Make Cake in a Jar

30 Mar
For my last “food we made at the cabins” post, I’d like to share a recipe by the lovely Nigella Lawson, on whom I have a bit of a crush.  I wanted to bring a nice dessert but didn’t want to deal with making it in the cabins, so Nigella’s recipe for cake baked in ball jars seemed like a perfect idea.  I mixed up the batter at home (it took ten minutes), poured it into ball jars, stuck them in the cooler and popped them in the oven when it was eatin’ time. It was so easy, I may never leave the house again without a ball jar of batter. What’s more- this cake isn’t too sweet and has a bit of a kick from the molasses and cinnamon, which I prefer to overwhelming sweetness. To make things easier, we forwent the frosting and opted for ice cream instead, but I’m including it here because it looks tasty.




  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup leftover brewed coffee


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans halves or pieces

Special Equipment:

  • 10 (8-ounce) Ball jars
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place 10 jars on a cookie sheet pan, evenly spaced out. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth.
  3. Add the sugar and eggs and mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and mix.
  4. Add half of the flour; then half of the sour cream, and mix. Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream.
  5. Drizzle in the coffee and mix until smooth. (The batter will be thin.) Pour the batter into the jars, filling a little more than half way and bake until the tops almost firm to the touch, about 25 minutes.
  6. While the cake is baking, make the Frosting: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; then add the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons water and stir until the sugar is dissolved, for 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and beat in the powdered sugar adding 1 or 2 tablespoons more water so that the frosting is fairly liquid and can slide down the sides of the cake in the jar.
  8. While the cake is still warm, sprinkle the top with pecans and pour the brown sugar icing over to cover and soak in.
  9. Let cool then screw on jar lids and keep at room temperature until ready to eat.

For more recipes like this one, check out the Domesticity page


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