Inspire Spring

The way I see it, we need a little spring.  As they say, reality is something you rise above, so let’s do that today!  Let’s rise above!  Get a cup of tea Girlfriends, turn on the MUSICA, put your face close to the screen so even your peripheral vision is enveloped in bloom and enjoy your. . .

spring fever


It’s spring fever.  You don’t quite know what it is you want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so bad.   The Adorable Mark Twain who knew.



Can you smell the fresh ocean air up from the harbor, still cold, filled with flowery scents of spring?  Whoosh!  The wind blows through the petals.  Wrap your sweater a little tighter.  Mmmm, we are so lucky.  Don’t you just love the internet?!



We can see last year’s weeping cherry trees in full bloom even on a snowy day . . . makes you want it so bad, your heart just aches for it.  It’s coming Girlfriends.  The waiting is what makes it so wonderful. 

chicken soup

Right now we are still having our most delicious dinners of deep dark and delicious homemade Chicken Soup — but today we are looking for COLOR and so it’s time out for . . .

Spring Home Cooking

dancing chickens

We love to do the chicken dance — here’s my recipe for Carrot Cupcakes which I think you will want to save.  SO good, filled with fruit and nuts, lots of shreded carrots, pineapple and coconut. Cream Cheese frosting.  The recipe will also make a three-layer cake ~ with so much batter you will have extra cupcakes, enough for your spring-starved girlfriends, chicken hearts and wolfmen too.

dancing chickens

We just got in a new batch of these festive easy-to-make kits for darling dancing chicken cupcake toppers in case you’d like one.


And we still have the Cupcake Garlands that Janie made for us.  It’s these happy colors I love to see.  But you know, I’m on a lamb kick right now.



They are just so darn cute. They baaaa “Spring.”



And here’s my newest concoction.  We found perfect old-fashioned Lamb Cake Molds for our web store . . . I made the cake using my Grandma’s homemade Lemon Daisy Cake recipe because it makes a firm cake, almost a pound cake but not quite, a cake that isn’t too crumbly and holds together.  But a box cake and frosting will work too and I’m not against anything that makes a lovely smell come from the oven (there’s one boxed white cake I’ve used that has confetti colors in it that I think might be perfect for lamb cake) ~ the directions that come with the pan tell you to make it using less liquid. ~ in case you feel a need for speed.  I’ll show you how to make the Lemon Daisy Cake, and I’ll put the full recipe at the end of this post so you can print it out.lamb cake

So here we go.  First tip: Successful unmolding of your cake is paramount.  The way to do that (for any molded cake) is this:  Melt a couple tablespoons of Crisco and brush it into ever nook and cranny of your mold.  The mold should be cool when you do it so the oil will stick.


Also, take the time to flour your pans.  Just shake flour over the oil until it sticks everywhere and shake out any extra.  Notice we have kitchen twine, toothpicks and wooden skewers?  You will need these … as you’ll see later.  Put your prepared pan on a cookie sheet with the lamb face down. Preheat your oven to 375º ~ feel your kitchen getting warm and cozier by the minute. Pop an old movie into the player . . . I watched/listened to Gosford Park while I cooked — here’s the MUSICA from it …


This recipe and lamb cake is really so easy!  All ingredients should be at room temperature.  Two sticks of butter and two cups of sugar go into a large mixing bowl.

lambcakePut four roughly measured cups of flour into your sifter and sift three times . . . then measure out 3 cups.  You want to measure after sifting.  Any extra flour goes back into your container.  Put the sifted flour back into the sifter, add one TBSP baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt and sift again two more times.  Use my waxed paper method for sifting unless you have a method you like better.

lamb cake

Allow all petty pets to watch your every move.

cream butter and sugar

Now cream the softened butter and sugar together with an electric mixer . . .


. . . until light colored and fluffy

add eggs one at a time

Then, one at a time, add the yolks of four eggs (save the whites in another bowl), beating well after each.


Once the eggs are incorporated, sift in dry ingredients by thirds alternating with buttermilk ~ little bit of flour, a little bit of milk, repeat~ beat until smooth after each third.


I like the old-fashioned tangy flavor the buttermilk gives this cake, but if you are at home and all you have is regular milk, that will do just fine.

add zest

Stir in the grated rind of two lemons . . . so easy to do with the wonderful  Microplane Graters (← let me demonstrate!) . . . Miracle things no kitchen should be without.  Like little razor blades for fast easy no-more-knuckle-in-the-food cooking.

fold in egg whites

Beat your reserved egg whites until stiff, then fold them into the cake, and voila, Daisy Cake batter is done.


Fill the face side of your mold (you’ll be able to tell which side to fill because the other side has a tiny steam-hole in it).  Big tip #2:  Head-falling-off can occur, it’s a possibility you will want to avoid from the get go.  Because if it does, you’ll try to glue it back on with frosting.  Which puts a wide messy crumbly lump around the lamb’s neck.  While you’re busy sticking the head back on, the ears fall off.  It’s terrible. I’ve made that mistake, but no more.  Now I am stick woman.  Toothpicks for the ears and wooden skewers for the neck.


