Lamb & Bunny Cakes (Osterlamm & Osterhasen Kuchen) are traditional German Easter desserts. Around here, these cakes are the centerpiece and dessert on many tables at Easter. The sweet lamb, representing the Lamb of God, is baked in a special lamb shaped mold then served as is or decorated with either a simple sprinkling of powdered sugar, or in some homes, with frosting. Same holds true for the Bunny Cake.
Pound cake is the best candidate for a mold because of its close crumb. Mine is flavored with ground almonds, cinnamon and vanilla plus I used white spelt flour – you just need the right molds to get started.
As far as the molds are concerned, they are basically two types, cast-iron ones that are often considered family treasures passed down to other keen bakers through the years, usually more pricey and harder to find than the regular light-weight aluminum ones that, come Easter, are readily availble at kitchenware stores or online.
Easter Lamb & Bunny Cakes
(each serves 6; prep 25 min; bake 30 to 40 minutes)
- 150g unsalted butter, room temperature, plus some for greasing the molds
- 100g superfine (caster) sugar
- 1 pkg. (8g) pure vanilla sugar
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 3 eggs (M), free range or organic
- 150g white spelt flour, plus some for the molds (OR use AP flour)
- 75g almond meal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 50ml milk, room temperature (I use 3.5%)
- 15 ml Amaretto (or rum)
- powdered sugar for dusting both cakes (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and place a baking sheet that you covered with baking parchment (to catch any drips) in the bottom rack of the oven.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the interior surfaces of both halves of one bunny and one lamb cake mold with melted butter, making sure you get into all the crevices. Dust the molds carefully with flour, shake off the excess flour and put the molds together using the clips and/or lttle ‚feet‘ that come with the molds.
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add sugar, vanilla sugar and salt. Beat until light and creamy.
- In a small bowl, stir together the milk with the Amaretto (if using) – you can use 65 ml of milk instead.
- Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time and beat each egg for 1 minute before you add the next.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, the baking powder and the cinnamon.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk mixture, and beat just until combined.
- Fill the dough into both molds but don’t fill them completely otherwise they might overflow in the baking process.
- Place in oven and bake about 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the bunny and lamb comes out clean (30 minutes for the bunny; 40 minutes for the lamb).
- Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Make sure to let baked lamb and bunny sit in the pans for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove the sides of each pan before you place the cakes on cooling racks.
- Serve plain or dust with powdered sugar; you can also frost the cooled cakes.
If you wish, surround the Easter Lamb & Bunny Cakes with colored eggs and display as a beautiful centerpiece on the table in the days leading up to Easter. You'll definitely want to enjoy looking at them for a while before you eat them. The cakes won't go bad, although they obviously won't be quite as delicious as the day you baked them.
The Easter Lamb Cake is sometimes decorated with a bow around its neck and the Resurrection flag, as is the tradition. I like to serve my lambs with different colored flags and this year I finally managed to get a traditional hand-stichted flag for some of my lamb cakes.
- for my Coconut Easter Lamb Cake recipe, pls go here
- for my Vanilla Bean Easter Bunny Cake recipe and a pic of the cast-iron cake mold, pls take a look here
Wishing all of my readsers, their families and friends a Very Happpy Easter!
Ich wünsche allen meinen Lesern, ihren Familien und Freunden ein Frohes Osterfest!