Renshaw challenged me to make a baked Christmas gift with their traditional Christmas pack which included marzipan, white icing, poppy red icing, lincoln green icing and black icing.
Renshaw Christmas icing pack in traditional colours
I couldn’t decide what to do. Cake decoration is not my forte although I have had a go lately at a few different decorated cakes. After spending the day on Saturday with members of the Clandestine Cake Club in Liverpool at an event hosted by Renshaws, I was inspired to have a go at icing some cakes.
I decided to make some mini iced cakes that would be great as a stocking filler for friends and family and a lovely novelty gift.
I started by making my “go to” recipe for a fruit cake which I have used this year for Christmas cakes, my wedding cake and other cakes in between.
Here is the recipe:
1kg dried fruit of your choice (I used 2 bags of value mixed dried fruit and peel)
200ml hot tea
225g soft butter or margarine
225g golden caster sugar
225g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
- The day before you want to make the cake, soak the fruit in the tea overnight.
- Beat the butter and the sugar together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or in a cake mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Add the eggs one by one with beating and then add the flour and spices and stir until just combined.
- Add the soaked fruit and tea mixture and stir well.
- Pour into a lined square 20cm cake tin and bake in a preheated oven for 1 and a half hours at 140fan/160C then lower oven temperature by 20 degrees and bake for another one and a half hours.
- Cool in the tin on a wire rack before removing from the tin and then wrapping in greaseproof paper and tinfoil until you are ready to use it.
For my gifts I used a quarter of the cake. I cut the quarter into four and then each piece into two horizontally.
I made 8 tiny cake boards, 3 inches each, from cardboard covered in tinfoil, stuck in place with a bit of tape.
I rolled the marzipan to a 3-4mm thickness and cut it so that it would cover each small piece of cake. I stuck the marzipan to the cake with a small amount of boiled marmalade.
Each cake was then covered in rolled out icing, stuck to the marzipan with cooled, boiled water painted onto the marzipan with a paintbrush.
The toppers were inspired by the cake demonstration by Claire from Renshaws on Saturday.
I made the christmas tree by making a cone shape of green icing and then snipping little snips with pointy scissors to make the branches of the trees. The santa hat was a cone of red with a rolled piece of white stuck on with water around the base and a pompom. The stars were cut out with a cutter. Mr Snowman was made from 2 small balls of icing and a green hat and scarf. The candy canes were made by twisting a sausage of white with a sausage of red and then rolling very thin before shaping into a cane shape. I mixed together some leftover green and red to make brown before rolling it thinly and cutting out a small gingerbread man.
I put the cakes together as shown in the picture. They are a bit wonky and a bit covered in icing sugar, but I quite like that as they are homemade gifts, after all!
Christmas tree and red star
Simple candy cane
Red star, green icing
Gingerbread man, candy cane, star
Renshaw sent the icing to me for free and asked me to enter the competition to make a Christmas gift. The ideas, words and pictures are all my own unless stated as otherwise.