10 Tips For The Perfect Retro Easter Lamb “Lambie” Cake

Posted on Mar 28 2012 - 6:17am by RetroRuth

It’s Lamb Cake time!!! For the last two weeks I have been baking lamb cake after lamb cake in my grandmother’s vintage lamb cake pan. Why? Well, after this story came out in the Wall Street Journal, a ton of wonderful people emailed and snail-mailed me vintage recipes and tips to help me on my quest to make the perfect lamb cake.  I have to admit I was very excited, so I decided to try out as many recipes and tips as I could.


And they worked!! Let me tell you, after one small mishap in the beginning, everything went smoothly, and not a single lamb lost his head!  So, since a lot of people have been emailing me and asking me for help, I thought I would share all the tips I tested with you guys so you can all have great lambs, too!

1. Grease the HECK out of your lamb pan.


I cannot stress how important this is.  Some of the vintage lamb pans, like mine, have so many tiny details in them that if you don’t get every single nook and cranny, you are going to end up with a disaster on your hands. Some people wrote to me and recommended Baker’s Joy or Pam in the spray can, but in the end I discovered that liberally applying shortening with a paper towel and carefully going over every bit was the best way to go. It may be time-consuming, but it gave me a good result every time.

2. Flouring your pan is MUST!


I have to admit, there have been many times when I have greased a cake pan and skipped the flour step, or used homemade pan-ease (which is just flour and shortening mixed) to get everything done in one step. This does not work with the lambs. You need both steps to ensure that the lamb pops out at depanning time.  And make sure to keep an eye out for “naked” spots after flouring and go back over those with more shortening. Skipping the flour can end in disaster, so to avoid tears and tears, flour is a must!

3. Fill your lamb on the “face” side of the mold.


Put your lamb face-down on a large cookie sheet or sheet pan. Fill the lamb to just under the rim of the mold with your chosen cake batter. Be sure to spread batter gently into the ear cavities to ensure that your lamb actually ends up with ears. If you don’t do this, there is no guarantee that the batter will fill the ears during cooking.

And lambs without ears look really, really weird. Trust me on this one.

4. Add support to your lamb cake before it is baked.


This is time to add your structural support to your lamb cake. One of the recipes that was photocopied from a major cookbook and sent to me stated, in a matter-of-fact way, that the head of your lamb cake was bound to roll off, and not to worry about it. It claimed you could just use toothpicks and frosting to glue it back together and everything would be great. Which is sort of a lie. Anyone who has ever made a lamb cake and had the head come off knows it is a delicate procedure to get it glued on. You need a whole lot of sticky frosting and a couple thousand toothpicks, and when you are done the lamb looks like it is wearing a neck brace. And even after a patch job you are nervous come serving time.

I am going to be the first to tell you that this does NOT have to be the case. Yeah, it is possible for the head of the cake to roll off, but the chances will be greatly reduced with a couple of quick toothpick placements. The lamb needs one toothpick in each ear and the thickest food grade bamboo skewer or pick you can find for the neck. The skewer should be placed about one inch in from the top of the head and extend into the body. I did this with every lamb cake recipe I tested, and I didn’t have a single head roll off. Poke these down slightly into the cake and make sure they are covered with batter.

5. Tie your lamb cake mold shut with baker’s twine.


I am kind of ashamed to admit that this bit of advice, which I received from multiple wonderful people, was a complete revelation to me. I had previously, if you can believe this, been baking my lambs in two separate pieces and trying to glue them together with frosting. Why? Well, because if you put the top on without any string, the cake doesn’t rise into the second half of the mold. It just all oozes out through the cracks and makes a complete mess. I have been told that the oldest lamb molds were heavy cast iron, and this didn’t used to be a problem. The lamb mold I have, and that I am sure many people use, is made from aluminum and isn’t heavy enough to stay closed on it’s own. But a couple of sturdy pieces of string, tied tightly, eliminates the leakage and lets the cake rise into the second half.

Make sure your strings are tight and hold the mold closed! Even little gaps can let batter leak out.

6. Bake cake for the maximum amount of time called for in the recipe.

Once your lamb is tied up nice and tight, unless you are lucky enough to have a vintage Renalde mold, there really isn’t a way to check whether or not the lamb cake is done in the center. After I pulled a cake that was completely raw in the middle, I decided that unless you know your oven and have made your recipe so many times that you know exactly how long it takes, it is best to just leave the cake in for the maximum time called for in the recipe.

