Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to Can Cake

I know, I know. Why would anyone want to? Well, about a year or so ago I read an article in a homesteading magazine giving instructions on preserving cake. And you know me, always trying new, different, and slightly odd things. I had to do it.

In the interest of full disclosure, there seems to be some variety in the opinions of whether canning cake should even be tried or not. But since I was taught to can by a genuine, old-school granny (the kind that broke all the "official" rules---with style), I figured it couldn't hurt to try. After all, I've never heard of cake botulism.


Canned Cake

Step 1: Wash your jars, rings, and lids. One of the best ways to can successfully is to keep things  as clean as you are able. Because cleanliness is NOT next to food poisoning. Also, make sure you have completely straight-sided jars---otherwise you won't be able to get your cake out.

Step 2: Grease and flour your jars as you would a baking pan. Don't get it all over the rim if you can help it, because a clean rim will make your job easier later.

Step 3: Choose your cake recipe---most any one will do. I picked a chocolate cake recipe out of the Betty Crocker cookbook and it worked just fine. Make the batter according to the recipe and fill the jars about halfway full. If you have one, use a canning funnel to reduce mess. Wipe any spilled batter off the rims.

Place the jars on a cookie sheet with rims and put it in the oven to bake.

Step 4:  While your cakes are baking, put your rings and lids in boiling water and let simmer while you finish the rest of the process.

Step 5: Your cakes are done when they pull away from the rims slightly and a toothpick comes out clean, same as with normal cake. Pull them out of the oven and rev your engines, because speed is of the essence now.

It's the heat of the cake that vacuum seals the lids, so it's important to get the lids on as quickly as possible. One needless caution to prevent lawsuits: The jars are hot. They just came out of the oven. Use oven mitts or a dishcloth to handle.

Step 6: Wipe your rims ONE MORE TIME. You can even run your finger around to feel if there are any crumbs. You can't get too fanatical about clean rims, because the smallest amount of junk keep the lids from sealing. Of course, then you get to eat the cake right away, so it has its compensations!

Step 7: Place a lid onto the jar. Put the ring on over that and tighten fairly snugly, but not too tight. Repeat with the other jars.

Step 8: Turn jars upside down on dish towel and let sit 24 hours before disturbing. Or, if you're like me, with the self-control and patience of a gnat, check after a couple of hours very carefully and see if your jars sealed. Repeat as needed. You will know they have sealed if the tops are sucked in and don't give when you press them.

Step 9: Now you have a whole bunch of delicious cake to enjoy or give as gifts. To use, simply open the jar, run a knife around the edges to loosen, and slice the cake into whatever thickness you want. It can be topped with fresh fruit, a glaze,  fudge ice cream topping, or anything else you want.

Unexpected company?

Boom! Open a jar.

Chocolate emergency?

Boom! Open a jar.

Want a quick, no-fuss dessert for the family?

Boom! Open a jar.

Get creative----it's cake on demand! 

1 comment:

  1. Drill a hole in the top and run a rag soaked in gasoline through the hole ...ignite other end of rag and throw...

    BOOM ... you've been cake bombed!

    Next lesson....canning twinkie's.