Victory in a Jar

I enjoy writing. My days are spent in business where good business writing is concise, clear, three points, short words, never confuse anyone with multi-syllable words, descriptors are clutter to the message and sentences should be short. This is important with global audiences where English is a second language to many. For my blog, I love the freedom of “stream of consciousness” (sounds more intelligent than run on sentences, doesn’t it?) and like to push myself to remember simple things like adjectives and descriptors. When pondering terms to use for this post, antediluvian is what I settled on. It means “from the time before the biblical flood”. Marvelous word – don’t you think? Why is this post antediluvian? Because this post is about Mix in a Jar recipes.

Why victorious for my title? Because this mix in a jar recipe is sheer bliss once it’s made into a loaf. Victory, found what I needed, settled on my “theme” to work up (baskets, various wrapping ideas and the theme with another recipe in a future post; you may want to subscribe so you don’t miss it J  I will tell you that for folks I know, I like to include a baked version, plus the mix for them to make and enjoy again later ). If there were blog police, I think they should go after anyone who posts mix in a jar recipes and hasn’t actually made and eaten them or has not posted pics of the finished cooked/baked product. I want to know there’s firsthand experience and what I’m gifting isn’t some gummy oily monstrosity once baked. So, I’m Maggie and I approve this recipe.

My slight variation, substitute some of the white flour with whole wheat and use dried fruit instead of chocolate chips: Sunset Quick Bread in a Bottle.

Dried Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Quick Bread (or Raisin Walnut)


 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries, lightly chopped (or raisins) 

Follow Sunset recipe for wet. For gifts I recommend you add the notation that 1 ½  TBL vinegar added to 1 ½ Cup milk can be substituted for the buttermilk (not everyone you gift may have it handy and although buttermilk would be a smidge better, this will still make a fine loaf). * Since originally posting this, I’ve become a fan of dry buttermilk (once the America’s test kitchen folks gave it their approval, I gave it a go. I now add the buttermilk powder to the dry and the corresponding amount of water to the wet. Follow instructions wiith the brand you get for amounts.

 At first I was very concerned. The batter seemed MUCH looser than most tea breads I make. I was reaching for the flour thinking just another ¼ cup but made myself resist as Sunset is usually pretty reliable. I truly had my doubts when putting these into the oven that they wouldn’t be a bit soggy. No worries – do not give in to the temptation to add flour, it bakes up beautifully.



As I’m testing out gifts, I thought about making the loaves just a tad easier to wrap by lining the pans with parchment (long side only see photo. I didn’t bother with the pan that was for me). As the cooking sprays come out pretty wet – I usually tip the pans over and let them drain a tad, figure the manufacturer doesn’t want any sticking, thus the heavy hand – I placed the parchment in the wet pan then turned it over so batter side had some of non-stick goo. I also sprinkled the tops with a light dusting of white sugar as I like the little extra crunch it gives the final product.


My smaller pans took about 40 minutes (I am in the mountains and seem to have to cook all baked goods a tad longer). 


I realized I wanted to do another wash of my jars (they’d gotten dusty), so you won’t see mine here. But they are something you can ready ahead of time. A nice add is to check the expiration on the flours you use and note that expiration date on the bottom of your recipe cards.  For jars, I use thoroughly cleaned Classico sauce jars (get the sauce in a 3 pack from Costco).  Yes, linking this post to food sites and I have jars of premade sauce confessed to in it. Just mush a few olives, capers and caper juice into it and it transforms. So, the jars – I like that the Kerr regular lids fit precisely and there are no vendor marks on the jars. You might have to use an adhesive remover to get the labels off. A final run through your hot dishwasher and your jars are probably more sterile than what you buy.  I know some paint and reuse the sauce lids, but new Kerr lids cost virtually nothing and take the package up a notch.

I did make and share labels for the jars here.



