Festive fruit & spice decoration

Festive fruit & spice decoration

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(1 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 25 mins Plus drying

Skill level



Cuts into 12 slices

Decorating a simple iced cake with herbs, spices, nuts and fruit works to great effect and is especially easy for beginners to try

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info


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  • 18-23cm fruit cake covered with marzipan and ready-to-roll white icing
  • 1 blood or regular orange
  • icing sugar, to dust
  • 1 egg white
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 1 quantity thick royal icing
  • star anise
  • cinnamon sticks, gold dragees, gold candles and a wide gold ribbon

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  1. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Cut the orange into thin slices and space out in a single layer. Sift over a thin layer of icing sugar and bake for 40-45 mins until dry but not over-browned. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, make the frosted rosemary. Beat the egg white with a fork until lightly frothy, then spread the caster sugar over a large, flat plate. Dip the tips of the rosemary into the egg white, shake off the excess and roll in the caster sugar. Set aside to dry on a sheet of baking paper or a plate, for at least 30 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, make the royal icing. To decorate, spoon almost all of the royal icing onto the centre of the cake. Arrange the frosted rosemary, a couple of orange slices and the rest of the decorations on top, pressing them into the icing to secure. Position the candles last. Tie the ribbon around the base and fix with a dot of leftover icing.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2005

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nixnoonoo's picture
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Having made my first Christmas cake this year (2008) I was nervous about decorating - this recipe came to my rescue. Very easy & it looked stunning.

ladyclara79's picture

I saw dragees in Asda yesterday - in the baking aisle. It's only a small Asda too - hopefully there's one near you. They were in a tube with some other bits...

vmcgivern's picture

Any idea how far in advance I can ice my cake to this recipe? Will any of it go bad if I do it too early?

myegms's picture

You could try to paint sugared almonds or something similar. that is my plan.

20whatever08's picture

finding it impossible to purchase the gold dragees.. any suggestions welcome



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