Banana Bread in a Jar, Ship a bit of Home Overseas

Banana Bread in a Jar, Ship a bit of Home Overseas

banana bread in a jar

 

     I can’t even begin to count the number of care packages that we have shipped overseas in the past few years.  Between Hubs, family, and friends it seems like I am always getting a package ready every few months if not way more often than that.  One of my favorite items to send is something homemade.

There are lots of ways to send homemade goodies across the world, but one that I have come to love is baked goods in a jar.  They stay fresh as the day they were baked for a couple months, which really helps when a package can take 2-3 weeks to even be delivered.  Plus this makes a great holiday gift, if you top the jars with some pretty fabric and make them festive.
You can put almost any baked good into a jar, and ship it, the key is baking it in the mason jar to begin with.  Cakes, brownies, savory breads, sweet breads can all be made just like this!  I hear you can make cookies this way as well but I have not attempted that one yet.
ship banana bread

Banana Bread in a Jar, you will need:

Banana bread batter
Cooking spray
Jelly size mason jars, with the wider opening and new lids
Pan for boiling lids
Tongs
Oven Mitts
Preheat oven to 350

Step 1:  CLEAN THE JARS!  Just because they are new does not mean the jars are sanitized.  Clean jars are the key to keeping the end product fresh and safe to eat once it arrives!  Dishwashers are a great way to get the jars squeaky clean and hot enough to know all germs have been killed.  If you do not have a dishwasher (we currently do not) I scrubbed the jars by hand and then put them in the oven for about 20 minutes to make sure they were good and safe!  Once they are dry and cool you are ready to move on to the next step.

Step 2:   Start by mixing up your favorite Banana Bread Recipe, I used my Super Moist Banana Bread, but any of your favorites will work.  Once your done mixing your ingredients, use the cooking spray inside the jars.  taking care to NOT get any oil on the opening of the mason jars.  It is imporant to keep that edge squeaky clean so they seal properly.  Produce wipes would be good if you spill on the edges since they are food safe.

how to bake in a jar

Step 3:  Fill the jars only half way, using a smaller spoon to scoop the batter in.  Your bread/cake/dough is going to raise while baking and if it gets to big you will not be able to close the lid.  I learned this the hard way the first time I made anything in a jar.  Halfway is a safe bet that they will turn out good!

bake in a jar

Step 4A: Bake in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes.  A toothpick should come out clean before removing them from the oven.  Sending under cooked foods might not convey the proper “thinking of you” message.  I like to put the jars in my muffin pan, its easier to get them all in and out of the oven without dropping them.

how to boil mason jar lids

Step 4B: While they are baking, get the lids into a pot of water and bring them to a boil.  Once they boil I turn the heat down just a bit to a strong simmer and let them cook away while my jars cook.  I like to keep the lids and rings together, so it is easier to get them back out of the hot water with tongs.  The rings themselves do not need to be boiled, I just do it for convenience.

Banana Bread in a jar

Step 5:  Timing is everything here.  The jars need to finish cooking after the lids have boiled for 5-10 minutes at least.  Mine usually sit in the hard simmer stage about 10-15 minutes.  Take your jars out of the oven and make sure they are fully cooked.  WHILE EVERYTHING IS VERY HOT:  Remove a lid from the water using tongs, and place it on the hot jar.  Always use oven mitts for this!  Tighten the lids down as soon as they come together and set aside to cool.

pick up hot lids

 

handle hot jars with caution

It is very important that everything gets put together while it is hot out of the oven and water, unlike other canned items that get pressure cooked, or boiled after the lids and jars come together these baked goods do not.  The heat from the baking and boiling process is all that you will use to seal them up.

Ready to ship banana bread
No clue why the bread looks so dark in my photos,
it came out a perfect golden brown.

As the jars cool you will hear a “Pop” where the jars lid gets sealed tight.  After you hear that sound these jars are safe to send.  If you are unsure you can press on the center of the lid, if it has “give” or pops back up the jar did not seal.  The banana bread in those jars is still good to eat, just like any other bread you would make but it probabily will not stay fresh and safe on the journey over seas. Best just to make it a tester :)

Take care in wrapping these!  They are glass :)  I use packing paper from our last move for these jars, or bubble wrap works too, and dont worry about the weight.  These 6 fit perfectly into a medium flat rate square box, with enough room to throw in a card or photos and couple extra socks.  The 6 pictured above are already on their way to a friends husband who is currently deployed.

Have you ever made goodies in a jar?  Any other tips for people who are trying this for the first time?

Comments

  1. Seriously, this is awesome. Doing this on Sunday. :)

    • Jessi ~ Caffeinated Army Wife :

      If you have any questions just let me know!

      • Hello, just came across this on Pinterest. I have a question about how well these stay. If everything is still hot and you put a lid on it….why would the moisture and sugar from the bread not start molding?

        • I believe that it is the sanitizing step that allows these to keep, just like canned applesauce which is naturally full of sugar. I have never tried to keep these longer than necessary. Usually they are gone quickly as soon as the package arrives. Please read through all of the comments for more tips.

    • Our FRG person just gave us a list of shipping guidelines and one of them says no glass. Have you ever had a jar break or gotten in trouble for shipping glass? It is hard to tell what is a suggestion and what is a rule. Another thing on the list of what not to send is home baked goods. When hubby was in Iraq he loved to get home baked goods and we never had an issue.

    • Our FRG person just gave us a list of shipping guidelines and one of them says no glass. Have you ever had a jar break or gotten in trouble for shipping glass? It is hard to tell what is a suggestion and what is a rule. Another thing on the list of what not to send is home baked goods. When hubby was in Iraq he loved to get home baked goods and we never had an issue.