Then I tie the mold together with kitchen string, just in case.  If, for some reason the batter tries escape out the sides, I’m ready. We want a perfectly molded little lamb here, on the first try. Pop the cake in the oven an let it fill your toasty kitchen with fragrance of lemon-baking heaven.



Set your timer for 55 minutes and take a look outside and see what’s going on.

Birds in the snow

There’s bound to be something.

Boiled Frosting

After the cake comes out and is cooling, you can pull out your Summer Book and find my recipe for Old-Fashioned Boiled Frosting on p. 109.  But just in case you don’t have that book, here’s the recipe . . .

boiled frosting

This is another easy recipe that’s like science magic.  You need a candy thermometer like you see here.  I have it hooked on the side of a small heavy-bottomed pan that already has a third-cup of water in it . . . I’m adding a cup of sugar.

boiled frosting

Then 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar and a pinch of salt gets stirred in ~ put the pan over high heat and boil without stirring until mixture reaches 240°.

making boiled frosting

While that’s going on, beat two egg whites until stiff.

old fashioned boiled frosting

When the sugar liquid is hot enough, pour it in a thin stream into your egg whites beating all the while, and watch it get thick, white and fluffy . . .

boiled frosting

Just like this!  Look at that!  You are a genius!



When the buzzer goes off,  Ta-Daaa your lamb cake is done.  Pull it out of the oven, and now is where your patience must never come to an end.  You have to wait until he is totally cool before you set him up to frost.  You can cut the string, take off the top part of the mold, let him sit like that a while.  Put the mold piece back on, turn it over, and do the same thing.  Until he is completely cool.


Meanwhile you’ll have made your frosting . . . swipe the middle of your cake platter with a wide swath of frosting so the lamb has something to anchor him in standing position.

naked lamb cake

This is what we’ve waited for.  He’s up!  He came right out of the pan with no help.  Look at him!  He’s perfect.  I didn’t have to do a thing but turn the pan into my hand and set him into the frosting smear.  But then, how to frost him was my next question. I wanted to see if I could come up with something a little bit different than the way I usually did it (with raisin nose and chocolate chip eyes), make him more real.  I needed inspiration and I knew just where to get it.


I pulled out the little book we bought in a bookstore in Ambleside in England filled with lamb pictures, all the different breeds.

cutie pie

I thumbed through it and chose this guy.  That’s what I wanted my lamb to look like. Within reason.

frosted lamb cake

So I started applying the frosting.  I couldn’t hold the camera and frost at the same time,  but there is no real trick in the frosting ~ it all goes pretty easily.  For the corners like under his chin or around the ears, just put a good lump of frosting on the very end of your spatula or wide knife and plunk it right where you want it, spreading from there.  You can wipe off the plate with a damp paper towel when you are finished.


Hello just-born lamb.  Of course Lemon cake and coconut go together perfectly, and lambs need wool, so here is.  If you press the coconut in a little bit, it keeps him from looking too hairy.


Just as sweet from the back.  In the past I’ve decorated the plate with green-tinted coconut (like Easter grass) and jelly beans, and egg-shaped frosted cookies . . . but I was taking this cake to friends for dinner and it isn’t Easter quite yet, so I decided to leave it plain and my version of homemade-elegant.


So darling, always the cutest thing on the table at any party. (Just pulled out my lamb vase too — almost time to fill him with forsythia cuttings!  I collected a few more lamb vases when I could find them on our cross-country trip in case you “need” one too . . .)

lambcake to go

I wrapped him up, lamb cake-to-go-go.  So that’s about it.  I hope you enjoyed our springtime retreat and are all inspired to make a lamb cake of your own.  And if so, you might need a lamb pan, and that is what I can help with.

wrap him up

Because I washed my lamb cake mold, dried it and tied it with a ribbon, and here it is, all freshly imbued with successful lamb-cake baking DNA ~ and I hope you will leave me a comment at the bottom of this post, because if you do, you will be entered in my drawing, and he can be your very own.  In the next few days, our darling girl Vanna will pull one of your names out of her Easter Bonnet (the one with all the frills), and one of you will be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.  Or, at least you will have a new, slightly used, lamb cake mold. 

Kitchen Gardens

Now one other thing I wanted to ask you.  Do you have this book?  Because if you do, you will know how inspiring it is.  I found this one years ago in a used bookstore and have loved it ever since.  It’s my go-to, never-gets-old classic; a small, canyoudigitinviting garden book, where every word is a pearl.   Planning a garden takes a little time, and this book will help you get in the mood.  You feel as you should when you read it, as part of the earth, part of the ebb and flow of the seasons and the ancient practices of sowing and reaping from the precious green earth that God has given us.  You can smell the warm dirt, taste the crisp, still-warm-from-the garden organic vegetables, hear the bees buzzing in the rosemary.  That’s how you feel when you read this little book.

