Christmas Cake with Snowflakes

I didn’t start making my Christmas cakes until the beginning of December which is a little late but now that the fruit and nuts have soaked in brandy and citrus juice, the cakes have been baked and then finally iced and decorated, I feel I have caught up with the season.

All done and dusted

A few years ago the very generous and thoughtful Celia gave me more cake boards than I could count and I’m still making my way through them.  Normally I would make round cakes but I seem to have a lot of square cake boards that need using so that’s the reason some of this year’s cakes are square.

A square cake on a square cake board

I have two favourite recipes and you can find links to the prize-winning cake here and a glace fruit cake here.

Ready for Christmas

A few tips to making a good fruit cake are:

Snowflakes would look good on top of the cake as well

Soak the dried fruit and nuts in brandy (or similar) for at least a week and stir the mixture daily;

Soak the fruit and nuts for about a week, stirring daily

Line the cake tins with care – I know this is a tedious chore but it will help your cake have good shape and the brown paper and baking paper will protect your cake from the long cooking time where you want to avoid a cake that is too dark (burnt/dry) on the outside and too blonde (raw) in the middle;

Lining the cake tins is a chore!

Have your eggs at room temperature;

Red and green glace cherries add pretty colours to the cake

Beat the butter and sugar only until just combined;

Add the eggs one at a time and beat until only just combined;

When the cake is in the tin, lift it up and drop it down on the bench several times to release any trapped air bubbles;

Bang out those air bubbles

Place the cake in the oven on a wire rack covered in a few sheets of brown paper to facilitate a cake that’s evenly cooked (not dried out and dark brown on the bottom);

When the cake comes out of the oven sprinkle with brandy then quickly cover the top of the cake with foil;

Allow the cake to cool overnight in the tin;

Allow to cool in the tin overnight

Wrap cake in the baking paper and then foil and cling film and store upside down for a few weeks if time allows;

Place a little marzipan on the cake board then put the cake upside down on top of the marzipan.  The marzipan will help the cake stick to the board;

Brush cake with lightly beaten egg white or thinly-spread raspberry jam then cover with marzipan (use a good quality marzipan because the artificial almond paste tastes nothing like the real thing;

Ideally wait 24-hours before continuing to ice the cake allowing the marzipan time to dry (difficult if it’s hot and humid in your kitchen);

Roll out your fondant then lift it onto the cake using your rolling pin then smooth it over the cake using your hands and an icing smoother tool; and

Decorate as desired.

In the past I’ve decorated cakes with holly, Christmas trees, angels and snowmen so this year I decided to go with snowflakes.  The snowflakes are very easy to make.  I bought a snowflake cookie cutter then placed a silver cachous in the centre of each snowflake.  In a kitchenwares store I stumbled upon a container of tiny snowflakes and so to give the fondant snowflakes a bit of texture, I decorated each snowflake in tiny edible snowflakes.

Decorated with tiny edible snowflakes

Making the snowflakes wasn’t difficult but was a little time-consuming.  The fastest way to get those tiny snowflakes onto the fondant was to dip a paintbrush in edible glue (or lightly beaten egg white), wipe off excess then dip the brush across the container of tiny snowflakes.  A few would stick to the brush and then these could quickly be pressed onto the snowflakes.

The only snowflakes we’ll see this Christmas

I think the cake would look good with snowflakes not only covering the sides but also on top of the cake but I have a few little treasures that I’ve collected over the years that traditionally adorn the cake and it would be heresy if I didn’t bring them out of hiding for another chance in the limelight.

Little treasures

Now my cakes are finished and this week the ones that have been made as gifts will be wrapped in clear cellophane and delivered.

And my final tip…I always make my cakes gluten-free as that way no one needs to miss out on a slice or two.

And now we just need a close-up of that gorgeous sausage dog.

Too cute

Happy baking.

Related Post


  1. How cute is that sausage dog trinket? I remember how delicious your Christmas cake was a few years ago. Glad to see that the tradition is still standing, even with a hectic study schedule. I’m sure your family is even more delighted! 😀

  2. Your cake looks delicious. My mother made fabulous Christmas cakes just like this, weeks in advance. She even posted whole cakes to us when we were overseas, and they were still moist and tasty. Have a wonderful Christmas dinner Charlie & I hope your family is well and happy.

  3. P.S. I should have said cakes, plural, and it’s great that you can do gluten free. That’s my kind of cake.

  4. Love seeing the little dog again. I have already made your prize winning fruit cake and the first ones have been delivered for an early Christmas. Enjoy the rest of your Christmas baking.

