Cake or Bread in a jar

28 Oct

Hello Everyone,

This is a topic I have been wanting to talk about for a while. I first saw this idea about this a couple of years ago in a Paula Dean magazine. I thought what a great Christmas idea! I was going to make them and give them away when Christmas came around. Well some time passed and I forgot about it and did something else for my family at Christmas. I am so happy I did forget about making them! When I started taking the Food Safety classes with the University Of  Idaho, they talked about how unsafe this practice is. I know a lot of people make these and give them away. There is even a place somewhere down south that makes and sells these. I saw them on an episode of Food Finds on Food Network some time ago. The problem with making these is that the core temperature doesn’t reach the proper stage it should be, and a lot of home cooks don’t have the right equipment or don’t have the right ingredients, additives ect.. that the license food manufactures have. We had a lady in my class say she got one of these cakes as a gift from a friend, she said she thought it was a great idea, and put in her pantry to eat later like her friend said to do. Well a couple of months went by and she took the jar out of the cupboard and saw this green stuff growing on the top, she threw the whole jar away! It turned out it was food poisoning growing in the jar, she did the safe thing by throwing the jar away!!! 

Here are a couple of websites that back up what I have been talking about.

You can also clink on the link I have on the right hand side of this page from the National Center for Food Preservation for more Q and A, on this topic and many others.

This is also the time of year when a lot of Christmas Bazaars start, and I love going to a lot of them. I don’t always purchase a lot of thing’s I just love to visit them and see what people are making and selling. We went to a church bazaar last year and a lady was selling these cakes in a jar and wanted us to taste them.  I politely said no thank you, and I should have said something to her about how unsafe it is, but I didn’t. There were to many people around and it was a small place, so I decided to say nothing. I hope and pray no one got sick from what she was selling! Should I have said something? Yes, I should have, but I’m not very good at confronting people face to face. There was also a place last year that had some unsafe canned jellies. The lid on top wasn’t sealed properly, I took it up front to the lady and politely said this jar isn’t sealed, she said oh yea it is it’s still fingertip tight! The lid was popping up and down in the center, and that is not safe. I didn’t argue with her, again there were a lot people there and I don’t like making a scene… I won’t be that way this year, even through that lady didn’t listen to me I am still going to speak up. You never know else will listen! This same topic came up on a recipe site that I belong to a couple of weeks ago and I responded with the same websites and information. I didn’t mean to hurt the person posting the recipe, I just didn’t want someone else making these and getting sick. It only takes one time to get food poisoning to die or have health problems for the rest of your life. My dad got giardia when I was a kid from drinking contaminated water and was deathly ill for several weeks. He still has problems once and awhile as a result. Here’s more information on this topic..

Ok enough doom and gloom for now, I’ll be working on my next topic. It will be about what you can safely put in jars and questions to ask at bazaars this Christmas season..

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on October 28, 2010 in Canned Foods


8 responses to “Cake or Bread in a jar

  1. Brenda C

    April 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Amanda, I’m sure you don’t want to hear this, but I’m going to tell you anyway. I’ve made jar cakes, and my family and I have eaten them, and none of us got sick. I taught my kids how to make them as well, so we’ve eaten our homemade jar cakes more than once. No sickness here!. I boil the lids and rings and put them on after the cakes come out of the oven. The full ones always sealed with a pop. If any didn’t seal, it was a smaller cake, and that cake was eaten right away. I think the last one was eaten at around a month or two of age. No mold, no sickness, no problem.

    It’s common sense not to eat anything with mold growing on it, but I really don’t think people need to avoid a perfectly normal-looking and smelling jar cake.

  2. angelcakebaker35

    April 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I still stand by what I said in the post above. Cakes should not be sealed in the jars after baking. I finally got a chance to talk to my Food Safety Advisor about the recipe TOH published on there blog. Cakes after being baked the jar must be cooled completly and then refrigerated and eaten within a couple days. Not be stored in the cupboard and sealed like you describe and as I described above.

  3. Suzanne

    May 19, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I have been making preserves and homemade gifts for more years than I care to say. It is just common sense that when you prepare anything in a jar there are precautions to be taken.