Kitchen Gardens

The charm doesn’t end with the wonderful words of Mary Mason Campbell, it continues with darling drawings by Tasha Tudor.  Kitchen Gardens was published in 1971 and describes the art of gardening as the simple and wonderful thing that it is.


lambcake mold

And this book is for you too.  I have two, and you get one.  I signed it and when I find out the name of the winner, I will put their name in this lovely old book and off they will go, Lamb Cake pan and Kitchen Gardens, hopefully to make someone’s day.  I have to say, you deserve to win after reading all this!  It’s getting long — I’m so sorry!

Paula and Arnie's

And now, one last thing, just so you can see ~ this is where we were going for dinner the night I made the lamb cake . . . Isn’t it pure fairy tale?  Our friends Arnie and Paula live here.  When I see visions such as this, I think maybe winter’s not really that bad!  Here’s your recipe:


You will need melted Crisco and flour to prepare mold, plus two wooden skewers and two toothpicks for lamb.

  • 2 sticks butter (1 c.), room temp.
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 c. sifted cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, separated, room temp.
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • zest of two lemons

zesting lemons

Grater, in case you need one . . .

Preheat oven to 375°. Paint the inside of your mold with melted Crisco, sprinkle with flour and shake out extra.  Cream softened butter and sugar together with electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Measure your dry ingredients: sift approx. 3 c. flour three times before measuring out three cups and putting them back into the sifter (any extra flour just goes back into your container) ~ add baking powder and salt to sifter with flour in it and sift two more times.  Set aside.

votive candle in a measuring cupAdd egg yolks, one at a time, to butter-sugar mixture; beat well after each ~ put the egg whites in another bowl.

Sift in flour mixture by thirds, alternating with buttermilk, beating until smooth after each addition.  Stir in lemon zest.  Beat egg whites until stiff and fold them into the batter.

Fill face part of lamb mold (the side that doesn’t have the hole in it) full and put it on a cookie sheet.  Lay toothpicks in centers of lamb ears, put clipped wooden skewers or a popsicle stick in center of neck down to body for support.  Press them down slightly into batter.  Put on the top of the mold and tie it together with string.  Put the cookie sheet with the lamb cake into preheated oven and bake 55 minutes. Remove from oven, cut string, allow lamb to cool 15 min; remove top, cool longer, turn it over, remove other side of mold, allow it to cool competely before frosting.

You will have extra batter — enough for one 8″ single layer cake, or several cupcakes.   With my extra batter, I made a bunny cake… with a vintage bunny cake mold I found somewhere on my travels.  Lambies and chickies and bunnies . . . oh my!

lambs and bunnies oh my



You will need a candy thermometer for this.  Pour 1/3 c. water into a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, then stir in 1 c. sugar, 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. Hook the thermometer on the side of the pan making sure the tip of it is in the mixture.  Boil until the mixture reaches 240°.  Meanwhile beat 2 egg whites until stiff.  Pour the 240° syrup over the whites in a thin stream, beating constantly until thick and glossy.  Lay a wide strip of frosting down the middle of an oval serving plate.  Tip the lamb cake out of the pan into your hand and set it in the strip of frosting to anchor it.  Frost the lamb; pat and sprinkle coconut onto sides.  Press coconut in slightly to keep the lamb from looking too hairy.  Voila, he is done, and you are amazing!  Happy Spring Girlfriends!   I think I have delighted you (in the immortal words of Jane Austen) long enough! 


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1,800 Responses to Inspire Spring

  1. Vida Howard says:

    Oh Spring! My Mom makes a lamb cake like yours every Easter. Tradition!

    Soon we will all be breathing in flowers and sunshine…

  2. April says:

    Sweet Springtime. How perfect to celebrate with a little lamb and a book of Gardens colored with Tasha Tudor! Ah! Happiness!

  3. Susan from the VA Highlands says:

    Oh, I absolutely can NOT wait to make this lamb cake! The lambs are about to arrive out here in the Highlands, and this will be a perfect way to celebrate the birthdays of the little darlings! Thank you for the lovely recipes!

  4. Merry King from Alabama says:

    What a pretty cake!

    I love this post to pieces as I’ve been seeing baby Daffodils trying to come up, and there have been nice breezes to taunt me as well, and now it’s going to be 22F in the morning next Tuesday here.

    I would love to be entered into the drawing. 🙂 The book looks so sweet, and I’m sure lamb cakes taste even sweeter!


  5. Kari says:

    I love it all! The bunny cake pan, the books, the lambie cake and your writing and pictures and drawings! The picture you put up of going to your friend’s home is like a fairytale in the middle of winter. Thank you for the fun and for warming the hearts of all of your girlfriends! Oh, and thank you for the suggestion of using the toothpicks and skewers to support the head! Happy Days ~ Kari

  6. Gail Cipriano says:

    I have most of your cookbooks and LOVE them. The illustrations are beautiful and I love to look thru them. I also am glad I found your blog,I love reading it. Many years ago you wrote a newsletter that I received for a while which was great only somehow I stopped receiving it! Now that I (finally,!) have my own iPad I am really enjoying the glimpse into your world. Thank you for sharing it with us. I wish we were next door neighbors because we are interested in many of the same things. Have a great day!

