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Starry Christmas cake recipe

This Christmas I made two gluten free Christmas cakes: a pretty house one for my family and me and the colourful star covered one as a gift for a very dear friend of mine.

The starry cake was inspired by my Cath Kidston star print fabric I used on the stockings, it is so easy to decorate by using star cutters, but is really impactful due to the bright colours.

Gluten Free

1 15cm cake

Method

Gluten free 15cm fruit cake

  1. Place all dried fruit and mixed peel in a bowl, pour in sherry and mix well. Cover with a clean cloth. Leave for 12 hours or overnight so fruit can absorb the sherry

  2. Preheat oven to 150 deg C (300 deg F)

  3. Grease and line tin with baking parchment

  4. Wrap newspaper/brown paper around tin and secure with baker's twine

  5. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until the mixture turns a pale colour

  6. Beat in eggs slowly on medium speed

  7. Sieve flour, salt and spices into the mixture and mix slowly on low speed

  8. Fold in soaked fruit, almonds, lemon & orange zest until well mixed

  9. Pour mixture into tin, level with spatula

  10. Place sheet of grease proof paper on top, and make sure to leave a small circle missing from centre

  11. Bake for 3 hours and 15 minutes on middle shelf

  12. Place cake on a wire rack to cool

  13. When cake is completely cool, remove cake from tin

  14. Pierce cake several times with skewer

  15. Pour 3 tsp of brandy over the top of the cake (feeding)

  16. Wrap in baking parchment

  17. Wrap in foil or store in an airtight container

  18. Feed at regular intervals over the next few weeks

To decorate

  1. Place cake on cake board upside down so top is completely flat

  2. Knead marzipan into a ball. Dust icing sugar onto a hard clean surface and roll out marzipan to 5mm thick.

  3. Melt the apricot jam. Brush cake with apricot jam

  4. Lift up marzipan using rolling pin. Place on cake and smooth out so entire cake is covered in marzipan. Cut off any excess, leave to dry for 24 hours.

  5. Knead roll on icing into a ball. Dust icing sugar onto a hard clean surface and roll out roll-on icing to 5mm thick. Lift up icing using rolling pin.

  6. Place on cake and smooth out so entire cake is covered in icing. (I use a cake smoother to give it a polish and professional finish)

  7. Spoon royal icing into piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle at the end. Pipe small peaks round base of cake.

  8. With the remaining ready to roll icing, split into four balls and colour the balls of icing pale green, turquoise, pink and red.

  9. Roll out the coloured balls of icing to about 5mm thick and using star cutters, cut out a bunch of coloured stars in different sizes.

  10. Lightly dampen the back of the stars with boiled water and attach stars to cake. Leave to set

Ingredients

Gluten free 15cm fruit cake

  • 150g currants

  • 50g sultanas

  • 50g raisins

  • 40g cherries (glace, chopped)

  • 25g cut mixed peel

  • 2 tbsp cream sherry

  • 25g almonds (chopped)

  • 90g gluten free plain flour

  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon

  • 0.5 tsp mixed spice

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 75g butter (unsalted, at room temperature)

  • 75g brown sugar (soft)

  • 2 medium eggs

  • 0.25 lemons (grated zest)

  • 0.25 oranges (grated zest)

  • 3 tbsp brandy

To Decorate

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Close up of Star cake
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