From traditional Christmas cake decorations to quick and quirky fondant figures, get inspired with our easy Christmas cake ideas, recipes and designs...
We’ve got lots of easy Christmas cake decorating ideas and designs for you to try this year. From fondant to icing sugar, royal icing to marzipan, we’ve got lots of simple designs for you to try with our classic Christmas cake recipe.
One of the best Christmas traditions, Christmas cakes can be made up to three months in advance, so you can get into the spirit nice and early with some Christmas baking.
Our fruit cake recipes have beautiful festive Christmas designs that will be perfect for any parties you are having or for a classic dessert after your Christmas dinner.
To make a Christmas cake you simply make up the sponge and feed it your chosen liquor (don’t worry we also have alcohol-free versions!) over the weeks to get an extra depth of flavour and then decorate a few days before Christmas.
You’ll be a Christmas cake pro by the time we’re done with you. Not only do we have these Christmas cake recipes, we also have a step-by-step guide to how to cover a Christmas cake, a video recipe for this pretty star design cake
Not a fan of the traditional Christmas cake? We’ve also got alternative ideas for festive cakes such as stollen, panforte and chocolate tortes.
Browse through our easy Christmas cake decorating ideas and designs…
Top Tip for decorating cakes:
If you’re at beginner level when it comes to decorating cakes, don’t be afraid to use cake decorating tools to help you out! A cake decorating turntable and icing smoother are the perfect utensils to help you achieve a perfect polished look with your icing. And if perfection is what you’re looking for, you could also use an adjustable cake leveler, which allows you to trim off any raised lumps and bumps that your cake grew in the oven, for the perfect base to your christmas decorating creations.
How do I get my decorations to stay on my cake?
The last thing you want when decorating your christmas cakes is for your fantastic icing sculpture of Rudolph to go skiing off the edge of the cake. If your decorations are made of fondant icing, an easy way to help them stick to your fondant based cake is to dust them with a little water. This will activate the sugars in the icing and help it to stay stuck. You could also use a bit of frosting/buttercream to cement them in place, just be careful not to use too much or it might escape and be visible underneath!
43 Christmas cake ideas
First up is this jolly cake. A smiling Santa face is the perfect topping to your Christmas cake. Woman’s Weekly show you how with our easy step-by-step recipe.
Get the recipe: Jolly Santa cake
Filled with pistachio, clementine, plenty of nuts and a dash of rum this quirk Christmas present cake is a delicious twist on a traditional fruit cake recipe.
Get the recipe: Christmas present cake
The adorable polar bear Christmas cake is a real show-stopper. And, making those edible shards of ice is surprisingly easy.
Get the recipe: Polar bear cake
Get the kids to help decorate your Christmas cake by choosing this simple design. Three trees complete with stars and baubles - you can't get more Christmassy than that!
Impress guest with this elegant swan cake, which is made with gingerbread, meringue, royal icing and spritz of sprinkling of glitter!
This simple snowflake design is great for Christmas cake beginners. A classy finish to your cake.
Get the recipe: Snowflake Christmas cake
Use our apricot and cranberry fruit cake recipe as the basis for this great Christmas cake from Woman's Weekly.
Get the recipe: Snow much fun cake
This Malteser Christmas pudding cake is a great alternative if you don't like traditional Christmas cake but still want a showstopper!
Get the recipe: Malteser Christmas pudding cake
Packed with dried fruits, nuts and sultanas and topped with glacé cherries and pineapple, we love this cake recipe from the Queen of Cakes.
Get the recipe: Mary Berry's Victorian Christmas cake
Make this sherry-infused classic Victorian Christmas cake at least 3 weeks in advance for the best taste.
Get the recipe: Mary Berry's Christmas cake
Top your Christmas cake with this cute Rudolph design - the kids will love helping you decorate.
Get the recipe: Rudolph Christmas cake
How about whipping up some mini Christmas cakes this year? They'd make the perfect gifts. Ours are decorated with mini snowflakes and gingerbread men.
Get the recipe: Mini snowflake and gingerbread men squares
One from our friends at Woman's Weekly. If your kids aren't sure about eating fruit cake, see if you can tempt them with this fun igloo Christmas cake design. They could help make the penguins!
Get the recipe: Igloo Christmas cake
The kids are just going to love this pick and mix cake. Making it at Christmas time? Swap the regular chocolate for festive favourites instead including Ferrero Rochers, Quality Street and Roses mmm....
Get the recipe: Pick and mix chocolate and sweet cake
Now this looks really classy and impressive, but it's actually really simple. The pleats are all individual triangles of Royal Icing that you just layer around your shimmer Christmas cake. This definitely has the wow factor.
Get the recipe: Shimmer Christmas cake
If you're looking for something really simple to whip for Christmas Day dessert, this festive cake is it! It may look professional, but it's actually really easy to make with hazelnuts, raspberries and a snow-like icing.
