The Easter lamb cake was a tradition in my house growing up. My mom used to make it with a pound cake mix. Because I wanted to play in this month’s Iron Chef Challenge hosted by A Latte with Ott, A, I made a cake from scratch!
Having never made a pound cake (or any other cake, for that matter) from scratch, I searched for a recipe. My favorite, Alton Brown, had what looked like a yummy pound cake recipe, but it didn’t use baking powder. I did manage to find a cake recipe on Allrecipes.com that was supposed to be used with this lamb cake mold! Cool! (And thanks!)
First, I assembled the ingredients, including a brand-new container of Clabber Girl baking powder.
Don’t forget your lamb cake mold! You do have one of these, don’t you? If not, look here.
Cream together 1 cup of butter and 2 cups of sugar (I used Splenda instead of sugar).
Mix together 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
This recipe says to add 1 cup of water to the butter/sugar mixture and mix that well, then to add in the flour mixture. I tried just adding the water, and it made a mess. Really. The water didn’t combine with the butter/Splenda, and it splashed all over my counter. (Because the butter was too cold? Because it was Splenda instead of sugar? Any ideas?)
So I just added the flour mixture, and a little more water to compensate for the water that was on my counter. Then mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Then, beat 4 egg whites until stiff. I had never done this before, and it was much easier than I thought it would be. Hooray for hand mixers!
Fold the egg whites into the batter.
Grease both halves of the lamb mold within an inch of your life.
Really. Just when you think it’s greased enough, grease it some more. I usually use butter for greasing pans, sometimes the spray stuff. For this project, I busted out the Crisco. I wanted some serious grease!
Fill your mold, but pay attention to the type of mold you have. This mold is meant to be filled on the “front” half of the lamb, and baked as a single piece. Some are meant to be baked as two halves and put together at the end.
This mold has a small vent hole in the back of the lamb’s head. (That helps me to remember which side goes up – the hole goes up so the poor lamb’s brains don’t leak out in the oven!)
I put the mold, face down, on a cookie sheet and into a 350 oF preheated oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Then I did a little dance because all the dishes I used to make the cake went into the new dishwasher! After I started it, I thought to double-check that my stainless steel mixing bowls are dishwasher safe. (Phew! They are!)
After 45 minutes in the oven, I used a toothpick through the vent hole to see if the cake was done. The toothpick came out clean, so I pulled the cake. I let it cool for a few minutes before I carefully took off the back of the mold. (I had a little accident with part of the cake. Remember what I said about grease?) I didn’t think he looked quite done enough, so I gently put the mold back on, and stuck him back in the oven for another five minutes.
Five minutes later, done lamb cake! I had to use a knife to loosen the cake from the edges of the front part of the mold. I didn’t grease that part too well, I guess. Once the edges were loosened, he came right out!
Cool completely, and then start the icing!
First, put a layer of icing on your cake base so the lamb has some help standing up. (This cake should stand on its own, but this will give a bit more stability.)
I used icing from a can. I thought about making my own, but decided making the cake from scratch was enough to handle this time around.
Then I had to do a little surgery to put the lamb back together again.
Good thing I am a large animal veterinarian!
Stand the little guy up, and go to town with the icing!
I started with the back to get my technique down. I didn’t want a really “smooth” look, so it sort of looked like wool.
My mom used to dust the cake with coconut to give it some texture. We’re not big coconut eaters here, so I skipped that step.
I did dust him with sugar (the real stuff!) for some dimension, and gave him jelly bean eyes and a nose.
Add some grass for him to sit on, and some friends for him to hang out with.
Since my cats like to eat things they are not supposed to, I made sure to use the paper Easter grass, instead of the plastic stuff. Plastic stringy things are bad news for kitties. Always.
Now, if only my cake dome would fit without squishing the poor lamb’s head! Drat!
Also linked to Sweets for a Saturday at Sweet as Sugar Cookies.
and Seaside Simplicity‘s Easter Party.