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41 tips for baking and decorating Christmas cake

41 tips for baking and decorating Christmas cake
Rachel Allen's Christmas Cake with Toasted Almond Paste

A still from Rachel Allen’s video: Christmas Cake with Toasted Almond Paste

It’s never too early to start thinking about the Christmas cake. To promote delicious early planning, BritMums hosted the #XmasBake Twitter party so we could all share our best tips for creating the holiday classic. The party was sponsored by Currys PC World, where you can find all the mixers, bowls, cake tins, and utensils you need. Rachel Allen, working with Currys PC World, on their site talks you through why, gives you top tips, and tells you how to avoid a soggy bottom this Christmas. You can find more great content on their Facebook page, including videos featuring Rachel’s cake tips.

Christmas cake baking tips

Double line baking tin and wrap tin with double layer brown paper to stop cake burning on a long bake @Raindaisy5

My top tip is do a practice run a week before then you can make changes if needed. You also get to eat two cakes @LindyLovesBlog

Keep butter out of the fridge so it softens in plenty of time before mixing @Raindaisy5

Be patient. Cook on a lower heat for longer stops the top browning too much @CarlaRTOATSblog

If you toss the fruit in flour first. It stops them sticking together in clumps @Raindaisy5

Large grated carrot into mix helps keep moist especially when long bake and storage (no taste as with carrot cake) @EpsomBakehouse

Use an unrefined sugar e.g. dark muscovado/molasses to give it flavour and colour @gumdropbutton89

How does everyone check if their cake is cooked? I use the skewer method now as one year it wasn’t cooked through @gumdropbutton89

If I make a cake in advance I seal in foil then take out to marzipan & ice a week b4 xmas. Foil is my saviour in winter @CarlaRTOATSblog

When baking a Christmas cake, always pays to buy a good quality tin. You really will see a difference @RLSollis

Which fruit and nuts to use in Christmas cakes

Love adding chopped dry apricots, dried cherries and cranberries for a more colourful cake inside @Over_A_Cuppa

Cranberries pistachio and pineapple. Boiled Xmas cake @domesticgoddesq

You could try dates and figs too @Jessies_Kitchen

My nan’s recipe has cherries, raisins and currants in as well as sultanas. No mixed peel though @Jessies_Kitchen

Roast nuts before adding as it will bring out the flavour as well as add some crunch @gumdropbutton89

What to feed your Christmas cake with

I really need to get a wriggle on with making a fruit cake! I use fruit juice instead of alcohol to feed the cake @CarlaRTOATSblog

I use Calvados in my cake for a lovely apple flavour @clarateddy

We always used whisky. Think that was because my dad liked it. @ali991

The day before making the cake, make a marinade with brandy, orange zest & juice & soak the fruit and almonds overnight @AnnMarieAdam1

My dad uses the sloes from last years sloe gin and the damsons from the damson vodka in his xmas cakes @clareandtribe

Try soaking your fruit in slightly diluted Ginger Cordial for a lovely spicy cake @pootlepops

Soak your dry fruit for a good few days or even a week in brandy or rum with orange zest. Wonderful smell! @Over_A_Cuppa

If you don’t want to use alcohol to soak your fruit, use Earl Grey instead for a nice flavour :). @MommaMojoBlog

Soak sultanas/currants in hot black tea. It makes cake moist & stops the fruit from sinking to the bottom #xmasbake @tancam1983

Last year I experimented with Amaretto. It was so good 😀 @SirleyYoung


How to decorate a Christmas cake

For our cake last year I used edible red glitter to cover red fondant. It made super holly berries @boranpolska

I love decorating my Christmas cake with little marzipan fruits. They look really cute and colourful @piespie

I’m planning to add a new decoration each year. When LO is old enough, she can pick the decoration to buy and help decorate! @mummyonabudget

Ribbons and silver/gold balls usually play a part @EpsomBakehouse

Getting creative with sugar craft and make an ice rink over half the cake – sweet deliciousness and very effective @BeckyKingston

Remember to spread your cake with a little apricot jam BEFORE you marzipan it, or it goes yucky and doesn’t stick to cake @gorimai

In the past I have cut out [marzipan] stars then brushed them with edible gold. Simple but effective @Over_A_Cuppa

Add extra flair to Christmas cake by making profiteroles dipped in white chocolate for the snowmen and maybe an igloo @BeckyKingston

We go traditional with white royal icing made into a snowy scene with a plastic sledge robin and Merry Christmas sign @goriami

Make snowman cake pops to stick out of the Traditional Christmas cake — will keep adults and children alike happy @BeckyKingston


Ideas for giving Christmas cakes

For a mini festive treat for guests, bake Xmas cake in loaf tin & slice up to serve with tea instead of large iced cake @MommaMojoBlog

Christmas cakes baked and decorated by little ones make fab gifts for teachers and grandparents @newtlyn6

I bake 2 extra Christmas cakes and gift wrap them. They are handy gifts for any unexpected xmas visitors @newtlyn6

I make two fruit cakes. One for Christmas, other goes with hubby to work. He shares it out before Christmas @Raindaisy5

I make little individual cakes as pressies with the name of the person I’m giving it to [on it] @pootlepops


The Last Word

I make sure all the family have a stir of the cake mix and make a wish. Adds an extra magic! @Vintagemum38



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