    • sbranch says:

      I got so busy with the new book, then we were traveling across country, plus we heard from many that our last WILLARD newsletter never made it to their mailboxes, which we could never figure out a reason for, that I sort of let WILLARD go by. But it’s not forever. I will send another soon, and we’ll see if it actually goes to all the destinations. Thank you Gail!

  7. Stacey Wilson says:

    I have both the book and lamb cake mold and they are amount some of my favorite things whomever gets them will get some treasures. Btw tasha tutor is one of my favorites I even have two corgis because of her!

  8. Judy A says:

    What a beautiful post making me long for spring! I can almost smell the fresh air and spring flowers! Thank you for this “mind vacation” from the dreary long snowy winter we’re having here. I’m going to try your family cake recipe, it looks delicious!

  9. Mary Ann now in TN says:

    Everything looks so yummy! Your lamb mold is just like the one my mom had and I inherited. Unfortunately, in one of our recent moves our lamb disappeared. It would be so nice if I could have the one you’re offering. Then I would be able to make your delicious lamb cake and bunny cake, too!

  10. Sharon Lynch says:

    I love your blog. I want that book so bad I could cry. I never left a comment before as you can tell. Loved A Fine Romance it felt like I was there with
    you. I didn’t know cookbooks could be so much fun, until I got some of yours.

  11. Kathy H says:

    Thank you for the lemon cake recipe. What a delicious spring flavor to have now. Also thank you for the tip about putting the sticks/toothpicks in the batter before baking. I remember my mother always put 3 toothpicks in her layer cakes so the top layer didn’t slide off the bottom one. My brothers and I always though we’d gotten a prize if your cake slice had a toothpick in it. Oh, for simple pleasures.

  12. Miss Vickie says:

    Sweet, Tweet Spring!!! Lovely! 😉

  13. Linda from Michigan says:

    Oh Susan I can almost smell the lambie cake right now. Yummmmm! It looks so cute how can anyone resist! I would really love to make my own lambie cake so I hope Vanna draws my name! I just love you blog! It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. hahaha
    Your friend Linda from Michigan

  14. Cecelia P says:

    Yummmm…I can smell the lamb cake all the way here in Ohio.
    Spring is just around the corner!

  15. Mich Lueken says:

    I adore this lamb cake !! My sweet Mom always made a lamb cake for Easter. This reminds me of how special she always made the holidays for us. And also, I love the cook book. Im going through the Master Gardening classes and love anything ‘vintage’ gardening. Thank you for all of the special preciousness you bring to this world.

  16. Colleen Baptista says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely lamb cake. I’m so looking forward to Spring. It’s actually in the air here in California.

  17. Mrs. Pivec says:

    So darling! Perfect for dreams of spring! 🙂

  18. Jennifer Darling says:

    That mold is just adorable. This post was a much needed reminder that spring IS just around the corner. Thanks for sharing, Susan, you always make my day. ~

  19. Cynthia H says:

    I can’t wait for Spring and digging in the garden!
    The lamb cake is so cute! Can’t wait for Easter too!

  20. Vera Black says:

    You always make everyone so happy with wonderful recipes and this lamb cake is so awesome!! I am definately ready for Spring after seeing this adorable cake! 🙂

  21. Alexis Hilgert says:

    Oh my heavens! A lamb cake mold!? I am dying of cuteness overload right now!

  22. Silvia Niomi says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thought I’d stop by and say hi. I try to stop by your blog every week, but I don’t always have time to say hi. Your lamb cake turned out cute… if that lamb pan comes my way I think I could put that to good use with one of your delicious recipes.

    The lambs in England are so cute with their pink ears and their expressions. In our neck of the woods we don’t see too many sheep (or is it sheeps?). I think its too hot for them. they look like they would make cute pets. What are their temperaments like? they seem like gentle, docile animals.

    Well, stay cozy during your very long winter. White winters have always been my favorite. For us it has been a very dry and brittle year…. maybe next year we will get a little more rain. (dare I wish for snow?)

  23. Harmony A. says:

    As I sit by my frosty window watching the chickadees devouring the freshly filled feeder, I am enjoying replaying your springtime inspiration post in my mind. Don’t worry little birds, I say. The time of cherry blossoms and baby lambs will soon be upon us and we can welcome the blooms of jonquils together.

  24. Arlinda says:

    Let it be me. Oh please let it be me!


  25. theresa says:

    Hi Susan
    How precious like children is this blog for today.We hit 50degrees @Pats Peak Henniker NH today Snow Tubing with all the families of Childhood Cancer Lifeline…how fun to be outdoors with everyone…so good to take time for fun!
    Your website/blogs are like Spring Rains
    Thank you Susan! PEACE!