7. Cool cake properly before removing from mold.


Your lamb will crack apart if you try to shake him out too soon. The best method I found is this one: Let your lamb cool for 15 mins after removing it from the oven. Then cut the strings on the mold and remove only the back half. Let cool for another 15 mins before flipping the lamb over and attempting to remove the face.

8. Loosen edges on the face side completely before trying to de-pan your lamb.


Your lamb, if you made it properly, will contain sugar, and sugar is sticky. Especially the caramelized sugar around the edges of the pan. I run a sharp knife around the edges of the lamb cake, and then carefully pull the cake back from the edge to make sure it is free. If you skip this, things aren’t going to go well. Those thin little ears are going to be crispy and completely stuck to the edge of the pan. And we already covered how dumb the lamb will look without ears, didn’t we?

9. Let your lamb cool completely before trying to frost it.


I know, I know. You want to get the little sucker upright now, because you are proud of how he came out in one piece. But you must wait. If you try to make him stand now, he is just going to crack. I found it took about 90 mins after the final de-pan for the lambs to be cool enough to sit up straight.

10. Give your lamb a good base to sit on.


The same sharp knife you used to loosen your lamb is useful once again. Use it to cut off the bottom ridge created by the mold. This will give the lamb a good solid base. Also, remember that it will need some glue to sit upright. Use a knife to spread a good amount of your frosting over the base you plan on putting your lamb on. Then gently pick the lamb up and place him directly on the frosting stripe and make sure he is secured.


And there it is! Your perfect retro lamb cake, ready for frosting and decorating!

If you are interested to see which lamb cake recipes I made, you can join me for the “8 Days of Lamb Cakes” here on the Mid-Century Menu, which is going to start on April 1st and run until Easter Sunday. I tested out 8 cakes and 7 frostings sent to me by readers, and Tom taste-tested them all! We will let you know the pros and cons of each recipe, and which lamb cake is going to be on our table on Easter Sunday!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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94 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Yinzerella March 28, 2012 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Must. Get. Lamb. Pan.

    • RetroRuth March 28, 2012 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Yes! Must! I can’t lie; it’s really, really awesome.

      • Karen April 19, 2014 at 9:34 pm - Reply

        I inherited my grandfather’s cast iron pan…he was a baker and made many of these every Easter. It’s in the oven as we speak. Thanks for the tips!

    • Joan March 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      Check your local antique store if you have one. That’s where I found mine.

    • Kathy April 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm - Reply

      Yinzerella! You must be from Pittsburgh! Yes you need a lamb pan. Just made my lamb cake for the first time from my grandmother’s pan (which my mom presented to me a few weeks ago – I took the hint). Success! Will post picture after it is frosted. Kathy (from Pgh)

  2. Eartha Kitsch March 28, 2012 at 10:43 am - Reply

    8 cakes and 7 frostings!! Wow, you have been working like a mad woman to master those lamb cakes! I have to admit that it has made me a little less scared to do it though. Maybe I’ll drag out the lamb pan and give it a go at some point. Though, only AFTER you’ve done your entire series so I have the best lamb cake ever!

    Could one use popsicle sticks to reinforce the head and neck?

    • RetroRuth March 28, 2012 at 11:38 am - Reply

      You totally should take a crack at it! I have a couple really good recipes coming up, so you will no longer need to fear anything.

      Sure, popsicle sticks are no problem as long as they are safe for food! I just say that because I have seen some craft ones recently that were a little questionable. I wouldn’t use anything in the cake that could be splintery, because getting splinters in your mouth is NOT fun. Eeesh.

      • Eric March 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm - Reply

        My grandmother always uses toothpicks to support the head and neck. Because of this, we tend to avoid that area.

  3. Sara In AZ March 28, 2012 at 11:53 am - Reply

    OMG!!! Adorable! Thanks for all of those great tips Ruth, now I must go get me a rabbit cake mold! :)

  4. Sharla March 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Where could I get a lamb pan? My mom has a set of train pans that I’d love to use, and I bet most of these tricks would work for that, too.

    • RetroRuth March 28, 2012 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      Hi Sharla! Lamb pans are all over eBay. Just search for “vintage lamb cake pan”. They are also on Etsy and probably in your local antique store. Good luck!

      Oh, and if you make that train cake, send a pic! :)

  5. Laura March 28, 2012 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    I have to hand it to you, you are DEDICATED. It looks adorable. You may already know this, but I’ll pass along a tip that another more experienced baker gave me, which is never to use butter to grease a pan. ALWAYS use shortening. She explained to me the milk proteins in butter “burn” or “seize up” in baking and can cause sticking, especially in the corners. I never thought there was any difference, but once I switched to only using Crisco I got along a lot better getting perfect Bundt cakes. Can’t wait to see the finished fluffy lamby-kins!

