3.26.2016

It's a Lamb! It's a Cake! It's a Lamb Cake!

While lamb is a very traditional Easter dish, today's post is about neither cute little lambs, nor succulent roast lamb.

No, this is about a cute little lamb cake.

First, I am so grateful to Andrea, writer, photographer, and chef at The Kitchen Lioness, for her gift of German lamb and bunny molds. What a wonderful friend!

Last Easter, I made this cake and must admit that it is the furthest out I have ever planned a blog post. Literally, I planned today's post 358 days in advance.

The cake was so simple to make, and the flavor is great. (We all know how much I love an almond cake, right?)

The mold, as you can see, worked perfectly.

Most lamb cakes - and you have probably see the "disaster posts" on Facebook - are frosted to within an inch of their lives, then smothered with coconut.

I didn't want to frost it. I didn't want to lose the simple beauty of this cake. Besides, the host to whom I took this cake doesn't like coconut.

Confectioner's sugar is all this cake needs. Cocoa powder, however, might make for a good color if you happen to be your family’s black sheep..

For those who celebrate, Happy Easter! (If you are Greek or Russian or Armenia or Syrian, please don't read this till May 1!)

~ David

Lamb Cake
This recipe came with the mold that Andrea sent.

100 grams almond paste
2 eggs
75 grams butter, softened, plus extra for the pan
50 grams sugar
1 package vanilla sugar *
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
80 grams flour
20 grams cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
confectioner's sugar

Grease the mold well with butter, making sure that all crevices are covered. Put mold together using its pins, and place on a baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix the almond paste and egg well. Then add butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, and almond extract. Mix well, and continue mixing until sugar is well incorporated.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Add this mixture to the almond and egg mixture, and stir until dry ingredients are just incorporated. Don't over mix.

Spoon batter into the prepared mold, and place in the oven on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out with no crumbs. Let sit for 10 minutes before unfolding.

To serve, place the lamb on a serving platter, and surround with fresh berries. Using a fine mesh sieve, dust the top of the lamb and berries with confectioner's sugar.


* if you don't have vanilla sugar, add 2 teaspoons more sugar, plus 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

42 comments:

  1. This is ADORABLE! I love it - much more palatable than a huge rack of lamb (to me at least). I must show my partner who is German and vegetarian - he will love this :) Happy Easter!

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    1. Update: he says "it looks just like my moms!" :D

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    2. I am so glad you like it, Ahu, and that it reminds your BF of his mother's cake! Did she frost hers?

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    3. Nope, unfrosted just like yours. He said the only difference was it was served 'naked', with no fruits... I think I may have to make this next year! :)

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  2. David - This looks wonderful and the best version of a lamb cake I've seen. A few hours ago I sent an online article to my dad and uncle who grew up with their mother making the traditional lamb cake with the coconut frosting. I inherited said vintage mold when I got married but never could bring myself to make a cake. Ed's always been a bit scared of the mold (my uncle agrees) so it's buried in a box in the basement. Your recipe might inspire me to make it. Happy Easter!

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    1. Nicole, I hope you find the family mold. I was tempted to include some of the epic fail lamb cakes that I've seen around, but decided to keep the post tasteful… Happy Easter!

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  3. I co-owned a cookware store once upon a time, and we had all sorts of cake tins, which we hired out. But I have never seen a lamb. Great cake, happy Easter David x

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    1. The German molds are so beautiful, it makes me just want to collect them for decoration! The good news is that they make great cakes too. Maybe you can find one online? Have a happy Easter, Liz and Peter!

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  4. David, I'm with you -- a dusting of powdered sugar rather than excessive amounts of frosting! Gorgeous presentation!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jean! When the cake itself is so tasty, I really don't like covering it with tons of frosting.

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  5. Well I have never! I'm not sure I like the sound of it laden with icing and coconut, so your sugar dusted creation appealed to me immediately. This wouldn't be out of place on some kind of Bacchanalian feast!

    I'll take a chunk of its rump, please?

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    1. I will save the rump for you, John! Definitely didn't need frosting.

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  6. Amazing. I need a mold like this. I remember my grandma use to have a bunny mold. I like this, no cream dish. Simple and yummy.

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    1. Cindy, I hope you find the mold – I think they are available online! This is definitely a good recipe if you need to be dairy free.

