How to ice a Christmas cake

Christmas cake

How to ice a Christmas cake

25 November 2015

How to ice a Christmas cake

Icing a Christmas cake can be done a few weeks before you plan to serve it, so get it done early and it’ll be one less thing to worry about on the big day. If your decoration skills are somewhat limited, it is easy to make a plain iced cake look spectacular with nothing more than a piece of ribbon and a little holly.




Place the cake on a cake board and, using a pastry brush, brush with apricot jam
Sprinkle a little icing sugar on the work surface and roll the marzipan out to a thickness of about 1cm. Keep turning it as you roll to keep an even shape
Fold the marzipan over the rolling pin and lay on to the cake
Use your hands to smooth down the marzipan, pulling down gently and making sure there are no creases
Trim away the excess marzipan using a small sharp knife
Sprinkle the surface with a little more icing sugar, then work the sugar paste for around 30 seconds to warm it slightly
Roll the sugar paste out to a thickness of 1cm, turning as you roll
Moisten the marzipan with a little water to help the sugar paste stick
Fold the sugar paste over the rolling pin and lay onto the cake
Smooth the surface of the sugar paste with an icing smoother, then gently pull the icing down the sides
Run the palm of your hand around the cake, ensuring that there are no creases. If the icing creases pull it away from the cake, remove the crease and smooth it onto the cake again
Run the icing smoother around the sides of the cake and over the top again to polish
Use a sharp knife to trim away the excess sugar paste from the edge of the cake
Decorate and finish with a ribbon


It is important to work quickly when icing the cake, as both the marzipan and icing will begin to dry out.

If an air bubble appears in the icing, use a needle to burst it and smooth with the icing smoother.

Use any leftover icing for decorations.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.