  6. Jennifer March 30, 2012 at 10:32 am - Reply

    I am looking forward to seeing all the trials. I make one every year, but I always am looking for the perfect recipe. Pound cake or more dense cakes seem to handle the form better. The frosting preference has been a butter cream with Cognac flavoring.

  7. Martha Kintzonides March 31, 2012 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Dear Ruth,

    You ARE THE QUEEN OF THE LAMBIE CAKES! You have really de-mystified the beloved Lambie Cake. I want you to know that you have given me a new confidence & resolve to try once again to make the lambie cake of my dreams.

    Best Wishes, Martha K.

  8. lizzy April 3, 2012 at 11:18 am - Reply

    i make a lamb cake every year, since my great grandmother used to do it we have all kept up the tradition. a few years ago i hit my peak and did it with fondant:


    i have a great cake recipe that i used (i made it up to work with the lamb pan) in the post, too. i’ve never reinforced my lambies and they’ve turned out great, but i guess better safe than sorry! it think the key is to use a nice heavy cake recipe and yes, grease + flour!

  9. Lou Ann April 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    I have to admit that I am the worst at being patient for the cake to cool before removing the pan. That is probably why they ALWAYS stick in one spot or another. Is there a worry in letting it cool too long?

    • RetroRuth April 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      I don’t think so, Lou Ann, but to be on the safe side I would not wait for it to become completely cool before you take it out! I let a few cool a little longer than the recommended time and they still depanned okay.

  10. Buzz April 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    These lamb cakes are making me nostalgic for the panda bear cake pan we had when I was little. It had directions for a marble cake and a plan for black and white frosting. I loved making those cakes. Unfortunately, my mother thought they were way too much work, and I was horrified when I learned that she’d given the whole set away.

  11. Mary April 4, 2012 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Enjoyed your comments. The lamb cake has been a tradition of the O’Bryant family over 42 years. Unsure when my mother-in-law started the tradition but we are continuing that tradition this year with our grand daughter. I will be using her pan that is probably over 50 yrs old.

  12. Maria April 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    I make a lamb cake every year for Easter with my Nana’s pan… Never heard about adding the toothpicks for support inside… I will have to try that this year! I’ve never had the head fall off, but transport is always stressful! (Also, if you don’t have Baker’s twine, I’ve used dental floss.)

  13. The Summer Kitchen Girls April 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    This is hillarious….a week of lamb cakes ~ LOVE it! Grandma use to make one for us when we were little….complete with green coconut grass, jelly beans & peanut butter eggs….and we’d look at it sitting on the stereo waiting not so patiently for Easter so we could eat it….of course the jelly beans seemed to somehow be gone by then!!
    Thanks for the recipes, making one tonight ~ can’t wait :)

  14. Suzanne April 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    My mom and I just had a good laugh reading your tips and thinking about all of our Lamb Cake debacles over the years! We have been recording our experiences on a sheet of paper that we keep inside the lamb pan (We call it the lamb vault!). We have had to lay the cake down because it wouldn’t stand up and it has had major stomach problems before. We were both crying when you discussed the head falling off because one year we had it propped up with medicine bottles and toothpicks when we went to bed. In the morning the poor head was just laying on the counter! We will try the supports and the string idea too. This year we are proud to say our lamb is standing (for now)!! I think it’s about time for a piece too! Thanks for the great laugh and tips!

  15. Joanne March 27, 2013 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Tying it shut is genius! Never thought about that…it will save me! I’m on trial #2 and it split because I didn’t “seal” the pan shut. My batter came above the pan half. Is that ok or should I take some out?

    • RetroRuth March 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Hey Joanne! I would take out a bit of batter until it is below the pan half, unless you know that your batter doesn’t rise very much!

  16. stephanie March 29, 2013 at 9:38 am - Reply

    have a fairly new lamb mold – 10 years old and it measures 10″ across the base. i’m using a traditional lamb mold recipe which is pretty much a pound cake. anyone have any idea how long to bake and what temperature?

    • RetroRuth March 29, 2013 at 9:43 am - Reply

      Hey Stephanie –

      Do you have the Wilton pan? If you do, here is a link to their instructions: http://www.wilton.com/shapedpan/Stand-Up-Lamb-Pan-Set If you still can’t find it in there, I would bake it at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, but that is just guessing on my part. Good luck!

