Editor’s Note: We’re so excited to share with you a heartwarming family tradition. A few years ago, Galen Lehman shared how making a lamb cake was part of his family’s Easter celebration. Today his daughter, Lindsay, is continuing the tradition with her own daughter. Learn step-by-step how to make this cake for your family!
To say things have been abnormal this spring, would certainly be an understatement. However, with coronavirus uprooting so much of our lives’ normal patterns and routines, I find myself clinging to traditions even stronger. One of these is an Easter tradition started by my grandma—our chocolate lamb cake.
This lamb cake has been a staple at Easter dessert for as long back as I can remember. I am so grateful that it is a tradition my mother continued after my grandma passed away, and I’m so excited that I now get to continue it with my own daughter.
Somethings have changed throughout the years, like using a new lamb mold by Wilson instead of my grandma’s thick cast-iron mold as there were too many grandchildren who wanted the beloved old one. Another change was more out of necessity though… While my grandmother‘s hand written recipe was full of love, memories, and good intentions, it certainly would not have won any awards for taste.
In fact, I have many memories of my aunts and uncles making jokes about how the lamb cake was so cute, but was much better suited for decoration. However, since making some changes to the recipe, and finding that any dense cake recipe will do, the lamb cake is a favorite once again not just for appearance, but for taste as well!
How to Make Your Own Easter Lamb Cake
Here’s how I’m making it for my family.
Other than making sure to use a dense recipe, the most important thing is to grease your mold well. We have always greased ours with Crisco or butter and then also dusted it with flour. When filling the cake mold you will only use about 2/3 of the batter. We like to use the rest of the batter for muffins or cupcakes!
- 1 box devils food cake mix
- 1 small box of instant chocolate pudding
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Chocolate chips, to taste
Simply mix all of your ingredients well, then pour to the rim of the greased mold’s bottom piece. We have found that laying toothpicks alongside the neck helps to provide support. I wouldn’t recommend skipping this step unless you want your lambs head to topple off, but make sure to warn your guests that there are toothpicks there!
I also used twine to secure the mold while baking, but I’ve skipped this step before without a problem.
The cake will need to bake between 45 and 60 minutes depending on your oven settings. After 45 minutes, it is safe to remove the top mold, and use a toothpick to check the doneness. The cake will maintain its shape while it finishes baking.
For decorations, we have always frosted the cake and then patted coconut onto the icing to add texture to the fleece. We also dropped some food dye into shredded coconut to die it green and add edible grass around the lamb.
Jellybeans are a festive addition and a ribbon around the lamb’s neck makes it extra cute, but the decorations are up to you!
It warms my heart that this is a tradition I get to continue. And, I think it’s safe to say my daughter enjoys it too!
This article was first posted March 2020.
Lindsay Lehman Peters is the granddaughter of Founder Jay Lehman and daughter of President Galen Lehman. She lives in Kidron with her husband, her daughter, and her two furbabies.