  26. BOBBIE FEY says:


  27. Daralyn Ruchalski says:

    I just returned home from a cruise. I went out of FL to Haiti Jamaica and Mexico. Instead of rushing like crazy, we looked for the everyday pleasures
    and chances to relax. Shuffleboard, ping pong, tea, strolls thru Central Park, and a quiet spot to read on the deck.
    Thank you for the inspiration to enjoy life and the little details <3

    I enjoyed this peak into spring!

  28. Jane Catherine Shaw says:

    I loved your photos and thoughts of springtime being around the corner. Your lambcake is very cute and recipe sounds delicious as well. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Allison says:

    What an adorable lamb cake! My little girls would be in love. I can just see my youngest (not quite 2) pointing and saying “baaa”. I usually make a bunny cake for Easter – this is a great idea for something new & equally adorable.

  30. Cindy Thompson says:

    That lamb cake of yours is too cute! Sweet little lambs, Easter, flowers, blossoming trees, warm breezes,…..nothing like springtime! Thank you so much for the recipe and uplifting blog!

  31. Margaret says:

    You are amazing! Love the lamb, love the book too! And I love reading your blog!

  32. Suzanne says:

    You never cease to amaze me Susan. I look forward to your posts as much as a beautiful sunrise, or a fresh fallen snow, or the smell of cookies baking in the oven…I could go on and on! I just love your little lamb cake, only you could make her almost real! Your creativity and an eye for the sweet and beautiful just spreads to us like a warm hug.
    I finally got my O’keefe and Merritt stove, she’s sitting in my dining room while we are renovating my kitchen, I just can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to bake (hopefully your lamb cake) in it once it’s put in place and all hooked up. It’ a dream come true to have this stove. I would love to send you a picture once it’s all set up. My heart flutters with the thought of baking in it.
    I just loved the picture of the little house you went to for dinner, it somewhat reminds me of your first little house on the island. So sweet. Well thank you for your recipes and lovely pictures, they always make my day! ~ East Longmeadow, MA <3

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Suzanne, how wonderful — you are going to love that stove for the rest of your life! I understand your excitement!

  33. Olivia says:

    A most wonderful way to wecome spring…golly, do we ever need it. Have the little cast iron sheep, my son purchased from your shop as my mother’s day gift last year, he has his place of honor in my kitchen.

    Love the beautiful kitchen garden book…. we surely need sweet spring. . .thank you for your sweet blogs..a bright spot in my day.

  34. Patricia says:

    Dear Susan,

    What a wonderful drawing! The lamb mold makes such a pretty cake but I’m sure the baker has something to do with it. On top of that a gardening book with drawings by Tasha Tudor. I just love those little corgis!

    Thanks, Patricia

  35. Freddie says:

    I love this Lamb cake mold. I would love to make this for my grand boys for Easter. I bought your book , A fine Romance , added it to my collection. I loved it. What a great trip you had. The next book will be on Ms. Potter. Thanks for the drawing.

  36. Beth Moss says:

    I love the lamb cake and am going to start looking for the little owl timer you use. The Kitchen Garden book looks wonderful. We lost some of our shrubs this winter – it has been a tough one. But the good news is – I can try my hand at growing lavender, and maybe a peony or rose bush. I am also going to try to grow some herbs this year. Never had the confidence to grow new things, but turned 61 in January – better get started on all those things I want to do. Finally made it to England and France in 2013. Life is good! Thanks for the part you play in it!

  37. Christine says:

    Baa Baa Baa Baa Baa…that’s “lamb-ies” for, sign me up for this drawing, please!
    Baa Baa… “oh and don’t forget the book!”.
    Speaking Lamb-ies is just a little something I picked up, along the way.

  38. Carolyne says:

    What an inspiring post to make Spring come sooner-than-ever~!
    Love the recipe…..will try it soon.

  39. Kati says:

    How adorably sweet! My nieces and nephews would love a lamb shaped cake. (And I love your little black and white “helper”.)

  40. Sandra says:

    Dear Sue,
    Thank you for your friendship. It gives my soul strength and such inspiration♥

  41. Connie Martin says:

    I love the cake and I don’t know how I could have missed the book. Would love to have both. Great idea for the sticks in the head! I will have to make this cake for my Daughter, Julie, who loves anything lemon. I hope I can bake it in the lamb cake pan! Thanks for everything everyday Susan!

    Connie in Columbus, Ohio

  42. Maureen says:

    I remember making a lamb cake when I was growing up. I do not know whatever happened to the pan/mold. Probably got lost when my parents moved. What a wonderful recipe to have included on the posting. The Lamb and Gardening are promises that Spring is coming.

  43. Judy says:

    Your cheerfulness is like spring flowers – even as the snow falls.

  44. Charlotte says:

    Both give away gifts are so special. Who ever wins will have something to enjoy for years to come. Both gifts speak spring is coming. Enjoyed reading this post today.
    Thank you.

