My church has a fundraiser next weekend and I'm baking 10 lamb cakes for them. I was asked to do it as the woman who used to bake them left. I've researched recipes so I have one vanilla and one chocolate, have my decorations ready, found some great boxes to put them in that are made for the cake molds, now my question is this:
I've never made the cake in this mold before. Everyone says that you must grease and flour (or for the chocolate one cocoa) the pans thoroughly. Some people said that the head and ears can break off easily. They then put toothpicks in the batter for the ears and some longer skewers in the neck to reinforce the structure. My concern is that people are buying this that probably have kids. I'm afraid someone might not notice this and choke on it. I could just bake with the reinforcements and put a NOTICE with the cake warning them about the toothpicks/skewers. Or I could just hope for the best and bake it in the molds and see what happens. What do you think I should do?
I would test it --
I would bake it as is -- then insert a plastic straw in it when boxing it -- but my batter would be a nice pound cake consistency
Yes, my personal experience is that the neck does break VERY easily. I don't remember hearing about using dowels *in the batter* but sticking it in once the cake has cooled (at least some). It's been soooo many yrs since I made them I don't remember much more than that. Seems to me my attempt to 'fix' a broken neck was to place a tounge depressor on it and ice it into place. But remember this was W A Y back in the early 1980s = before sll this wonderful internet help! :)
OH, I just caught something K8 said: Yes, use my *original* WASC recipe for a stronger cake (which I didn't have yet back then). https://www.cakecentral.com/recipe/7445/the-original-wasc-cake-recipe
Here is the picture I've seen where it shows the supports put into the batter. You can see the finished lamb and the ears look quite fragile so I'm afraid if I put plastic straws after baking it will break them. It's supposed to be a pound cake so I have that and it is a sturdy recipe. I'm thinking I'm going to wrap and refrigerate on the little boards that come with their boxes overnight so that it's easier to frost and may make it sturdier. I'm having nightmares of some child choking so I'm not going to use any toothpicks etc. Wish me luck. I've am making 2 chocolate lambs, 2 vanilla w/vanilla frosting, 6 vanilla w/coconut (this is the traditional one).
you can glue the ears back on if need be with buttercream or melted chocolate -- I would use one straw so his neck stays on and does not succumb to any g-force when it's in the car -- I would use a glaze on those not buttercream -- that's how I would do it --
I sometimes use a skewer inside a skinny straw -- I might use that too and press the skewer all the way into the board below --
it feels weird to bake sticks in the cake -- never done that -- idk
how narrow is that cake? three inches?? four?
The dimensions are 11.2 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches so only 3.5 inches wide. Most people use a star tip #21 to do little swirls like lamb wool on it. But they first put smooth frosting on the face and ears so you don't weigh down the head. Hadn't thought of a skewer inside a straw that might work. Most said yes you can try to "glue" an ear or head that falls off with frosting but it never looks right. My church is just down the street from me so at least I won't have to travel far- 1/2 mile.
if I did this with the ear supports I would use a bamboo skewer which I hope are food safer than other wooden things -- popsicle stick might be good?? idk for sure about popsicle sticks -- and definitely not dowel -- and if I had to re-attach an ear it might get a bow on it --
it's gonna be fun though -- I would try the glaze on the face glaze made with confectioner's sugar, milk, titanium dioxide and flavor -- but I would probably pipe it on the ears --
best to you -- lemme know how it goes
a bow or a hat -- if two broke off i'd say it was a deaf lamb hahahaha
Honestly the pictures I have seen with the coconut all over the face and body it looks more like a dog to me. The ones that look like a lamb don't put the coconut on the face. I can make a little nose and eye lashes, throw some easter grass around it with some jelly beans. Will post pictures. Thanks for the help everyone.
I'm looking forward to seeing the finished lamb cakes! I've not seen that done over here. I've used moulds before, but only for one-off cakes, not a whole little herd of something :)
I would use chop sticks for the supports, in a T pattern with one going all the way from ear tip to ear tip and the other one going from the top of the head straight into the cake board. That would make each chop stick about 6" long and not much danger of being a choking hazzard. Also, covering the head, ears and neck area in a nice thick layer of ganache will make it more sturdy. You could even use a gray, brown or black ganache to create a black faced lamb.
sandra -- would you bake the wood in the cake batter or slide it in after baking?
k8 now that I saw the pic above I'd place the chop stick in the unbaked batter.