Get the recipe: White chocolate and raspberry gateau
This delicious twist on Christmas cake is even gluten free!
Get the recipe: Red velvet Christmas cake
Feeling creative? Then this Christmas cake is for you. The stocking itself is simple to make and you can spend the time creating the little characters to go in the top of your stocking filler Christmas cake.
Get the recipe: Stocking filler Christmas cake
If you don't fancy making a large Christmas cake you could make these mini Christmas puds instead. They're really simple and delicious too!
Get the recipe: Mini Christmas cakes
These cute little parcels are a perfect way to serve Christmas cake at a party - they'd be lovely for party bags as well!
Get the recipe: All wrapped up Christmas cake
Coffee, chocolate, Amaretto, double cream and mascarpone... What's not to love about this impressive cake from Woman's Weeky?
Get the recipe: Chocolate tiramisu cake
This Woman's Weekly fruit cake is a brilliant base for lots of Christmas cake recipes and the step-by-step video recipe makes it really easy.
Get the recipe: Apricot and cranberry fruit cake
If you want to impress this Christmas, follow Woman's Weekly cookery editor Sue McMahon as she makes this gorgeous cake in her step-by-step video recipe.
Get the recipe: Poinsettia Christmas cake
Don't be put off if this Woman's Weekly cake looks tricky - step-by-step icing instructions make it much easier. Plus you can freeze it (undecorated) 3 months in advance.
Get the recipe: Chocolate and almond parcel cake
Take one delicious fruit cake, some Royal Icing, an icing pen and a steady hand and create this classic chic Christmas cake. Perfect if you need to decorate your Christmas cake last-minute.
Get the recipe: Classic chic Christmas cake
With a light dusting of icing sugar, you can create an effective pattern in no time. We love this stunning chocolate cake with a light tiramisu cream - it's simple yet effective!
Get the the recipe: Chocolate cake with tiramisu cream
Impress your friends and family with this delicious and vibrant coloured red velvet peppermint cake. This cake can be made in 35 mins.
Get the recipe: Red velvet Peppermint cake
How about decorating your classic Christmas cake with a smooth layer of fondant topped with fondant stars made by using cookie cutters.
Get the recipe: Star design Christmas cake
Soak the fruit in ginger wine for a couple of days to get the most out of this flavoursome Christmas cake.
Get the recipe: Organic boozy Christmas cake
Wrap your traditional Christmas cake in white fondant and marzipan and then decorate with your very own cake decorations. Learn how to make Rudolph, Santa and more with our step-by-step recipes.
Get the recipe: Fondant Christmas cake decorations
Crammed with rum-soaked fruit, this rich sweet Christmas cake is suitable for vegetarians and dairy- and gluten-free.
Get the recipe: Dairy-free Christmas cake
This gluten free Christmas cake recipe is a lovely, easy to make version just as good as any old traditional recipe. It combines mixed dried fruit, almonds, glace cherries and either a splash of orange juice or brandy to bring all those glorious Christmas memories and flavours to the dish.
Get the recipe: Gluten-free Christmas cake
Top your Christmas cake with festive fruits including cranberries, dried apricots and orange peel. This three-tiered gingerbread cake will feed between 8-10 people.
Get the recipe: Gingerbread cake with brandy buttercream
This almond-y Epiphany cake from Woman's Weekly contains a hidden bean - find it and you get to wear the crown!
Get the recipe: Twelfth Night cake
Go continental with this traditional German Christmas cake, made with mixed fruit, warming spices - and lots of rum...
Get the recipe: Stollen
No need to miss out on Christmas treats with this cake at just 228 calories and 2.8g fat per slice - it's practically healthy!
Get the recipe: Rosemary Conley's low-fat Christmas cake
This boozy bundt cake is the perfect Christmas cake alternative. Why not sprinkle with edible glitter to give it an extra festive feel?
Get the recipe: Treacle bundt cake with limoncello drizzle
Deliciously moist, this great fruit cake recipe is the perfect base for other festive cake creations. Follow this recipe and then cover in marizpan and fondant for a classic finish.
Get the recipe: Date and walnut fruit cake
Learn how to make royal icing with our simple step-by-step recipe. It creates the perfect effect to make your cake look like it's covered in snow.
Get the recipe: Royal icing cake
Celeb chef Rachel Allen's impressive cake with vanilla buttercream filling is great for special occasions like Christmas.
Get the recipe: Walnut cake with American frosting
This chocolate snowflake cake is made and decorated by Bake Off champion Frances Quinn. It's a simple design that is ideal for beginners.
Get the recipe: Frances Quinn's chocolate snowflake cake
Make a Frozen-inspired Christmas cake the kids will be in awe of with Victoria Threader's step by step recipe.
Get the recipe: Frozen-inspired Christmas cake