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  7. So very artful. I've tried two piece molds before that gave me some trouble. This one piece mold is far more sensible. Also, I'm also pleased to hear I'm not the only one who plans post very far ahead. GREG

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    1. Greg – this is a two-piece mold, as well. I found it very easy to work with. Perhaps I was lucky for my first try! It's funny that we bloggers often have posts waiting in the wings for months, or even years! Magically, they all seem as if we made the recipes that day.

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  8. Adorable! Ok, so now for the stupid question. How do you fill the mold?

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    1. Priscilla, the mold has a base so that it stands upright. It's really quite easy, and the result was very good.

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    1. Thanks, Marcelle! Happy Easter to you, as well.

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  10. I have always seen molded cakes, but lacked the nerve to try one! Yours turned out beautiful and what a special Easter treat! (BTW I have a whole lot of "missed" holiday recipes waiting for a future year...) Happy Easter!

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    1. Inger - I was really surprised at how well the I molding end to try it again to see if it was just beginners luck.

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  11. It's adorable! I love that it's lightly dusted, rather than heavily frosted. And it's so lovely sitting in the fresh berries. I hope you had a fantastic Easter today. (I only wish I could plan posts months ahead -- I'm luck when I have one or two thins in my cue.) :-)

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    1. Valentina, I used to post week to week, but then I started stockpiling the photos of everything I cooked. It made it a lot easier to get posts in the cue. This is especially true for holidays... I am often a year ahead with those!

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  12. That's so adorable! I love how you surrounded it with berries - it really gives it a nice pasture to lay in. Happy Easter!

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    1. Thanks, Caroline - I thought berries were better than fake grass!

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  13. Hi David, what a sweet looking cake, love that you decorated it with berries and powdered sugar.

    I had a lamb growing up as a pet, I was in 4h and it used to follow me where ever I went outside.

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    1. Okay, so Cheri had a little lamb? Whoever wrote the song got the name wrong, I guess... :)

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  14. If only more people would share your approach to Easter lamb cake icing, David. Berries with a dusting of powdered sugar deliver all of the sweet that I need. I'm sure your fellow dinner guests agreed.

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    1. John - I don't think I have realized it before now, but I really don't like icing. Something about all that sugar pulls me toward it but, if I eat it, I regret it. A simple glaze is preferable, and a dusting of sugar, too.

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  15. Beautiful, David! I haven't seen any of those other frosted-coconutty lambs out there (I won't go looking, either!) Perfection with just powdered sugar! Hope you had a lovely Easter! (I love that you made this so far in advance!) :)

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    1. Oh, Christina - do yourself a silly favor and Google the lamb cakes. You will see anything from true works of sugar art to the Pinterest-style "epic fails."

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  16. Your idea for cocoa for a black sheep made me smile... hope you had a nice holiday!

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  17. I am not a fan of frosting and will take a "naked" cake any day! Love your little lamb cake, so cute! Also love the flavours, I think almond works so well in cakes, especially those that will not have frosting.
    I hope you and Mark had a lovely Easter. Oh, and if I made this, it would be dusted with cocoa ;)

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    1. Nazneen - I wonder if we could come up with a variety of "wool" colors for a global set of lambs! I was glad to see your post this morning - nice to have you in my inbox. xx

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  18. Dear David, so very glad that you enjoyed this Easter lamb baking pan so much - one tradition that is most certainly worth adding to your Easter table.
    Hope you and Mark had a fantastic vacation and a beautiful and peaceful Easter!
    Andrea & Co.

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    1. Andrea - this is definitely my new favorite Easter tradition. Next year, the bunny AND the lamb!

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  19. Hahaha I got curious so I google-imaged Lamb Cake, which made me think 'Hmm okaaay, yes...'
    Then I changed it to Lamb Cake Fail, and oh my word... hilarious!!
    Your cake is beautiful, I'd have trouble cutting into the little lamb.

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    1. I am glad you got to see the epic fails - luckily, mine didn't make the grade!

      Oddly, we had no problem cutting this at all!

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  20. Oh my goodness, this is the cutest!! And I like your simple decorative touch.

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    1. Leaf - as I think you are new to the blog, you will hear me often say that simple is the best way to go. And this cake is proof!

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