I've never baked the supports into the batter, so I would probably try adding the supports after the cake cooled off. If that didn't work, I would try baking the cake with the supports in the batter.
yeah me too
how's it going? was it last weekend or this coming weekend? you baking the supports in?
The little lambs turned out fine. I made three different recipes including traditional pound cake w/buttercream and topped with coconut; lemon with a lemon buttercream; and chocolate with candy melts over the face and then vanilla buttercream on the body. I’m not sure what all the fuss was about online about the ears or head breaking. I didn’t have any issues and I didn’t need to put anything in pre or post baking for support. I did find out a lot about the tradition/history of this cake. If you want to read about that and exactly how I baked it in the mold to come out read after the pictures. Thanks everyone for the help it was a fun project. I will find out next Sunday if my cakes sold out at the bake sale but everyone seemed to like them when I dropped them off.:
History: Easter lamb cakes have been around since at least the 1920’s in America. They originated in Europe and I found origins in Eastern Europe, Poland, Italy (although not northern Italy where my grandparents are from so I’m not sure which part of Italy), and Germany (Bavaria). They were traditionally made as the Easter dessert for the Sunday main meal celebrating the Catholic holy day of Easter and symbolizing the resurrection (Jesus is the Lamb of God). In America, bakeries used to make thousands of these cakes at Easter time – I found one bakery in the Midwest that is still in business (started in 1922) that at the peak made 12,000 lamb cakes at Easter. Demand started to fall off in the 1970s and they now make around 300 at Easter time. The American version is traditionally frosted either with a 7 minute type frosting then with coconut or American buttercream and coconut and the lamb has a little ribbon around the neck (sometimes with raisins for the eyes and a maraschino cherry for the nose). The German version which is a butter pound cake had a different mold than the one I used and is usually sprinkled only with powdered sugar or a lemon glaze is poured over it.
The Baking: The recipes I researched were all very similar with some slight variations (one used sour cream that I am going to try next week, one I did use had ½ cup cornstarch in addition to the flour) One thing that was consistent was the double sifting of the flour (some used AP and others used cake flour). You sifted the flour then measured it then added in the baking powder and salt and sifted again. The lemon recipe had me sifting it 5 times (3x just to measure and then 2x with the baking powder and salt). The eggs were always divided and the egg whites whipped and then folded. I did butter and flour the molds as directed but I probably could have just used cake release and done just fine. I also took some string and tied the mold in three places so as the cake rose up it didn’t lift up the top part of the mold. I didn’t have any issues with the cakes not coming out of the mold. The key is to bake the cake enough (my mold had a little hole in the top so I could use a skewer to test the cake) and then not to try to unmold it immediately. You have to let it rest 15 minutes, then remove the top half of the mold and let it cool another 15 minutes before flipping it over and taking off the other half. I wrapped them in plastic once completely cooled and let them standing up in my fridge overnight. Then I unwrapped and frosted the next day. There are special boxes made for this cake at Easter and are manufactured by Southern Champion Tray (sctray.com). Each box comes with the greaseproof tray to put the lamb on. You need a minimum order of 100 and they are a little over $1/each plus shipping with orders to be place no later than March 5th. I ordered my boxes through a seller on ebay and I got 10 for $15 plus shipping. Here is a picture of the box (it is super cute):
If I make these next year I am going to do a few of the German cakes with just the powdered sugar.
what a heart warming story -- wonderful -- they look So Cute!! I hope they all sold -- i'd always wanted one when I was a kid -- but never happened -- wah wah --
I would think all the multiple siftings have to do with the recipes being so old -- nothing wrong with some sifting but yeah back in the day they were literally sifting out a lot of little clods in the flour as well as aerating it --
the boxes are adorable glad you could get sucha good deal!
Your lambs turned out so well! They look like an adorable flock and are just too cute with the ribbons around their necks! I am betting they sold out, for sure.
Thanks for sharing the story and the recipe details. I don't think I have the stamina to sift everything five times, especially to make that many lambs. I am doing well to sift my flour and powdered sugar once.