Canning Chocolate Cake

Well, in order to make me feel better — rather, in order to make Grace feel better (doesn’t chocolate make everyone feel better?) I decided to make something today that I have been meaning to do for months.

Several months back I ran across some recipes on the internet for cakes/breads in jars.  How awesome is that?  A cake in a jar that can be put on the pantry shelf and opened months later.  At first I didn’t believe it.  How fresh would a bread be after four or five months on the shelf?  Even more concerting was the contradictory testimonials of how long the breads would keep.

Therefore, my first order of business was to do a test.  Actually, not the first, because the first batch of bread in jars I made never made it past two weeks.  Between giving a few away and Hubby and the kids eating the rest, eight pints didn’t go very far.  The next batch was actually two batches and this has been far more successful.  I canned banana and apple breads back in April and every month for the past four months I have opened one to see if it was still as moist and fresh as the first day I made it.  So far so good.  At four months the breads are still moist and fresh.

Knowing that the breads would keep for at least four months is great news.  Not that they’ll actually last that long if I don’t hide them behind the tomato sauce on the pantry shelves, but at least I have some first-hand knowledge to build on.  I still have several jars from April in the basement and plan on opening one next month and the following.  Six months would be awesome, a year would be better, but who could possibly keep them that long without eating them?  Not around here, that’s for sure.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m having a bad day, nothing makes me feel better than something chocolate.  Chocolate candy, chocolate drinks, chocolate cookies, chocolate cupcakes, and especially chocolate cake calm me and put me in an immediately good mood.  So what would be better than having chocolate cakes in jars down in the pantry for just such an occasion?  I can’t think of anything.

There are lots of recipes on the internet for cakes in jars and I’ll share the ones I try and suceed with as I go.

Canned Chocolate Cake

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  • 1 Stick plus 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla (I forgot this today and it still tasted great)
  • 2 Cups Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips (you really could use any chips you like, but double chocolate was perfect for today)

Grease the insides of 9 wide-mouth pint jars well with shortening.

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Beat butter and half of sugar till fluffy.

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Add remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla and applesauce, mixing till well combined.

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In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients (not the chips).  Add dry ingredients slowly to batter, mixing well after each addition.

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Stir in chips.

Measure one cup of batter into each canning jar.  Wipe rims clean.

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Place jars directly on baking rack in 325 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes.

While cakes bake, bring lids and rings for jars to boil.

Remove jars from oven and immediately place a hot lid and band on each jar.  Tighten.  Jars will seal as they cool.

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When I discovered that I forgot to add the vanilla I was afraid the cakes were ruined.  Not so.  No one noticed.  The cakes are super moist and don’t even need frosting, although frosting does make everything better.

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Another great addition to the pantry for those uncontrollable chocolate cravings.  I don’t think these will make it to the end of the week, but at least I’ve got one more recipe tried and proved, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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8 responses

  1. Really? I didn’t know you could store them that long. I’ve made pies and such in jars, but never thought of long storage… Interesting……

    • I’ve seen the recipes for pies and such also, but I think those are meant to be eaten right away. These are actually sealed when they come out of the oven. It is really a great way for a quick dessert when someone stops by unexpectedly.

  2. I would be careful with canning cakes…. sealing low acid foods in this way is a botulism risk. Making them in the the jars is a super cute idea, and I’m sure they make tasty cakes, but I would worry about them being sealed being a nice place for botulism to grow.

    • Hi Caitlin,

      Thank you about the reminder of botulism. I have always been diligent in making sure the fruits and vegetables I can are done following the proper instructions, but never thought about it with these. Your reminder prompted me to do a little research which on the surface put my mind at ease, but in no way should discount that as in any canning it could happen.

      I found that although a risk when doing any sort of canning, botulism, according to the USDA is found most often with fruits and vegetables. Also, being that these cakes are baked at a higher temperature than canning in a water bath and sealed immediately upon leaving the oven, the risk seems even less. I don’t claim to be any sort of expert, so if people are unsure, storing them in the refrigerator should help put their minds at ease. I do know that these jarred breads and cakes have been sent to our soldiers overseas and canned from 3 to 6 months with no reports of botulism. Of course that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

      For those that want to do more research on their own, here is one website you can look at to give you some idea how botulism forms, the risks, and precautions to take: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/foodborne-illness-and-disease/clostridium-botulinum/ct_index.

      I do know that the breads that are 4 months old in my pantry have been eaten with no problem, but for the most part they never make it past the week in which they were made. The chocolate cakes are long gone in our house, the nine pint jars didn’t even make it a week.

      Thanks again Caitlin.

      • Thanks for the reply Tilly. I just know that the usda doesn’t recommend it because there have not been tests done on ways to safely do it. You are right that it’s a higher temperature, it definitely just makes me nervous canning anything low acid with unapproved methods. I guess I just like to go by the books to be safe, but it would be neat if more testing could be done on it.

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