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  • Sarah L Samuels

Christmas Cake Decorating

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

This is the second part of my Christmas cake making and decorating blog. The first part was how to make the cake and this part concentrates on decorating the cake with marzipan and fondant icing.

In this blog I will explain with photos how to cover the cake in a layer of marzipan then finish in fondant icing. It will also cover some ideas for the finished look.

Decorating a Christmas Cake

Sarah's skill: Medium


8” Round Cake

750g Ready made Marzipan

750g Ready made White Fondant icing

Apricot jam

Sieved icing sugar

6” Round Cake

500g Ready Made Marzipan

500g Ready made White Fondant icing

Apricot jam

Sieved icing sugar

Equipment required

Icing smoothing tool

Rolling pin

Pastry brush

Christmas cutters

Festive ribbon

Sugar decorations


To start I am going to explain how to cover the cake in marzipan. I stop feeding my cake a week before I want to marzipan and ice it.

Turn the cake upside down as this gives you a perfect flat surface to start with.

You then need to sieve the apricot jam so it is totally smooth as you don’t want lumps of apricots under your marzipan and icing. Warm the jam slightly and get a pastry brush ready.

Place your cake upside down on a cake board and brush it all over with the warmed apricot jam then set aside.

Put some sieved icing sugar onto the work surface and lightly knead the mazipan and shape it into a circle before you start rolling it out.

Measure the diameter of the cake and the height (x2) to get a rough measurement to roll your marzipan out.

Place the marzipan on top of the cake and gently start at the top of the cake and flatten the sides with the palm of your hands.

Do this slowly and ease down the sides of your cake so you have smooth sides.

Then run a cake icing smoothing tool over the top and sides.

Finally trim the marzipan from the bottom of the cake. Don’t cut it exactly the right size - I cut mine with an extra few millimetres as the cake is not totally flat at the bottom and this will fill in the gap.

Run your hand and the smoothing tool around the bottom so it’s nice an smooth.

You can either continue straight away with the icing or you can leave the cake and ice it another day.

I generally marzipan and ice the cake on the same day unless I have a lot to do then I will marzipan them all one day and ice them the next. With ready made marzipan you do not need to wait for it to dry out like you would if you made your own.

To ice the cake put some sieved icing sugar on the work surface and knead the icing and shape into a round shape as you did with the marzipan.

Again roll out to the same measurement as the marzipan.

Brush the marzipan all over with the apricot jam.

Fold the icing in half and place it on top of the marzipan.

Gently smooth the icing down with the palm of your hands starting at the top and moving down very slowly and carefully. You want to spend the time doing this carefully and slowly so you get a lovely smooth covering to your cake. If it’s a bit gathered at the bottom pull the icing out and smooth down. You can smooth any perfections out with the smoothing tool.

Trim the icing around the bottom and you should have a nice smooth covered cake. You can go over the surface and sides with the smoothing tool to finish.

Finally you can think about the decoration.….

I like to put some ribbon around the base of my cake but you can leave it plain if you want.

Then you can use the off cuts of icing to make your own design. You can leave it white or use a few drops of food colouring and make leaves or holly or anything you want. I have lots of Christmas themed cutters that I use but you can buy sugar decorations in most major supermarkets Instead.

You can also spray with gold glitter.

If you want to cut angels, stars or snowflakes these can be attached easily with a little brush of cold water.

You can also make shapes out of the leftover marzipan. You can make fruits or as I made little trees.

I made "green sugar" by taking some caster sugar in a plastic bag and adding food colouring and mixing in the bag.

I made three different shades of green by adding different amounts of food colouring.

Shape the marzipan into "tree shapes" of various sizes.

Leave to dry overnight then add cocktail sticks to the bottoms so they are easier to handle. Brush water over the marzipan then dip in the sugar bags.

Leave to dry.

Make a small amount of water icing and spread it over the middle of the cake.

Take some icing sugar and mix with a little granulated sugar then sprinkle over the icing.

Take the trees and replace the cocktail sticks with pretzel sticks or matchmakers for the tree trunks. Place them randomly on top of the cake like a mini forest.

Below are some examples of cakes I have decorated in the past but you can do as much or little as you want!

I look forward to seeing your creations….

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