How to ice a Christmas cake

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  • 5-6 tbsp apricot glaze or sieved apricot jam
  • 750g white marzipan
  • 1kg of packet white sugarpaste

Learn how to ice a Christmas cake with our easy to follow guide. If you've never covered a Christmas cake before you've come to the right place. This simple step-by-step guide shows you exactly how easy Christmas cake icing is to get perfect and professional looking.

Practice makes perfect so if you're a beginner make sure you take your time and read every step and stage very carefully.

This guide shows you how to cover with jam, marzipan and fondant for a traditional Christmas cake finish.

Christmas cake is fruity, moist and topped with sweet layers of marzipan and icing. Once you've made your basic Christmas cake you're ready to get icing and we're here to show you how in this step-by-step guide.


  • Double-sided sticky tape and 1 or 2 ribbons to go around the cake.
  • 25-27cm (10-11in) square cake drum or flat plate
  • Icing smoother and/or side scraper

Step 1

Once the cake is out the oven, leave it to cool.

Trim the top of the cake, if necessary, to level it. Turn the cake upside down and place it on the cake drum or plate. Use a palette knife to spread the apricot glaze or jam over the top and sides of the cake.

Step 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 of the cake. Lift the marzipan over the cake and press it down on the top first, and then on the sides, easing in the fullness at the corners if covering a square cake.

Step 3

Trim the excess marzipan from around the base of the cake. Keep it wrapped in a plastic bag, so it can be used for another cake.

Step 4

Rub the surface of the marzipan smooth, using the icing smoother and/or side scraper.

Step 5

Knead the sugarpaste and then roll it out on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, so it's large enough to cover the top and sides of the cake. Brush water all over the surface of the marzipan. Lift the sugarpaste over the cake, then cut and polish smooth, using the icing smoother and/or side scraper. If there are any air bubbles, then pierce them with a pin and rub the surface smooth. Then use the sticky tape to secure the ends of the ribbon around the base or decorate with shapes of your choice.

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