Posts Tagged ‘kids halloween project’

Halloween Treats – It’s a Cake in a Jar!

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Cake in Kilner jars

Happy Friday, folks!  With Halloween less than three weeks away, we here at Pacific Merchants have been crafting and cooking Halloween projects and recipes like mad people. I spent yesterday afternoon making delicious cakes with our Kilner Jars in preparation for Halloween.  For a more refined, friendly, and cute take on the Halloween spirit, this baking project proves a great family activity, but is easy enough to whip up on your own for a party or your home.  Surprisingly easy with great opportunity to satisfy everyone’s creative Halloween ideas, and of course, your sweet tooth.

What you’ll need:

  • -1 box white cake mix or your favorite cake recipe (white cake is great because you can add food coloring to change the color!)
  • -Non-stick Spray
  • -1-2 tubs whipped white frosting
  • -Food coloring
  • -Halloween Sprinkles
  • -(3) 0.5 Liter Kilner Round Clip Top Jars. You can also use preserve jars, but I love the look of clip tops for this.
  • -1-3 Mixing bowls, if you’re making more than one color batter or coloring your frosting.
  • -Piping Bag/tips (or you can just spread the frosting on)

On to the instructions.  Step one: Put a cake in a jar. . . I kid. But really. . .

1.  Make sure your jars are clean.  It’s really important when using any canning or preserve jars to make sure they’re clean: You don’t have to sterilize them like you would if actually canning something, but just make sure you clean them before baking in them.

2. Preheat oven according to your box or cake recipe.

3. The only part of these jars that shouldn’t go in the oven is that orange rubber seal.  See it? It’s super easy to remove: just pull at the tab and it should pop right off. If you’re using preserve jars, just leave the lids out of the oven.

4. Grease your jars!  Easy to forget, so I’m putting this step up front.  Non-stick spray comes in handy here as jars are harder to grease than an open pan.

5. Batter time!  I used white cake to match any frosting or decoration I would later adorn the cake with.  I kept the batter white, but try making some green, purple, or red batter for a more intense Halloween cake experience!  I dyed the frosting, hence why I recommend using white frosting as well.  Our Mason Cash Mixing Bowls are great for batter making. They’re easy to clean, big enough to mix up a huge batch of batter, and the white interior makes it easy to see when all your color is blended in (if you’re coloring your dough.)

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6. Pour batter into Kilner Jars, filling up about half way.  The cake will expand and rise in the oven, bringing the top of the cake right above the lip of the jar.  If you want to be able to close the clip top jars completely including frosting/decorations, pour batter a little less than halfway full. Making cakes in jars that you can close makes for a great hostess gift, school lunch treat (use a smaller jar) or holiday gift!

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7. Place jars on a baking sheet or pain, and stick ‘em in the oven.  I kept mine in for 43 minutes.  The batter densely sits in these jars, so I followed directions for a bundt cake on my boxed cake mix, versus a 8” or 9” pan or cupcakes.  Plus or minus a few minutes won’t hurt anyone.

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8. Keep an eye on the cakes when they’re in the oven.  They’re ready when you can stick a toothpick or knife through the center of the cake and it comes out clean.

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9. Take out, and let cakes cool completely before going to town with icing/decorations.  We don’t want messy melting icing (unless you do).

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10. Once cakes are cool, frost those babies.  I put whipped white frosting in a piping bag with a professional piping tip to get that cool star effect.  You can also just use a hefty zip-top bag with a professional tip, or no tip, just cut the corner off; it just won’t have that star effect. You can even just use a butter knife and spread the icing on smoothly. Two of the cakes I frosted with plain white frosting, and the third cake I frosted with my own mixed green frosting.  Get creative here!  Mix and match your cake color with your frosting color and/or decorations.  Decorate with sprinkles, candy corn, sugar eyeballs, or cupcake flags.  Most kitchen supply stores and even some big craft stores like Michaels have awesome sugar bats, pumpkins, ghouls, etc.  Drip with red food coloring for a more gruesome cake.

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11.  Grab two spoons, a scarfing partner, and go to town.  Or just tackle that cake solo; that may or may not have been what I did. Enjoy!

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Tune in next week for some awesome Halloween roundups and DIY projects, brought to you by yours truly.  Now go have a craft-tastic weekend!

Halloween Crafts – Kilner Mummy Lantern

Monday, October 7th, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADear Ghosts, Witches, Princesses, Ninja Turtles, and everyone else,10

Halloween is upon us!  Time to start decorating, if you haven’t already.  This week at the Pacific Merchants blog we’ll be providing you lovely readers with three simple, creative, and fun DIY projects to make your October more Halloweeny for you and your family. These crafts do double duty as a fun activity for the whole family and great, seasonal decor, so get started early and enjoy these all month long.  Ready?  Let’s do this thing.  Mummies.  Kilner Jars.  Tea Lights. Put them together, and what do you get?  Mummy Lanterns.  Heck yes.  Set your eyes on one of our favorite Halloween Crafts. It’ll stare right back at you.

Read on for an easy, fun, festive tutorial on converting our lovely Kilner jars into your own friendly mummy lanterns.  They make the best friends/pets ever; super low maintenance, and they don’t think twice about you talking to them for two hours straight.  Plus you’ll be the coolest crafter on the block this Halloween season.

Halloween Craft Supplies1. Get your materials in order!  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • -Scissors
  • -Rolled Gauze (Can find in first aid section of drug store)
  • Kilner Jars (Preserve, Clip Top, or Push Top)
  • -Hot Glue Gun/Glue Sticks
  • -Googly Craft Eyes
  • -Flameless Tea Lights

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2. Time to wrap these little guys.  Place a few dabs of hot glue on the glass to fix the gauze in place.  Watch out for your fingers!  Hot glue guns/glue can be surprisingly painful. We don’t want to use any of that first aid gauze on you… If you’re doing this with kids, it might be wise to have adults take charge of the hot glue gun. Kids can still do all the wrapping once the gauze is glued in place.

3.  Continue to wrap the jar in gauze, evenly or overlapping/folding if you want something chunkier.  Make sure to fix the gauze down with a small bead of hot glue every once and a while and tighten the wrap on the gauze so OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAit doesn’t unravel.  If you plan on sealing the jars after (on either a preserve jar or a clip top jar), don’t cover the lip of the jar with gauze, else the cap won’t screw on or clip on.

4. Once you’re done wrapping the Kilner Jar, it’s time to googly-eye this mummy.  I was so pleasantly surprised with the insane variety of googly craft eyes that are now available on the market (at Michael’s)…SO AWESOME.  They have different color irises, eyelids, and even eyelashes, so you can fully customize your mummy to your hearts content.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlaying with the scale of your mummy faces is a great way to inject humor into this project; I love putting big eyes on small jars, and small eyes on larger jars.  It just makes them total characters.  But, it’s obviously up to you and your creative genius to figure out what your mummies look like.

5. If you are looking to make more gory mummies, feel free to drip red food coloring down the sides of the gauze.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

6. Stick in a flameless tea light, and enjoy!  We at Pacific Merchants strongly advocate flameless tealights/candles, as they’re more family/kid friendly.  You can also close the Kilner jars without the fire going out, and they come in many different colors!  Great option for dorm rooms, apartments, playrooms, or anywhere you don’t want/can’t have open flames.

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Stay tuned for our Jar-O’-Lantern tutorial on Wednesday.  Happy Monday, folks!


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