Monday, 14 November 2011

Let's Make Christmas: Triple Ginger Cake in a Jar

This is one of the things I will be taking to Vanessa Kimbell's Let's Make Christmas event at Fortnum & Mason on the 18th November. I'm really honoured to be invited and I'm really looking forward to it!

I'd saw the idea of baking cakes in jars on one of my favourite baking blogs. And was desperate to give it a go not only because it looks exceptionally cool but it would be easy to seal and transport. There was a lot of trial and error in finding a recipe that didn't shrink when cooled too much and that cooked through nice and evenly. It was also important that the cake didn't require icing and this gorgeous ginger cake was certainly a winner!
Original recipe from here

125gr butter
125gr soft brown sugar
125gr black treacle
150ml milk
1 egg
2 chunks of jarred ginger in syrup, chopped finely
1tbsp ginger syrup from the jarred ginger
190gr plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp ginger
1/2tsp mixed spice

You will also need two Kilner jars (1 pint/500mls). To prepare these, wash them thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinse and the wash them again in hot water. Sterilise them either in a water bath or in the oven. When you are ready to fill your jars, dry them whilst they are still warm, coat the insides with cake release or cake spray.

1, Preheat your oven to 160o/c. In a medium saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar and treacle. When the sugar has dissolved, heat very gently for about five minutes. Do not boil. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
2, In a separate bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together and whisk gently so they are mixed together completely.
3, Add the milk to the buttery-sugary-treacly mix and if it is still very hot, leave to cool slightly before adding your egg and chopped ginger. Beat it all together until well combined.
4, Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Slowly bring it together until you have a smooth batter.
5, Pour the batter into your prepared Kilner jars (see above). Don't fill more than half way or you will have pillars of cake rising from the tops of the jar! (Which I admit was a tasty mistake on the test run of this recipe!) If you do have any left, bake in cupcake wrappers for 20mins or so.
6, Place in a baking dish or on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. Test the cake is ready by inserting a skewer through the middle, all the way down the bottom, and back up. It should come put clean.
7, Remove from the oven, wipe down the top and inside for any smudges of cake release and cake crumbs. Leave to cool slightly for 30minutes or so before securing the lids. The Kilner jars I use are the preserving ones with the two part pop caps. They will pop shut. They will retain their heat for a LONG time so handle with care.
8, When they are fully cooled, dress up with a little cellophane and ribbon. Perfect for a something a little different in your christmas hampers! I added a little hand stitched tag on mine for a special touch.


  1. Excellent idea and really lovely presentation. I hope the F&M gig goes really well.

  2. Fabulous presentation, I love the way you taken the photograph with the pine cones and twine. I was hoping to bring my biscotti up in a jar, but I tried several jars and they just didn't look right, so am going to have to rethink that. Look forward to meeting you on Friday.

  3. Such a lovely idea. Think I might give it a go as a cake first before venturing to make it in a jar. If it turns out well, that's one Christmas pressie sorted!