How to Turn One Boxed Cake Mix into Six Cakes

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How to Turn One Boxed Cake Mix into Six Cakes

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Here's a recipe I found that not only retirees, but almost everyone, can appreciate as a very sweet cost-saving idea. The recipe is for "Canning Jar Cakes." With one boxed cake mix, you can bake 6 canning jar cakes.  

You can even use the boxed quick bread mixes if you like. For gift giving, I like to decorate the top of the jar - read how at the end of the recipe.   

How to Turn One Boxed Cake Mix into Six CakesThese little cakes are wonderful for times when you need to give several gifts or for company coming to dinner. 

I have used them for:

  • Teachers (School, Sunday School, Daycare)
  • For friends and family living in nursing homes or in the hospital
  • Last Minute Christmas gifts
  • Thank You gifts for special people
  • Individual cake desserts for parties (kids and adults)
  • Potluck Dinners

Canning jar cakes also freeze well and can be made ahead of time for use when unexpected company drops by (Be sure to use FREEZER canning jars). I love to pop one out of the freezer when my husband's "sweet tooth" becomes active. A little canning jar cake warmed in the microwave and a cup of coffee just seem to hit the spot when the craving for something sweet kicks in. 

Those of us who canned fruits and vegetables in our younger years (or maybe still do) should have canning jars readily available. I can't bring myself to get rid of my canning supplies and I'm almost certain a lot of you feel the same.

For those of you who don't have canning jars, you need to purchase a dozen or so. Before you pay retail price for the jars, check out rummage sales and the for sale ads in your local newspapers. You may even be lucky enough to have family or friends who would give you some of their jars. 

I have been asked for this recipe many times and, now, I'm happy to share it with you. I hope you love the recipe as much as I do. Not only is it economical, it is a homemade gift that people will long remember with smiles on their faces.

Canning Jar Cake

What You Will Need:

1. (6) Clean, dry 1-pint wide-mouth canning jars (the wide-mouth jars work best when it's time to "dump" the cake out of the jar). If you don't have pint size canning jars, use the regular size.

2. (6) Brand new lids and seals for each batch you make.

3. Spray Oil (Pam, Canola, etc.).

4. (1) Baking Sheet, preferably with sides (to support the canning jar cakes as you put them in and take them out of the oven). 

5. A ¼ scoop measuring cup.

6. (1) Box Cake Mix - Any Flavor, plus ingredients needed to make the cake.

Making the Cake

1. Gather the number of canning jars you plan to use. (If you want to make 12 cakes, you will need 12 canning jars, seals, and lids, along with 2 box cake mixes).

2. Spray the inside of the canning jars with the spray oil of your choice.

3. Preheat the oven for the temperature directed on your cake or quick bread box.

4. Prepare the Cake Mix as directed on the box. (I sometimes substitute applesauce for the oil and Egg Beaters for real eggs).

5. Add the batter to the jars - ¼ cup scoop per jar. Use a spatula to remove any batter that sticks to the side. (NOTE: The sides must be clean and free of batter)

6. Bake 15 minutes less than the suggested time on the box. Before removing the cakes from the oven, check the center for doneness. You can use toothpicks, bamboo skewers, or even sharp kitchen knives. If whatever you inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, it's time to remove from the oven.

7. Seal the jars. For the jars to seal themselves, the jars must still be hot. The lids should also be at least room temperature. Sit them on the stove, if necessary. Don't screw on the caps too tightly. Within 15 minutes of capping the jars, you'll hear popping. This is when the heat from the jars causes a vacuum making the jars airtight

Top Decoration

To decorate my jars, I used a 10-inch square of pretty printed fabric cut with pinking shears. I put it on with a rubber band and printed business size cards with the cake's name, ingredients, and our names.  I use a punch to make a hole in the upper left corner of the card. I use pretty ribbon, tie one knot in the ribbon, and then thread the card on top of the knot. Then, I tie another knot to secure the card.

There you go! Some of the cutest gifts you will ever give. The entire process is not time consuming and is very economical.  Let me know if you bake your own canning jar cakes and what you think about them. 

Kimberly Johns CareOne Services, Inc. Debt Management Plan Customer Kimberly Johns

Kimberly has been on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP) for just under a year. Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, she is going to share how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income, which Kimberly is generously planning to share in her new blog! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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  • This is a great idea!  I like to give food gifts since I hate giving people potential clutter.  The great thing is that those jars are incredibly useful once the cake has been eaten.  I want to try this.

  • Hi Emily and thanks for stopping by.  It is amazing how people love these little cakes - especially when given as gifts.  I hope you love them as much as I do.

  • I have never heard of anything like this before. How very interesting. I am going to keep this in mind for the future. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Jessica and thanks for reading the blog.  I collect community cookbooks published by churches, community organizations, etc.  I found this recipe in a cookbook published for an annual fall festival.  That particular cookbook was 15 years old and, I'm sure, the majority of the recipes were from country cooks.  Give it a try, it is something you will use often.

  • I really like this idea.  I think it is going on my must do list :-).  Thank you for sharing!

  • Hi mdavis - I'm glad to hear from you.  Every year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I make 5 different cake mixes (which gives me 30 little cakes) to have available when unexpected guests drop in.  One year, I even gave the little cakes to Christmas carolers who serenaded us.

  • Hi, this is a great gift idea on a budget.  I was just wondering if you can ice the jar cakes?

  • Hi Ileana - I do ice the cakes.  If I'm giving the cakes as gifts and leaving them in the jar, I go ahead and ice each one individually in the jar.  I try to match the frosting to the little fabric pieces I put on the top of the jar lid.  Of course, this means I have to break the seal but that's okay because the gift cakes are usually given the day I make them or the next day.  Just replace the seal after icing.  The cakes I freeze in the jars are not frosted until time to use them.  I hope you enjoy these little cakes as much as I do - even making them is fun.

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