    • Every location/FOB/Country is going to have different regulations about what can and cannot be shipped. I have never had a problem with any of the breads/cakes in a jar breaking during shipment, but i always put a note in saying that if the glass is cracked at all, DO NOT EAT it.

    • I made these but sanitized my lids in the dishwasher instead. They all sealed but my guy said they smelled bad when they got to him :/ not sure what I did wrong. He said they fermented. Is that possible?

      • Sanitizing is good but the lids need to be boiled not just for the sanitizing aspect but to ready the wax around the rings.

  2. my hubby loves fudge how can I do that

    • If it is not in the summer time, fudge ships great if you do not cut it into small pieces, then wrap it in plastic wrap, and wax paper, and then pack it into an inexpensive plastic storage container. Leftover butter tubs or sour cream work great! I'll have to think about how you could do fudge in a jar, that would be a new one for me

  3. I love this idea, thanks for recipe. Do you know of any other cakes that can be made this way and will last for a couple of weeks?

    • Jessi ~ Caffeinated Army Wife :

      They sure will! The key is making sure everything is very clean when you begin, and making sure the product is baked completely. I shipped Hubs birthday cake in a jar, and he enjoyed the last one at the 3 month mark. I sent the frosting separate :)

  4. This is such a neat idea, thanks.

  5. how long will they last like this?

    • Every type of product is going to be slightly different. I sent Hubs birthday cake in a jar and he was enjoying the last one at the 3 month mark. (Send icing separate, not in the jar). Banana bread I am guessing is going to be around 2 months just because it naturally has more moisture so it will stay fresher (Not stale), but runs the risk of going bad sooner.

      • according the the national canning website. Breads like this can develop botulism and should not be stored at room temperature they can be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for a few months.

  6. This is awesome!!!1 I wonder how long that would stay fresh…I want to try it yummy

  7. Oh! My! I will be trying this! Great for holiday gifts! Pinned!

  8. My hubby just deployed to Guam. I am totally making these for him and his roommates but I was wondering if you have tried the pies in baby jars yet? I am weary of sending something that will get ruined in the heat while traveling besides the smores in a jar cause this just better when warm lol. thanks!

    • You know I have not tried making pies in baby food jars, I would we concerned about getting them truly sealed since you are using a jar that has been used before. I know they make mason jars smaller than the ones I used like a small 4oz jar, they are wider and shorter which could be perfect. If you used the same process I did, with baking in the jar and putting the boiled lid on top right out

  9. have you tried the pie in a baby jar yet? My hubby just got sent to Guam and I wanted to make him and his friends breads and pies but I'm afraid that the pie filling will get ruined in the heat of the plane or something. thanks!

  10. Hi! This might be a dumb question, but when you take the lid out of the boiling water- do you dry it really well before putting it on to the jar? Or just shake it so that it's not soaking? Thanks in advance! Love the idea!

  11. Hi I was looking at doing this for my boyfriend, he's been begging for pumpkin bread since its fall now here back home. What size jars did you use?

  12. Hi I was just looking at doing this for my boyfriend since he's been begging for pumpkin bread since fall is officially here. I was curious if you used 4, 8, or 16 oz jelly mason jars?

  13. Hi, How do they get it out? Will it turn into a bunch of broken pieces? or pop out whole?

  14. I am loving your site. My friend just got shipped over seas for the second time now. Last time he told me not to ship him anything because it would be stale by the time he got it. I am so excited to find your site now I cant surprise him with a bit of home for the holidays!

    I have a question though what size (how many oz) are your mason jars?) I can't seem to find any that fir

    • I used the small jelly jars for this, and the muffin pan is for jumbo muffins. I have put it in a regular muffin pan and just made sure they were sitting up right after I put them on the oven shelf. A regular size muffin pan will make them a bit…wobbly. But you can set them in a cake pan etc. As long as the jars are straight that is the important part.

      The last time I shipped to

  15. I am Enjoying your site so much! I have one question though what size jars (ozs) do you use? I haven't found any that will fit in a muffin tin. Also, how much does it cost to send a flat rate box to an apo?

    • I used the small jelly jars for this, and the muffin pan is for jumbo muffins. I have put it in a regular muffin pan and just made sure they were sitting up right after I put them on the oven shelf. A regular size muffin pan will make them a bit…wobbly. But you can set them in a cake pan etc. As long as the jars are straight that is the important part.

      The last time I shipped to

  16. Jacqueline Yaraghi :

    Hi!

    Love this idea and I’ve seen it just about everywhere. I want to send my boyfriend some savory treats made in jars and was wondering if you had any suggestions. He’s not much of a sweets kind of guy but I’m going to send blueberry muffins in jars and stuff for his friends. Help please!

    • Anything bread like would work, banana bread, muffins, even a cheddar biscuit could work

  17. I’m in the process of gathering all kinds of deployment package ideas in preparation for my fiance’s upcoming deployment. I was wondering if you have ever tried a pie in a jar to ship overseas. If so what is the differences as I have yet to find a recipe that works.

  18. This is a fabulous idea and such a great way to send something homemade!

  19. It tastes even better if you butter the jars and roll them with cinnamon sugar. Yummy

  20. Just found your site while looking for ways to ship banana bread to my daughter at college. What a great idea! Thank you so much!!!

  21. Just found this! Thank you so much for the step by step instructions. Everyone loves my banana bread and my neighbor’s husband just deployed and demanded that I make him banana bread in a jar to send to him! I was nervous about the bread staying fresh and this helped tremendously! Now to prepare a whole bunch more for my husband’s upcoming deployment!

    • Let me know if you have any questions, I would also love to know how they turn out for you!

  22. Have you tried it with homemade breads? I’d love to send him a healthy Greek yogurt with fresh banana bread? I’m worried they might go bad.

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