  17. Amber March 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I am using my grandmas old lamb mode. I believe its cast iron, it is pretty heavy. My first attempt, it came out of the mold fine but it didnt rise all the way into the second half :/ what can i do to fix this?! please let me know someone!
    thanks :]]

    • RetroRuth March 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Hey Amber!

      Make sure you fill up the face half of the mold completely so that the cake will rise into the second (back) half. If you did this and the cake didn’t rise into the back half, then make sure your recipe uses the correct amount of eggs, sugar and leavening.
      Good luck!!

      • susan178 November 22, 2015 at 11:36 am - Reply

        also check the dates on your baking soda or powder to be sure they are not expired if the batter doesn’t rise well.

  18. Skotti Frese March 30, 2013 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Would you ever substitute real, cultured buttermilk (I make my own) for the 1 cup of whole milk? Do I dare try it? Easter is tomorrow, so no time for a do-over! Real buttermilk provides such a nice, tangy ZING but I’m worried about messing up your recipe. Help!

    • RetroRuth March 30, 2013 at 11:15 am - Reply

      Hi Skotti!

      I haven’t done it, but I imagine that you could. The texture would probably be slightly heavier, but otherwise it should work. No guarantees though! Good luck!

      • Skotti Frese March 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm - Reply

        Ok, I chickened out and didn’t use the buttermilk. Instead, I followed your directions to the letter and ….. SUCCESS! My little lamb is perfect and I am so thrilled! Thank you! First time it has ever come out perfectly. The toothpicks were the saving grace for his ears and nose.

  19. Sharon March 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all the advise. I used the boxed pound cake mix. It was the perfect amount and a great texture. I used silicone bands to hold the molds together while baking. I did not use the picks in the batter but before frosting the lamb, I put a skewer through the head and down the body to the cake dish. I will be taking this cake to my daughters home for Easter so it will help to keep it firm. I will remove it before serving. I also took your advise about the cooking time. I actually went about 10 minutes longer. The cake turned out perfect. This lamb cake mold was my mother’s and I know she will be smiling down on us and enjoying the smiles on her great grandchildren’s faces when the decorated lamb shows up on the dessert table!

  20. Karen Sims March 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    My Renalde mold is now 63 years old. My mother passed it on to me 3 years ago after having baking one for 60 years straight! I remember as a child trying to find the perfect recipe to keep the batter from oozing out. We had the additional challenge of living in Boulder, Colorado at about 6,000 ft. elevation! I’m trying to keep the tradition going, but I have never tried tying the mold together with twine. Great idea. We used a brick on top once, but even that didn’t keep the batter in! Thanks for the great tips! Happy baking! I’m waiting for my granddaughter to arrive so we can decorate it together.

  21. Cathy March 30, 2013 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    My future DIL was making a lamb cake for Sunday’s dinner, she called me for advice. I have never made a lambcake So I told her to tie the mold together, take a small brick (covered in aluminum foil) and place that on the mold. That should hold it. Haven’t heard from her yet, so I’m thinking that it worked!

  22. Kim Walters March 31, 2013 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all of the hints. I was able to make the cake and not have the ears and head fall off. I’ll let you know how it tastes later.

  23. Elizabeth April 3, 2013 at 11:25 am - Reply

    I’ve been making a lamb cake for several years and never had any batter ooze out. I use the same exact mold as you do. It may be because I use a pound cake mix? Not sure but it might save time and twine for those who want to try it!:)

  24. Harriet September 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Thank-you so much for these helpful tips – Mum bought a lamb mould from a vintage fair and we had a go together. I wrote a blog post about it, and mentioned how helpful your tips were!

  25. Donna Chapman March 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    It has been a real pleasure & good laughs to read all the comments about making the lamb cake. I just bought a cast iron 14 inch mold (which had some rust spots) at an antique mall. Before trying to use the mold, I’ve put it into my selfcleaning oven for a few hours & will wash & dry it then season it with Crisco shortening. Having done that to my iron skillets, they work great.
    I’ve ordered a booklet that’s supposed to tell me how to use the lamb mold, but have already learned the fun way from all you ladies. Thanks for all the tips.

  26. Pam Roberts April 14, 2014 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    It has been so interesting to read all of the comments. I am 70 years old and have been wishing I had my grandmother’s lamb cake mold for years! Little did I know that there were so many out there! Hers was very heavy, and she had trouble with the ears staying on sometimes! ANyway, She used a carrot cake recipe and white whipped cream cheese frosting,

    After the lamb was frosted she sprinkled it with white coconut, out put on raisin eyes and s candy red hot heart mouth, Then she dyed more coconut green with food coloring and used it all around the base as grass. There were always tons of jelly bean “hiding” in the grass!

