Happy Easter from Germany!
It’s Easter Sunday here in Bavaria, and we’ve had a weekend full of family, food, baking, and Easter egg-dying. Easter, and the renewal it represents, is my favorite part of the Christian calendar. Every year, I find myself thinking about how blessed I am by the second chances I’ve had in my lifetime. Divorced at 25 from a marriage that was unhappy and unhealthy, I’m thankful every day for the chance I had to start again. Christianity gives us that hope that even when we mess up, our hearts can be restored. That’s a pretty awesome gift.
Because Easter is my favorite holiday, I’ve fallen more than a little bit in love with Germany’s Easter traditions. There are Easter arts and crafts fairs and Easter markets in urban centers. Local bakeries sell sweet Easter treats, and artisans sell beautifully decorated Easter eggs. Families hang Easter eggs from trees in their yards, and as you can see in the picture at the top of this post, you can even buy colorfully marbleized Easter eggs at grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
One of Germany’s many Easter traditions is the Easter Lamb Cake. Sometimes called Osterlammkuchen (Easter lamb cake), and other times called simply Lammkuchen (lamb cake), families bake these lamb-shaped cakes the day before Easter and serve them on Easter morning. Some families even take their Lammkuchen into the church on Easter Eve to be consecrated and used during their church’s Easter breakfast (Source).
You can find Osterlammkuchen molds at Easter markets, in house ware stores, and sometimes even in local supermarkets. I purchased mine at our local furniture and house ware store, Mobelhof.
There are several variations on the recipes used for Osterlammkuchen. Sometimes the cakes have a sweet filling, but other times, they’re made of a simple bread-like dough. A Google Image search for “German Lammkuchen” will give you an idea of how many different ways that the German Osterlammkuchen can be prepared and presented.
The recipe I used (see bottom of this post for that recipe) reminded me of a little bit of Amish friendship bread in flavor, though the texture was less crumbly. Once I sprinkled the cake with powered sugar, it became tasty enough to earn a coveted spot in my personal family cookbook.
The Osterlammkuchen might just become part of our family’s Easter tradition.
Here is my recipe for German Osterlammkuchen, or Easter Lamb Cake:
5 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 package (8 grams) vanilla sugar
10 drops rum flavor
dash of salt
1.5 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
powdered sugar to taste
Bake at 350 F for 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan. Once cooled, remove from pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
For larger cake molds, double (or more) the ingredients listed here.