You need both steps to ensure that the lamb pops out at depanning time. Skipping the flour can end in disaster, so to avoid tears and tears, flour is a must! 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.
And lambs without ears look really, really weird. Trust me on this one. 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.
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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.
Poke these down slightly into the cake and make sure they are covered with batter. 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. It just all oozes out through the cracks and makes a complete mess. 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. Bake cake for the maximum amount of time called for in the recipe. 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.
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.
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.
Those thin little ears are going to be crispy and completely stuck to the edge of the pan. 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.
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I found it took about 90 mins after the final de-pan for the lambs to be cool enough to sit up straight. 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! 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!
A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in 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. Reply RetroRuth on March 28, at am Yes! Thanks for the tips! It is at lease yrs. Would not be Easter without our lamb cake. Dough must be heavy. Farley on March 29, at pm Jackie, what kind of frosting do you use on your lamb cake please? Peggy on March 26, at pm Ruth!
Thankyou so much for posting such detailed directions for baking a lamb cake! One of my husbands cousins passed away and she always made the Lamb cakes. I told him I would look on Pinterestand voila, there you were! Reply RetroRuth on March 29, at pm I have in the past! In fact, I am working on a carrot cake lamb cake recipe that I will be posting here very soon.
Crossing my fingers that it will work! Reply Lisa Colasante on March 20, at pm Hi Ruth, can you direct me to the recipes you tried in your 8 Cake recipe challenge. I just purchased a lamb mold and cant wait to make a lamb cake for Easter this year. Need a good recipe for a cake. Reply Holly A.
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Farley on March 29, at pm Lisa, I made my first Lambie Cake last year and used the boxed pound cake mix. I had no problems with it whatsoever. Texture and flavor were good. Reply Linda Dellaringa on March 31, at am How long did you bake the box mix in lamb? RetroRuth on March 31, at am Box mix lambs are 45 minutes at for a vintage pan! Lori on March 31, at pm I would bake for an hour. Epic fail! I Googled lamb cakes and all the recipes said to bake an hour, so I baked for an hour on my 2nd one and it came out perfectly.
I have a vintage cast iron pan, if that makes a difference.rorephija.tk
RetroRuth on March 31, at pm It does! But glad you shared the bake time for the cast iron ones! Joan on March 28, at pm Check your local antique store if you have one. Reply Kathy on April 19, at pm Yinzerella! You must be from Pittsburgh!
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Yes you need a lamb pan. Will post picture after it is frosted. I wish I had been more involved. However, after she passed I have saved the lamb pan and found it again recently. After 21 years, I am going to attempt using her pan. So happy I found this site. Reply Kathryn Wilgus on March 26, at pm I checked one out of my local library…free for 2 weeksReply Eartha Kitsch on March 28, at am 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. Could one use popsicle sticks to reinforce the head and neck? Reply RetroRuth on March 28, at am 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. Reply Eric on March 16, at pm My grandmother always uses toothpicks to support the head and neck. Because of this, we tend to avoid that area. I am not sure what recipe you are using, so this is just guessing on my part, but make sure you are adding enough batter.
If you are making a from scratch cake, make sure that your baking powder and baking soda are fresh and not expired. I hope this helps! Thanks for all of those great tips Ruth, now I must go get me a rabbit cake mold! Lamb pans are all over eBay. 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! It looks adorable. 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.
Reply Jennifer on March 30, at am 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. You have really de-mystified the beloved Lambie Cake.
Best Wishes, Martha K. Reply lizzy on April 3, at am i make a lamb cake every year, since my great grandmother used to do it we have all kept up the tradition. Reply Lou Ann on April 3, at pm I have to admit that I am the worst at being patient for the cake to cool before removing the pan. Is there a worry in letting it cool too long? I let a few cool a little longer than the recommended time and they still depanned okay.
Reply Buzz on April 4, at pm 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. Reply Mary on April 4, at pm Enjoyed your comments. 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. Grandma use to make one for us when we were little…. 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 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!! Thanks for the great laugh and tips! Reply Joanne on March 27, at am Tying it shut is genius!
Never thought about that…it will save me! My batter came above the pan half. Is that ok or should I take some out? Reply Amber on March 29, at pm I am using my grandmas old lamb mode. I believe its cast iron, it is pretty heavy. Make sure you fill up the face half of the mold completely so that the cake will rise into the second back half. Good luck!! Reply Susan Bingham on April 13, at pm I have my mothers cast iron pan and I wish I had paid attention when she baked the lamb cake, I only showed up when it was time for frosting.
I could not get the lamb cake to rise into the back of the pan either…so I bake the halves separately and glue them together with frosting. Mom always used the 7 minute frosting from the Joy Of Cooking. Reply Skotti Frese on March 30, at am 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!
The texture would probably be slightly heavier, but otherwise it should work. No guarantees though! Instead, I followed your directions to the letter and ….. My little lamb is perfect and I am so thrilled! Thank you! First time it has ever come out perfectly.
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The toothpicks were the saving grace for his ears and nose. Reply Sharon on March 30, at pm 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. 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, ft. Great idea. Thanks for the great tips! Happy baking! 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. Reply Kim Walters on March 31, at pm Thanks for all of the hints. I was able to make the cake and not have the ears and head fall off.
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! I wrote a blog post about it, and mentioned how helpful your tips were! I just bought a cast iron 14 inch mold which had some rust spots at an antique mall. Having done that to my iron skillets, they work great. Thanks for all the tips. Reply Pam Roberts on April 14, at pm It has been so interesting to read all of the comments. 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.
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?? So which is the best recipe to use? Until Next Time Be good. Welcome to Player FM! Take it with you. Guides you to smart, interesting podcasts based on category, channel, or even specific topics. Looking for a high-quality podcasts app on Android?
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