Birthday in a Jar

Okay, so you caught me. It was in fact my birthday on Saturday, as much as I try to deny it, but thank goodness it’s over and I don’t have to deal with it again for another year now. You see, I’m not too keen on my own birthday for various reasons, but if it’s a friend’s time to celebrate, then that’s a completely different story. As the resident baker, it suddenly became my job to make the cake any time a holiday or special occasion arises, and that means I make a whole lot of birthday cakes. Multi-layered masterpieces, humble 6-inch rounds, and of course those ubiquitous cupcakes, each request was as fun to fill as it was to deliver and see the recipient’s happy face. In the days of commuting to school by train, this was no problem, as a cake in a box was no hassle to carry for those short 15 minutes in transit. More recently though, it hasn’t been nearly so simple; As more and more friends are “met” though blogging, keeping up with all of the dates is one thing in and of itself, but the issue of giving a treat to someone hundreds of miles away is no picnic either. Sure, cookies travel well, but who’s heard of a birthday cookie? It’s all about the cake and you know it.

As luck would have it, I happened to stumble upon Angry Chicken while blog-hopping a month ago, and this particular post really hit a chord. Although the Christmas gifts were already packed and on their way, this page was quickly bookmarked for future reference, as such a brilliant idea would surely come in handy sooner or later. Turns out this assumption was correct, as there I found myself, poking through my closet in search of a decent jar with a lid (And in my mess of craft supplies and forgotten junk, that’s not as easy as it might sound, by the way.) Washed, cleaned, and full of batter, I tossed that jar into the oven just like any other cupcake, and watched with great delight as the contents rose perfectly to the top.

Luck must have smiled on me here, as I was in one of those rebellious “I don’t wanna measure anything because I’m sick of keeping these meticulous notes all the time!” sort of mood. Fully expecting this thing to start spewing chocolate goo all over the insides of my oven, the results were a wonderful surprise, and I hoped they would also prove delicious! To make sure that it didn’t dry out in transit, a generous splash of Kahlua was in order right before packing it up, and then I could just hope for the best. Thankfully, it sounds like the birthday girl that this was intended for had a wonderful day, and if my cake could play any role in that happiness, then this is definitely a practice worth keeping.

44 thoughts on “Birthday in a Jar

  1. Happy belated birthday!! I know the feeling of just wanting the day to pass with no fuss. It’s always more fun to celebrate the birthdays of others.
    Love your idea for the cake in a jar. So cute. How far up did you fill it? Guess it depends on the recipe how much it will rise….

  2. Belated Happy Birthday to you! :) Fabulous looking cake – I would never have thought it possible to work out so well. I bet your friend loved it.

  3. My birthday was Saturday too! My husband didn’t get around to making my cake until Sunday though, but I’ve forgiven him since he had to work. A cupcake in a jar is a cool idea; definitely less fattening than having to eat a whole cake myself…

  4. Oooh… I think I’m gonna have to warm up to you so I can get one next November. ;)What a fantastic idea!

    To answer your question, I find vanilla powder at Whole Foods, though I’m not sure if there is a Whole Foods in your area. If not, it is definitely worth googling online. I’m sure lots of online stores have it in stock. Trust me, it is worth it. :)

  5. LOL. I love the idea of a cake in a jar. Especially one that is already baked and not just the mix that you have to make yourself. ;) You are so thoughtful and I’m sure the birthday girl loved her surprise. And now that we know for sure, happy belated birthday!

  6. Happy Birthday! And what is this as much as I would like to deny it! You are still too young to be saying that…wait till you are my age :)
    Cute cake in a jar.

  7. I thought about making these at Christmas and then quickly forgot about them. They look beautiful and how thoughtful of you. I’ll let you know when my birthday gets near! ;)

  8. Oh trust me, it was enjoyed! I gobbled up half the minute it arrived & the other half the next afternoon. yum yum!
    Happy Birthday Hannah! I hope you had a great day with just the amount of love & fanfare you wanted.

  9. It turned out so well! I remember seeing that post on Angry Chicken a while back and thinking what a cool idea it was, but wondering if it was really and truly possible. Glad to see that it is!

  10. Hi, just saw this on tastespotting and I had to check it out, it looks delicious! I am going to try this out for my friends birthday next month :)
    Happy Belated birthday
    I have heard of birthday cookies :) lol When I lived in the UK I bought one for my otherhalf, he loved it, it was chocolate, chocolate chip, so big and yummy, we got it here

  11. I hope someone was there to make you a cake on Saturday! The good thing about getting older, is that the older you get, the less difference that extra year makes, (until you hit 30 at least!)

    Cake in a jar is a genius experiment; i guess you would need a pretty heavy duty jar to pull it off – not just any old empty pasta sauce jar.

    Happy birthday!

  12. My b-day was on Sunday too… and I felt the same as you about it, although if I had received that bautiful cake of yours it certainly would have been happier :)

  13. What a great idea! I’ve seen coffee can cakes, but I didn’t know you could bake in a glass jar. Anyway, happy b’lated b’day!

  14. happy birthday, hannah! i wish i had known sooner! i’m not sure exactly what i would have done, but… i would have done something. : )

    that cake looks so tasty! it would be very strange to eat cake out of a jar, hehe.

  15. I was impressed by that cake-in-a-jar post on Angry Chicken’s site, too. From your picture, it looks like you did a wonderful job!

  16. Thats a neat trick. Hannah, thank you very much for the link. I can now send cakes instead of boring cookies to my friends and family.

Leave a Reply