This past Easter weekend, in addition to my tropical fruit salad, I also made these S'Mores Cakes in jars. (A good balance of healthy and totally not right? Right!) After baking up a batch I learned several things about the current desserts in jars trend. I decided that once you've made a dessert in a jar, all other desserts officially feel overrated. Here's why!
First of all, Jessica from How Sweet It Is deserves mad props for this recipe. Although I've seen many (like whoa) recipes in jars lately, most of them involved frosting of some sort. Ultimately this means two things. The first is that most likely your dessert should probably be refrigerated and can be harmed by sitting in the sun for a few hours if say, you're at a picnic. The next is that instead of making a quick cake, you're also washing dishes and dirtying them again by making frosting.
• Get the recipe: S'mores Cake In A Jar at How Sweet It Is
Instead this recipe uses marshmallows that get placed on the cake just after it's baked. They are popped back in the oven for a few moments to brown the tops and make them look all pretty, like they just strolled out of a summer campfire. Awesome right? Totally.
When I made this dessert I fell hook line and sinker for this method. Here's what I learned and why I think desserts in jars are the bee's knees:
1. Zero Refrigeration Required: I took these desserts to a friend's house and they made the trip there without any icing getting goey or having things shift during transport. Even better, the remaining jars sat on my countertop for the next several days (and still are) without any worry of spoiling. If you wanted to use a "real" icing instead of marshmallow, you could always apply it just before eating so there's no worry.
2. Individual or Family Style: If you make cakes or cupcakes in a jar each person has something to hold and your jars will always get used down the line (unlike paper plates which just get thrown away). You can also make them in larger jars to eat a dessert family-style and have it be passed around. I made mine in quart jars and it would have been perfect to toss into a picnic basket to munch on outside or even on the go — road trip friendly desserts? Absolutely!
3. They Get Better With Time: There aren't many desserts that get better after a few days. Though truth be told, most desserts don't last a few days in our kitchen, but that's besides the point. You can add a lid to each dessert and the small amount of humidity inside makes each cake a little more moist and slightly more dense and rich. It sounds silly, but come day 3 you'll want to bathe in them. What? That's weird. Um, never mind. Moving on.
4. They Can Be Carried Without Breakage: We dedicate a great deal of time to snacks and desserts that are work friendly. Why? Because no one wants their cookie all crumbled or cake crumbs in the bottom of their bag by the time they arrive. Although you will have the weight of the jar (big whoop), it will arrive safely each and every time no matter what and no matter how it's carried. Sealed... just waiting for you to take the first bite — which may or may not be before lunch time!
5. Mason Jars Are Easier To Store: I have a passion for baked goods and am always whipping something up in my kitchen. They look pretty displayed under a glass dome or on a cake pedestal on the counter, but cake plates and their covers are one of the biggest space hogs in the kitchen. Forget them completely and just keep some canning jars on hand. Simple. Done!
Have you tried making desserts in jars yet? Did you love the experience as much as I did? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Related: Great Bake Sale Idea: Cobbler in a Jar from Not Martha
(Image: How Sweet It Is)