Saturday, 19 November 2011

All Iced Up!

DSCF2710Do you like my icing sugar tin?

It says “Silver Spoon, official sponsors of the British Olympic Team” and on the side it says “Commemorating Atlanta Olympics 1996” I got it when I first moved into this house – and have stored my icing sugar in it ever since. I think I sent off 3 tokens and a pound to get it!


Now I’ve made the royal icing and done my 2011 Christmas cake.

After all my dithering here, I worked out what I wanted to do.

DSCF2700My cake had come out really well – and had been stored in the tin for a little while [unlike other people, I do not ‘feed’ my cakes with brandy. I hate brandy!]DSCF2701 

With my heart in my mouth and my bread-knife in my hand, I cut off a segment at the top of the cake [segment is a slice cut along a chord, a sector is a ‘pie slice’


cut along two radii]

Then I placed the small piece at the back of the larger, securing it with 3 cocktail sticks.

I brushed the whole cake with warmed DSCF2704apricot jam.

Then I rolled out my marzipan nice and thin, between my “Silpat” sheet and a non-stick cake-tin liner.

I applied the marzipan DSCF2708to the cake, then covered the lot with pale blue royal icing.I did the ‘stable roof’ with cut up ‘cigarette biscuits’ [from the PoundShop] and made the star with a silver tinsel pipecleaner. Then I pinned a ribbon round the cake.

Because I’d cut some off the back, I was able to position it to the back of my glass cake plate- leaving room at the front to stand the Wise Men on the lower level, and Mary, Joseph and baby had more space to stand on the cake itself.

waitrose cake 2

That’s my take on this Waitrose one. I’m very pleased with mine [Bob prefers Royal Icing to fondant anyway]

I am looking forward to tasting Adrian and Marion’s cake when we go up to Norfolk – they’re using the Tesco ‘Mary Berry’ Kit – almost everything comes in the bag [inc. icing and marzipan] You just add eggs, butter, an orange and a lemon.

Adrian has also recently sampled the Heston Blumenthal mince pies with pine sugar. He was not over-impressed! Apparently “As well as smelling of Christmas trees, the pies contain apple puree, lemon curd and rose water in additional to the traditional mincemeat.”

I was concerned they’d smell of toilet cleaner, but Adrian said he was barely aware of any pine-ness in his pie! They cost £3.29 for 6 in Waitrose. No doubt they will sell out and be flogged on eBay soon!

Have you made your cake yet? Do you buy one? Do you buy a kit? and how do you decorate your cake? All ideas welcome!


  1. What a lovely idea, and much nicer to have your own than a store bought one.

  2. I haven't but I must, I like the real Christmas part of your cake and will pinch the idea - I'm sure you won't mind. - Where did you get the sugar or not sugar nativity characters? thanks froogs xx

  3. What a sweet labour of love, Angela.....and very professional!
    This year, for the first time, my 85 year old mother will not be sending Christmas Cake across the continent (as she's sent it around the world, these 38 years of our marriage. I didn't get my act together to make my own, so it will be a store bought fruit cake for me this year! I can't do without if for those quiet afternoons with a pot of tea and a glass of sherry by the fire.

  4. Having inherited my granny's recipe book, I am slowly trying out her recipes of Christmas cakes from the 1950s and 60s - when my mum was a little girl!

  5. Sorry,Waitrose....Angela's cake looks much better!!
    Jane x
    PS I've tasted Angela's cakes...I'm sure it will taste better too.

  6. Christmas cakes are not a tradition with us, though certainly I've read about them in novels. Yours is beautiful!


  7. Thanks for all your kind remarks [especially Jane!]
    Froogs, the resin figures are by 'Culpitt' who make lots of cake decorating stuff. I got mine some time ago in Lakeland. They've gone up, and are quite pricey now [£5-£6 for Mary, Joseph, Jesus] although Hobbycraft are currently selling theirs at £2.99.
    Having once purchased them, I now feel obliged to use them every year [this is the 4th time]

  8. Angela - your cake is fantastic! Sorry I've not stopped by your blog in a while, I could have missed this. It beats Waitrose hands down! I've made my cake but not marzipanned or iced it yet (thanks for the tip about rolling it out on something non-stick as well), I use an ancient recipe my gran gave me, plus her very very vintage cake tin. Royal icing is FAR superior to fondant in my opinion, last year I basically did a snowy scene, utilising the contents of the toybox (plastic polar bear from the zoo animals, and some wooden trees from the train set)

  9. We made those British Sugar Tinsin 1996... it was a very difficult job to match the tin to the body with the flowing ribbon... oh & by the way the lid is on back to front!

  10. We made those tins in 1996 for British Sugar.. we had a great deal of fun ensuring the ribbon matched the body... oh by the way the lid is no backwards!


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