Welcome to the Eight Days of Lamb Cakes! And no, this is not an April Fool’s joke. I really am going to be posting a lamb cake a day from now until Easter. Tom and I did a ton of baking, testing and note-making, and now you guys get to reap the benefits!
As with everything we make on the Menu, I am going to be posting the lamb cakes that turned out along with the ones that didn’t turn out so well. The recipes we tested were not altered by us in any way, and were prepared according the the directions provided with no substitutions so we could judge each recipe fairly on its own merit.
Also, these recipes are scaled to fit a vintage lamb cake pan. Modern lamb cake pans are much larger, and more cake batter will be needed. Please see my tips on making a vintage lamb cake before you attempt one of these recipes.
So let’s get started!
Here is tested lamb cake #1 which was submitted by Trish S. Trish writes:
Hi Ruth. I just read the article in the Wall St Journal and the last paragraph about your lamb cakes prompted me to send this along.
My 84 yr old mother has been making all her children and now her grandchildren each a Lamb cake at Easter time every year. This from the same type of mold I see on your website. This was originally her mother’s (my grandmother’s) mold and recipe.
It has never failed to produce a wonderful cake, although my mom remembers a few times when her hand was a little heavy with the frosting, tipping off the head!
Good luck !
I also chose a vintage frosting I have been wanting to try: White Frosting from an 1968 issue of Mail Box News from Maid of Scandinavia. I have always been curious about this frosting recipe because it contains 2 tablespoons of uncooked flour.
I know! Crazy, right?
Trish’s recipe was an easy batter to make, but stuck to the pan slightly after it was baked (you can see the spots on the sides where the cake crust came off in the pan.) It was easy to handle after it was cooled.
Isn’t it cute?? I was very pleased with the way the frosting turned out. It was incredibly easy to work with. So much, in fact, that I was able to leave the coconut off the lamb and was able to easily make a fleecy look with the back of my knife by touching the smoothed frosting and then quickly pulling up. The eyes and nose were made with jelly beans.
But the real proof is in the taste-test!
If you have been wondering, “2G” was this lamb’s code name during testing. “2” was because it was the second recipe I received, and “G” referred to which frosting recipe it was.
And that disgruntled-looking cat is Zoe. She is half-Siamese, so she is always angry about something. In this case, she is angry because we didn’t give her any frosting.
“What do you think?”
“Where is that little book? I need to make some notes.”
The little book he is referring to is my lamb cake testing notebook. And the notes Tom made are as follows:
Dense. Not very sweet. Pound cake texture, slightly crumbly. Could use more vanilla or maybe some almond flavoring. A little plain on it’s own, but taste and texture would pair extremely well with strawberries or jam.
Frosting notes are:
Excellent. A little on the sweet side, but good texture. Tastes like bakery birthday cake frosting, and frosting made a “sugar crust” when exposed to the air.
The Verdict: The cake was good, but I think it would be even better used as a base for strawberry shortcake. Maybe a strawberry-filled lamb? Well, maybe that is too gory. The frosting was amazing, and is totally the “bakery birthday cake” frosting I have been looking for for so long! As a bonus, the frosting was inexpensive to make and so easy!
A good, dense cake for a vintage lamb cake pan.
- 2 cups sifted flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- Sift together the first three ingredients and set aside.
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add eggs, one and a time, to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir until smooth.
- Add sifted ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with milk.
- Pour into the face half of a well-greased and floured mold. Cover with other half and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake in 375 degree oven for 40-45 mins. Let cool for 10 mins, then remove from mold to plate.
A fantastic, vintage bakery style cake frosting that makes a sugar "crust" when exposed to air.
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- 2 pasteurized egg whites (I use egg whites from the carton, measured to equal 2 egg whites)
- 2 T cake flour
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 T milk
- Cream shortening and sugar well.
- Add egg whites and blend well.
- Add flour, vanilla and 1 T milk at a time until right consistency to spread.
- Will frost a three-layer cake.