Shimmering forest cake

Shimmering forest cake

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Plus drying


Get the kids to help create this winter wonderland - just make sure you have enough Smarties to nibble on!

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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    To cover the cake

    • 20cm/8inch round fruitcake
    • 3 tbsp apricot jam, warmed
    • icing sugar, for dusting
    • 750g natural-coloured marzipan
      Marzipan cake



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

    • 750g white ready-to-roll icing

    To decorate

    • 500g white ready-to-roll icing
    • green food colouring paste
    • 200g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
    • 2 Christmas tree cutters, about 5cm and 10cm tall
    • 1 egg white
    • edible sparkles, available from cookshops
    • green Smarties and silver chocolate buttons (optional)


    1. Cover the cake with marzipan and white icing. (See step 5 for more information).

    2. Knead the ready-to-roll icing, then split into three balls. Leave one ball white, and knead a little green colouring into the other two to give two different shades of green. Roll out each ball to about 5mm thick on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Stamp out about 15 tree shapes using tree cutters, then leave to dry for a few hours or overnight.

    3. Once firm, lift half of the trees onto a cooling rack. Combine the 200g icing sugar and egg white to make an icing, then drizzle it over the trees with a teaspoon. Scatter with edible sparkles and leave to dry again until solid.

    4. Put a little icing on the back of each tree and press the trees around the edge of the cake, overlapping some to give a 3-D effect. Scatter the sweets over the top of the cake to finish. Can be iced up to a week ahead.

    5. To cover a cake with marzipan, first brush the cake all over with a thin layer of warmed apricot jam. Dust the work surface with icing sugar, then roll out the marzipan evenly until you have a 5mm- 1cm thick round, about 40cm across for a 20cm cake. Lift over the cake, using a rolling pin to help, then smooth with your hands and trim off the excess. Leave to dry overnight or for a few hours. Lightly brush the marzipan all over with cooled, boiled water. Roll the icing out as you did the marzipan, then smooth with your hands, trim off the excess and leave to dry.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Katie henderson's picture
    Katie henderson
    19th Jan, 2019
    Decorated my Christmas case as above this Christmas and it looked fabulous. I got lots of lovely compliments. Relatively simple and effective. I didn’t do the sweets on top instead I cut out white snowflakes with the remaining icing and dusted with edible glitter. Lovely.
    18th Dec, 2011
    Made the Ainsley's mum recipe from many years ago again as I have done every year, its beautiful but decorated it as above. I am really pleased with the result and it was so easy however I live in Brisbane and it was impossible to get the green and silver 'buttons' so I stuck some small trees on top. It is also impossible to get cranberries either fresh or frozen!!
    lostkat's picture
    26th Jan, 2008
    Also made this on the Honey and Saffron Christmas Cake and it looks fab! I couldn't find any green/silver smarties, so I stuck a few left over trees on the top too. Everyone was really impressed with it.
    21st Dec, 2007
    I've just made this - on the Honey and Saffron Christmas cake - and it's worked out pretty well. However my icing shapes just wouldn't dry rigid - maybe they were too thin or something. So, I decided to bend them round the cake instead and it's worked out great. I couldn't get edible sparkles but had some leftover edible opal dust that I blew over the wet drizzled icing, and I also used silver balls instead of silver smarties. It may not look exactly like the picture, but I'm very pleased with it :)
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