For quick and easy festive entertaining, check out our no-cook Christmas entertaining ideas.
Keep it classic
If you’re making a traditional fruitcake for Christmas, keep it classic with a layer of marzipan and white icing. Get creative with fondant icing offcuts to stamp out festive shapes. This is a great option if you’re not very confident with cake decorating and also for kids to get involved. Follow our classic Christmas cake recipe and top with fondant icing stars.
Crushed candy canes
Candy canes are an instant symbol of Christmas and now they can be an instant Christmas cake decoration too. Our white Christmas cake is one to make if no one in the family is keen on fruit cake – a simple vanilla cake and buttercream, with vibrant crushed red and white candy canes adding a bold splash of colour.
Clementines are a staple of the fruit bowl during the festive season. Put them to striking use as a Christmas cake decoration by coating them in egg whites and sugar and leaving to set, then arrange on top of the cake. We’ve used them (along with candied herbs) to decorate this clementine yoghurt cake, or go for whole candied oranges to top this spiced brandy butter cake.
Make it snow
Create a simple snowy scene for an elegant, minimalist effect. This white chocolate fudge cake recipe is a crowdpleaser to serve at Christmas, and is simply topped with white chocolate shavings. Our white chocolate roulade with Baileys (a new way to use up that bottle in the cupboard) uses white sprinkles for a similar effect. Both these techniques could also be used on a classic Christmas fruitcake covered in white royal or fondant icing.
Gather pine cones
Who says Christmas cake decorations have to be edible? This stylish stack of festive pine cones, cinnamon sticks and rosemary is finished with a dusting of icing sugar for a Christmas cake that makes an impact but only takes minutes to do – a perfect option if you’re running short of time. The perfect finishing touch to our vegan Christmas cake recipe.
Christmas is the time of indulgence, Follow our chocolate truffles recipe to make your own and roll in different coatings to make a pretty pattern round the edge of a cake. We’ve used coconut shavings and white chocolate truffles to decorate this Christmas snowball cake, or make a festive classic the star of the show in this Ferrero Rocher cake and top with, what else? Plenty of Ferrero Rocher.
If you’re baking a batch of gingerbread biscuits over the festive period, save a few to decorate your Christmas cake. Stand them up in soft royal icing before it sets to create a Christmassy scene – pick one shape for a theme, or use a whole combination of gingerbread men, Christmas trees, snowflakes and stars.
Swirls of icing
If you’re using buttercream or royal icing to decorate your Christmas cake, use a piping bag or just the end of a palette knife to draw artful swirls in the icing. You don’t need perfect piping skills for this rustic approach and it works equally well with white or chocolate icing – create a woodland stump on this gluten-free chocolate fudge cake recipe or use white icing to depict a snowscene.
If you’ll be eating your Christmas cake soon after decorating, arrange a selection of fresh fruit to top the cake. Slice figs into quarters, add slices of dried orange and scatter with sparkling pomegranate seeds or glossy redcurrants – use whatever you have to hand. It’s a great way to jazz up any Christmas cake – try this mulled wine and hazelnut loaf cake for something new.
Decorate a chocolate showstopper
If you’re making a chocolate Christmas cake, take inspiration from Edd Kimber and top with shards of After Eight chocolates. Edd uses them to top his decadent After Eight bundt cake recipe (complete with a peppermint cheesecake filling) but they’d be a great seasonal addition to any chocolate cake you’re making in December – check out our chocolate cakes collection for more ideas.
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