There are many food traditions that go hand-in-hand with religious holidays. The Easter Lamb Cake is one with a wonderful history. A tradition with origins primarily in Eastern European Catholic families, the lamb cake symbolizes the “Lamb of God,” the sacrifice of the lamb, and new lambs/new birth in the spring at this most holy of Christian holidays. Made in cast medal molds passed down through the generations, these cakes often have deep sentimental roots as well.
I decided to invest in one of the heavy cast aluminum molds that I could pass on to my children (hey, there’s no time like the present to start a new family tradition!), because I knew I would love making this cake. I used my Jules Gluten Free Cake Mix with chocolate modification because I wanted to make a Suffolk Lamb, as these sheep have distinctive black faces and white wool.
I felt that the suggestion of a lamb was better than over-decorating. (To make my point, if you need a good laugh, simply google “Lamb Cake Images” — scroll down a bit and you’ll see how hard it is to get a really nice looking Lamb Cake with lots of decoration!)
Whether you decide to make a white or chocolate cake, either will be a delicious, tradition-rich addition to your Easter table!
Gluten-Free Cake Mix or Recipe
Easter Lamb Cake
Make cake batter according to package mix directions or scratch recipe (links above).
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Prepare the lamb mold by oiling it very well, particularly the nooks and crannies (i.e. the ears, nose, etc.). Fill face side of the mold to within 1/4 inch of the rim. Place the back side of the mold on top of the filled mold. Place filled mold onto a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Test for doneness by lifting off the top side of the mold using potholders and test with a toothpick. The cake is done if the toothpick comes out clean. Remove to completely cool before frosting.
(*Note: if your mold comes with directions, follow the specific baking directions prescribed for your mold. For example, if your mold is not made of a heavier cast metal material, you may need to tie a string around the two mold pieces to keep them together during the bake.)
Since my lamb mold is only 7 inches, I had enough batter leftover to make about 16 more chocolate cupcakes (bonus!).
To frost, make your favorite white frosting and fill a piping bag with frosting and a small star-shaped tip. Place stars of frosting all over the cake where the “wool” should be. Go around the stars loosely with a toothpick, swirling the stars into puffs of “wool.”
Easter Basket Cupcakes
To make the green “grass,” fill a small zip-top bag with shredded coconut and 3-4 drops of green food coloring. Shake to distribute, then sprinkle around the cake.
If you have extra cupcakes and any extra colored coconut, consider making another Easter treat: Easter Basket Cupcakes!