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Creative Twist on German Easter Lamb Cake Recipe: (Osterlammkuchen)

Oma Gerhild

by: Gerhild Fulson  /  Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

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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 :(

German Easter lamb cake on dining room tableMy creative twist on the traditional German Easter lamb cake—a chocolate version. I surrounded it with paper Easter grass and added chocolate-covered almonds.

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 :)

Here's Oma's collection of German favorites in Easter Feast e-Cookbook. Grab your copy today!

Take a look at Oma’s Easter Feast eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine!

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

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.

open Easter lamb cake mold showing inside and clips

Why an Easter Lamb Cake?

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...the lamb cake pan

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. 

German lamb cake mold with clips

I chose this one from Kaiser in Germany and had it shipped to me, here in Canada (through Amazon). I love free shipping with Amazon Prime, that's for sure.

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.

How to make my German Easter Lamb Cake recipe

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.) 

dusting cake forms with cocoaThoroughly grease lamb cake molds. Then, using a sieve, dust with cocoa, making sure the entire inside surface is covered.
sift dry ingredients into bowlSift dry ingredients into bowl.
adding wet ingredients to dryAdd wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.

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.

Easter lamb cake batter in bowl
batter into Easter lamb 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.

Close lamb cake mold with clips carefully!Close lamb cake mold with clips carefully!If you look really closely, you'll see I wasn't careful!

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.

mismatched mold - my faultI didn't notice that the sides slipped a bit as I put on the clips.
Lamb cake and cupcakes cooling on wire rackThe 'lacy' edge resulted from the slipped mold. Easy fix. Just trimmed it off!

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.

traditional German Easter Lamb Cake
slice of German Easter lamb cake

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.

How to decorate a German Easter Lamb Cake

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?

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Creative Twist on German Easter Lamb Cake Recipe: (Osterlammkuchen)

Looking for a German Easter Lamb Cake recipe? Look no further! Try Oma's creative and delicious chocolate version to start your own Easter tradition. It's vegan, too!

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

40 minutes

Total Time

55 minutes

Servings:

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅜ cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup warm, extra-strong coffee
  • ⅜ cup 'light tasting' olive oil or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • Red ribbon, paper Easter grass, jelly beans or chocolate almonds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Prepare the inside of the lamb cake mold by spraying each side with a cooking spray and then dusting with about 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.
  3. Into a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix the almond extract into the coffee and pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing until a smooth, dense cake batter is formed.
  5. Spoon batter into each prepared lamb half, leaving the top inch without batter. Close the mold and put the clips in place. Press the batter down into the mold and add more batter if needed, leaving an inch free at the top of the mold. Smooth top of batter. Use the extra batter for cupcakes (see hints below).
  6. Place cake mold on a cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake cool in the mold for about 10 to 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
  8. Place the Easter lamb on a serving platter. Trim the bottom of the cake if needed to make it flat, so it will stand upright.
  9. Put powdered sugar into a small sieve and dust over the top of your adorable lamb cake. Tie a red ribbon around its neck. Surround the lamb with paper Easter grass and jelly beans or chocolate almonds.

Notes/Hints:

  • Instead of spraying with vegetable spray, grease with butter, vegan butter, or solid vegetable shortening. 
  • The extra batter can be used to make cupcakes. I used a mini cupcake pan and got 6 little adorable cakes to decorate. There will bake in about 15 minutes. 
  • If you're using a different lamb form, the kind with a vent hole in the top half of the mold, make sure you put the batter into the bottom half of the mold without the small hole.

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German Easter lamb cake sitting on a bed of yellow paper Easter grass surrounded by chocolate-covered almonds

John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

John 1:29(NLT)

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