As classic desserts go, boozy fruit cake and Christmas pudding are seasonal favourites, but they can’t always compete with their better-looking profiterole pals, can they now?
Enter buttercream frosting – your plain bake’s sartorial bailout.
You’ll be amazed at what can be achieved with a few upturned ice cream cones for fir trees, icing sugar, frozen cranberries, gingerbread biscuits and a few sprigs of rosemary.
You don’t need to be the next Prue Leith to have a go at decorating your bog-standard brunette fruit cake. You’ll be amazed at what can be achieved with a few upturned ice cream cones for fir trees, icing sugar, frozen cranberries, gingerbread biscuits and a few sprigs of rosemary.
You can make your very own brandied bake ahead of the holidays or take the shortcut and save yourself a whole load of effort with a shop-bought cake – no prep or boozy night feeds required.
With these easy decorating ideas, you can take your Christmas cake from beige to bougie in no time at all
In the interest of demonstrating just how easy it is to give your fruit cake a festive glow up, we’ve gone for the shop-bought option – fake it till you bake it and all that – but if you fancy making your own juicy Christmas cake too, try this one on for size.
With these easy decorating ideas, you can take your Christmas cake from beige to bougie in no time at all (Applies for bake off 2021).
1 Let It Snow
Naked cakes bring the wow factor to any table, especially at Christmas time when the exposed frosting mimics those snowy holiday scenes – so very pleasing to the eye.
To transform your fruity pudding into a festive showstopper, all you need is buttercream frosting and desiccated coconut. Piece of cake!
- For the buttercream frosting, whisk the butter until light and pale. Add the cream cheese and beat to combine.
- Sift in the icing sugar and beat for 3 minutes until pale and fluffy.
- Spread a thin layer of frosting between each layer of fruit cake using a palette knife, covering the sides sparingly to get that lovely naked effect.
- Spread a generous coating on top, ready to decorate.
- Smear a thin layer of frosting on your ice cream cones and roll in the desiccated coconut or silver sugar balls.
- Arrange upside down on top of the cake. Top with a sprinkling of coconut and boom, dessert is served.
- You could also pipe buttercream onto the ice cream cones and sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar if you’re not a massive fan of coconut.
2 Gingerbread Wonderland
- Follow the buttercream frosting recipe as above.
- Trim and arrange several sprigs of rosemary on top of the cake, with the woody stem facing upwards.
- Take a handful of frozen cranberries and scatter over the cake, pushing them into the frosting slightly to secure.
- Position your ready-made gingerbread shaped biscuits, dust with icing sugar and you’re free to dig in.
- If your decorations need more grip, you can make a sticky syrup to help them stay put. Mix ½ cup of water and ½ cup of sugar over a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer, whisking until the sugar is all dissolved.
- Remove from heat, dip your rosemary stems and set aside to dry for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the cranberries to the sugar water mixture in the pot. Cover with a tea towel and leave to sit for 10 minutes. Remove the cranberries and set aside to dry for up to one hour.
- Once your rosemary trees and cranberries are completely dry, roll in a bowl of granulated sugar for a beautiful frosted effect.
- Set aside for another 10 minutes before arranging on top of your cake. Voilà!