    First,the jars must be sterilized along with the lids, the contents must have cooled completely before adding the lid.
    Second,the jars should be well sealed(one perfect way of knowing if it is sealed completely, it to listen for the pop of the lid, then tighten it) or use parowax before storing, if you prefer.
    Third, keep in cool areas such as refrigerator or insulated cold room.
    Fourth. It should be dated and of course examined properly, either by color or consistency or smell, before ingesting.
    I have never had any difficulties or spoilage of preserve or homemade gifts.
    Anyone interested in making these preserves or baked gifts, should first make sure they know how to do it or get help from someone who has this knowledge.
    Like any other food we take in, common sense prevails. If it doesn’t look or smell right, throw it away.
    Hope my little bit of information was of some help

    • angelcakebaker35

      May 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      Hello Sue, I see that you take steps to ensure that your canned foods are safe, all but one on them is safe. The parfin wax is no longer an appoved method to seal jars. I know my family did it when I was kid, but the USDA has changed the rules in regards to that method. I am a Master Food Prserver/Food Safety advisor volunteer with the University of Idaho and I follow and give out there recommendations for all canning and food preservation.

      Even though sugar helps preserve jellies and jams, molds can grow on the surface of these products. Research now indicates that the mold which people usually scrape off the surface of jellies may not be as harmless as it seems. Mycotoxins have been found in some jars of jelly having surface mold growth. Mycotoxins are known to cause cancer in animals; their effects on humans are still being researched.

      Because of possible mold contamination, paraffin or wax seals are no longer recommended for any sweet spread, including jellies. To prevent growth of molds and loss of good flavor or color, fill products hot into sterile Mason jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace, seal with self-sealing lids, and process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner Correct process time at higher elevations by adding 1 additional minute per 1,000 ft above sea level. If unsterile jars are used, the filled jars should be processed 10 minutes. Use of sterile jars is preferred, especially when fruits are low in pectin, since the added 5-minute process time may cause weak gels.

      Thank you for your comments Sue.

      Amanda 🙂

  4. Suzanne

    May 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Amanda
    I’m glad you replied.
    I should have mentioned the processing time and method. I should never assume that others were aware to do this before any parowax was applied around the top of the sealed jar. Note Amanda, that this wax is never in contact with the contents of the jar.
    It was a added precaution that my mother in law taught me many years ago when canning vegetables.
    Fruits and jellies and such have never been an issue as they don’t last long enough. They go from the refrigerator to the table or someone else’s table.
    As for mold forming on top of preserves, this has never happened to me, but like I said before, if it doesn’t look or smell right, throw it out. I would assume that if someone saw mold on top of their jellies and other preserves, it would only be common sense to automatically discard it.
    Thanks for your input.


    • angelcakebaker35

      May 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Hello Sue,
      I know commen sense should apply with people on the parfin wax and throwing out spoiled food ect, but unfortunately many people choose to ignore it. All I can do is advise people with the information that has been given to me and let it go from there.
      Thank you for your comments!
      Amanda 🙂

    • angelcakebaker35

      May 21, 2011 at 6:27 am

      Wow thank you Sue for your comments!! 🙂
      I will keep posting the food safety pubilcations I get from the University, I have learned so much from them about all this! Thank you agian for visiting my blog! 🙂

  5. Pat

    May 21, 2011 at 5:56 am

    I learned of your blog by reading the comments on the cupcakes in a jar recipe at the Taste of Home website. I’m looking forward to following your blog and your email updates!!

    I am so glad you mentioned the precautions that should be taken when following this method of baking in canning-type jars. Unfortunately some of the other comments, such as “who wouldn’t know they can’t throw this in a cupboard for weeks” and “anyone with any common sense…”. Just reading the 80 comments shows this is not about common sense, there are many people who just don’t realize the dangers and asked just those very questions about shelf life; there were no cautions with the recipe.

    Many young families today do not cook. Both are working. Cooking as I know it and grew up with is not on their agenda. When you visit my son and DIL ‘s refrigerator, it is stocked with packaged meals where “cooking” means 10 minutes in the micro, or opening a jar of spaghetti sauce and adding to a box of prepared pasta. They are both career people who indulge their free time on their children, and complicated or long time meal prep is at the bottom of their ta-doo list. I attended my grand daughter’s birthday party recently and brought home-made potato salad. One of the Moms sought me out to tell me how awesome it was, she couldn’t remember the last time she had home made potato salad that didn’t come from the deli.

    It’s not about common sense for some, they really are not knowledgeable and have little education or experience with food prep and cooking. When they read something on such a respected site as Taste of Home, they assume everything they need to know has been included in the article and recipe. I would have to go look but I remember thinking there was little emphasis on using heat-tolerant glass jars, a couple people asked about baby food jars and it was clarified in the comments sections to only use canning jars.

    One might eat 100 cupcakes baked like this without proper refrigeration or timely consumption without an issue, that doesn’t mean they will not encounter that 1 that will cause serious problems.

    I really appreciate your input and caution for those who may not be aware.


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