It's the most wonderful time of the year! And wat makes us merrier than a divine Christmas cake design? If you're tired of the traditional round, white fondent-covered bland bake, then Cake Decoration and Sugarcraft magazine have your cake decorating dream right here! Combining a traditional Father Christmas image with festive flowers, a clever geode frame and a totally non-traditional Christmas cake design, this alternative Christmas cake breaks all of the decorating boundaries and brings traditional Christmas cake design into the present!
Father Christmas cake by Veronica Seta
Techniques: sugar crystals, wired sugar flowers, berries
a fruit cake 20 x 28cm height 5cm
1.5kg sugarpaste: white chocolate (Cake&Cake)
100g edible porcelain: red, white and green (Cake & Cake) or flower paste royal icing (Cake & Cake)
dusting colours: burgundy, lime, aubergine, white, golden holly, garnet, pink, lemon yellow, autumn gold, foliage green, forest green, red poinsettia (EdAble Art, Sugarflair and Squires Kitchen)
300g white nonpareils (Wilton)
300g sugar crystals (Cake & Cake)
600g isomalt (Cake & Cake)
gold sugar for sugar lace (Cake &Cake)
edible metallic gold spray
artgel (Gina Assini)
edible father Christmas print
rectangular board 20 x 28cm height 5cm
rectangular board 26 x 15cm height 2.5cm (Deart Polistirolo)
hellebore and poinsettia cutters (Italian Sugar Art, JEM)
hellebore, holly and poinsettia veiners (Roberta Serafini Veiners)
non slip mat
20,28, 26, 24,33 gauge floral wires (Hamilworth)
pale green and brown floral tape (Hamilworth)
white stamens (A Piece of Cake)
bamboo dowel rods (Wilton)
Cover your cake and board
1 Place your fruit cake on the 20 x 28cm rectangular board, roll out white sugarpaste and cover it including the back as well.
2 Roll out white sugarpaste and cover the 26 x 15cm board.
3 Melt the isomalt in a pan until it reaches 180°C. Let it cool, spreading it on parchment paper in a baking tray. Place in a plastic bag and break into small pieces. Be careful with hot isomalt. It can cause severe burns. Have nonpareils and sugar crystals ready to use.
4 Brush the royal icing on the board, prepared in step 2, and on the back and the sides of the fruit cake. Sprinkle on the isomalt pieces, nonpareils and sugar crystals and when dry, spray them gold.
5 Twist a very small ball of green edible porcelain around five 33 gauge floral wires and bend the top of them. They have to be very thin. Leave to dry. Take three bunches of white stamens and cut them into two parts. Glue the stamens together and leave them to dry.
6 Mould seven very small balls of light green edible porcelain and make a hole in their centre. Let them dry.
7 Fix the filaments and the stamens together with a small strip of pale green floral tape.
8 Make a sausage shape with white edible porcelain. Roll over the paste with a small rolling pin and on a Celboard. Cut five hellebore petals. Insert a moistened 28 gauge floral wire. Put the petal on a CelPad and roll its edges with the ball tool. Vein it and when dry, lightly dust the petals mixing garnet, burgundy and white.
9 Proceed as in step 8, cutting five hellebore leaves.
10 When dry, dust them golden holly and foliage green. Dust their edges and centre aubergine. Fix them together with pale green flower tape.
11 Dust the stamens and filaments lime and their edges mixing garnet, burgundy and white. Fix the hellebore petals to the centre of the flower with pale green floral tape. Dust the tape golden holly.
12 Twist several small balls of green edible porcelain around forty small pieces of 33 gauge floral wires. They have to be very thin. Let them dry. Dust them golden holly and foliage green. Fix twenty pine needles around a 24 gauge floral wire with brown floral tape.
13 Wrap fine white cotton thread eight times around two slightly parted fingers to create a loop. Cut a 33 gauge wire. Bend it to create a hairpin shape through the loop of thread and squeeze it tightly to hole the thread in place. Repeat this method around the loop with another three wires.
14 Use fine scissors to cut through the thread to give short stamens to each wire. Trim them shorter if needed.
15 Rub the tips of thread against an emery board and dust them ruby. Dip their top in a bit of edible glue and then in lemon yellow dusting colour mixed with semolina. Bend a hook in the end of 33 gauge wires. Attach a tiny ball of pale green flower paste to the hook and work the ball against the wire to secure it well. Create a very slight point at the tip and at the base. Dust the buds with foliage green mixed with yellow autumn.
16 Tape the buds and the stamens with pale green floral tape and then tape them together into groups to create an open centre.
17 Proceed as in step 8 and cut the various bract shapes using the various sizes of cutters for poinsettia. Work the gum paste at the base of the bracts between your fingers and thumb down onto the wire to create a paste-coated section over the wire. Use moistened 28 gauge wires for the smaller bracts and 26 gauge wires for the bigger ones. Dust the bracts red and define the edges with foliage green. Prepare three bracts for the smaller sizes, four bracts for the medium size.
18 Tape together the centre of the flower with the smallest bracts first.
19 Proceed with five bigger size bracts. Soften the edges with a ball tool and vein each bract.
20 Roll out some light green flower paste on a Celboard, cut the poinsettia's leaf shape and insert a moistened 26 gauge wire into the ridge to support half a length of the leaf. Work the flower paste at the base of the leaf between your fingers and thumb down onto the wire to create a paste-coated section over the wire. Soften the edges of the leaf with a ball tool. Vein it. When dry, dust it golden holly and finally foliage green. Define the edges red poinsettia. Prepare three leaves.
21 Tape together the centre of the flower, the medium and bigger size bracts and the leaves with pale green floral tape. Dust the tape golden holly and red poinsettia.
22 Make a sausage shape with the flower paste. Roll over the paste with a small rolling pin and cut out a leaf using the holly veiner. Insert a 26 gauge floral wire in the leaf.
23 Put it on a CelPad and roll its edges with the ball tool. Put the leaf in the veiner and press. Prepare 10 leaves.
24 Crease the tin foil and let the leaves dry on it.
25 Shape fifteen small balls for the berries and with a pair of small scissors cut the top of them. Make a hook on a 26 gauge floral wire, dip in edible glue and insert into the small balls. Let them dry well before fixing them together in groups of three on a 20 gauge floral wire and with floral tape.
26 Colour the bottom of the berries mixing foliage green and autumn gold and the tops with aubergine. Dust the holly leaves mixing foliage green and autumn gold. Dust their centre forest green and a bit of gold. Glaze them. Take three 26 gauge floral wires, wrap them in some brown floral tape and curl them to get decorative elements.
27 Fix the holly berries and leaves together on a 20 gauge floral wire and using pale green floral tape. Dust the tape mixing foliage green and autumn gold.
28 Place the holly branch, the hellebore and poinsettia on the 26 x 15cm board and in flower pics.
Add picture and frame
29 Protect your Santa’s sugar print by brushing melted artgel. Spread a small amount of gelatin on the front of the fruit cake. Stick and centre the printing. Frame it with sugar crystals, isomalt and nonpareils as in steps 3-4. When dry, brush it with gold. Place your decorated fruit cake on the 26cm board fixing it with bamboo dowel rods.
Have you been inspired by this alternative Christmas cake design and fancy trying some more cake decorating projects? Just head over to our website and buy your issue of Cake Decoration and Sugarcraft magazine now!