Cherry Pink Christmas Cake

Get into the festive spirit and unleash your creativity with Paul Young's recipe for a truly eye-catching Christmas cake!
By Paul A Young
Cherry Pink Christmas Cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes 1 x25cm cake
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus overnight soaking and drying
  • Effort: medium


For the cake

  • 150 g glacé cherries
  • 100 ml cognac, or rum
  • 300 g butter
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 400 g self-raising flour
  • 1 pinches salt

For the buttercream

  • 100 g butter, softened
  • 100 g icing sugar

For the icing

  • 250 g icing, fondant and ready-to-roll
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 drops edible food colouring

For the cake decorations

  • 250 g icing, fondant and ready-to-roll
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 3 drops edible food colouring
  • 1 tsp silver balls
  • 8 marshmallows


1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas 3. Soak the glace cherries in the Cognac overnight.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl until lightly fluffy. Add a little beaten egg at a time to the butter mixture, blending well between each addition.

3. Gradually fold in the flour and salt, using a metal spoon. Add the glace cherries and Cognac to the mixture and fold in well.

4. Pour into a 25cm loose-based cake tin, lined with baking parchment, and bake for 1 hour until golden and springy to the touch. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool thoroughly.

5. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Cream the butter until soft and gradually add the icing sugar until light fluffy and soft.Once the cake is cool, spread the buttercream over the cake evenly.

6. To ice the cake, knead the icing well until smooth and pliable. Sift a small amount of icing sugar onto your work surface and begin to roll the icing until it is large enough to cover the entire cake fully. Carefully lift the icing onto the cake and ease down the sides to the bottom. Trim off any excess icing with a sharp knife and reserve, wrapping in cling film.

7. To colour the icing, take a piece of fondant and using a cocktail stick or knife place a small amount of paste on to the fondant. Fold and twist the fondant until the colour is even and the depth you require. Wrap in cling film to prevent it drying out. To marble the fondant, take a piece of coloured fondant and twice the amount of white fondant and slowly mix together to incorporate the colours but not so that they fully mix. Cut the marbled piece of fondant in half to reveal the true marble effect.

8. Brush the cake board with egg white first then roll the marbled fondant as before. Place the board onto the rolled paste and cut out around the board to get the right size to cover. Place the fondant circle onto the cake board and smooth with your hands. Leave to dry for at least 1 hour, but 2 or more is best.

9. To decorate the cake, roll out the fondant and cut into your required shapes and designs. Use cutters, templates or free hand to do this stage. Place your cut-out designs onto a tray lined with parchment paper and leave to dry overnight in a warm place.

10. To attach your cut-outs onto the cake make a water icing by mixing a small amount of icing sugar and cold water to form a thick icing. Brush small amounts of icing onto the back of the cut-outs and attach them, to the cake.

11. Place a small gift box onto the cake and fill with pink and white marshmallows, silver balls and shooting stars (made by cutting out two stars of fondant icing and sandwiching them together with egg white and a length of wire).

12. Attach silver balls over the cake with more icing and present your very pink Christmas cake. Finish with pink trimmings and all things seasonal to really show off your very individual creation.

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