Pumpkin Cake in a Jar

We canned fruits and vegetables, relishes and sauces, and now we've really done it.  We canned cake!! This was truly as easy as baking a cake, and it tastes delicious. Imagine canning cakes to have on your shelf to open when a last-minute guest arrives.  Or picture tying ribbons around the lids and giving these jar cakes as appreciation or thank you gifts.

Gather your ingredients.

Sterilize your canning jars (wide-mouth pint size).

Mix the batter.

Fill the jars halfway and bake.

Put the lids on the jars when they come out of the oven.  Then listen for the "ping" as they seal.  You can store these cakes on your pantry shelf with your other canned preserves.

To serve, open a jar and the cake will slide right out.  Slice the cake into two to four pieces.  Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  What a yummy dessert!

Pumpkin Cake in a Jar

8 wide-mouth pint size canning jars
2/3 cups vegetable shortening
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Sterilize 8 wide-mouth pint jars by heating in boiling water for 10 minutes, or running through a dishwasher cycle, or fill with water and heat on high in the microwave for 8 minutes.
  3. Grease the insides of the jars, being careful not to grease the top rims.
  4. Cream the shortening and sugar together. 
  5. Beat in eggs, pumpkin and water
  6. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda together.
  7. Add sifted dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  8. Stir in chopped nuts (optional).
  9. Spoon batter into jars, filling half full. (If you didn't add the nuts, you will only use 7 jars.)
  10. Wipe the top rim with a damp cloth.
  11. Bake jars set upright on a baking sheet for about 45 minutes or until done. (Cakes are done when you touch the top lightly and it springs back or when a cake tested inserted comes out clean.
  12. Remove from oven.
  13. While hot, wipe the rims again and put the lids on the jars.
  14. As the cakes cool, the lids will ping as they are sealing.
  15. Cakes will slide out easily when they have cooled. (Because the sides of the jars were greased, the cake will pull away slightly from the jar and have darker and lighter colorations.)
  16. To serve, remove the lid and the cake will slide right out of the jar.
  17. Slice into round pieces. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  18. If the jars seal properly, they should have a shelf life of up to a year. Check the seals often and check for mold when opening.  You can also store them in the freezer.
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  1. Oh my gosh, I have NEVER seen canned cake! This is going into our Christmas baskets! Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Oh that's wonderful Mary Ann! It was so easy, and the cake is very moist and delicious. You'll love it! Thanks for commenting ~ Katie

  2. I'm going to try this, too...and I was thinking Christmas baskets, as well. Thanks, Katie!

    1. I see that you did make them Meredith! Thanks for sharing your photo with me. I think I'm going to be baking more of these too!

  3. This is the next thing my little Farm Chicks group in my neck of the woods will be making! Thanks. I did not know that you could "can" the cake and the jar would seal.

    1. I love projects that are easy and fun . . . and yummy! Have fun!

  4. Oh Katie, I just saw this. I wanna try it. What about other cakes? Why waste calories on something that isn't chocolate, right?

  5. Hi Katie. This is such a great idea that I'm going to give it a try with my grandmother's chocolate cake recipe. :) The only question I have is about the wax paper circles. I read through the post a couple of times and didn't find any mention of why the circles are necessary. Can you enlighten me, please? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Jean Marie. I think you're going to love these! The first time I made them, the centers of the cakes raised up to lid level so that the lid would be touching them. I put the wax paper circles on them so they wouldn't stick to the lids. It worked out great. The next time I made them they weren't as high, so I didn't put the wax paper on them. You don't really need the wax paper if you don't want to use it. I hope you enjoy this. I find myself making jar cakes often so I always have a dessert on the shelf! ~Katie

    2. That makes perfect sense; great idea to keep the cake from sticking. Now to find some jars... Thanks again for sharing! :)

    3. You're welcome Jean Marie. I hope they turn out good and you love it! ~Katie