Star design Christmas cake
18cm (7in) square fruit cake - see our recipe for apricot and cranberry cake
4-6 level tbsp apricot glaze or sieved apricot jam
600-750g (11/4-750g) marzipan
1-1.25kg (2-23/4lb) white sugarpaste
125g (4oz) blue sugarpaste
White Disco/Hologram glitter (non-toxic), eg Edable Art
Edible glue, eg Squires Kitchen
Veining modelling tool
Approximately 3m (3yards) x 4.5cm ribbon, preferably wire edge
1.10m (44in) x 15mm (5/8in) wide ribbon
Double sided sticky tape
1. If the cake has risen in the centre and is not level, trim the top to level it then upturn the cake and place it centrally on the cake drum. Warm the apricot glaze or jam until it's just boiling and spread it over the top and sides of the cake using a palette knife.
2. Knead the marzipan to soften it and roll it out on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar so that it's large enough to cover the top and sides of the cake. Lift the marzipan over the cake, and then press it down on the top.
3. For square cakes, ease in the fullness at the corners, for round cakes, ease in the fullness all the way around the cake and press the marzipan firmly against the sides.
4. Trim away the excess marzipan around the base of the cake, keeping any trimmings well wrapped in a freezer bag so they can be reused for another cake. Rub the surface of the marzipan smooth using an icing smoother or a plastic sidescraper.
5. Knead the sugarpaste to soften it and then roll it out so it's large enough to cover the top and sides of the cake, and also the top of the cake drum. Brush water over the marzipan and the top of the cake drum and then lift the sugarpaste over the cake and press it down on the top of the cake, then the sides, then the top of the cake drum, ensuring that no air is trapped under the sugarpaste. Trim away the excess around the edge of the cake drum.
6. Rub the surface of the sugarpaste smooth, as in for the marzipan.
7. As soon as the cake has been covered with sugarpaste, press the veining tool into the icing covering the top of the cake drum and roll the tool slightly to pattern the icing.
8. Re-trim around the edge of the cake drum.
9. To make the stars, roll out the trimmings of the white sugarpaste and cut cut star shapes and place them on a board which has been lightly dusted with icing sugar. Repeat with the blue sugarpaste. Leave the stars overnight to dry.
10. Use a dry pastry brush or large paint brush to brush any excess icing sugar off the stars. Hold a steam iron just above the blue stars very briefly until the stars look slightly damp, then leave the stars to dry out. Any excess icing sugar that was left on the stars will dissolve, and the blue colour will look brighter.
11. Brush the surface of the white stars with edible glue and sprinkle over the glitter. Shake off any excess glitter.
Layer the stars up, using edible glue to stick the layers together.
Then stick the stars onto the top of the cake. Tie the wide ribbon
around the cake. Put double sided sticky tape around the edge of the
cake drum and stick the narrower ribbon around.
Note: Although the Disco/Hologram glitter is non-toxic, we recommend removing it from the cake before eating.