Decorating Christmas Cakes For Gifts

This year I made and decorated small Xmas cakes to give as gifts. Rather than the marzipan and fruit decoration I used last year, I went back to using icing to make the flowers and leaves for this year.

Here are a few photographs showing how I did the decoration.

A finished cake

A finished cake

Levelling the top of a cake using marzipan

Levelling the top of a cake using marzipan

My first step was to level the uneven tops of my cakes using a little apricot jam and small pieces of marzipan.

Cake coated with marzipan

Cake coated with marzipan

Next, a layer of marzipan was added over the whole cake.

Cake after icing

Cake after icing

The marzipan was followed by a nice smooth coat of icing.

Basic flower shape cut out of icing

Basic flower shape cut out of icing

Using a suitable cutter I cut basic flower shapes from thinly rolled icing. To prevent sticking I make liberal use of cornflower.

Re-shaping flower

Re-shaping flower

I added some 3-dimensional form with the aid of a toothpick.

Adding colour to the flower

Adding colour to the flower

I have both liquid and powder forms of cake decorator’s colours. Here I used a little of the powder type to colour the flowers.

Creating the final flower shape using foil

Creating the final flower form using foil

The final form of the flowers was set by placing the soft icing shapes into a pre-shaped bed of kitchen foil. The flowers were then allowed to stiffen before adding them to the cake.

Making flat leaf shapes

Making flat leaf shapes

Flat shapes such as leaves are much quicker and simpler to make.

Adding all the individual parts

Adding all the individual parts to the cake

When all the pieces are ready they are attached to the cake using drops of icing.

Another finished example!

Another finished example!

With a little dusting of icing sugar to provide a “snow effect”, the cake is complete.

This may seem like a lot of work but I found that it did not take too long provided I stuck to variations on a simple theme and did not get sucked in to exploring design possibilities!

Technical note: I made my own gelatin icing for decorating these cakes. This is probably a little easier to form 3-D shapes with but regular fondant icing could also be used.

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Cake!

I’m not a big fan of icing, so last Christmas I decided to decorate my Christmas cakes with marzipan and dried fruit. It ended up being lots of fun and one of my friends liked them so much, she asked me to make one for her dad’s birthday.