    I am making my first ever lamb cake this Easter for daughter’s family, which includes two grandsons. It will be a surprise. I cannot wit until they see it!! THanks for a fof our \ehlship. DID you ever ue or do you know of someone who has used a carrot cake for the lamb??

    MAny Thanks, Pam

  27. Florene Stultz April 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    I have my grandma’s vintage lamb cake pan. So which is the best recipe to use? I plan to make one on Saturday.

  28. Christina April 18, 2014 at 8:32 am - Reply

    I’ve been given the task to bake the lamb cake this year after a 40+year hiatus. Please tell me if you had batter in both sides before you tied it together? I’m thinking “no” but would love confirmation.
    Thanks, I’ve never used a mold!

  29. Rachael April 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    It worked!!!! Thank you soooo much for your research on these lamb cakes! I use my grandmothers vintage cast aluminum mold every year at Easter and have ALWAYS “glued” the two sides together with icing. I stumbled across your instructions on Pinterest the other day, and followed them completely. Just now, we removed the last part and our little lamb is perfect! :)

  30. Lisa April 18, 2014 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    I am so excited to have found your post. I found an aluminum retro lamb cake pan in my closet – totally forgot I had it. It was my mother’s and I have wonderful memories of the cakes she used to make at Easter – both this lamb and a bunny cake. I need to find that bunny mold now!
    With your wonderful directions, I’m going to give this a try tomorrow. If all goes well, my mother and brother will have a surprise when I arrive for Easter dinner with this wonderful childhood memory!
    Thank you!!

  31. Melissa Sinner April 19, 2014 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Uh-oh… You’ve started a battle ROYALE in our household. My husband looks forward to Lambie Cake more than Christmas or any other holiday food. I use the same molds that you do, I was shocked and amazed by the tie it together revelation as well! However, my husband & sons are too disappointed at the loss of the gigantic frosting vein that I always needed to use to glue together the two sides of the lamb. They say it’s like that line of fat that makes a T-Bone steak so tender & delicious. Oh, the quandry you have wrought! But I’m glad you did – lots of fun experimentation in my household today! Thanks!

  32. Sandy April 19, 2014 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Thanks SO much! You saved my life, or at least my cake. I used my brand new cast iron mold once in the 60’s and a dear friend asked if she could borrow it. Upon returning it she mentioned ever-so-nonchalantly that she had lost the directions that came with it with all of the hints and tips for success. Since then I’ve been experimenting with different times and temps, sometimes with better results than others. I feel much more confident now. My only problem is that my younger daughter never thought to buy Crisco since she’s always baked with sprays like Pam, etc. Based on your remarks I’m afraid to use that so I think I’ll have to roll the dice on butter and flour. Hope it works! Good luck, everyone. Enjoy your lovely lamb cakes.

    • Linda Stanton September 6, 2014 at 1:00 pm - Reply

      Hi… Try using Coconut Oil… to grease pans.. it melts immediately from hand heat & is delicious & really good for you!! Look it up on internet as it is the only thing I use for everything now—- what a Gift from God…..

  33. Jenny April 22, 2014 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Hi Ruth – I made my first lamb cake on Thursday and I followed your instructions to the letter. What JOY was caused by the making, the decorating and the revealing of the cake to the folks I gifted it to. Everybody LOVED it – it’s not a tradition here in the UK at all, so thanks to you I am the toast of the town!

    I blogged about it here: http://www.silverscreensuppers.com/uncategorized/happy-easter-lamb-cake

    A belated happy easter to you and yours and thanks for your sterling work introducing lamb cakes to the world! – Jenny xxx

    • RetroRuth April 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      Oh my gosh! I LOVE the google eyes! It looks delicious. :)

  34. Paula April 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for your helpful tips with using the lamb pan! My Aunt has made a lamb cake every year for Easter for as long as I can remember. She typically uses a pound cake from the box. I had success with using a lemon bundt cake recipe. I also followed your guidelines with using supports for the ears and neck, tied the pan together and greased the pans generously followed by flour. I didn’t realize if there was any flour bare spots in the mould it could affect the cake, so I made sure every inch was well covered. My frosting from a marscapone and coconut recipe. Thank you for helping me continue the tradition for my generation with a lamb cake I can be proud of.

