Sunday, April 04, 2010

lamb cake.

lamb 12

My mom used to make the lamb cake at Easter when we were kids. I remember her struggling to keep the head from falling off, or the ears would break off or the lamb wouldn't stay upright on the platter. Jelly bean eyes, nose & mouth & a bed of tinted green coconut. Good times.

Every Easter I'd see pictures of family lamb cakes & want to recreate the lamb cake in honor of my mom. This year I finally bought a vintage pan on ebay. It's from the Jenny Lee Bakery in Pittsburgh, a family bakery that opened in 1938 and closed in 2008. I'm thrilled to have a piece of their history.

vintage lamb pan from Jenny Lee Bakery, Pittsburg

I also found this fab photo of a lady named Frances Morawietz, posing with her lamb cake.

Frances Morawietz with her lamb cake


I used Cook's Illustrated pound cake recipe (1/2 recipe would have been fine). Grease/flour the mold halves well and fill the face side of the mold with batter.

fill face side of mold with pound cake batter

Place 3 toothpicks in the head for stability at the nose & ears

3 toothpicks to add stability at head

Cover with the back side of the mold & tie the mold halves together with string

tie the mold closed with string

I hadn't done a test cake in the pan, so I was flying by the seat of my pants with the baking temp/times. The CI recipe calls for you to bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then drop the temp to 325 and bake for another 45 minutes. I baked at 350 for 15, then dropped the temp to 325 & baked it for another 27 minutes. Toothpick through the vent holes showed moist crumbs which is what you want, but I should've taken the cake out at least 5 minutes earlier, because it will continue to cook in the pan after you've taken it out of the oven.

Loosen around the edges with a thin blade spatula. This is what it looks like after you lift the back side of the mold off

baked lamb cake

Flipped over. The neck cracked when I was taking it out of the mold, so I propped the head up with some parchment.

propping up the head

He's iced with cream cheese icing and coated with coconut chips. The faces on these lamb cakes always look weird, so I sewed up a bowtie for him & left it at that.

lamb 4p


*Press the ear toothpicks all the way into the batter so that they're submerged
*Submerge a skewer in the neck area
*Watch your baking times