Last-minute Christmas Cake Topping

Jane Asher provides a quick and easy topping to replace traditional royal icing, that looks just as beautiful and can be made at the eleventh hour
By Jane Asher
Last-minute Christmas Cake Topping
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Covers 1 x 20cm cake
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: easy


  • 200 g marzipan
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam
  • 4 tbsp whisky or orange juice
  • glace fruits, selection of whole Brazil nuts, blanched almonds or walnuts
  • wide Christmas ribbon
  • gold leaf, optional


1. Trim the top of the cake (or use the underneath) to make a flat surface.

2. Heat the jam and whisky (or orange juice) in a small saucepan and stir until it becomes a glossy glaze. Allow to cool.

3. Knead the marzipan until soft, then, on a worktop or silicon sheet dusted with a little icing sugar, roll it out to a circle slightly larger than the cake (use the cake tin as a guide).

4. Brush the top of the cake with the jam glaze, then invert the cake on to the marzipan and trim around the edge.

5. Turn the cake the right way up again and paint the marzipan surface with the glaze. Add some glace fruits (use colourful ones, trimming them to fit as necessary) and assorted nuts, until the top is completely covered.

6. Brush more glaze over the fruits and nuts, to make a shiny finish.

7. Wrap the ribbon around the cake and fasten with a cocktail stick. For a very special touch, add tiny pieces of gold leaf to some of the fruits and nuts.

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