I always wondered why carrot cake wasn’t more closely tied to Easter – what with Easter bunnies being so hooked on carrots – since cakes baked in jars (and buns, monkey bread, muffins and the like, too) is such a trend right now, I thought I’d bake some carrot cakes in jars. They’re a novelty – you can lid them and send them to school in lunchboxes, or serve them straight up, or lob some cream cheese frosting on top. The glass jars (I used 250 mL ones) are easy to bake en masse, perfect for serving at parties, and great if you need more than the dozen that will fit in a typical muffin pan. You can set them directly on your oven rack, but if you’re worried about wobble or want to take them in and out easily, set them in a 9×13 or rimmed pan.
Easter Carrot Cakes in a Jar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you could easily get away with making some of this whole wheat)
1 cup sugar (I usually use half white, half brown)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. grated fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried ginger
2 tsp. vanilla
1 packed cup coarsely grated carrots (about 1 large carrot)
1/2 cup applesauce (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, raisins, or dried cranberries, or a combination of dried fruit and nuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the insides of 12 250 mL glass jars, or spray them with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a smaller bowl, stir together the oil, eggs, ginger and vanilla. Add the oil mixture, grated carrots and applesauce to the dry ingredients and stir by hand until almost combined. Add the nuts and dried fruit and stir just until the batter is blended.
Pour the batter into the buttered jars, filling them halfway full. Bake for 30 minutes, until the tops are springy to the touch and the edges are pulling away from the sides of the jars. Cool before frosting and serving with forks, straight from the jars. Makes about 12.