  45. Corinne says:

    I love your blog! So much happiness here. And I so loved A Fine Romance. Your post made me yearn even more for spring. We are worn out from all this winter. This precious lamb cake reminded me of a rabbit cake my Mom used to make for me when I was very little, and brought back fond memories of her. And for that, a very big thank you with a hug sent along, too.

  46. I am always so torn at this time of year. I love the winter when it is snowing or the wind is blowing. Have you ever heard the Kansas wind…it is both spooky and beautiful. It is perfect to listen to on a cold late winter evening, wrapped in a warm crocheted afghan, eating hot, delicious Hamburger Stew, and waiting for another round of snow!

    In order to really enjoy this though, I must hide all of the seed and clothing catalogs that have started to appear in my mailbox…bright and pastel colors, little bits of crisp cotton and fragrant blooms…oh I can never decide if I want winter to continue or bring on the spring!!!


  47. Donna Kozak says:

    I just read today’s blog and now I feel better (as I just saw a closeup picture of myself taken recently and cringed!!) …and I love Tasha Tudor. I hope that book you have is still available…that is, if I don’t win it !!

    • sbranch says:

      I love them so much, I give them as gifts and always look for them in antique stores when I travel. I found several on our cross-country trip. Kellee is taking pictures of them now, and they should be in our Vintage section soon.

  48. Elise Larsen says:

    Happy, Happy Springtime Susan! Thanks for sharing your deliciousness with us. I can’t wait to make your Grandma’s homemade Lemon Daisy Cake. My mouth is watering as I write…yummmmy ♥

  49. Anne says:

    Oh how dear. This brought back so many wonderful memories! My sister and I used to bake a lamb cake for the dessert for Easter dinner.

    I am such a fan of Tasha Tudor. I was given her book on the four seasons as a girl for Christmas one year, and I still love it to this day. As I write, our little corgi,Tasha is sleeping by my feet.

    Thank you for inspiring me to always keep a youthful heart.

  50. Jonna Green says:


    I would love to be entered into the drawing to win the lamb cake mold and lovely book! My 9 year old daughter loves to cook and bake with me and I could see this as a wonderful thing for us to do together! She loves to make and decorate cakes and since we will be hosting Easter, this cake would be perfect to make. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post and recipe! I do have all of your books and love them so…can’t wait for the next one! Have a wonderful day!

  51. marilyn p. staley says:

    Your writings are always so uplifting; a ray of brilliant sunshine, no matter what the weather. Your creativity is a gift enjoyed by all. . . .keep up the great work that you do for us all, and know your efforts are always appreciated

  52. Erin Middlebrooks says:

    I LOVE the lamb mold. And the Tasha Tudor book. You have found some amazing things on your travels.

    You are right, the comments people make on your blog are amazing. When I read your posts I often go in to read the comments as well. You live a charmed life Susan.

  53. Dottie says:

    Oh.. oh… I want one. Pick me! Pick me! I love Tasha Tutor and that sweet lamb. The sun is shining today both outside and in my heart with your posts.

  54. Victoria says:

    Thank you for extending your giveaway. What a wonderful opportunity to win two generous gifts. Please add my name to the list.

  55. Catherine Reed says:

    Oh, SO happy to have found your site…and truly hoping to win the bunny mold and garden book! My cherished edition of The Joy of Cooking has a white-cake recipe that is perfectly suited for molding, and the drawing that they use for example is a bunny just like yours. I’ve always wondered where I could get one!

    Thanks again for the site…I look forward to many hours here! 😉

  56. Candy Abel says:

    Great blog post. I’m ready for Spring! And, Easter. I made the cake and now will hope I win the lamb pan for the next time I bake. The cake is delicious!

  57. Merle says:

    Oh Susan,
    I love the pan and book. We always have a better lamb at Easter and he could really use a sweet friend! 😉

  58. Merle says:

    Oh Susan,
    I LOVE the book and pan! We always have a butter lamb at Easter, he could use a sweet friend! 😉

  59. Patricia Ruehle says:

    Based on the number of responses you have received regarding your latest give a way, it should be considered a lottery! Oh well – no harm in dreaming! I consider myself a winner, no matter the outcome. How I love reading your blog. Thank you!

  60. Maria Touet says:

    What a great recipe! Sounds so yummy!
    I love Tasha Tudor, I accidently met her once at a book signing that I happened upon when out for a ride with my Mom in Acton. There were so many people there it was truly amazing to see how many people loved her works. I bought her book, Tasha Tudor’s Gardens, and had her sign it. I’ve reread it so many times, it’s like visiting another world.

  61. Kathleen kane says:

    Oh my. I couldn’t believe your blog. My mom has made me that lamb cake every year for my birthday since I can remember. I just lost her unexpectedly this past March. I did not celebrate my birthday last year as I was so lost without her. She always made our birthdays such a celebration. When we packed up her house, I could not find the lamb cake mold. I WOULD LOVE to have this so that I can continue my moms tradition of making a lamb cake for my birthday. My birthday is always close to Easter and she would put green coconut and jelly beans around the base of the cake plate. If I don’t win, I want to thank you for the memories your blog stirred in me. Thanks for the memory!

