Desserts in Jars by Shaina Olmanson | Book Review and Giveaway

desserts in jar by shaina olmanson, book review, giveaway

Whether prepared directly in jars or simply served in them, no one knows more about how to make desserts in jars shine than Shaina Olmanson, the author of Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats That Shine (Harvard Common Press 2012).

My good friend Shaina is the cook, writer and photographer behind Food for My Family, and is now the author of this wonderful new cookbook all about sweet treats baked and served in small jars. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of this book for some time now.  I had the privilege of hearing about the development of the book and had a few sneak peeks at the desserts it contains over the last year, and I couldn’t wait to see it in print.

desserts in jars cardamon pear crisps

click image for recipe

From the recipe creation to the photography, it’s clear a lot of love went into every step.  Shaina delivers fresh and creative ideas for making desserts that stand out from the crowd.

Almost any dessert you can think of gets a Desserts in Jars makeover.  There are recipes for cakes, cupcakes, pies, pastries, custards, puddings, fruit desserts, frozen desserts and even mixes for giving.  Some of my favorites are the Peach Granita Bellinis, Dark Chocolate-Hazelnut Pots de Creme, Ginger Mascarpone with Caramelized Apricots and Peach Raspberry Verrines but there are so many more…

peanut butter and jelly parfait, desserts in jars, recipe

Some of the desserts are baked directly in the jars while others are assembled in them for serving.  If you’re looking for gift giving ideas she’s got you covered, as the beauty of desserts in jars is their portability.  Printable gift tags for some of the desserts in the book are even available to download for free on the website.

apple pie in jar, desserts in jars, shaina olmanson

She’s filled the book with tips and tricks for successful dessert making in jars, telling us how to create our own layered desserts and offering up her favorite kinds of jars to use, how to pick the right jar for the dessert and the resources for where to buy them.

banana buttermilk trifle, desserts in jars

What I also really appreciated about the design of the book is its compact size and the spiral binding which ensures it lays flat at every page while you are whipping up the recipes in your kitchen.



The winner is Heather Miller.  Congrats Heather!

Required Entry: For a chance to win leave a comment here, whatever you’d like.  For example tell me have you ever made a dessert in a jar?

The required entry must be done otherwise any extra entries will not count.

Extra Entries:

1. “Like” Gourmande in the Kitchen on Facebook.*

2. Follow @gourmandeinthek on Twitter and tweet the following : Win a copy of @FoodforMyFamily ‘s new cookbook #DessertsinJars from @gourmandeinthek #giveaway

3. Follow Gourmande in the Kitchen on Pinterest or Instagram. *

4. Subscribe to Gourmande in the Kitchen updates by email, or subscribe to my RSS feed.*

PLEASE REMEMBER: Leave a separate comment for EACH of your entries or only one entry will be counted.

*If you already follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest and/or already subscribe to Gourmande in the Kitchen let me know as well, since this counts as an entry.
Giveaway starts on 8/27/2012 and will run until 9/3/2012 at 11:59 pm PST.

Official Rules:
To enter leave a comment.  Open to US residents only.
One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random. I will email the winner and they will have up to 3 days to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.
Three winners will be selected at random to receive a copy of Desserts in Jars.
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
Sponsors are as follows: The Harvard Common Press
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book for the purposes of this review, all opinions are my own.  Links to purchase book are affiliate links.


  1. says

    Ive never made dessert in a jar before but I’ve been researching how because my fiance is in the service and will be deployed for his birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas and I want to send him some homemade treats in his care packages!

  2. BJ Smith says

    I have made chocolate cake in a jar. I think the idea of dessert in a jar is fantastic!

  3. Sarah G says

    I have not made a dessert in a jar, but ever since I first say this book, I have wanted to. They are so cute!

  4. Gina Bianchi says

    I made salad in a jar but not dessert! Would love this.. would definitely turn a really crappy day into a good one!!!

  5. Jeanette (tolovephoto) says

    My good friend is starting a bakery and I think she would love this book! I already follow you on Facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest (wow).

  6. Erika S. says

    I have never made anything in a jar but my sister and I have been talking about wanting to do something like this for our family and friends for the holidays!

  7. Theresa T says

    The last thing I put in some little quarter pints was the Gin and Tonic Sorbet from the Ivory Hut – 4 oz of heaven on a hot day!

  8. says

    I love jars, and I especially love the little flat & rounded mason jars which I recently saw another vendor at market selling CHEESECAKE in and this book looks yummy so here’s me crossing my fingers 🙂

  9. Julie says

    The closest thing I’ve ever made to a dessert in a jar was a cake in a mug! Shaina’s book is at the top of my wish list though. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

  10. says

    I already follow you on Facebook and Pinterest 🙂
    I love desserts in a jar! I already made cheesecake and chocolate mug cake in a jar, I think this book is wonderful idea 🙂

  11. mary fanara coleman says

    I have never made a dessert in a jar before. It is a great idea and I would love to give it a try.

  12. Theresa E. says

    I’ve been saving lots of cute little jars for ages, and can’t wait to try baking something special in them! What a great idea and giveaway!

  13. samW says

    does iced coffee in the car count? I use lots of jars, for canning, spices, herbs, drinks, crafts, etc. but can’t say I’ve made a dessert in one…..I think it is time!

  14. says

    I’m late for this give away I know but I thought the video is really neat and love the desserts in a jar idea. I’m going to look for the book in book store then I must find cute jars in thrift shop or maybe at Sur la table?