I love holidays. All of them. If you’ve known me for any period of time, you know this to be true. So it’s no surprise that Easter is no exception. There’s no greater reason to celebrate than the resurrection of Jesus Christ, after all!
My family has some of the best Easter traditions. Coloring hard boiled eggs around the dinner table. Easter baskets full of goodies. Chocolate bunnies. Easter egg hunts in the backyard. I’ll never forget the year our golden retriever, Harley, managed to “fetch” all of the Easter eggs before our hunt even began. He even made a nice, neat pile of them on the front porch. My mom was not amused. Despite all of our Easter traditions, though, I don’t think we ever had a traditional dessert for the day. Unless chocolate eggs and jellybeans count.
Lucky for this avid baker and lover of traditions, my mother-in-law, Adele, saved the day with one of her favorite Easter traditions: her Easter lamb cake. Every year, she uses the same mold to create an adorable Easter lamb cake. This year, her mold traveled with her from Wisconsin to North Carolina so that an Easter lamb could grace our dinner table, too.
Armed with Adele’s cake recipe and Martha’s Swiss meringue buttercream, we turned my kitchen into a whirlwind of frosting, colored coconut, and jelly beans in various shapes and sizes. And this adorable little lamby cake is the result of our efforts. Isn’t she just darling? Major props to Adele for her mad piping skills and creative usage of jelly beans! Here’s to new traditions and family celebrations!
If you’d like to recreate our lamb cake for your next Easter celebration, check out Wilton’s website for a recipe and detailed instructions. You can buy their lamb cake mold from that website, as well. And for a Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe that will rock your world, see below.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart
Active time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Makes about 9 cups
2 1/2 cups sugar
10 large egg whites
4 cups (8 sticks or 2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating.
Add vanilla, and beat just until combined. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes.
If using buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.