  62. Sandie says:

    You know, here I am, raised as a city girl, minding my own business…..and I’ll be danged if, after reading this, I’m all jazzed up about making a lamb cake for my 14 yr old and 4 yr old grandchildren! I so love getting your blog posts, lovely and loving. Thanks, Susan!

  63. Lilli in Halfmoon Bay BC says:

    I love and appreciate your cheery posts and I feel the excitement of Spring despite the late and unusual snowfall here on the West Coast. Thank you for highlighting the beauty in Home life!

  64. L.S. says:

    The lamb cake sure brings back memories! New hats and shiny shoes for Easter morning! Your cake is lovely but he needs pink jelly bean eyes, please.

    Happy Easter to all.

  65. Dawn H says:

    Your lamb cake is adorable and it looks delicious! The garden book is very special too! Thank you for the recipes, the giveaway, and the promise of spring!

  66. Sue says:

    I love the lamb cake mold . It is darling! Spring fever is here! I enjoyed your blog.

    Thanks Sue S.

  67. Janet Conn says:

    What a cute pan, but the book is beautiful. Thanks for such a wonderful give-away.


    Janet in Pittsburgh

  68. Tamara Scire says:

    “You delighted us long enough” indeed and you did a far better job than Mary Bennett!

  69. Debbie says:

    I would love to win your darling little lambie cake pan and cookbook! I live in Kentucky and have quiet a collection of yours and Tasha Tudor books. I am a “follower” 🙂 for sure! The cookbook looks delightful, but this little lambie cake would be adorable on my Easter table! Thank you for putting sunshine into my day with your beautiful illustrations in your books and I love reading your blog!

  70. Lynda Hovan says:

    Thank you Susan, for turning my thoughts to the joys of Spring! Your little lamb cake turned out so cute–how could anyone bring themselves to cut the first slice? I hope Spring and all its pastel loveliness visits you soon!

  71. Julie L says:

    Oh I cannot wait for Spring. Your blog gave me the fever!
    Snow, snow go away …………………….

  72. Gail Steinmeyer says:

    I can’t wait to try that Lamb cake! It sounds foolproof with all the tips you included….Thank you!!! Now I just need the pan 😉 I always look forward to your posts so I can escape and dream.

  73. Nellie says:

    I love the cake but I love that book most! I enjoy the blog and it inspires me with cooking and gardening.

  74. Carol hobbs says:

    Oh how I adore your lamb cake. It’s coconut fleece is as white as snow, but the symbol of the lamb surely means Spring is almost here! Alleluiah!

  75. Claudia says:

    We, your girlfriends, are richer by far for the beautiful images of LIFE that you so frequently share with us. You take me back to when I was a young bride (early 1970’s) when all things domestic were so new and thrilling to my senses. Not raised by a mother who loved homemaking, I discovered it was my passion as soon as I set about making my first home. I leaned heavily on a few domestic goddesses I was privileged to know, often the mothers of my friends, and I absorbed their love for making home a HAVEN for their families. When I see the work of your hands, Susan, knowing you spent time in your lovely little kitchen making something to share with your friends…it takes me back to all the things that are simple, and beautiful, and without which life would hardly be worth living. In this world that is entirely too complicated and technical, I purpose to simplify and bring back more of the simple beauty I once found enchanting. Truth is, it still is!

  76. K. Ross says:

    I never win anything, but I follow your blog faithfully, so I thought I’d drop a note to say thanks for happy thoughts.

  77. Betsy says:

    Gardening. lamb cake, Tasha Tudor and Susan Branch! It will be spring soon!!!!

  78. Judy C says:

    Oh my – lovelyTasha Tabor drawings in a beautiful garden book and the lamb cake mold – you are so kind!!! – these things just call Spring very loudly to my very cold ears and hands which are so tired of winter. I do have jonquils getting ready to bloom – and I am all a flutter with my very impatient waiting. Another beautiful post with our lovely Susan reminding of warm days ahead and all about staying happy in our hearts. Judy C in NC

  79. Judy C says:

    Now I am wondering if my post made it up to the snowy country. Sad am I because the usual didn’t happen “your comment is waiting moderation.” Judy C singing Springtime songs and looking for the jonquils very impatiently.

  80. Pauline Wilde says:

    What a lucky day for me to have stumbled across your wonderful blog! Your home is a perfect example of a piece of Heaven here on earth! Visiting the east coast area is on my bucket list. Thanks for the opportunity to win your blog candy of the amazing book and darling lamb cake pan. The grands would absolutely love it! Thanks for taking so much time to share your wonderful part of the world with us in such great detail and pictures!

  81. Dear Sue,

    Just wanted to let you know I nominated your blog for the best in Better Homes and Gardens Blogger Awards but I should have let you know sooner as it looks like the editors already chose their top five–next time you will be the winner I just know it!!!

  82. Alice says:

    Never thought to make my lamb-mold cake except for Easter dinner! Thanks for reminding me to think outside the box!

