CAKE JAR TUTORIAL
These beauties are one of the things that initially put our little bakery on the map! Layering sponge inside a jar creates an impressive mess-free dessert – just grab a spoon and you’re ready to go. Our customers have taken their cake jars to the cinema, on hikes and even on the beach! Cake jars are perfect for using up leftover buttercream and cupcakes or cake cut-offs. This method shows you how to make cake jars with already-baked sponge – generally, each layer of sponge requires 50g of cake (or 1 cupcake). Our recipe fills a standard 454g (1lb) jam jar. You can add as many layers and fillings as you like to your cake jars… sponge and buttercream only, or fillings such as jam, lemon curd, caramel, ganache or chocolate spread. Add a little extra buttercream for flavours that need no additional filling, such as carrot cake and red velvet.
Makes 4 cake jars
Buttercream (method below)
250g unsalted butter, softened
500g icing sugar, plus extra if needed
600g cake (around 12 cupcakes)
Fillings of your choice (optional)
Piping bags and nozzle of your choice
4 x 454g (1lb) jam jars
PLAIN BUTTER CREAM
Add the butter to the bowl of a mixer and whip on a high speed for 5 minutes – this may take a little longer if using a hand-held electric whisk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and whip for another 30 seconds. This will turn the butter more white than yellow.
Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and combine on a medium setting, remembering to stop and scrape around the sides to mix in everything fully.
TOP TIP ★ If you are using a spread such as Nutella or Lotus Biscoff as the filling, melt it in the microwave and pour on top of the sponge for each layer. Tilt and rotate the jar in your hand so that the melted spread covers the sponge evenly and is visible from the outside of the jar. Allow to cool slightly before piping the buttercream on top of the spread, or it may melt.
Load the buttercream into a piping bag and snip 1cm (3⁄8in) from the tip (you can use a nozzle, if you like). Pipe a blob of buttercream into the bottom of a jar.
Crumble 50g of cake or 1 cupcake into the bottom of the jar. Lightly push down and flatten the cake using the end of a rolling pin. Load any filling, if using, into another piping bag and pipe a ring around the perimeter of the jar. Alternatively, spoon filling into the jar and use the back of the spoon to spread it in a thin layer. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the perimeter of the jar, on top of the filling.
Repeat with another layer of cake, any fillings (if using) and buttercream. The general rule is to add 1 teaspoon of filling per layer.
Add a third layer of cake and finish by squeezing a small blob of filling (if using) in the middle and piping a final ring of buttercream. If you have the willpower to resist eating it straight away, screw the lid on to enjoy it later. Cake jars will keep for 3 days; cake jars that include cream or cream cheese are best eaten on the day you make them or should be stored in the fridge.
The Finch Bakery: Sweet Homemade Treats and Showstopper Celebration Cakes published by Dorling Kindersley Ltd £20 available from Amazon and Waterstones
WANT EVEN MORE FINCH?
We’ve got just the thing for you! Why not check out our interview where we chat to the sweetest lasses from Lancashire. OR try you hand at their Pumpkin Spice Cookie recipe… it was too good not to share!