Tomorrow is Easter. And no matter how old I get or how far away my kids, I still love all the Easter traditions; Easter baskets, dyed eggs and Lamb Cake. Every year, for the last 43 years, I have made a Lamb cake.
Finished Lamb Cake
The cake is made with a pound cake mix and frosted with a standard buttercream frosting. My grandmother made this cake when I was a child. She covered the icing with coconut. Neither George and I are big fans of coconut so it never made an appearance on my cakes. This year the lamb cake took a vacation. Mr. Bunny filled in for him. Why would I make a change after all these years? Well it goes back to when George’s family lived close by. Every year I would make the lamb cake and every year my sister-in-law, who is several years younger than George, would steal the jelly bean eyes and nose from the cake. Drove me crazy but I chalked it up to childish exuberance and just replaced the nose and eyes.
A couple of weeks ago a package arrived from Williams and Sonoma. I opened it up and there was a mold for a bunny cake. I was stumped, I didn’t order the mold and I know George wouldn’t have placed the order. Turns out is was my sister-in-law. She saw the mold, was reminded of how she used to steal the jelly bean eyes and nose, and thought I needed the mold! So, in honor of her nimble fingers, I made a bunny cake this year.
The mold can be used to make a single cake that lies on its side or a double cake with the two sides bound together with frosting allowing it to stand upright. The directions that came with the mold instructed me to make a batter using the Williams and Sonoma 2 pound bundt cake mix. TWO POUNDS!!!!! How are we going to eat two pounds of cake. I decided to improvise. I elected to make only one side of the cake. That decision made I searched the grocery shelves for bundt cake – and nothing. NO bundt cake mix to be had. So I decided to substitute pound cake batter. After all it has worked for me for the last 43 years as a lamb cake – why not a bunny.
One side of Bunny mold filled with batter.
I made the batter, greased and floured the mold and poured in the batter. Looking at the mold as the batter mixed I wondered if I would have enough batter using a single one pound cake mix ( I had purchased two just in case) but as you can see all my fears were for naught. The batter filled the mold nicely with nothing left over. I put it in the oven and hoped for the best. In the past I have had problems with lamb ears that didn’t release properly from the mold, resulting in ears held on by tooth picks. I wasn’t sure what would happen if the cake didn’t release properly. Forty minutes later it was time to take it out of the oven. I let the cake sit for the recommended 10 minutes before removing it from the mold. I got the cooling rack, put it on top of the mold and, holding my breath, turned it over. Success!! the cake came right out of the mold with the ears intact. I’m sure the whole world heard my sigh of relief.
Bunny caked released form the mold
I needed to trim the baked cake to eliminate the batter that expanded over the mold during baking. This was easily accomplished with a sharp knife. Then it was time to decorate. The information that came with the mold shows the bunny being dusted with powdered sugar. I wanted to frost the bunny but had to figure out what color frosting to use. Since it is springtime the bunnies are no longer wearing their white coats so white frosting was out. Chocolate frosting was an option but seemed to be too dark. So I hit on the idea of combining white and chocolate to get a color closer to bunny brown. That seemed to yield a color that was close to what we see the bunnies in our yard wearing. Of course the tail was frosted white to keep as authentic as possible. And, as a big fan of Peeps, I had to put a Peep along with the jelly beans in the basket that the bunny was holding.
View of frosted bunny with his little white tail showing.
Front view of the frosted bunny.
Initially, I frosted the bunny with him standing upright. It looked like I would be able to keep him upright even though I had only made a single side of the mold. But after about an hour or so the bunny began to tilt to the “flat” side of the mold. I decided to lay the bunny down on the serving plate rather than risk having a toppled bunny in the morning. He turned out so well I am going to make him again. My granddaughter London will love this bunny. I’ll be sure to tell her to thank her great aunt Cheryl. I’ll also tell her who to blame if the eyes and nose are missing!