Santa’s little helpers will love to get involved in the making of this adorable snowman cake! The classic Christmas fruit cake recipe works deliciously with the sticky sweet frosting (made even stickier by the addition of kids’ favourite, Marshmallow Fluff). This snowman cake is great as a centrepiece for a Christmas party
- 800g mixed dried fruits, such as raisins, sultanas, figs, chopped dates and apricots
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 3tbsp rum, brandy, whisky or orange juice
- 250g plain flour
- 1tbsp mixed spice
- 225g soft brown sugar
- 225g butter, softened
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 75g chopped nuts, such as brazil or almond
- For the decoration:
- 6tbsp smooth apricot jam
- 1kg marzipan
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 jar Marshmallow Fluff
- White fondant icing
- Writing icing, ribbons, slithers of carrot and candy canes
Mix the dried fruit, lemon and orange zest and juice and alcohol (or juice) in a small pan. Heat gently for 1 min, then leave off the heat to plump for 30 mins.
Heat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Triple-line a 20cm round cake tin (or an 18cm square tin) with baking parchment. Using an electric whisk, mix the flour, spice, sugar, butter and eggs for 5 mins until light. Fold in the soaked fruits and the nuts, then spoon into the tin. Level the surface, cover loosely with a sheet of baking parchment, and bake for 2 1/2 hrs, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 1hr, then tip onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the decoration, heat the jam with 1tbsp water and spread all over the surface. Dust the worksurface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan to 1/2 cm thick, then cover the cake, smoothing the sides and trimming off excess.
Cream the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Add all the Marshmallow Fluff except for 1tbsp. Mix well and spread all over the top and sides of the cake, making it into peaks.
Make the snowmen by sticking three balls of rolled fondant together using the remaining Marshmallow Fluff. Draw on faces with the writing icing, tie on a ribbon scarf and make carrot arms and noses. Finish with the candy canes.
If you're pushed for time (or don't like fruit cake!) get a shop-bought sponge and let the kids follow the steps for just the decoration.