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Easter Lamb Cake

My grandmother started the tradition of making this molded Easter lamb cake when I was little. We continue to make it every Easter. The memory is so special that I keep the lamb mold in my kitchen next to my cookbooks as a decoration. Make sure to grease and flour the mold really well so that the cake does not stick. — Debra Waggoner, Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + standing Bake: 45 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Assorted decorations: Sweetened shredded coconut, sprinkles and jelly beans

Directions

  • Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Thoroughly grease and flour inside of a 3D lamb cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together twice; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  • Add cream of tartar to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on high speed just until stiff but not dry. Fold a fourth of the whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites.
  • Gently transfer to bottom half of mold (the bottom half is the face of the lamb). Place top mold (back of lamb) on top, interlocking seams (make sure half with vent hole is on top to permit steam to escape). Place on a baking sheet.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in vent hole comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Frost cake. Attach sprinkles for eyes and nose; sprinkle body with coconut. If desired, decorate with additional coconut and jelly beans.

Easter Lamb Cake Tips

How should I store an Easter lamb cake?

Because of the cream cheese frosting, we recommend storing this Easter cake recipe in a cake dome or cake keeper in the refrigerator—it'll last for about 3 to 5 days. If you don't have a dome or keeper, you can create one by inverting a large glass mixing bowl over the cake on a large plate. For the best taste and texture, remove the cake from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

What variations can I make to this Easter lamb cake recipe?

To change up the flavor of this cake, replace the vanilla extract in the frosting with a different flavored extract. Here are three fun options to try:
  • Coconut extract will intensify the coconut flavor of this cake. If you have extra, try these recipes that use coconut extract.
  • Lemon extract will add a bright citrus flavor to this sweet cake.
  • Pineapple extract pairs well with the shredded coconut and will add a tasty tropical note to your cake.

How can I make this Easter lamb cake ahead of time?

To make this Easter lamb cake ahead of time, you can make the cake and frosting and freeze them separately. (Follow our guide to how to freeze cake). To freeze the cream cheese frosting, place it in a sealable container with a layer of plastic wrap directly over the frosting. Secure the lid and freeze. When you're ready to assemble and decorate the cake, you'll just need to thaw the cake and frosting.

Research contributed by Sarah Farmer, Taste of Home Executive Culinary Director
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 377 calories, 17g fat (10g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 286mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate (41g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.