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Applesauce Nut Jar Cakes

12 (1-pint) canning jars
12 new lids
12 rings
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 cups applesauce
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup chopped nuts

Generously grease the inside of each jar with shortening. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream together shortening and sugar. Beat eggs, one at a time. Add applesauce and water. Add sifted dry ingredients, then nuts. Pour into pint jars and fill only half full. Set on a cookie sheet, not crowding or touching each other, and bake about 45 minutes or when a cake tester or wooden pick inserted deeply comes out clean.

Wearing heavy-duty mitts, remove jars from the oven one by one. Wipe the jar edge clean, and place the lids and rings on them and screw down tightly. Close the oven door while you’re working on one jar. The cakes need to stay hot. Place the jars on your counter to cool (put them onto a bath towel to cushion them). Make sure the jars don’t touch each other – allow air circulation around each jar. As they cool, you’ll be able to tell if they’ve sealed. You should hear a plinking sound. If you don’t hear the sound, check the jars once they’ve cooled by pressing down on the lids. The lids shouldn’t move at all. Store in a cool, dry place.

Makes 18 to 24 servings.

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