Cakes in a jar? Sounds unusual, but actually this recipe is a fantastic way to bake a small cake and preserve it so you can give it as a gift to a friend or neighbour.
The vacuum that is created, by sealing the cakes with a lid, prolongs the shelf life of the cake for up to 6 weeks. You just need to make sure the seal is tight and not compromised and use a jam or preserving jar so it can withstand the heat of the oven.
We have gone for a flourless carrot cake here, but this method will work with most simple sponge cakes. Chocolate cake, lemon poppyseed, Irish tea cake, the possibilities are endless, so be creative!
Flourless Carrot Cake in a Jar
- 6 medium eggs
- 400g carrots
- 300g of ground almonds
- 6 drops of almond essence
- 150g dark brown sugar
- 50g cornflour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
- 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp of ground mixed spice
- ½ tsp of ground ginger
- a pinch of ground clove
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 150g of chopped roasted pecan or walnuts
- 100g dark chocolate drops
- zest of one orange
- soft butter to grease the jars
- make sure all ingredients are at room temperature
- for the decoration you will need 200g of marzipan as well as red and yellow food colouring.
- pre-heat the oven to 190C or 170C fan
- grease the jars with butter liberally
- grate the carrots finely
- separate the eggs into whites and yolks
- add ½ teaspoon of salt to the egg whites
- then add ½ the sugar
- whisk to soft peaks and set aside
- add the remaining ½ tsp of salt and remaining sugar to the egg yolks
- count in 6 drops of almond essence
- grate in the orange zest and whisk until thick and creamy
- sift the ground almonds together with the rest of the dry ingredients into the grated carrots
- toss together
- add the chopped nuts and toss again
- finally add the chocolate drops
- add 1/3 of the carrot mixture to the egg yolks and mix in gently
- repeat with the remaining carrot mix alternating with egg whites
- take care to fold the egg whites gently in order for the cake to rise
- use a funnel to fill the jars no more than 2/3 full otherwise the cake will rise above the rim and you cannot put the lid on
- level the mixture carefully. Make sure not to soil the rim of the jar as it would compromise the seal of the lid
- place the jars on a baking tray
- place in the middle of the pre-heated oven and bake at 190C (170C fan) for about 30-35 min or till an inserted skewer comes out – clean.
- please be aware that oven temp. vary and that the size of the jar determines the time in the oven. Smaller jars will bake quicker than bigger ones.
- remove from the oven and immediately place the lids on the jars and seal tightly.
- leave to cool and make sure the lids are sealed. The contraction of air creates a vacuum and if you are using a jam jar lid it will make an audible click during cooling .
- Once they are sealed the cake will keep for up to 6 weeks at ambient temperature.
To make the decoration:
- make a depression in the marzipan and add a few dops of both red and yellow food colouring
- knead till the marzipan is evenly orange. Add more yellow or red to adjust the colour if necessary
- roll into a sausage and cut into small pieces
- Form the pieces into carrots
- with a table knife mark some ridges into the marzipan carrots
To serve the cake open the lid and run a table knife around the edge of the jar. Turn upside down and the cake will drop out. Decorate with the marzipan carrots or if you like you can add a chocolate glaze or even cream cheese frosting.