Making your own Christmas cake is only half the fun – you also have to decide how to decorate it. Whether you like snowy white royal icing with a marzipan layer, a more contemporary look, a family-friendly topping or something super quick and easy, we have all the inspiration you need.


Read on to discover some of our favourite ways to decorate a traditional Christmas cake, plus find recipe inspiration for fruitcake and marzipan. We have lots more Christmas baking ideas, Christmas sweets and freezable Christmas baking ideas to help you get ahead of the big day.

Christmas cake decoration ideas

1. White chocolate, orange & cranberry Christmas cake

White chocolate, orange & cranberry Christmas cake

For anyone who dislikes a fruitcake, this white chocolate sponge is sure to be a winner. With zesty orange plus juicy cranberries, you can still enjoy all of the festive flavours come wintertime. Top with homemade meringue kisses and icicles or use shop-bought to save time.

2. Winter spice cake with chocolate trees

Winter spice cake with drip icing and green Christmas trees on top

Red and gold sponges give this winter cake extra festive brownie points. The decorative trees may look very impressive but they are simply made by melting and piping white chocolate. Mix green food colouring into your white chocolate for a classic fir or pine tree, but feel free to let your creativity run wild. Try our gingerbread star tree for more festive baking fun, too.

3. Red velvet cake with cheesecake buttercream

Christmas red velvet cake with cheesecake frosting on a cake stand with colourful decorations and a slice cut out

Soft cheese layers of buttercream marry with moist chocolate red velvet sponge to create a showstopping cake that even the most fruitcake aficionados won't be able to resist. Our recipe gives you plenty of tricks for how to decorate your cake to perfection, if you're still after more try our cake decorating masterclass.

More like this

4. White forest Christmas tree traybake

Decorated traybake in the shape of a Christmas tree

This superstar cake can be prepared ahead of time – sponges, festive ginger biscuits, meringues and all – meaning all you have to do on the day is the fun part of assembling. Add some gold leaf and edible glitter for a final festive flourish.

5. Christmas light cake

One Christmas light cake

Brighten up a winter's day with this classic fruitcake decorated with fondant icing and sugared almonds or jelly sweets. Making the most of a shop-bought cake, it takes just 40 minutes all in. Discover more easy Christmas desserts.

6. Sprinkle & spice caramel fault-line cake

Sprinkle and spice caramel fault-line cake

For when you want to pull out all the stops, this stunning Christmas centrepiece is ready to steal the limelight. The lightly spiced sponge is topped with a caramel buttercream icing and our step-by-step photos will guide you through the magical fault-line decoration. Feeling inspired? We have even more showstopping cake recipes.

7. Salted caramel Christmas cake

Christmas cake topped with caramel and nuts

Branching out from the traditional icing, this fruitcake is topped with a sticky, crunchy selection of pecans, hazelnuts, dates and toffee chunks, mixed with black treacle, dulce de leche and spiced rum. Try more dulce de leche recipes.

8. Midwinter candle cake

Midwinter Christmas cake topped with bay leaves and rosemary

Cinnamon sticks add a simple but effective border to this botanical cake. Use a wreath of rosemary and bay leaves for winter green notes, then top with candles when serving. Beneath the foliage is icing and marzipan for a classic touch. For more baking with cinnamon, try our 10 twists on cinnamon buns.

9. Simple snow sparkle cake

Simple snow sparkle cake on a blue festive background

This crunchy sugar topping is a quick, easy way to bring snowy glamour to the humble fruitcake. You'll need white sugar cubes, preserving sugar and egg whites to achieve the look. Edible silver glitter, ribbon and shop-bought figures finish things off.

10. Enchanted forest Christmas cake

Christmas cake topped with snowy icing and green Christmas trees

This beautiful forest scene requires patience and a skilled hand, so it's an ideal choice for baking enthusiasts looking for a showstopping centrepiece. The snowy finish is achieved with a meringue-style icing made with egg whites, liquid glucose, lemon juice and icing sugar. Pistachio paste gives the trees their green hue. Make your own by blitzing shelled pistachios in a food processor with egg yolk, ground nuts, sugar and almond extract.

11. Sparkling bauble cake

White Christmas cake topped with colourful baubles

If you like all things kitsch and colourful, this bright cake will fit the bill. Food colouring gel is the secret to the vivid finish, and craft tweezers help you to neatly set the edible silver balls. Now discover our quirky baubles and Christmas tree decorations for foodies.

12. Snowman cake

Snowman cake served on a plate

Kids will love this simple but effective snowman. The original recipe uses a sponge base, but the icing technique could be used to decorate a traditional fruitcake, too. Children can help roll out the features and create the finishing touches. Try more Christmas baking projects for kids.

13. Rudolph Christmas cake

White iced Christmas cake topped with Rudolph figures

Budding sculptors will enjoy shaping these reindeer cake toppers. Perfectly smooth icing is the key to making this minimalist cake look picture-perfect. Achieve icing success by watching our video guide to topping a round fruitcake.

14. Crunchy nut topping

Christmas cake topped with whole nuts

Swap traditional icing and marzipan for a crunchy, caramelised nut topping. Combine golden syrup, whole and flaked nuts and spoon the mixture over your fruitcake for a florentine-style effect. Now try our white chocolate & ginger florentines.

15. Golden amaretti Christmas cake

Christmas cake topped with icing and Amaretti biscuits

The gilded finish may give this cake a luxe look, but it's actually super easy to achieve. Use edible gold spray to cover the icing and smooth royal icing to drip over the top of the cake. Amaretti biscuits bring out the marzipan flavours and provide plenty of texture. Discover our best stir-up Sunday recipes.

How to decorate a Christmas cake: video guides

Watch and learn how to finish off a cake in style with our video guides. We have step-by-step advice on basic icing and marzipan application, plus colourful decoration ideas.

How to apply marzipan to a Christmas cake
How to ice a round fruit cake
How to decorate a shooting star Christmas cake
How to decorate a classic winter fruitcake
How to decorate a stacked star Christmas cake

Make and Mature Christmas cake in a cake tin with paper

Christmas cake recipes

If you need ideas for how to make the cake itself, these Christmas cake recipes will do the trick – most use the faithful dried fruit and booze combination, but we've also included lighter sponge cake options. Our make-and-mature Christmas cake is the most popular on the site, with thousands clicking on it every year.

Marzipan being placed over a Christmas cake

Make your own marzipan

If you're really committed and want to top your cake with a classic double layer, you could also try making your own marzipan. Choose from zesty orange or easy vanilla marzipan, then watch our video guide on how to apply marzipan to a cake to help you achieve smooth perfection.

Cake being covered with icing

How to ice a cake perfectly

Covering your cake in a blanket of bright white icing will ensure whatever decorations you add will be showcased perfectly. Watch our video guide to icing a round fruitcake and find handy tips on achieving a seamless finish, including kneading your icing to make it more pliable and rolling pin techniques.

Christmas baking recipes

Christmas brownie recipes
Festive cupcakes
Christmas pudding inspiration
Festive bread recipes
Make your own stollen
Gingerbread house ideas
Vegan Christmas baking
All our top Christmas baking recipes


How do you finish off your Christmas cake? Leave a comment below...

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post