Possibly the greatest culinary invention ever devised, dessert jars are the literal representation of the phrase, “best things in life come in the smallest packages”. These multilayered cuties come in all flavors, are easily customizable, and fun to make on your own. Refreshing in so many ways, dessert jars do not require you to heat up your kitchen on a hot day. Plus, their individual serving size allows indulgence with less guilt. So, if you also have sweet tooth like us, follow these incredibly simple recipes and whip up these no-fuss tasty treats at home.
1. Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter - cubed
- 2 eggs - lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
- 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk - for egg wash
- 6 cups of mixed fresh berries - Strawberries should be hulled and chopped.
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence- optional
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Line a sheet pan/baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In the bowl of, sift the flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a hand mixer/blender mix in the butte. Combine the eggs and heavy cream in a measuring cup. Then, with the mixer on low, add them to the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. The dough will be sticky.
- On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/2-inch thick using a rolling pin and cut about 16 shortcakes. Place them onto the prepared sheet pan. Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle them with sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are browned, and the insides are fully baked. Allow it to cool.
- Prepare your berries by tossing them in a large bowl with the lemon juice and sugar. Let the berries macerate for 1-2 hours, stirring them once or twice during this process.
- To prepare your homemade whipped cream, add the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla to a bowl. Whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Continue whipping for several minutes until the cream is fluffy but not too firm. Add the whipped cream to a piping bag.
- Once the shortcakes have cooled and the berries have produced sufficient juice, assemble the dessert. Begin by cutting the shortcakes in half with a serrated knife. lace half of a shortcake into the bottom of the mason jar. Top with berries and then whipped cream. Repeat this process again. Finish with a shortcake top, a dollop of whipped cream, and additional berries to garnish. Serve immediately.
2. Red Velvet Cupcake in a Jar
- 1 all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
- 200 grams cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
- 450 grams powdered sugar (about 3 ¾ cups), sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 cupcake molds with paper liners or grease them well with oil/butter.
- Sift together cake flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
- In the bowl, combine oil and sugar until well-blended. Add egg and whisk until combined.
- Add vanilla, then slowly add in the food coloring (2 tbsp.)
- Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches; scrape down the side of the bowl. Continue mixing until just combined, taking care not to over mix.
- Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter. Beat for about 10 seconds.
- Using a medium scoop (about 3 tablespoons), divide the batter between the 12 molds, filling each with about 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake.
- In a bowl mix cream cheese and butter until well combined.
- Gradually add the sugar until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine.
- Slice cupcakes horizontally to create layers. Each cupcake will yield 2-3 layers depending on how thick you want your layers to be.
- Place one cupcake layer into the bottom of your jar, pipe a layer of cream cheese frosting directly onto the cake layer. Repeat the layering process until you reach the top of your jar. If desired, garnish with sprinkles or red velvet cake crumbs.
3. Apple Custard Pie
- 3 cups walnuts
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 cups diced apples
Preheat the oven to 218 degrees C. Place the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse several times until the nuts are ground fine. Pour in the butter and pulse until combined. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of crust mixture into the bottom of each jar and press down lightly.
In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, flour, egg yolks, and cream in a bowl until the mixture is thick, creamy, and yellow, about 1 minute. Stir in the apple pieces. Spoon about 1/3 cup of custard into each jar over the walnut crust.
Place the jars 2 inches apart on a large baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, then reduce the heat to 175 degrees C. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes more, until the custard is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve warm, with sweetened whipped cream if you like.
4. Fudgy Chocolate Cake in a Jar
- 1/2 cup
- 200 grams semi-sweet chocolate
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 1 ⁄3 cup brown sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup of strongly brewed coffee
- 3 tbsp ground almonds
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans toasted- optional
- Whipped cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 176 degrees C.
- Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-proof large bowl and heat in 1-minute intervals to melt it.
- Add the sugars, salt, and whisk to combine.
- Add eggs, baking powder, coffee, almond flour, and pecans, and stir well to combine.
- Generously butter the mason jars. Divide the batter into these jars. These can be baked immediately, or close the jars and place them in the fridge to chill (or in the freezer for up to a month).
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes until they rise in the jar and there's a crack in the center. It will take about 35 minutes for the chilled cakes (longer if frozen).
- Remove from the oven. These can be eaten slightly warm (with a more molten center) or chilled (a fudgy center). Serve with whipped cream and strawberries. Enjoy!
5. Carrot Cake Cupcake Jars
- 1½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup white flour
- ¾ cup wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup old fashioned oatmeal
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¾ cup of vegetable oil
- 1 cup crushed pineapple (with juices)
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups grated carrots
- ½ banana mashed
- 1 cup mix-ins or toppings (chopped nuts, shredded coconut, currants or raisins)
- 220 grams of cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup salted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients, mix really well, and set aside.
- Add wet ingredients into the dry ones gently and mix well. Over mixing causes the cake to not raise.
- Pour into cupcake pan. Avoid smoothing the top around as much as possible to keep the air in the batter.
- Bake at 365 degrees for approximately 18-22 minutes (depending on oven), insert a toothpick in the center to check doneness. Set aside.
- Whip heavy cream cheese until fluffy.
- Gradually add butter, add vanilla and powdered sugar.
- Slice cupcakes in half. Layer into jars with frosting and desired topping ingredients. Enjoy!
Q1: How to pre-heat my Microwave?
A: You need to place a slatted rack that comes with a microwave to pre-heat it. Now, choose the convection option. Once you set it on the convection mode, your microwave’s digital display will reflect the minimum temperature setting available, you can just increase or decrease it according to your requirement and press start.
Q2: What alternative can be used in place of cream cheese
A: In case it's very hard to obtain cream cheese for you, you can substitute it with pureed cottage cheese or 1 cup plain yogurt, strained overnight in a cheesecloth.
Q3: What alternative can be used instead of a piping bag?
A: in case you don't have a pastry/piping bag, you can use zip-top bags, slider-tip bags, or simple plastic bags. Simply put the filling in the bag, push it to one corner, make a tiny cut using scissors, and pour it into the glass/mug.