  35. James Lane June 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    how do you clean the mold that hasn't been used for years and its a mess,

  36. Linda Stanton September 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    My Aunt Margaret made this for us when we were little kids! I was about 7. I just found this pan at an estate sale & bought for my sister who will be 65 this year… It was with out a box so sending her your excellent web site along with jelly beans & coconut… I got it all now piece by piece… she will love it!! Maybe I could talk her into making one for her friend Thomas Keller — Chef extrodinaire at the French Laundry…. what a hoot! Thank you for all the great tips!!

  37. Linda Stanton September 6, 2014 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    I did not use anything scratchy…… I boiled water & put mold in… then with tongs took out & cleaned a litte carefully… then back to water till all nooks & crannies clean…. it time consuming but so worth it!!

  38. Beth September 9, 2014 at 9:50 am - Reply

    I have my grandmother’s lamb cake mold but looking for the bunny mold she used to have – looks like bunny resting in grass – ears don’t stand up. My grandmother always made ears out of white paper since the actual cake ears didn’t really show once the cake was frosted. Does anyone know where I can find this mold? Wish I had a picture…

    • RetroRuth September 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      Hey Beth!

      As far as I know, Animold made a crouching rabbit. Not sure if that helps, but that is the one I am aware of.
      Not that the name will help you much, because most of the time the name of the company wasn’t on the mold anywhere. But I would start on eBay or Etsy, they always have a ton of cake pans for sale! I just got a rabbit one last year (not the one you are looking for, but one of the standing ones). Good luck!

  39. Diane January 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    I never thought about baking the two molds together. I’ve been making Lamby Cake for years and this is a great hint I’ll try come Easter!
    A friend’s grandmother has been making these for a long time too, but instead of cake she uses the recipe for Rice Krispie Treats! I tried it and really like that method too. It can be frosted with White Mountain Frosting and decorated with coconut in the same way the cake is decorated. A Scotcharoo recipe using peanut butter would also be good.
    Thanks for your helpful hints on making this with cake!

  40. Janet Orr January 28, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    I have the lamb cake pan my mom used. She always made us a lamb cake for our birthdays. I tried to make one a couple of years ago. Disaster. Will have to try again using your tips. Thanks!!

  41. Julie February 6, 2015 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    This is wonderful! I have been making lamb cakes and having them fall apart for years! I am going to try your suggestions tomorrow and am hoping for much better results. Thank you.

  42. Susan Farina March 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    I have had my mother-in-laws lamb mold for several years and finally decided to try it this year. My husband said it was always awful, hard as a brick. I am thrilled to find your hints!!!!

    Maybe your reader could help me out on another “vintage” Easter “thing”. Crocheted bunnies, lambs or chicken “slip covers” for eggs. I cannot crochet and no one I know does either. We had these when I was little, back in the 50s. I have not been able to find them at craft fairs or resale shops. Any time I see a crochet person at a craft fair I ask if they can make them and get black stares or a negative response. Haven’t found patterns on line or at needlework shops. Any suggestions???? Thanks.

    • Jen April 4, 2015 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      I help an older lady who crochets and makes all those Easter things. She’s very prolific, makes tons of things….

  43. Judy Adams March 24, 2015 at 12:10 am - Reply

    I was given the lamb and bunny pans many years ago , but with no instructions , thank you so much. I will finally be able make them!

    • Beth March 24, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Judy,

      Which “bunny” pan do you have? My grandmother had one…I don’t know what happened to it and have been trying for years to find a picture so I can track down a mold for myself. Her bunny cake mold was “resting” on all fours, ears down on the head. My grandmother used to make paper ears so they would stick up. Do you have this same mold? If so, can you send me a photo? Thank you!


  44. Sharon Bayless March 25, 2015 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    A lamb cake was made for me every birthday 1 – 16. So I was the lucky one to inherit the iron mold. I’ve seen them on ebay too. My cakes had green coconut around the base, giving a finished look. The cousin who baked them tied a ribbon around the neck and used raisins for the eyes and cut a sliver from a raisin for a smile. She would bake them on one side them turn the whole mold over to finish baking. You can even use a pound cake mix if you’d like. I ignored her caution to use only boiled icing and used butter cream. Huge, huge mistake. The whole face drooped! Can’t wait to read your results.

  45. Lillian March 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    We helped my grandmother make this lamb cake every year while we were growing up. She passed away over 35 years ago and this is the first year since then that I will be trying to make this lamb cake. Thanks for all the tips, most of they are very familiar sounding and happy to see we have them to refresh the memories. My biggest concern is that we live in the mountains (8K ft.) and wonder how to adjust a recipe to take this altitude into account. Any suggestions?

