15 Christmas cake decoration ideas
Wondering how to decorate your Christmas cake? We have plenty of videos, recipes and guides to provide inspiration for how to ice and top a traditional, or more modern, festive cake
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
How do you finish off your Christmas cake? Leave a comment below...