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.
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!
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.