If you’ve been watching Ace of Cakes, or its loud New Jersey cousin, Cake Boss this year, you might be toying with the idea of impressing your holiday guests with an over-the-top decorated Christmas cake. Not all of us have the skill or patience to recreate those fantastic creations of flour and sugar, but we can take some inspiration from those elaborate Christmas cakes and apply it to our more humble creations at home.
Soft Iced Christmas Tree Cake
The simple, yet elegant look of this two-toned cake is perfect for the holiday season. You can recreate a similar look by pressing a tree-shaped cookie cutter into the top of your white-iced cake and then using the impression as a guideline to pipe on delicate lines of red. Tying a ribbon around your cake is another easy way to create a festive look that doesn’t require any more icing.
We even found a simple instruction video here.
• Image via Betty’s Online Shop: bettys.co.uk
Pillow Gift Cake
While this sculpted and stacked wonder may be too much to duplicate at home, you can borrow inspiration from the pillows. Cut shapes from rolled fondant or marzipan to add sharp accents to a simple cake. If you aren’t confidant with your knife, use cookie cutters.
• Image via Heather Barranco heatherbarranco.com
Shimmering Forest Cake
This fun winter wonderland cake is possible to recreate. In fact, the website offers full instructions for decorating this unique Honey Saffron fruitcake. If you don’t care for the marzipan that the recipe calls for, create a very similar look with the thin frosted sugar cookies you are probably already making. Pressing things to the outside edges is an easy decorating technique. Try using candy canes or Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookie sticks for other fun effects. The key is to use what you already have on hand in a new way to delight your Christmas guests.
• Image via BBC Good Food bbcgoodfood.com
Six layers may seem intimidating, but take the idea of color and run with it. Don’t be afraid to use food colorings and unique recipes under your fancy decorations. A red velvet sheet cake has a beautiful lush color and is a perfect wide-open canvas to decorate.
• Image via I Am Baker iambaker.net
Winter Wedding Cake
This is a beautiful winter wedding cake, and from it we can learn to break away from the red and green. Strong colors can sometimes affect the flavor of your cake or frosting. If you want something less dependent on artificial color, go for a soft blue with white snowflakes. For an even simpler look, top a rustic dark cake with puffy white icing to mimic snow on a mountaintop. You can even embellish with clean, natural greenery.
• Image via Amelia Cakes ameliascakes.com
Whatever style of Christmas cake appeals to you, use your imagination and try something different. Your guests will be impressed and you can be your own Cake Boss!
Event planner Sylvia Carlton loves to embellish her party themes with fabulous desserts—such as Heather Barranco Dreamcakes, a standout in the niche New York custom cakes business.