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Easter Lamb Cake

My grandmother started the tradition of making this molded Easter lamb cake when I was little. We continue to make it every Easter. The memory is so special that I keep the lamb mold in my kitchen next to my cookbooks as a decoration. Make sure to grease and flour the mold really good so that the cake does not stick. — Debra Waggoner, Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + standing Bake: 45 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Assorted decorations: Sweetened shredded coconut, sprinkles and jelly beans

Directions

  • Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Thoroughly grease and flour inside of a 3D lamb cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together twice; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  • Add cream of tartar to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on high speed just until stiff but not dry. Fold a fourth of the whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites.
  • Gently transfer to bottom half of mold (the bottom half is the face of the lamb). Place top mold (back of lamb) on top, interlocking seams (make sure half with vent hole is on top to permit steam to escape). Place on a baking sheet.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in vent hole comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Frost cake. Attach sprinkles for eyes and nose; sprinkle body with coconut. If desired, decorate with additional coconut and jelly beans.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Don't have Grandma's lamb cake pan? Purchase one from Nordic Ware. ($24)
  • Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
    Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 377 calories, 17g fat (10g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 286mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate (41g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.
    Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

    Reviews

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    Average Rating:
    • alanna
      Apr 26, 2019

      Glad to find a bit of a different cake for this. My mom always used a spice pound cake recipe that I was never too keen on. I have my great great grandmother's cast iron mold and the matching baby lamb. Nobody I knew ever had this tradition, but I plan to do it with my future children the way I did growing up. We also always used a boiled icing which I still prefer. I may try experimenting with a dense lemon pound cake even which I think would go lovely with the coconut.

    • 5pudii
      Apr 16, 2019

      lkollock - The Easter lamb cake is very traditional for many ethnic groups - German, Italian, Polish, Czech, and probably more. The molds were originally cast iron, but in the early 1950's (I think) Nordic Ware manufactured an aluminum Lamb Cake Pan. Many of us have our grandmother's mold, but you can still buy your own! https://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Spring-Lamb-Cake/dp/B000O5NR5Q

    • nbaric207
      Apr 14, 2019

      Have not tried the recipe yet, but I want to thank you for this. I have my Mother's cast iron lamb mold but no longer have the recipe. The video is most helpful because I always struggled with the icing when I used to make this years ago. Much appreciated!

    • JanetCA
      Apr 14, 2019

      Sounds great. I’ve been using a pound cake recipe for my lamb mold, but I’m going to give this a try

    • lkollock
      Apr 13, 2019

      Who the heck has a 3D lamb cake mold?

    • 5717rees
      Apr 12, 2019

      Love the Easter lamb mold cake! I have my Mom’s mold that I have used for years. It is a beautiful centerpiece for the Easter table. I have been using a boxed pound cake mix, but this recipe is ideal. Jean, Nebraska native.

    • Valerie
      Apr 5, 2019

      And Ilove the bonus Jello Video..... pulling out my copper molds for this Easter!