Real Recipes for Real People: Cake in a Jar?

by Kaylin Cherry

Have you ever wondered what new gift you could possibly give to friends and neighbors this year, that wouldn't look impersonal or tacky? How about a cake in a jar? Yes, I am serious! With a little creativity in decorating your jars, you can make a great, low-cost gift for friends, neighbors and co-workers that has a personal touch. A simple circle of cloth placed between the seal and the ring (of a two-part canning lid) makes a pretty effect and you could also add a ribbon around the ring.

This recipe is designed to fit into wide mouth, one-pint canning jars. You can pick up these jars in most grocery stores; in fact, they are most likely on sale at just this time of year. Here is one of many recipes that can be found on the Real Food for Real People web site:

Banana Bread in a Jar

2-2/3 cups white sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
4 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups mashed, ripe bananas
1 tsp. vanilla
3-1/2 cups white flour
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In large bowl, cream sugar and shortening with electric mixer. Add eggs and mix well. Next, add buttermilk and vanilla and mix well. Place dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Add creamed ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Gently stir in mashed bananas and nuts.

Prepare seven one-pint wide-mouth canning jars with vegetable shortening. Place one cup of batter in each jar; do not use more than one cup or batter will overflow and jar will not seal. Place jars evenly spaced on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Working quickly, wipe rim, place lid and ring on jar and secure. Jars will seal quickly. Repeat with remaining jars. When ready to serve, bread will slide out.

If you would like to see more recipes like this one, please visit the Real Food for Real People web site at: You can subscribe to our free daily recipe e-mails by sending a blank e-mail to:

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