Jar It!

Even if you have attended only one simchah this year, you are no doubt familiar with the newest food trend to be gobbled up. Cake in a jar has become so popular that no party is complete without it! Of course, you can easily order a selection of mouth-watering flavors; but we know many of our readers would love to try some at home. And Purim is the perfect time to come up with a few of these tasty and transportable treats. Neat and compact, jar cakes fit into pretty bags or boxes and will withstand jostling by the six-year-old delivery boy.

Any of your favorite layer cakes can be transformed to jar cakes. If you don’t have a favorite, try one of our delicious options below.

Caramel Apple Cake in a Jar

For the cake:

1/3 cup oil

4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

For the caramelized apple filling:

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3 pounds tart green apples, peeled, cored and cut in small cubes

1/4 cup bourbon whiskey (such as Old Williamsburg)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

For assembly:

1/4 cup bourbon whiskey

2 pounds prepared caramel filling

1 16-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 cup chopped pecans or almonds, toasted

24 8-ounce jars with lids

Line a 12” x 18” sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat. Preheat oven to 375°.

Beat the oil with egg yolks; add the water and vanilla. Sift together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar and baking powder. Stir this into the yolk mixture and beat at high speed. Set aside.

Whip egg whites until foamy. Add remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff. Carefully fold whites into yolk mixture.

Pour batter into the lined pan and bake 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Allow cake to cool on a cooling rack.

Stir sugar, water and cinnamon in large saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Add apples and reduce heat to low. Simmer until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bourbon. Mix cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in small bowl; add to apple mixture and stir until liquid thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a clean bowl, beat thawed whipped topping until stiff. Place in an 18” piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

You can cut your cakes in circles to fit right into the jar but we prefer the rustic look of cubes.

Cut cake into 2” cubes using a serrated knife. Drizzle cake with the bourbon. Drop a few cubes of cake into each jar. Top with a heaping tablespoon of caramel. Place a heaping tablespoon of caramelized apples over caramel. Drop in some more cake cubes. Pipe a dollop of whipped topping on the cake. Top with toasted pecans or almonds. Refrigerate until needed.

Citrus Coconut Cake in a Jar

For the cream:

2 pounds lemon custard cream

16 ounces whipped topping, thawed

For assembly:

1/2 cup esrog, lemon or orange liquor

1 30-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained

1 cup sweetened coconut

Prepare cake as directed above. Cut cake into cubes, approximately 2” square. Drizzle entire cake with liquor.

In a clean bowl, beat thawed whipped topping until stiff. Stir into lemon custard. Place in an 18” piping bag fitted with a star tip. Set aside.

Place half the cake cubes in 24 8-ounce jars. Pipe a rosette of lemon cream over cake cubes. Arrange mandarins over lemon cream, standing some around the edge so you see them through the glass. Sprinkle with sweetened coconut. Place remaining cake cubes into the jars. Top with remaining lemon cream. Sprinkle with remaining coconut. Arrange remaining mandarins on top of whipped topping. Refrigerate until needed.