Monday, November 28, 2011

Cake Jars 2: Jar Harder

I get an embarrassing amount of enjoyment from the fact that in Britney Spears' video "I Wanna Go" she is seen dancing (on a car) in front of a theater showing "Crossroads 2: Cross Harder" Heeeee.  Well played BritBrit, well played.

Sometimes sequels are even better than the originals and I know (and admit in a small voice) that if Britney starred in a sequel to Crossroads, I would be in the theater on opening weekend.  Much in the same way I was for the original.

Seeing as how my original post detailing how I made cake jars is one of the most searched for posts on this site (can you believe that people actually find my little blog through google or yahoo searches???? I can't!) I figured it was only right to do a sequel and Jar Harder!

I decided this time around to do just three varieties.  I brought back the crowd favorites of Death by Chocolate and Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae with some very small modifications and then had an epiphany as to what my 3rd flavor should be:

Tres Leches cake is one of my absolute favorite desserts.  Whenever I'm in a restaurant that serves it, I HAVE to get it and I'm always tempted to make myself a batch at home.  So why don't I?  Easy.  The beautiful heavenly delicious part of the tres leches cake is the sauce made out of a trio of milks that soak the cake and make every bite super moist and full of flavor.  Unfortunately, making a full sheet cake or cupcakes out of this is cumbersome at best.  But making it in a jar? Perfect! The jar perfectly contains all the super wet cake and sauce and making each serving perfectly portable.  

I started with two and a half cups of flour

To the flour, I added 2 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt

Meanwhile, whisk together two eggs

Add 1 cup of buttermilk (or what I've been using more and more frequently - 1 tbsp of vinegar and the remainder of a cup of milk)

Continue adding 1 cup of vegetable oil

Finally mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of vinegar

When the wet ingredients are all blended, add them to the dry ingredients

Stir until combined.  Now if this recipe looks familiar to you, it should.  This is my favorite red (or green or blue) velvet cake minus the cocoa and food coloring.  Really it is a simple, delicious, vanilla cake.

While your oven is pre-heating to 325, grease your mason jars and fill them.  I know I said that the next time I made cake jars, I'd change the size of my jars from pint to 8oz jars.  But I had pint sized jars left over so I made pint ones again.  This time though, I filled the jars to the 6oz line on the jar.  And I used a measuring cup to pour the batter in which helped keep the sides of the jars neat and clean.

When the jars are ready, I put them in a roasting pan just to make putting them into and taking them out of the even easier.

Bake the jars for 45 minutes or until they develop a golden hue and start to pull away from the sides of the jar.

While the cakes are cooling, mix together a jar of condensed milk, a jar of evaporated milk and 2 cups of milk.

Mix your tres leches together and let the mixture sit until the cakes are good and cool.

When the cakes are cooled, take a pop stick and poke holes all the way down all over the cake.

Next, pour the milk mixture into the jars up to the top.  When the mixture soaks in, top it off and put the jars in the fridge for at least an hour or until all the milk soaks in.

After a few hours, take the jars out of the fridge and carefully pour off any excess liquid

Top off the jars with my favorite cooked frosting and some white chocolate ganache I made by melting 1 cup of white chocolate with 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 stick of butter.

Resist the urge to dip your spoon in right now

 To finish off the jars I wrapped a few pieces of raffia around the neck with a cute little label indicating the flavor.

Shopping List for Tres Leches Cake Jars - makes 6 - 8 jars


  • 2 1/2 Cups Flours
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Can Condensed Milk
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 2 Cups Milk
Cooked Frosting

  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 5 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla


  1. I'm so glad I found this recipe! I do have a quick question though. What would be the shelf life on these? My hubby is deployed and would go nuts if I could send some but I'm worried it won't survive the 10 day process.

    1. Thanks! The shelf life of the frosted (or soaked in the case of the tres leches) cake jars are about a week to ten days in the fridge.
      I have seen/heard/read about people who have baked the cakes in the jars and then sealed the canning jars as if they were canning jelly or preserves. So when the jar is hot, they add the boiled lid and screw it on to create the vaccuum. Then those cake jars are shelf stable for about 6 months. You could then send the cake in a jar along with some canned frosting to your hubby. I'm planning on doing that for a friend who is currently in Afghanistan and I know he'll got crazy over it.

  2. Just wondering if there is any risk of the jars cracking or breaking?
    If i put 12 8z jars at one time, how long do you think it would take to bake?

    1. There isn't a risk as long as you use Mason Jars (which are designed to withstand high heat for canning.) For the time, I'd start with the 45 minutes I did (I did 6 at a time) and monitor from there. Since each jar is individual, the addition of 6 more jars should really affect the timing.

    2. Oops, just re-read your question. If you are using 8oz jars (instead of the pints) I'd start checking for done-ness around 20 minutes.