 Experimenting with wrapping alternatives and found another keeper. These loaves can be boxed in one 8 ½ X 11 sheet of cardstock (U.S. Letter). My example is showing you only the cardstock “plain” (having guests for U.S. Thanksgiving and am not dragging out the Christmas stuff yet). Crafters reading this post will realize the decorating ideas are endless – they include paint (simply sponge or wash your holiday colors over the paper and let dry), rubber stamping, pen and ink, decoupaged tissue, composing whatever combo you like and running your sheet through your printer, purchased cardstock or downloadable sheet images. I used a heavier cardstock and scored all lines using a clean pan as my guide. No tape – the ribbon at the end holds it together. Plan to make and print round labels for the tops (something original like “From Maggie’s Kitchen” in holiday hues). I’ve scanned the folded one so that I can work the pattern in my design programs.


 Special thank you to ‘SnoWhite’ for featuring this post on her blog.

This post is participating in the linky parties noted below.

16 comments on “Victory in a Jar

  1. Pia says:

    This is brilliant! I’ve been wanting to make something along theses lines for Christmas, and you are absolutely right, it’s great to see the finished product. Thanks!

  2. girlichef says:

    What an absolutely fabulous gift idea! I mean, yes…it sounds super tasty…but the fun part would be putting everything together and giving the mix or the breads away. Love it! Totally saving this post…so glad you’ve shared it with the hearth and soul hop this week- thank you! 😀

  3. I love both ideas — giving the beautifully presented jar mixes, and your own creative packaging for the made loaves! How fun! What lovely gifts either must make! 🙂

  4. SnoWhite says:

    love it! thanks for the recipe 🙂

  5. Allison says:

    Oh, that looks yummy! And what a great gift!

    Thanks for linking up!

  6. Neat idea! I can make these as gifts this holiday season. Thanks for sharing. Hopping over from Crafty Soiree 🙂

  7. i have never used a mix in the jar before…but now that i know you have “road-tested” it…i am a believer! i love all your gifting ideas…i always give edible christmas gifts…so this is a big help to me :). thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club!

  8. Roslyn says:

    Nice gift helps, thanks for this blog post.

  9. Melodie says:

    I love food presents in a jar. I’ve gifted cranberry scones that way. They always make such pretty presents. Thanks for sharing at Vegetarian Foodie Fridays!

  10. Maggie says:

    Well, I keep hoping to get a bit of time to work up some fun labels of my own aka the one Sunset used. Won’t have time to drag out the pen and ink until after Tday thought. Will post PDF files of what I come up with.

  11. Jerri says:

    Great gifts! I’d love to have the loaf or the mix in a jar! I just wish I could make a label as cute as that one! Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites last week!

  12. Yummy! That quick bread recipe sounds delicious. I love the idea of placing the ingredients in a bottle/jar and giving them as gifts. Thanks for the inspiration!

    And thanks for linking to my party. I look forward to seeing what you link up each week.

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  13. I have made the Sunset Magazine recipe for Bread in a bottle. Absolutly everyone loves it. The layered ingredients really make the bottle/jar look attractive. My little twist on this was to use dried cranberries and add powdered buttermilk in the ingredients. The powdered buttermilk works like a charm, no need for the fresh buttermilk to be on hand. Ahh shoot, I just love to cook and rearrange ingredients. Have fun, the men at my work just loved this, or maybe it was met with glee because of the bottle of homemade Kalua that accompanied it !!!!!

    • Maggie says:

      Melody – I love all variations you can do with this bread. I always do some not in jars – just in baggies so I have extras ready to go.

    • kym says:

      What is the “ADD IN” ingredient list of wet stuff,if you don’t need to use the liquid buttermilk? Where do you get your powdered buttermilk??

      • Maggie says:

        My supermarket carries powdered buttermilk with the baking stuff (Amazon also carries it). The instructions are on the powdered buttermilk container ( X water + Y powder = Z buttermilk). Just follow the instructions on the powder brand you get.

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