Talented cake artist, Natalie Porter of Immaculate Confections shows you how to create this showstopper which includes a FREE template download (scroll down for yours!).
And if that isn’t enough, one of our subscribers has recreated this beauty – find out how she got on below (hint: it looks amazing).
To make this showstopping Scandi Christmas cake you will need:
- 17.7cm (7in) round cake, approximately 11.4cm (4.5in) high - iced in pale grey (Rainbow Dust ProGel grey)
- 60g pale grey flower paste
- 40g mid grey flower paste
- 20g dark grey flower paste
- 50g white flower paste
- Gold lustre dust
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Royal icing
- Rejuvenator spirit
- Foam pad
- Cutting knife scalpel or razor blade
- Modelling tools
- Plastic wallet
- Piping bag
- Fine paintbrush
- Cocktail sticks
- 26g white wire
- Floral tape: white
Scandi Christmas cake tutorial
1. Photocopy the templates or cut them out. Place onto a foam pad and use a pin to prick a hole through every corner. Roll out the pale grey flower paste, place the template on top and push the pin into each hole, marking the paste below.
2. Use a Dresden tool or similar to score over the dotted lines, leaving a faint impression in the paste below.
3. Remove the template and cut out the houses, joining the dots made with the pin.
Natalie’s Top Tip: "I like to use a razor blade (very carefully!) as the long straight edge is useful for cutting straight lines."
4. Carefully cut out the windows, producing a complete piece then place into a plastic wallet to stop it drying.
5. Repeat with the second and third templates using the mid and dark grey, the colours corresponding to the template, storing finished pieces in the plastic wallet.
6. Use a little water to wet the back of the mid-grey pieces and place them onto the pale grey, lining up the roofs. If the bottom edge is not quite straight/ matched up you can trim it once assembled.
7. Repeat the process to add the dark grey houses on top, as shown.
8. Wet the back of the houses and carefully attach to the cake, lining up the bottom edge with the base of the cake.
Natalie’s Top Tip: "To save time on the houses that will be round the back of the cake, you can score the windows onto the houses rather than cutting them out."
9. Repeat Steps 1 - 8 twice more, to make another two rows of houses.
10. Roll out the white flower paste to the thickness of a fifty pence piece. Using the same method with a pin, cut one whole tree and two halves. Place onto a sponge sheet to dry overnight.
11. Cut a star for the top of the tree and place aside to dry. I have used the middle size star from a set of three cutters.
12. Copy or cut out the templates for the animals. Roll out some white flower paste, place the template on top and use a very sharp pencil to trace over the animal, leaving a guide line in the paste.
13. Cut the animals out using a scalpel or small sharp knife. Use modelling tools to round off any angular edges and make neat, soft curves. Cut two foxes, two birds, two hares and one each of the male and female deer.
Natalie’s Top Tip: "Use plenty of cornflour beneath the flower paste so it does not stick to your work surface and distort the shape when you try to pick it up."
14. Once absolutely dry you can assemble the Christmas tree. Pipe a thick line of royal icing down the centre of the complete tree and attach the first half tree.
15. Pipe another line of royal icing to attach the second half to the front of the tree. Arrange them so that if the pieces were a clock face with the whole tree pointing to three and nine, the two halves are at seven and five.
16. Repeat to attach the remaining two pieces, creating a freestanding 3D Christmas tree.
17. Use a small blob of flower paste and a little royal icing to attach the star to the top of the tree.
18. Mix a paint using rejuvenator spirit and gold lustre dust.
19. With a fine paintbrush, paint the windows and the star on top of the tree.
20. Place the tree in the centre of the cake and use royal icing either side of each piece to fix it in place. We are going to hide this 'snow' so there's no great need to be neat.
21. To affix the animals, begin by inserting a cocktail stick into the cake, bearing in mind the final position of the animals in relation to their supports.
22. Pipe some royal icing onto the stick and along the base of the animal. Affix the animal to the stick, pressing gently as they will be fragile and brittle. You can pipe extra royal icing behind the animals to help hold them in place.
23. To make the star garland, cut a piece of 26g white wire to 130cm long. Cut six small stars from white flower paste and thread them onto the wire, spacing them evenly. If needs be use a little royal icing to help keep them in place.
24. Once wired stars are dry, paint them gold.
25. Use quarter width white floral tape to attach half a cocktail stick to each end of the wire.
26. Insert the cocktail sticks into the cake, just behind the tree so that the ends are hidden. Use tweezers to aid precision and avoid damaging the tree.
27. Use a very fine brush to paint a random pattern of stars in the sky above the houses.
28. For a final flourish, use a teaspoon and paint brush to add a little snow (caster sugar) around the base of the tree and in front of the animals. If you like, you can add a little in front of the houses too.
Recreating the Scandi Christmas cake
You may remember cake creator Heena from our Discovered interview. Heena is working on a project recreating some of our favourite archive CD&S tutorials, to test them and show you how truly easy they are to make and today she’s recreating the Scandi Christmas cake.
Scandi themed Christmas
This year we are having a Scandi themed Christmas, so I went to my go-to magazine for inspiration. As soon as I saw this cake by Natalie Porter, I knew it had to be my Christmas table centrepiece. At first glance I thought I would never be able to recreate such a beautiful cake, but after reading through the step-by-step instructions I felt more confident to give it a go and I was actually really surprised at how easily I was able to follow them; the pictures really do help!
Creating the Scandi Christmas cake
Having access to the magazine online meant I could keep referring back to the pictures to see how it should look as many times as I needed. The instructions said you can either cut out the downloadable templates or you can place the template on top of flower paste and use a very sharp pencil to trace over the shape leaving a guideline in the paste.
I cut out the shapes and then used a very sharp scalpel but didn’t get the best finish. In hindsight I should have scored the sugarpaste with a pencil first (the professionals know best). The beauty of this is that now I know I can put it down to a learning curve for next time. That’s what I love about CD&S - you get to explore what technique suits you best. One of the best tips I learned is to use cornflour under the sugarpaste so it doesn’t stick or distort the shapes when you go to pick it up.
Recreating cakes – you can always add your own personal touch!
My aim is to recreate some of the beautiful cakes that are featured in the magazine past and pre-sent to show you how easy it actually is. Everyone has their own style so naturally it will never be the same but if you follow the instructions and pictures it is possible to create this look and add your own touch like I have done by adding my own ‘Merry Christmas’ monogram using the fabulous SweetStamp sets. I have included some of the pictures of what I did this will be followed by a short how-to video on Instagram. Head over to Heena’s Instagram page to find out more about how she got on and to see her latest creations.
Heena’s top tips for recreating a project
- Take your time to read through the instructions carefully before you start
- Make sure you have everything you need by referring to the ‘what you will need’ list
- Don’t rush and most of all enjoy it!
For more CD&S archive content, discover Exact Editions, with every issue from 2009 available online! That’s over ten years of fantastic projects, tips and techniques right at your fingertips. Go to www.cakedecmag.uk/EEARCHIVE.