    • RetroRuth April 4, 2015 at 11:07 am - Reply

      I would leave the cake in for longer at a lower temp! Good luck!

      • Lillian April 5, 2015 at 6:13 pm - Reply

        Thanks! That’s exactly what I did (probably about 1-1/2 hours min at 300 degrees). The lamb came out beautifully! Happy Easter!

  46. Mary Allce March 31, 2015 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Great suggestions, wondered how to keep the head on. I actually have a bunny pan but experienced many of the same issues. The only thing I would add, is to turn the temp down to 325 and bake a bit longer. A baker suggested this to me. and I had no trouble with raw cake.

  47. Arlene April 2, 2015 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    I have the old pan; I guess I just didn’t realize it was old enough to be ‘retro’. I refer to mine as the ‘damn lamb’. For the past few years, at least one of them has not been cooked all the way through. What gives?

  48. Erin L April 3, 2015 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    My grandmother passed away 3 years ago and since that time we have been buying our lamb cakes from a bakery. I decided this year it was time to break out grandma’s lamb cake pan and try to make one myself. I had the pan out, the cake batter ready to go, until I realized I had no idea how to use the crazy pan! I followed your directions exactly and my very first lamb cake came out perfect! … Just like grandma’s! Thank you so much for helping create a cake so perfect it brought tears of reminiscence to my mother’s eyes.

  49. Karen April 3, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    I h ave been makink lamb cakes, bunny cakes snd even egg cakes every esster but now I am a celiac and a. Wondering how long to leave my celiac cake recipes in the lamb mold. If anyone has the answer, please let me know

  50. Tammy April 4, 2015 at 7:34 am - Reply

    a couple of years ago, while cleaning at my Grandmother’s house, we found a lambic cake in the cupboard. (The actual cake). It was from my sister’s 7th birthday. She is now 50! He was in sad shape, but still intact. It has been good for laughs ever since that day. Last night, my Grandma (she is 97) & I shared some good memories and laughs as we made a new lambie cake!! Following your instructions he came out of the pan perfectly! Today we will put his dressing on and prepare him for Easter! This guy is going to be a new tradition in my family! Thanks for help and I look forward to our new tradition!! Easter blessings to you!

  51. Lynne April 4, 2015 at 9:18 am - Reply

    I have my mother’s pan. I am trying it right now and she made it with pound cake or banana bread recipes. It is a heavier dough as no water is added. This year my 43 year old daughter will get one too for Easter. It has been 25 years since I have used my pan. Waiting for the 15 minute cool down. I used fine ground nuts in the pay to help keep it from sticking. If it doesn’t work, I will try again as I have more bananas.

  52. noel April 4, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Being a male baker and using my mother’s recipe, I found that the helpful tips I received was a very great help. But I still had some batter seepage from the oant when I tied the pan. Thanks again for the help.

  53. Georgianne C April 4, 2015 at 10:49 am - Reply

    I’ve been making lamb cakes for 35 years and I want to pass on a couple of tips. First tip, use Dromedary pound cake mix! It is the only box mix that makes a batter dense enough to support the lamb’s neck and head without supports. It also tastes great. This next tip is also very important so you get the best looking lamb. Second tip, buy two boxes of mix because you will want to slightly mound up the batter before putting the top half of the mold on. This will help your mold rise enough to fill the entire top half of the cake mold. I can’t stress this enough. Over the years I have forgotten to do this many times and I’ve been disappointed that my lamb was skinny! Since you won’t use all of the second box of batter, just make 5-6 cupcakes. It’s an early treat for all of your hard work.

    • Arlene April 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      I also use Dromedary mix. I made one cake yesterday using one box. It still had a section that was uncooked in the middle. I don’t know why. I baked it at 350 for an hour. I am using the old cast-iron mold. Help!

      • Georgianne C April 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm - Reply

        Arlene, here’s what happened today when I made my lamb cake in a cast-iron mold. I used one+ boxes of Dromedary mix and I cooked it in a 350 degree oven for 55 mins. It came out okay. In fact I probably should have taken it out 5 mins sooner because the head and ears were overdone. I wonder if your oven is truly cooking at 350. Have you ever tested your oven with an oven thermometer? Also, I made sure my over was on for quite a while before baking the lamb cake. I’ve found that my oven needs a longer warm up to function closer to the temp I want.

        • Arlene April 4, 2015 at 4:01 pm - Reply

          This is the last time I use generic cooking spray. Part of the lamb got stuck; it wasn’t cooked through (You are probably right, it is the oven.), did I say
          damn lamb’?