    • Hi Alison, lovely to hear from you. I’m so glad you’ve made the prize-winning fruit cake and I bet the receivers of your cakes are thrilled. Have a very Merry Christmas xx

  5. I love a good fruit cake and have swithered about making one or buying one but so far none on the horizon – I love your snowflakes and admire your cake making, esp given how busy you have been.

  6. What a great primer on fruitcake making! I soak my dried fruit in a boozy bath too, but only overnight. I’m going to try out your suggestion for a longer soak. I think that will make for a happier cake!

  7. Hi Charlie, first I must say, the sausage dog is adorable. Great tips for making fruitcake, sounds moist and delicious. This cake looks like it was decorated by a professional, beautiful job and Happy Holidays!!

  8. Your cakes and garnishes are perfect as always. Such lucky friends you have!
    Yeah, you could not leave that dachshund off the cake! Just like we have to have our football helmet Christmas lights around one of our French doors.

  9. Fabulous looking cake and great tips for making them. Love the wiener dog!

  10. You
    a TRUE artist! WOW.
    Can’t wait to see what else you do for Christmas! x

  11. Your cakes are always so wonderfully impressive Charlie.
    Have a wonderful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  12. This is so pretty!

  13. Oh wow how cute is the little dashie?. i love that Charlie. Glad you had enough time to bake your cakes this year and thanks for the tips ( although I have missed the boat-as usual)

  14. Gorgeous. And so much work. Too much for me, but I can at least stare and drool at cakes like these make by talented folks like you.

  15. Beautiful, just beautiful. Your cakes are works of art.

  16. Gosh, I’ve never been a fruit cake person but your talent may change that!! Merry Christmas Charlie!!

  17. Really fun cake! Love Christmas baked goods — so many, and all so good. We’ve been baking up a storm here. 🙂 Hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s!

  18. I love your baking and no better season that to drool over your amazing Christmas cake. I’ve never made a fruit cake…. you inspire me.

  19. Your Christmas cakes are always so impressive and this year is no exception. Enjoy the lead up to Christmas Charlie x

  20. You could teach Santa’s elves a few things about dedication and productivity, to be sure, Charlie. You are right to leave of the snowflakes for your favorite holiday decorations. On the side of this post was a link to Arabella’s rainbow cake that you prepared for her birthday. The cake was every bit as lovely as I remember — 4 years ago!!!! How quickly those 4 years flew! Unbelievable!
    I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and happy new year.

  21. Ah… Charlie. I look forward to seeing your Christmas cake every year. You never disapoint. Once again, this is just so impressive. And sounds delicious as well.

  22. Oh dear, I’ve read this post too late and missed the window to make a Christmas cake – and you’ve made it look so do-able!
    Your cake looks lovely, Charlie, and sounds delicious.

  23. I’m sure your family appreciates your beautiful cakes, especially now that you are busier than ever. Merry Christmas to you all. BTW, is there going to be a Santa photo this year?

  24. What a beautiful cake, the decoration is exquisite Andy beautifully executed. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you much happiness (and good grades!) for the coming year. XOXO

  25. What a lovely Christmas cake! Your replica dog on top is just stunning! I love your recipe too!
    MMMMM! You have to know that I just wrote my 1st-E-Book called Healthy Vegan Christmas! You can get if if you subscribe! I have 2 versions to download!

  26. I still haven’t started on my Christmas cakes. lol. Hope you had a terrific Christmas and happy new year, Charlie!

  27. Happy New year Charlie! It’s sweet to be back on such a sweet post. Hope you had a fantastic christmas!

  28. One of these years I’m going to get my act together early enough to make one of your beautiful Christmas cakes, Charlie. One prohibition has been that fruitcake isn’t popular in my family and I, on the other hand, love it! I have visions of eating the entire thing myself, which wouldn’t be a very good idea. 🙂 I’d love to make one just for the bragging rights, though. I love the square shape and the little dachshund is marvelous!

  29. Charlie, this is beautiful.I have not made a fruitcake in years, but your soaked nuts and fruit look so beautiful, I think it will go back on the list!
    I hope to be arou nd much more than I had.I have missed so much. I hope 2017 is wonderful for you and your family!

  30. I love that you have special cake toppers for the family Christmas cake. The little sausage dog is adorable. The cake is way more than adorable – it’s beautiful.

Speak Your Mind