    At our Greece, NY library, a wonderful retired neurologist, Dr. Gerald Honch, is making a presentation on the neurologic problems which have occurred in Downton Abbey. Who knew?!?

  83. Joy Woodman says:

    Oh how fun your blog was ! SPRING !!!!!! Here in California it sure feels like Spring. It is 70 degrees here in Central California. Love the cake recipe and I looked up the Betty Crocker book on Amazon and it was $150.00. So here is hoping to winning the lamb cake pan and book.

    Is writing a book about Spring ever crossed your mind ? I love you Autumn and Summer books.
    Thankful for your sweetness, creative ideas and inspiration about life.

  84. Susan I love your blogs! They are inspirational and just lovely–I wish I could print and color as you do. What a gift you have, not to mention all of your other talents. Thank you for your recipes (just love them!) and for this lovely post reminding us that Spring is almost here.

  85. Amy K says:

    Susan I love your website and blog so much! We have had a short spurt of warmth here and all I can do is walk around outside and dream about what I’m going to plant this spring. I love your lambie cake too, he’s precious 🙂

  86. cathleen says:

    Hi Susan! I met you at the Learned Owl in Hudson OH in September. What a lovely spirit you have! I was the grandmother with the long gray hair and my seven year old granddaughter Libby was with me. You let her hold Petey. We both adore you! Thank you for the sweet giveaway.

  87. Joan says:

    My mother used to make what she called an Easter Lamb Cake every year when we were young. Can you believe she had a CAST IRON mold? Hers was always made from scratch with lemon zest and frosted all over with a meringue frosting, then coated with coconut. She used baby jelly beans for the eyes and nose, and she used to tint extra coconut green, and put it all around the base on the platter, to look like the lamb was laying in the grass. She was one amazing cook and baker, just like you! Your photos surely brought back fond memories! Thank you for your blog!

  88. Linda says:

    What a fun contest!
    …we just got a “dusting” of snow this weekend here in the Pacific NW (just north of Seattle) ..not like all of you back East.

  89. Joan says:

    My mother used to make what she called an Easter Lamb Cake every year when we were young. Can you believe she had a CAST IRON mold? Hers was always made from scratch with lemon zest and frosted all over with a meringue frosting, then coated with coconut. She used baby jelly beans for the eyes and nose, and she used to tint extra coconut green, and put it all around the base on the platter, to look like the lamb was laying in the grass. She was one amazing cook and baker, just like you! Your photos surely brought back fond memories! Thank you for your blog!

  90. Susie says:

    Your beautiful pictures and cheery blog brighten my days! After your last post I went out and bought a pot of tulips for my kitchen counter and a darling little lamb to sit on the cabinet. My son commented, “Looks like Mom needs some spring!” Precisely!!! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your talent and your piece of the world with us!

  91. Linda says:

    Your posts are never too long! I read every word and enjoy every drawing. And with the flowers and cake in this one, what’s not to love!

  92. Robin in New Jersey says:

    I love reading here and seeing all the loveliness you pass on to each of us. You are so sweet! Have a lovely week. 🙂

  93. C Darlene Jones says:

    Lemon is my favorite flavor in all baked things especially cake. What better than a lemon flavored lamb cake, that delicious frosting and strawberries!

  94. Diehl Clifton says:

    Susan, I have loved you for years. Have your address book which I adore. Your art is wonderful, so inspiring and warm. I, too, love England especially the Lake District. It has been several years since I was there, and would love to go back. Thank you for your loving spirit!!

  95. Wendy Dandridge says:

    I am going to make a lemon daisy cake! I love lemon desserts the best. Thank you for this sunshiney blog!!! I would also LOVE the lambie pan and garden book! 😉

  96. Nancy Brigham says:

    Love, love, love reading this lastest post. I line dried my comforter today and could smell spring! Coming to the vineyard on a girls trip in April. I have been many times but bringing 5 of my best girls to show them heaven!

  97. Paula says:

    You are so generous, Susan! Your lamb cake is delightful; I love the photo with the little lamb approaching the big lamb cake! Life is fun with Susan Branch in it! Love and hugs!

  98. Nancy Brigham says:

    Thank you for posting such a special spring post! I line dried my comforter today and I could smell spring! Coming to the vineyard in April on a girls trip with 5 of my best girls. I have been many times and can’t wait for them to meet heaven.

  99. Denise W. Jose says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful breath of Spring air. Your Blog is always so inspiring.
    I have my Mom’s lamb cake pan and use it every Easter. Brings back great memories. I will definately use your directions to crisco/flour the pan as I always hold my breath when I want to take the lamb out of the pan.
    I use little currents for eyes and mix just a touch of red food coloring to a little white frosting(pink) and draw a nose and mouth to finish the face.
    Thank you again!

  100. Andi M says:

    The cake looks yummy and so does the give away. I would love to add that book to my other Tasha Tudor book, Corgiville Circus. I have just started looking for her books.

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