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Help - Christmas cake decorating

(19 Posts)
MrsPear Tue 28-Nov-17 20:22:17

I am very very much a novice. Can anyone share a really easy way to decorate a Christmas cake?

MonumentalAlabaster Tue 28-Nov-17 21:46:59

It's possible to get ready rolled white icing which is easy to work. Then you can simply add those little silver balls or a sprig of holly to look minimalist & elegant.

HoneyDragon Tue 28-Nov-17 21:53:25

Brush top of your cake with a apricot glaze/jam.

Cover a surface with icing sugar and roll out marzipan / almond paste to about 2cm to 3cm larger than your cake top. You can use its tin as a guide.

Plonk cake on topside down, turn the right side up and fold round the edges and trim off.

Glaze the sides, roll a rectangle and press the sides trimming as you go.

(Or you can be lazy and plonk at sheet over all the cake and press and then trim)

IMPORTANT PART: Leave the marzipan 1-2 day’s before icing.

Then make a Royal icing and spread on roughly with a palate knife no need to smooth as it looks like snow.

Then decorate with your holly, flowers whatever and leave to set. I like to make fondant penguins and snowmen to go on mine grin

HoneyDragon Tue 28-Nov-17 21:54:07

Royal icing is easy to make by the way, I promise.

goose1964 Tue 28-Nov-17 22:02:31

I'm rubbish at cake decorating but last year's was almost good, I coloured some icing navy blue and covered the cake with it, I then used a snowflake cutter to make white snowflakes which I then covered with sparkling sugar. Arranged on the cake and stuck down with vodka ( mother in law's semi pro decorators tip).

I've tried royal icing but no-one liked it , too much like meringue for my 3

HoneyDragon Tue 28-Nov-17 22:27:55

Goose, that sounds stunning.

NoBarbaraGood Wed 29-Nov-17 01:59:19

That does sound gorgeous, goose. And thanks for the detailed instructions, HoneyDragon. So helpful!

Thanks for this thread. I've just baked my first Christmas cake, and I need to figure out the decoration over the next few weeks.

I bought some packaged fondant icing while I was over in the UK, but it turns out I didn't buy enough to cover the cake. Can I make that kind of icing and combine it with the packaged stuff?

How is royal icing different from fondant? (I love meringue!)

Same question with the marzipan - I didn't buy enough of that, either.

SandLand Wed 29-Nov-17 03:26:08

Barbara have you got enough fondant and marzipan to cover the top? If so, cover the top, as above, and a little down the sides, and then get a big red ribbon to go round the sides.

WomblingThree Wed 29-Nov-17 06:18:34

You can buy royal icing powder in a box that you just mix with water. Much easier than faffing with making it.

Bowerbird5 Wed 29-Nov-17 06:20:43

You can roll it out quite thinly I never buy as much as they tell you. You can make marzipan. You could marzipan whole cake then roll out fondant into a rectangle (measure cake sides with a bit of string to get it the right length) then royal ice the top. Otherwise go with Sandland suggestion only I would just do the top and leave cake showing either side of a wide red ribbon.
goose MIL is right
The snowflakes are stunning dusted with hologram dust and you might have enough to make some. If you make them either with petal paste/ Mexican paste or 60/40 with fondant 40 then they can be made to stand up like they have fallen on the cake. I once made someone a 3 tiered wedding cake like this. Even if I do say it myself it was stunning and it was snowing when they came out which is what I was hoping for.

Cardilover Wed 29-Nov-17 06:25:35

I spent a lot of yday evening on Pinterest trying to find an easy design! There’s one by Frances Quinn (bake off winner) that looked easy and effective. She covered the cake in white fondant icing, then cut out star shapes from the top of the cake with a biscuit cutter, and filled the holes with edible silver / gold balls.

MrsPear Wed 29-Nov-17 12:58:16

Thank you everyone esp honeydragon for detailed steps.

Sainsbury’s sells marzipan and tubs of royal icing. I’ll pick up a palette knife. I can do rough and ready for snow and it will hide the marzipan which I fear maynot be smooth. I’ll pick up some cheap and cheerful trees and penguins. I take it I can use normal ribbon or should I buy cake one? I’ll wash it first.

MrsPear Wed 29-Nov-17 12:59:28

Oh and goose your cake did sound fab. I like the vodka trick!

HoneyDragon Wed 29-Nov-17 13:26:52

IMO Xmas cakes always look good grin As long as the marzipan is left a couple of days it won’t leak through and colour whatever icing you use.

I just use normal ribbon if I use one.

MrsPear Wed 29-Nov-17 14:42:35

Thanks for the faith honeydragon -I will have give myself a talk I think. Seriously I can cook but decorating a cake shock Yule log will be the other thing - I can manage that!

CreamCrackerundertheSettee Wed 29-Nov-17 15:01:15

I never bother leaving the marzipan a few days I just bung it on all on the same day. I use royal icing so maybe that prevents leakage? Use a very wide ribbon and that covers up a lot of it.

I’m very slapdash though and blame any imperfections on the dcs!

NoBarbaraGood Fri 01-Dec-17 13:23:15

Thanks for all the great (and specific!) advice. You've given hope to this novice.

(Will anyone be brave enough to post a photo?!)

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 01-Dec-17 18:27:52

Oh I love the marzipan (its the best bit fgrin ) I make the Delia Smith almond paste , it comes out softer than bought (but that might be all the Amarretto !)

Thick layer of marzipan glued down with apricot jam then Royal Icing . clue ! I have holly/ivy leaf cutters , I could do white leaves (minimalist) or green roll out in a wreath?

HoneyDragon Fri 01-Dec-17 18:32:14

I make almond paste if I can’t get the white marzipan that Aldi sell. I do like that stuff.

As for decoration dd has suggested the Gruffalo for this years cake hmm I have enough to do in the kitchen so she’s been told to bugger off.

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