How to marzipan a cake

Discover how to cover a round cake with marzipan for a smooth finish before icing. This technique is ideal for traditional Christmas fruit cakes or wedding cakes.

Get the perfect finish on your festive bakes or celebratory cakes. Our easy video demonstrates how to apply a layer of marzipan over a round sponge after brushing with apricot jam. This sweet almond paste provides a delicious middle layer in fruit cakes, and locks in moisture as well as creating a flat, smooth surface to decorate with icing.

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First, make our basic vanilla marzipan, or use a shop-bought version if you are short on time. Then, follow the below instructions for how to roll out the correct amount of marzipan and apply it over the cake for a neat finish.

How to marzipan a fruit cake

Ingredients

  • 500g marzipan
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

Equipment

  • Kitchen string
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry brush
  • Sharp knife and/0r palette knife
  • Sieve
  • Bowl
  1. Bring the apricot jam to the boil with a splash of water, then strain through a sieve so it’s smooth and lump-free.
  2. Brush the plate or cake board with a little of the apricot jam where you want to place the cake. This will help it stick.
  3. Level the top of the cake using a serrated knife, if needed. Turn it over and stick it down to the cake board. This will give you a flat surface to decorate.
  4. Use a piece of string to measure the top and sides of the cake, then cut the string to the length you’ve measured. You’ll then know how big to roll out the marzipan.
  5. Brush the cake with the rest of the jam so the marzipan will stick, and leave for a few minutes to set.
  6. Dust the surface with a little icing sugar, and roll out the marzipan slightly wider than the length of the string – this makes it easier to mould onto the cake.
  7. Use the rolling pin to help you lift the marzipan. Lift it over the cake and carefully unroll.
  8. Ease it down the sides, smooth the surface, and trim any excess marzipan from the base with a sharp knife.
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Want some festive baking inspiration? See our collection of Christmas cake recipes and watch our video on how to ice a cake.

TIPS
TRIMMING YOUR CAKE

If you use a cake recipe that’s specifically designed for decorating, as well as the correct tin size, the cake will ideally be level and won’t need trimming. However, as baking has many variables, including slightly different oven temperatures, don’t worry if yours doesn’t behave!