          • Georgianne C April 4, 2015 at 8:36 pm -

            Arlene, I’m so sorry. There is nothing more frustrating than to do all that work and have it not turn out okay. I only use vegetable shortening and flour. Next time I’m sure your cake will be fabulous.

  54. Becky April 4, 2015 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    I inherited the iron lamb mold from my mother-in-law, who received it from her mother-in-law. And now my daughter-in-law has the mold. I had no instructions, but after reading all the above comments and just taking two cast iron molds out of the oven, I would add two other tips: tie with wire to make it easy to check for doneness, and don’t fill quite to the top edge to avoid having to pry the cake out of the pan:

    Grandma used a wire coat hanger rather than string. My take is to use floral wire. Double or triple it up if you think the wire is too thin. Just lay it underneath the lamb (nose down) with plenty of length on either side and pull tightly and twist once or twice, say counter-clockwise. Then you absolutely can test for doneness with a toothpick; just pull out the rack, gently untwist the wire and lift the top (back side) off. Check with toothpick and remove from oven or just lay the top back on to bake a bit longer–no need to re-tie at that point. 50 minutes was just right using a Betty Crocker pound cake mix.–there was about a cup of batter left over.

    ALSO…I’ve never had to use a knife edge to get the cake out. Don’t fill it quite to the brim–that’s when it overflows and then sticks in the pan (making crunchy ears). It’s a better trade-off to not have the backside of the lamb be completely full–icing will take care of that. Take care to get batter into the ears, which I learned to re-enforce with a broken & bent toothpick inserted into the batter (trim with scissors to avoid splinters). Cake will come right out if you have taken time to grease with Crisco and flour thoroughly!! Happy!

    Love to see all the comments; we are working on a fifth generation–a wonderful Easter memory!!

  55. Corinne C McC April 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I found this series of columns today as I was researching how to use cake mix to make my lamb cake. (I was lazy today!) I love these columns.

    All the advice I found online said to fill the face side, but my mold has the lip on the back side. So I would say check your individual mold. I have always filled the back with no problems, but today I filled the face side and the cake overflowed all over the oven! So I won’t do that again!

    I have always used the recipe in The New Antoinette Pope Cooking School Cook Book by Antoinette and Francois Pope. This cooking school was well known in Chicago in the early and mid 20th Century and was the go to cookbook for my mom and her cousins.

    Lamb cake was required for Easter when I was growing up, but neither my mom nor my grandma baked much. However, these cakes were readily available in the western suburbs of Chicago, especially in the towns with large populations of descendants of Slovak and Czech immigrants. We usually bought our cake from Fingerhut Bakeries, which was a well loved Slovak/Czech bakery. My mom tried making the lamb cake a few years, but eventually gave me her pan. I can’t buy the cake where I live so I have made them for years.

    One major difference in the cakes we bought was that they had a heavy powered sugar coating instead of frosting. I have never been able to duplicate this, but prefer it over frosting and coconut..

  56. Christine April 5, 2015 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    I having been making my grandmother’s lamb cake for several years now. My mom made it for years after my grandmother’s passing. My nieces both purchased the same mold on ebay and are now passing the tradition down to there children which is so exciting to me. I wonder how old the cast iron mold I have is? I would imagine 1930’s or so. My dad was born in 1933 so I wonder if she had been making them that long.

  57. Susan April 6, 2015 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Thank you for the great step-by-step tips! Helped me make an awesome Lamb cake this weekend (to take to a party called “Lambstravaganza”!

  58. Lynda April 7, 2015 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Thank you so very much for this. I bought a lamb mold on ebay and told my grandkids I was making a lamb cake for Easter. – since we finally live close enough they can come over for Easter dinner. Then when I started to make it on Saturday I was wondering really how this thing worked so I googled lamb mold cake directions and it brought me to you. You are the best. My first lamb cake turned out excellent where it would have been a total disaster. Thank you.

  59. Barb July 20, 2015 at 10:57 am - Reply

    I would add a tip about the comment to “only use shortening” to grease the pan. One exception, I make bundr cakes, using butter to oil the pan, and sprinkle, cocoa or cinnamon, for all kinds of cakes that I drizzle frosting over and sprinkle nuts over. They are very simple, and look decadent. Very easy twist for anything from chocolate cake to carrot cake.
    I never realized so many people were into lamb cakes. Now I understand my sister. Every reunion, she wants to make a flock of them .Happy baking.

  60. jamie slay August 29, 2015 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    I will use these tips to make a stand up Santa Claus. Thanks so much!

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