This is a fun little cake to make in the spring for Easter or 1st Communion celebration. My mother-in-law makes a number of her lamb cakes and gives them to friends for Easter!
I couldn't find her recipe in time to make my daughter's First Communion lamb cake (photo), so I modified a recipe I found online instead. I'll add her recipe in the future.
[Make in a bundt pan, two loaf pans, or halve the recipe to fill one lamb cake mold.]
½ pound (2 sticks) butter
½ cup vegetable shortening, plus more for pan
3 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/4 tsp fine salt
½ tsp baking powder
¾ cup half and half or whole milk + ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. almond extract
1/8 – ¼ cup finely chopped cherries (get all liquid out)
¼ cup chopped pecans
Frost with your favorite white or cream cheese frosting...or simply dust with powdered sugar.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
With a mixer, cream butter and shortening together. Add sugar, a little at a time. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to mixer alternately with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix in vanilla and almond extract. Fold in the cherries and pecans. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
For molded lamb cake:
Pour batter into mold so it's even with the top of the base pan. Place other mold half (the one with a steam hole)on top of filled base mold. Gently poke with the end of a utensil to ensure there are no air pockets.
Place on cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour, checking doneness with toothpick through top steam hole.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes before taking top mold off. Let cool ~5 more minutes before, then gently slide a small knife around edges to ensure good mold release. Turn whole lamb cake out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting or dusting with powdered sugar.
Use white frosting to frost lamb in swirls (like lamb’s wool), add flattened raisins for eyes and sliced cherries or cut fruit roll up pieces shaped for the mouth.
This white frosting recipe is truly excellent! Or, in a pinch, use prefab frosting.
(I use the whole recipe and make one molded lamb cake and one loaf.)
Recipe modified from Paula Dean's Mama's Pound Cake.