Empty Tomb Cake – An Easter Tradition

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Baking and decorating an empty tomb cake has become a yearly Easter tradition for our family. It’s fun to make, delicious to eat, and a great reminder that He is risen, indeed!

Empty Tomb Cake | Life as Mom

It was March of 2010 when I first shared this Empty Tomb Cake. Since then it’s been a yearly tradition as part of our 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. Playmobil action figures are great decorations for birthday cakes!

After several years of placing only the Roman guards on the cake, a few years ago we took a new turn. FishChickthen6 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.

Yes, yes, we did. 

Here’s how our cake looked the first year with chocolate frosting, candy rocks, and Roman guards:

Empty Tomb Cake | Life as Mom

And 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.

Empty Tomb Cake | Life as Mom

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.

Empty Tomb Cake

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

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray bowl and square pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fill small bowl about half full with cake batter. Pour remaining batter into square pan. Bake 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.
Empty Tomb Cake | Life as Mom

Place square cake on cake board or serving tray. Adhere small bowl on top with a little frosting.

Empty Tomb Cake | Life as Mom

Carve out a small section in the round bowl. Frost both cakes.

Empty Tomb Cake | Life as Mom

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:

Empty Tomb Cake | Life as Mom

And you can frost the cookie if you prefer that look:

Empty Tomb Cake | Life as Mom

It’s up to you. Just make sure that you lick the beaters when you’re done:

Empty Tomb Cake | Life as Mom

Empty Tomb Cake | Life as Mom

Originally published March 31, 2010.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. WOW what an amazing cake!! He is Risen, He is Risen indeed!!

  2. I love that cake! I’ll have to give it a try.

  3. I’d LOVE to try this cake! We don’t have any soldiers, though. Wonder if I can find some.

  4. Hattie says:

    Love your Resurrection Cake! My son doesn’t have any Playmobile sets yet…but your various cakes utilizing Playmobile pieces make me want to buy a few sets for him!:)

  5. I think I am going to have to do this with the kids! Great idea!

  6. Rachel says:

    My kids and I made this today. What a great idea! We could not find rock candy, so we used whole Whoppers and broken up pieces of Whoppers. Thanks for sharing this. Very very easy and fun!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      So glad it worked for you and that you were able to improvise. Some Walmarts carry the candy rocks.

  7. We were able to make this cake yesterday, my first cake was a disaster, but the second one turned out great. Thanks for the idea.

  8. Jennifer Akin says:

    The kids and I made this cake after Easter services this morning! It helped to keep our focus on our Risen Savior instead of on eggs, bunnies and candy! Thank you for sharing your creative ideas! I love your blog!

  9. That is absolutely fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Love it!!!

  11. Just showed this to the kidlets – they can’t WAIT to make it!! ha! Thanks.

  12. Hope says:

    That is fantastic! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  13. Carole says:

    Just finished mine! I’m emailing you a picture because i had SO MUCH FUN making it!! It’s a surprise for the kiddos tomorrow morning! I even made a little toothpick sign next to the angel to have him saying, “He is not here! He is risen!” 🙂
    Thanks so much, Jessica!

  14. Carole says:

    Oh- and I’m taking the finished product to our Easter breakfast at church with the Scripture passage printed out to sit next to it Matthew 28:2-7. And hubby just got some gauze out of the first aid kit to lay in the “tomb”!!
    Did i mention how much FUN this was??!!

  15. Amy Bergman says:

    Enjoyed making this cake with my girls this weekend. It was a hit at our family Easter dinner and brought out a lot of great conversation with our 5 and 7 yr. old. Thank you so much for sharing your idea. I think this one may become a tradition for us.

  16. This is terrific! I saw it on 247 Moms and hopped over to check it out here. Thanks for sharing this fantastic idea!

  17. Jennie says:

    Love this idea. Thanks for sharing. I just made one of these cakes. I have it as my Facebook cover photo right now, which is public, so hopefully you can see it here: https://www.facebook.com/BritishAmerican

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I love it! The Mary and angel are great additions. So clever! Thanks for making it public so I can share with the world. 😉

  18. Ali V says:

    I am so glad I found this. I knew when I saw it on Pinterest. I had to make it.
    I’m trying to figure out a way I can link you the picture, mine turned out so cute. I luckily found chocolate rocks, at five below (like a dollar store) and they were absolutely the best part. I also used a chocolate cross and a big round of Mexican chocolate (Ibarra) for the stone. My church school 4th graders are gonna love this tomorrow. Thank you so much for this creative idea!!

  19. Debbie says:

    Oh my I love this cake! We make our annual bunny cake each year but this is so much better. Thank you very much for posting!!

  20. Nicole Mannyx says:

    Love it! Can’t wait until Easter to make it for my family, and maybe one for playgroup too!

  21. Caryn says:

    I started making this cake a few years ago when I saw it posted here. Love it, and it’s not even hard to make (and I am no cake decorator). I pinned it to my Easter Board and it has been repinned many times. May be becoming tradition for many families! Just one of the many great ideas I have learned from you:)

  22. Cordelia says:

    This is so beautiful in appearance and in meaning, Jessica. Thank You! The children will be here for Easter; I would like to try this!! I appreciate the step-by-step directions!

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