With Easter Sunday just around the corner, it was time to plan to make a traditional German Easter Lamb Cake recipe. I pulled out Mutti's old handwritten cookbook to see which Easter recipes she had there. No Osterlammkuchen. She forgot to add it :(
I checked my old German cookbooks. No Osterlammkuchen there either! I put "Easter Lamb Cake Recipe" into Google.
Most of the ones I found online used variations of the same recipe, often just a white cake mix, sour cream, and pudding powder. (It looked like everyone copied each other!) That didn't sound very traditional to me!
That's when I got creative because I was craving something chocolate. I figured I'd start my tradition and make my very own Easter Lamb Cake—a yummy chocolate version.
I wanted quick and easy, and I knew just which recipe to use. I've got an amazingly quick and delicious chocolate cake that is more like a Marmorkuchen (the chocolate part, that is) that's crossed with chocolate brownies. Everyone, who's tried it, loves it.
BTW, Marmorkuchen is the German marble cake—a dense cake with a texture similar to a pound cake recipe. That's why some people use a box Pound Cake mix for their Easter lamb.
Why is my chocolate cake so quick? Because, it's vegan. That means no creaming of butter and eggs, etc. It's really just mixing everything together with a wooden spoon in a bowl. No electric mixer needed. Done.
This cake recipe uses only ordinary ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. Nothing weird. Actually, this is one of my hubby's favorites, and he's definitely NOT a vegan. Meaning, this one's for us non-veganites as well :)
Since the Easter lamb cake pan I used is a 0.7 liter size, I only used half of my original chocolate cake recipe. That made enough batter for the lamb cake shown above, as well as extra batter for 6 mini cupcakes.
Below is the lamb mold I used. The two body pieces have a non-stick coating and are held together with four clips. It is then baked standing upside-down.
Popular Easter symbols include eggs, bunnies, lilies, and little chicks. Easter, however, is the most important Christian celebration, with the lamb and the cross being the most significant symbols. The lamb symbolizes Jesus, the Lamb of God, and His sacrifice (John 1:29 and Revelation 12:11). The red ribbon represents His resurrection and is the banner of victory.
The Easter Lamb Cake is traditional, originally especially in the southern Catholic area of Germany, as a fun and delicious way to decorate the Easter table.
The most important thing you need for this recipe is the lamb cake form. For me, that meant going shopping first.
There are many forms available from various manufacturers, so I carefully read all the reviews. There were complaints about having problems with the cake sticking to the forms. Others had leakage. I decided to get the lamb shape that's most traditional and from a German company that's been around for over 100 years.
I'm delighted with this one that I bought because it worked really well. No sticking and no leaking.
You'll find a recipe for the Easter Lamb cake included on the box the form comes in, both in English and in German. It's yummy as well, just a bit more work.
You'll be amazed how easy this recipe is to make. First things first—get the mold ready. You'll do that by greasing the inside of each piece and then, using a sieve, dust with cocoa.
(Why cocoa and not flour? With a chocolate cake, having flour visible on the outside of a baked cake isn't that pretty. Cocoa is perfect for dusting cake pans anytime you bake a chocolate cake.)
Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir together. Then pour over the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
This will be quite a dense batter, perfect for filling the half molds.
This dense batter is perfect for filling the individual sides of the lamb cake mold. Leave the bottom inch with no batter, allowing for the cake to rise as it bakes.
Smooth the top of the batter (I took the photo just before I did that) and the cake is ready for the oven.
Yes, look closely at how I wasn't careful when I put on those clips. The mold slipped a bit.
I didn't notice it until I took the lamb out of the oven.
Since it wasn't much of a slip, a little bit of batter became a lovely lacy edge on the top of the lamb.
A quick trim with a sharp knife and the lamb was ready to decorate.
I went with the traditional style. A dusting of powdered sugar and the red ribbon.
Cutting into the Easter lamb is always a difficult thing to do. No one wants to take the knife to it.
Once I sliced it, it disappeared so quickly, that I just managed to grab a photo when only the head and neck were left! A lovely little snack for two with a cup of coffee.
In Germany, it's traditional to just sprinkle it with powdered sugar and tie that red ribbon around the lamb's neck.
You can use a piping bag to highlight the lamb's features, such as its ears, eyes, and nose.
Some people will cover the cake with a buttercream frosting or a cream cheese frosting, using a pastry bag and piping it to look like lamb's wool. Some molds have the face of the lamb looking to the side and make decorating a little more challenging.
For me, I chose traditional. (Yes, it's also the easiest way!) Sprinkle with powdered sugar and tie with a red ribbon.
Ready to make your German Easter Lamb Cake?
* * * * *