It’s one of our favourite times of the year….when we get to decorate the Christmas cake! Our cake (made from a very old family recipe going back three generations) has been resting happily under the bed all wrapped up in parchment for the last few months, only coming out every now and again for a feed of brandy, sometimes whiskey and occasionally rum (and to be honest any alcoholic spirit we can find……eeek it’s going to be more like a Christmas cake cocktail!) and now it’s time to decorate it – before the fumes knock us out. We thought we’d share the process with you – we are no Nigella’s here at Vintage Dorset so bear with us, we like things simple and uncomplicated and we’re not looking for perfection!
So to begin – most importantly we always have a small glass of something gorgeous on the side to help the decorating process go smoothly (this year a lovely Pedro Ximenez sherry) and put the fab old Christmas tunes CD on to really get in the festive spirit, then we can get started.
We’ve chosen a lovely old single tier cake stand for our cake this year.
And here’s the monster itself in all its naked glory! We’ve turned it upside down to give a nice flat (ish) decorating surface.
We used clingfilm on the board when we rolled out the marzipan as it’s so much easier and you don’t end up with a sticky mess to clear up. We’ve gone for white marzipan as we like icing to be fairly thin and we don’t want the yellow marzipan showing through. You can use brandy marzipan but we thought there was already enough booze going on! We spread apricot jam over the cake before applying the marzipan – or you could use marmalade but not the lumpy kind – not conducive to a nice flat surface!
Here’s the marzipaned effort and then the iced cake. We used fondant icing – mainly for ease but Royal icing is fine – and definitely better if you want a good old fashioned snow scene. Ok so our iced cake may be a bit wonky but as we said – we’re not after perfection here – and by now we’ve had a glass or two of sherry!
And so to the decorating! We found some lovely reproduction vintage Christmas cards and cut out the scenes we liked to make a 3D effect. Just make sure you allow some card below the picture to make a little stand. We used sterilised pins to pin the cutouts to the cake but you could use a bit of icing instead.
Then we added a lovely ribbon with a cutout label (again from a Christmas card) and finished off with a little vintage inspired wreath at the front with another ribbon round the cake (mainly to disguise the lumps and bumps!). Very simple but very pretty. Here’s the finished article – we like it, hope you do too!