Have you left your Christmas cake to the last minute? So much so that there’s no time for it to mature or to feed it with brandy? Or maybe you just haven’t got the knack of cake baking.
Fear not – we have the answer – Cheat’s Christmas Cake and Cookie Tree Topper! This will impress friends and family no end and all that’s involved is a little bit of cake decorating, and some cookie making (so technically you have ‘made’ the creation we figure!) – last minute isn’t a problem!
We used three fabulous KitchenCraft products to help us ‘cheat’. Here’s the run down on them:
KitchenCraft Sweetly Does It 3D Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter Set
The KitchenCraft Sweetly Does It 3D Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter Set comes with everything you need to build your very own cookie Christmas tree whether it be a stand alone or for a cake topper; you just need to make the dough! Use the 5 differently sized cutters and hole cutter to shape dough in to individual, tree-like layers, then bake before assembling them in to a Christmas tree shape using the included base and rods. Decorate with icing then hey presto, you’ll have your very own edible miniature Christmas tree! A unique feature for any festive gathering. Available in store £8.99.
KitchenCraft Sweetly Does It 3 Piece Snowflake Fondant Plunger Cake Cutters
The KitchenCraft Sweetly Does It 3 Piece Snowflake Fondant Plunger Cake Cutters are the perfect tools for creating beautiful sugarpaste, gumpaste and marzipan snowflakes. The 3 different sized cutters mean that there is one to suit virtually every need, from cupcake decorations to wired toppers to stunning Christmas and birthday cakes. The 3 cutters measure 55mm, 40mm and 25mm and come with a 12 month guarantee. Cut and plunge for perfect snowflakes every time!
KitchenCraft Sweetly Does It 15cm White Plastic Icing Smoother
The KitchenCraft Sweetly Does It 15cm White Plastic Icing Smoother is a must-have for the professional, amateur and aspiring cake decorator alike. With its super-smooth plastic face and integral handle, it will help you to achieve an immaculate finish to your marzipan and sugarpaste coated cakes.
You will also need:
- A shop bought fruit cake
- Decorative cake base(s) – we chose silver foiled ones (click here to view)
- A little apricot jam or similar
- A little warm water
- Ready to Roll (or rolled) marzipan
- Blue and white fondant icing (available in store)
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheets (view our range here)
- Rolling pin (view our range here)
- 227g unsalted butter – cold and cubed
- 200g granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 480g all-purpose flour
- 95g cornflour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Icing sugar for decorating and anything else you’d like to add (we added silver sugar balls).
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar together, just until smooth and combined.
- Mix in the eggs until blended nicely.
- Add the flour bit by bit, cornflour and salt, and mix. If using a mixer, mix on medium low speed. The mixture will seem very dry to begin with, but after a while it will gather itself into a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl cleanly. The cornflour is the magic ingredient that prevents the cookies from spreading, and keeps the edges nice. It prevents the dough being too sticky and crumbly too.
- Add the vanilla. Stir with the paddle if using a mixer, or knead the dough by hand to fully bring it together.
- Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper, to a thickness of about 7mm.
- Cut into shapes as per the KitchenCraft Sweetly Does It 3D Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter Set instructions, and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on the parchment paper on a flat surface.
- Follow the instructions in the set to assemble your cookie tree. Drizzle with icing to decorate and add any additional edible decorations if desired.
If you fancy treating yourself to a mixer, view our range here.
Decorating the Cake
- Warm some apricot jam. Spread a little onto your cake's bottom then position the cake onto your cake board.
- Roll out your marzipan, enough to cover your cake with a little left over. You can either roll onto a lightly dusted (with icing sugar) surface, or on parchment paper.
- Spread some apricot jam thinly all over the cake including the sides.
- Carefully lay the marzipan over the cake, and gently (bit by bit) smooth the sides down. If you take your time you won't get any 'bunched up' areas. To get the marzipan onto the cake, you can gently and loosely roll it up half way onto your rolling pin and position it before unrolling it.
- Smooth your marzipan with the KitchenCraft Sweetly Does It 15cm White Plastic Icing Smoother.
- Trim off any excess marzipan with a knife.
- Repeat the above with your blue fondant, but use water instead of apricot jam this time. Not too much water though, as it will become soggy.
- Roll out some white fondant. Using the largest of the KitchenCraft Sweetly Does It 3 Piece Snowflake Fondant Plunger Cutters, cut several snowflakes then cut each of them in half. Put a little water on the backs and apply around the base of your cake as per the pictures. Now cut some full snowflakes of the other sizes, dampen the backs and apply to the cake.
- Finally, add your tree creation on top! You can make your tree as big or as small as you'd like using the different sized cookies. Simply assemble them together using icing as 'glue', and decorate beforehand if drizzling the icing on the tree (to avoid ruining your beautifully decorated cake!). Then use a dollop of thick icing in the middle of the cake to 'glue' your assembled tree to.
Another Christmas make made easy!
Why not tell us how yours turned out in the comments below? We are loving our series of ‘homemade’ blogs leading up to Christmas – lots of treats to serve up to friends and family, or give as a gift; they’re all geared towards gift giving and sharing for the festive season. Merry Christmas!