Rocky robin cake

Rocky robin cake

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 10 mins

Moderately easy

Cuts into 10 slices
Get creative with your Christmas cake icing - these robins are super cute and really easy to model

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1381
  • fat42g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs251g
  • sugars233g
  • fibre7g
  • protein12g
  • salt0.86g
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  • 1 x 20cm round or 18cm square Christmas cake (see 'Goes well with', below)
  • 4 tbsp raspberry or apricot jam, warmed and sieved



    A member of the rose family, raspberries have a wonderfully intense, sweet taste, and many…

  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • 500g pack marzipan



    One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…

  • 1.3kg ready-to-roll white icing
  • brown, green and red food colouring
  • 9 whole cloves



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • black writing icing

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  1. Sit the cake on a large board or flat serving plate. Brush a little of the jam over the cake. Dust a clean surface with a little icing sugar, then roll out the marzipan until big enough to cover the cake (use string to help you measure). Carefully lift the marzipan onto the cake, pat down to cover smoothly and trim any excess off the bottom. Brush all over again with more jam.

  2. Knead 1kg white icing until smooth, then roll out on an icing sugar-dusted surface until a little bigger than the marzipan size. Carefully lift onto the cake, partially pat down the sides to smooth and stick, allow the rest to stick in folds, or tease into shape with your fingers (step A). Trim any ragged edges.

  3. For the robins, roll 3 walnut-size balls from some of the remaining white icing. Halve the icing that is left. Knead brown colouring into 1 half to give a rich colour, wrap well – this will be the branch. Divide the other half into 3 pieces, and colour 1 red, 1 pale brown and 1 green.

  4. Re-dust the work surface, pinch off 3 marble-size balls of red icing and roll each into a teardrop shape for the breast. Use a cocktail stick to add texture, then stick 1 onto each robin – brush a little water onto the icing to help it stick. As you stick it, flatten the base of the ball slightly so that the robins stand up.

  5. Divide the pale brown icing into 3 balls and roll each into an oval shape, then pinch 1 end of each into a gentle point (step B). Stick onto the robins so that the point is the head, and trim the tail if you need to. Poke a clove into each brown tip to make a little beak. Pull the round bit off the end of 6 cloves to leave spiky ends, and poke into robins to make feet. Use black writing icing to add eyes (step C).

  6. Roll most of the dark brown icing into a long branch and attach to the cake with a little more water or jam. Roll smaller branches from the remaining dark brown icing. Pinch leaves from the green icing and attach. Add the robins and enjoy.

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Comments (19)

crazycupcakegirl's picture

I think this recipe is beautiful, it looks so eleagant and I am able to alter it if needs be. I used coco to colour the brown icing which gave it a nice marble effect as I coyuld not find brown food colouring. But overall a great recipe!!! :)

markswifey's picture

trying this tonight -- wish me luck!

markswifey's picture

trying this tonight -- wish me luck!

markswifey's picture

trying this tonight -- wish me luck!

dwynwyn's picture

I used Green & Red food colouring to get the brown colour. I had to have plenty of icing sugar on hand to get the fondant back to the right texture and it was a difficult balance to get the right shade of colour with the right texture to the icing, but I managed it. I think in the future, I'm going to follow the tips here though - Hobbycraft for my sugar paste, I'll remember that - thanks! My sculpting wasn't the best and my other half said the robin's looked more like mice, but luckily my mother-in-law is more polite and thought they were lovely!

stephthecook's picture

The cake was easy to make as was putting on the marzipan and icing. The tip on using cocoa for brown colour was great as there aren't always specialist shops in all areas of the country!!! It was a bit dry but made very realistic trunk and branches. Food colouring did make the red and green bits too wet so would in future buy already coloured icing. Looked cute and went down brilliantly - the cake tasted gorgeous!

ajirvine's picture

I've been making this for the last few days. On advice I covered it with marzipan the day before to allow it to dry - apparently this stops the icing from slipping.

I used the Regal-Ice ready rolled icing which was perfect, and the pre-coloured brown icing for the branch.

Couldn't get red pre-coloured (sold out) but I got the gel and coloured white icing myself - messy but worth it.

At first the icing was melting a bit, but that was because the room was too hot - I opened the window (put on my coat) and it got much easier. For speed I used green icing pens to draw on the leaves, and chocolate stars for the feet and beak.. I didn't like the idea of cloves.

Finally I finished it off with tiny white icing snowflakes from Tesco..

Tricky but so worth it - it's my first attempt at anything like this.

Would have given it more stars if they had mentioned that liquid food colouring wouldn't work - i had to rush to Hobbycraft yesterday to get the other kind.

jennifert's picture

Just made this with my kids - which was quite a lot of fun. I used ready rolled icing which made it really easy to cover the cake and then pinch the folds at the bottom. Brown colouring was made by mixing red and green and a bit of yellow we had. It all got a bit runny/messy but adding icing sugar to the mix firmed things up ok. We now have 3 very dopey looking robins sitting on our cake - but they're kinda cute :)

annmdean's picture

Brilliant - the cake looks lovely, just like the picture but I cheated and bought ready coloured sugar paste from Hobbycraft. Have also moulded some more robins for my chocolate log!

frolo743's picture

This looks very cute. I am going to use ready-coloured sugar paste - very easy to use & comes in a multitude of colours.

willowthebunny's picture

You can mix brown by combinig blue and red to make a dark purple then gradually add yellow, yes it does become sticky but will firm up again if left for a while.

emski123's picture

JANEMF, I couldn't find brown food colouring either, so I kneaded some cocoa powder into the white icing instead. Looks just as good!

amitie's picture

This looks lovely. Might take my cake to France and try this with my two grandchildren for chrisrmas. Thank you

jane_58's picture

Would like to make the Rocky Robin Christmas cake, but having problems getting hold of brown food coloring, any one help? live in the Kendal area Cumbria

iluvcooking's picture

what do u call the cream which is in white colour?

porgelet's picture

"food colouring" is very misleading - if you use the liquid food colouring you'll be in trouble! the sugarpaste (icing) will just go all gooey, very sticky and impossible to work with. I think they probably mean sugarpaste colouring which is available at specialist shops.

charlyjustlovescake's picture

These look very tricky!

my_calcifer's picture

Looks so beautiful !

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