might be too delicate to hold up to being baked in a jar and I should go the (shudder) store bought mix route? Thanks!

  67. Margaret says:

    Cakes were bad!! :-( I was so excited when I saw this and made 5 of them for my son’s Birthday. He is deployed on a ship at sea in the Navy. It took over a month for him to get the package. The cakes “were bad”! :-( I guess I am back to the drawing board.
    Does anyone know the time frame or climates where these would be safe and still good?

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