Cakes in a jar, or how to ship a b-day cake.

My son just recently celebrated his 21st birthday. I use the word celebrated loosely as he had to work through it, no grand parties with his buddies. No taking him to an Irish pub in NYC. Not the weekend after or in the coming weeks. Why? My son is a US Marine and is currently overseas at what we are simply allowed to say as “location x”.

So how do you, as a mother, send your kid a little love? Well we Marine moms have our ways. I sent him a full birthday cake. Frosting and all. I am just hoping it will get there. My last care package I sent to a Marine (not family but a family friend) came back like it had been on the battlefield. Happily the Marine arrived home before it did and it perfect shape. I’d rather a package come back looking like that.

Last year my son was not able to come home for his bday as he was on standby to deploy on a different mission. So we had a dry run at this cakes in a jar thing. He’s a good kid but sometimes he forgets to tell me when a box arrives and that he enjoyed anything inside it. Not this box. He called right away and told me it was the best thing he ever ate and that some of the guys knew he had some in his locker and wanted some.

This year, it’s the real deal. He’s out there in the world , doing his job and silly mommy is worried he wont have a bday cake. When I say I am being a silly mommy, my son always says, “That’s your job mom.” Phew. Hey at least this time I am not sending a letter or four a day like when he went to bootcamp. He told me that at one point his D.I told him just to stay standing as all the mail seemed to be for him. Oooppss.

Years later I’ve learned. I still miss him but I hope I am getting better at seeing he is his own man now. Even if I still see him as that cute kid who at times drove me crazy.

Still mama needs to send him cake. So here’s what you do. Now this I am sure you could do from a homemade and healthy cake recipe. I have mentioned before that I am not a baker. I don’t do much baking and when I do it ain’t pretty. I get frustrated icing a cake. I am just not the baking type and you know what that is ok!! If my kids want pretty homemade baked goodies, they go to my not by blood sister and marvel at her better than a bakery could sell cookies. I make drop cookies and even those are not pretty. They are good but not pretty. I did at one time go through this stage where one Christmas I made the most beautiful cookies and even made an edible cookie basket for my husband to take holiday cookies into work. I think there was a blue moon at the time.

So here’s what you do. You go to your local grocery store and pick up the following items:

pint jars with wide mouth opening. You will use about 6 for one box of cake mix
canning lids
cooking spray
cake mix & eggs or whatever it calls for
can of frosting.

Then it’s simple. Preheat your oven to what it says on your box of cake mix.

spray the jars with cooking spray so the cake is easier to get out.

Mix up the cake mix following the instructions. Then fill your jars to the one cup line that is marked on the jars.

Place the jars on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake 15 mins less than the bundt cake time on the box shows.

Remove the tray with jars and baked cakes from the oven and right away using a towel or a pot holder screw the lids on to the jar. Jars are going to be hot but you want this.

Allow to cool. You will hear the jars pop and ping as they seal. Once they are fully cooled you wrap in tons of bubble wrap, put in a jar of frosting and with love mail it off to your loved one.

You don’t have to be a Marine mom to do this. Mail cake to your college student, your family anyone who you know would love some home-baked goodies.

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2 responses

  1. Hi Donna, You can get the jars at most stores like Target or Walmart. I have even seen them in grocery stores lately due to the fact it is canning season with all the fresh produce. Summer time is the best time to get them but usually you can order year round online at one of the above mentioned stores or from Amazon.com. Hope that helps.

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