Okay so once you have got your cake covered in marzipan then the next step is covering it in fondant. Any supermarket fondant will do but you may prefer a particular brand. Knead it really well so it is nice and warm. Fondant contains glucose which warms with your hands as you knead it – the more warm it is the less likely it is to crack and tear when you put in on your cake.
Take your fondant ( 500-750g for an 8″ cake) and roll it out on a work surface lightly dusted with cornflour to a thickness of about 3mm thick. I don’t tend to go any thicker than this as you already have a layer of marzipan on there. I do it by eye but if you want to measure it then it should be the diameter of the cake plus and extra 6/7″ to account for the sides of the cake.
Brush the sides and top of the marzipanned cake with cooled, boiled water then use your forearms to lift the fondant up and lay it gently over the top of the cake. Smooth out any air bubbles on the top then gradually ease it down on the sides. It’s a bit like pulling out the pleats on the skirt. Once the cake is completely covered, use a cake smoother to further smooth the surface and cut away the excess at the base with a pizza wheel or sharp knife. You can continue to smooth it until you are happy with the appearance. If you still have any air bubbles you can use a pin to burst them and gently press out the trapped air.
Once it is covered put it to one side and allow to dry overnight.
Now for the fun bit – decoration!!
You can go for something classic like a bit of fondant holly or a poinsettia flower or…you can go a bit mad! Below are a couple of recent ones we did – one with the Grinch on it pushing Santa off and stealing his sleigh and the other a more corporate one with graffiti art and airbrushing. The choice really is yours.
Below are just a few examples of different ones we have done in the past or found on the web
This cake was created for a VAT consultancy, Accordance Vat, in Brighton. The company has many clients both nationally and internationally, which they wanted to reflect. However, being based in Brighton they also wanted it to be a bit vibrant and fun. We went for a cake featuring a traditional logo but with Happy Christmas in many different languages in a graffiti bubble style. We finished it off with freehand cut holly leaves and berries around the base.
This Grinch-theme cake was created for a private client with a wicked sense of humour. He wanted something fun and not like the traditional Christmas cake. He also is a big fan of the Grinch. So we decided to do a cake which shows the Grinch that Stole Christmas, pushing Santa off his sleigh and stealing his presents.
The Grinch and sleigh are all entirely edible and made from fondant. The icing effect was achieved by rough piping royal icing over the cake and the presents were all hand moulded.
There are of course more traditional routes you can follow such as this one with holly leaves on – you can either cut the holly leaves freehand with an Xacto knife or buy some of the myriad of cutters available out there.
This Christmas pudding cake is also a lovely but simply alternative . You just need to make sure you carve your Christmas cake into the desired shape before covering with marzipan. In this case I would suggest baking two 6″ round cakes and stacking them. Leave them a couple of days before carving and put them in the fridge first to make sure they are firm, and use a serrated knife.