Decorating an empty tomb cake for Easter is a fun tradition for both kids and adults. Celebrate that He is risen in a very tangible way.
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Are you looking for a fun and tangible way to teach your children about Christ’s resurrection? There are lots of fun crafts and Easter projects out there.
My personal favorite is the Empty Tomb Cake.
It was March of 2010 when I first shared this Empty Tomb Cake with the interwebs. Since then it’s been a yearly tradition as part of our family’s Easter celebrations.
Thanks to the novelty and creativity of historically themed Playmobil, my kids and I have been able to create diorama-style cakes for a number of occasions. Decorating cakes with Playmobil is super fun!
After several years of placing only the Roman guards on the cake, a few years ago we took a new turn. My youngest daughter, then 6, asked where the women were.
You see, we’d been reading through the gospels and watching the Bible TV program, but I wasn’t sure she was listening. When I told her we were going to make the cake, she said we needed the women.
Stopped me in my tracks, I tell ya. She was listening, indeed.
Yes, yes, we did need the women.
Here’s last year’s cake: carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (my favorite cake!), chopped almonds for the rocks, one Roman guard and the Marys. My carrot cake recipe is larger than a cake mix yields, thus the larger pan.
Clearly the Empty Tomb cake is free form, allowing you to mix and match your frostings, toppings, and characters. You could very easily add Joanna, Peter, John, the angel, or even the resurrected Jesus, depending on the toys you have on hand.
Make an Empty Tomb Cake for Easter.
The Empty Tomb Cake is a fun tradition to add to your Easter celebration. Here’s how to make it.
To create your own Empty Tomb Cake, you will need:
- one boxed cake mix, prepared according to package directions
- small Pyrex bowl
- 10×10 inch square pan
- frosting of your choice (I made a buttercream and tinted it with a few Tablespoons of cocoa)
- milk chocolate rocks
- one large cookie
- Playmobil Roman soldiers or ancient men and women, plastic trees and shrubs
How to make an Empty Tomb cake:
The process for making this cake is pretty simple. Divide your cake batter into a small oven-proof bowl and a square or rectangular baking pan. You’ll need to pay close attention to the baking times as they will vary with odd shaped pans. Just check every 5 to 10 minutes to make sure you don’t burn your cakes.
Cool the cakes completely on wire racks before you add the frosting and decor.
Place the square cake on a cake board or serving tray. Adhere the small domed cake on top with a little frosting.
Carve out a small section in the round bowl. Frost both cakes.
Add rocks, plastic trees, and shrubs, Roman soldiers, and cookie. Make sure to let your kids help if they are interested.
If you prefer, you can omit the soldiers or add the women who went to the tomb the next day. Or mix and match your people. It really all depends on what toys you have on hand.
It goes without saying, wash the toys before you put them on your cake!
If you make the Empty Tomb Cake this year or have done in the past, I’d love for you to leave a starred review below.
Empty Tomb Cake
- plastic toys to represent Roman guards and/or Hebrew women
- plastic toy trees and shrubs
- one boxed cake mix prepared according to package directions or your favorite cake batter
- frosting of your choice buttercream tinted it with a few Tablespoons of cocoa works well
- one large cookie
- brown sugar or brown sprinkles
- cookie or cracker crumbs
- milk chocolate rocks
- chopped nuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a small Pyrex bowl and an 8-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Fill the bowl about half full with cake batter. Pour the remaining batter into the square pan. Bake the square pan for about 25 minutes and small bowl for about 35. Check every 5-10 minutes for doneness, especially if you are using different size pans. Cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on rack.
- Place the cooled square cake on a cake board or serving tray. Adhere the small bowl-shaped cake on top of the square cake with a little frosting.
- Carve out a small section in the round bowl cake. Set aside. Frost both cakes.
- Add rocks, plastic trees, and shrubs to the cake. Add Roman soldiers, Hebrew women, and/or other action figures. Use the cookie or the reserved section of cake as the stone to block the tomb.
Originally published March 31, 2010.