Igloo cake tutorial

In this tutorial, Paul Bradford shows how to create a penguins' igloo Christmas cake ready for the festive season from his book, Decorating Christmas Cakes...

The igloo cake is easy to carve and the brickwork effect is added to the sugarpaste covering with simple tools. Royal icing icicles complete the polar scene and there are snowballs to add to the penguin mayhem. 

Penguins and their antics bring this cake to life! They're easy to make and you can vary their positions and expressions in so many ways to suit your own ideas and sense of humour (learn how to make a penguin out of fondant to complete your Christmas cake and choose from a selection of accessories to complete your penguins look here). 

Decorating Christmas Cakes Cover

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This project is from Decorating Christmas Cakes by Paul Bradford and David Brice, Search Press. In this book Paul Bradford shows how to carve, cover and decorate 14 spectacular cakes for the festive season. If you love this project you can get the book from our online shop WITH an automatic 10% off just for being you, PLUS free UK P+P! 

You will need


  • 750g (1lb 10oz) white sugarpaste
  • 400g (14oz) duck-egg blue
  • 700g (1lb 8½oz) ganache


  • Two 15.3cm (6in) round cakes
  • Large knife
  • Palette knife
  • 25.4cm (10in) cake card, round
  • 25.4cm (10in) cake board, round
  • Pastry brush
  • Rolling pin
  • Smoother
  • Ruler
  • Turntable
  • Dresden tool
  • Bone tool
  • Silver ribbon
  • Diamante strip
  • Piping bag
  • Royal icing
  • Edible glitter and food bag


Level off both cakes and put one on top of the other. Carve into an igloo shape by rounding off the top cake with a large knife.
Cut the bottom cake in half and ganache inside. Draw round the cake on a 25.4cm (10in) cake card, adding a tab shape for the porch. Cut out this shape, put the cake on it and place on a temporary cake board. Use ganache to join the two cakes together, then ganache the outside.
Take a block of white sugarpaste and use it straight from the packet, without kneading it first. Carve it into shape to make the porch for the igloo.
Push the porch into place on the igloo.
Cut a thick strip of white sugarpaste. Wet the front of the porch and stick the strip on, making an arched shape.
Smooth the ganache with a pastry brush and boiling water. Roll out white sugarpaste to around 5mm (¼in) thick and large enough to go over the whole igloo with some to spare. Lift on the rolling pin and place it over the igloo.
Smooth the sugarpaste into the igloo with your hands and mark the base with the edge of the smoother, then cut off the excess.
Mould the sugarpaste around the door with your fingers, pushing it slightly into the indent.
Measure 3.8cm (1½in) up from the base of the cake and mark with a Dresden tool. Turn the cake on the turntable and keep marking the same height, then turn the cake again and join all the marks to create the lowest bricks of the igloo. Continue marking the rows of bricks the same distance apart up the cake.
Continue going round the cake marking the rows of bricksuntil you reach the top of the igloo.
Mark the uprights of the brickwork, creating bricks 5cm (2in) wide. Mark the porch with brickwork in the same way.
Wet the end of a bone tool and run it along all the cracks to soften and widen them.
Roll out duck-egg blue sugarpaste to 4mm (1/8in) thick and ice and trim a 25.4cm (10in) cake board. Stick on a silver ribbon, then a diamante strip on top.
Transfer the cake on its cake card to the iced board. Pipe royal icing icicles up the side to different heights as shown. To add snowballs, roll balls of white sugarpaste. Tip edible glitter into a food bag with the balls and shake together. Brush water on to the iced board, the igloo and and place the snowballs on the penguins when you've made them.

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