Simple, buttery cake topped with powdered sugar baked in a lamb shaped pan makes the utterly delicious and traditional German Osterlamm or Easter Lamb Cake!
I wasn’t going to post this cake. I mean, Easter is over and it’s not really something just anyone can make. You have to have the special Osterlamm pan to make and those are hard to get unless you live in Germany. But, when I got asked a dozen times for the recipe, I decided that it was probably a good idea to put it up!
My German friend Mareile remembers her Oma (Grandma) making Osterlamm when she was a child and today Mareile makes it for her two children. Our babies, Matty & Lena, were born 2 weeks apart from each other and are baby BFFs now! This picture was from their first Easter together in 2012.
For most of the world, the Osterlamm is just a delicious treat, but here in Bavaria, Germany it has a more important meaning for those who believe the Catholic faith. The symbolism of the lamb goes back to the Passover lamb, which is sacrificed in Judaism for Passover. Because Jesus was Jewish, the Last Supper took place on the evening of Passover and he was crucified on the day (sacrificed) was, this symbolism has arisen. In Germany, a lamb is sacrificed at Easter, but baked in commemoration of the resurrection, a cake in the shape of an Easter lamb.
In the weeks preceding Easter, each bakery bakes and sells hundreds of these cakes. Some are covered in powdered sugar, some a lemon glaze and some even cover them in chocolate and candies. My favorite is with the powdered sugar and then dunked in my coffee! So delish!
I’m definitely making this a new Easter tradition for my family!
- 120g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 110g granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (or 1 packet of vanilla sugar)
- 160g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp whole milk
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Osterbackform "Lamm" (Easter Lamb Pan) - 27.5cm x 15cm x 6.5cm
- Preheat your oven to 350F or 180C degrees. Butter and flour the inside of the lamb pan and clip the sides back together. Place the lamb pan on a baking sheet UPSIDE DOWN.
- Cream together the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes.
- One at a time, add the eggs and mix well after each egg. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to the butter/sugar and mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the milk and mix until smooth - no more than about a minute. You don't want to overwork the batter.
- Pour all the batter into the prepared lamb pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Allow the lamb to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Trim off any excess cake from the seams. If the lamb does not sit upright, trim a little off the bottom to make it level.
- Dust the cake with powdered sugar.
- Optionally, you can melt a bit of chocolate and pipe on ears and eyes. Also, you can tie a ribbon around the lambs neck.
- Serve immediately!