This Easter, treat the whole family with a special lamb cake. Lamb cakes are a timeless Easter tradition that remind us of the treats our grandmothers used to make. With a lamb cake mold and a little patience, you can create an adorable cake that adults and kids alike will love! The most time-consuming part of this recipe is creating the shape of the cake itself and baking; for the batter, we recommend simply using a boxed pound cake mix from the grocery store. However, feel free to substitute your favorite pound cake recipe for the store-bought mix! The only requirement is that the cake is a pound cake. This is important because the cake must be dense, firm, and not too crumbly; you don't want your lamb cake falling to pieces when you're trying to frost it! Keep reading for our step-by-step process on how to create the perfect lamb in the kitchen.
First, wash the cake pans and preheat the oven to 375°F! Then, spray and flour both halves of the pan. Make sure to really get the grease into the ears, because they're the most likely to stick while baking.
Mix the pound cake batter.
Place the halves of the lamb cake pans on a cookie sheet. Pour batter into the half of the pan that has the face and no vent hole. Pour about 3 cups, or one box of pound cake mix into this half. Spread the mix evenly though the half of the cake pan, making sure to get the ears!
Cover the mixture with the other half of the cake pan.
Bake in a 375° oven for 45-55 minutes.
When the timer goes off, it's time to test the cake! Stick a toothpick into the hole of the pan. If the toothpick comes out cleanly, then the cake is done and you're ready to cool the cake and start frosting.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 5- 10 minutes in the pans. When it's finally cool, flip the cake pan over and remove one side of the pan. Be sure to wear heat protective gloves or use a pot holder while touching the pans. They will still be quite warm!
If you see excess batter that's come out of the side of the pan, don't worry! It's very normal; just cut it off with a bread knife.
Remove the other side of the pan. You may have to run a knife around the edges and carefully down into the nose of the pan to loosen the cake.
Lay the cake flat on its back on a cookie sheet and allow to cool the entire way through. We left ours out to cool for about 3 hours. If it is warm at all, the frosting will melt off.
While the cake is cooling, mix up the frosting. We used a very thick butter cream frosting since we were going to pipe the frosting on (it needed to be thick to hold its form). You could use a can frosting if you plan to use white coconut for the fluffy, white wool effect.
If using our Butter Cream Frosting recipe, mix all ingredients with a mixer until smooth. Keep cool until ready to use. If the frosting is too hard after cooling, do not microwave. Soften by setting bowl of frosting in a larger bowl of warm water (like a double boiler) or let set at room temperature until maneuverable. Over-warming can cause the butter to melt and the frosting to lose form.
Once the cake is cool, use a bread knife to trim the bottom. You want to make sure the bottom is flat so that it will stay standing up and not be tipsy. (We just cut off the line that was created where the two pans met. The rest of the bottom was flat enough that we could leave it.)
Choose a serving platter or cake holder to place the cake on. Using a spatula or something similar, spread a line of frosting on the base of the serving dish where you would like to place the cake. Place the lamb on the area with frosting so that it is sitting right side up.
If you're piping the frosting on, you will have to “dirty ice” the cake in sections before you start piping. This means that you'll have to spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake before you begin piping. Work in small sections at a time so the frosting does not harden before you are ready to pipe onto it. We split the lamb into six sections when frosting: two on the front and back of the body, and then the front and back of the head.
Once you have "dirty iced" a section, spoon some frosting into a zip top plastic bag or decorators piping bag with your chosen tip inside of it. We used a large star tip in a plastic freezer bag. Cut a small hole in a corner of the plastic bag and push a the end of the decorating tip through the hole. Squeeze the frosting from the bag onto the dirty iced area, starting at the base of the cake and working towards the top. We found that starting at the bottom helped the icing support itself and allowed us to build as we worked our way up.
Continue this until the entire cake is covered.
Some helpful hints about frosting: the face is the most difficult part! We recommend icing the head first so that you can hold onto the rest of the cake while frosting it. Additionally, to create the face, we used black gel frosting. We used a toothpick to outline/indent the area we wanted to put black on (this allowed us to make sure we liked the look of the face before putting the black frosting on, which is important because black does not come off of white very well). Use a second toothpick to draw on the black gel.
If you want to do something more fun and adventurous, you can use candy, sprinkles, fruit, etc to make the facial features. Have fun with it--this is the most exciting part! We used ribbon to create a collar, but you can add whatever details you'd like.
To make the grass, mix green food coloring, 3 tablespoons of water and coconut flakes in a bowl. Stir until the coconut is thoroughly covered.
Spread green coconut onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Allow it to air dry for a little bit before placing it on your serving dish.
Feel free to add more than just grass. Get creative with it and have fun. Otherwise, you're ready to stand back and enjoy your delicious piece of lamb cake art!