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Winter Woodland Christmas cake

I made my Christmas cake a few weeks ago, and have been feeding it with brandy to keep it moist and taste even lovelier! Then came the fun part: decorating it. I want it to be the centrepiece of my Winter Woodland dessert table so I went for a sugar paste reindeer sitting amongst a snowy woodland.

Gluten Free

1 20cm round cake


Gluten free 20cm 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 stand 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. Push sugar pearls into side of cake where cake meets cake stand.

  8. Wrap ribbon around side of cake and secure with a dab of royal icing

  9. Spoon some royal icing in a large circle on top of the cake, using a fork to lift it into snowy peaks

  10. Lightly push sugar paste reindeer into royal icing in centre of cake

  11. Lightly push leaves and chocolate Matchsticks into royal icing around outside edge of circle. Lightly push mushroom cookies and acorns into royal icing around reindeer.

  12. Spoon remainder of royal icing into piping bag with a small star nozzle at the end. Pipe a small amount of icing onto back of leaves and press into centre of ribbon around cake

  13. Dust cake in sieved icing sugar

  14. Sprinkle cake in white glitter


Gluten free 20cm fruit cake

  • 450g currants

  • 200g sultanas

  • 200g raisins

  • 100g cherries (glace, chopped)

  • 100g cut mixed peel

  • 3 tbsp brandy

  • 75g almonds (chopped)

  • 350g gluten free plain flour

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp mixed spice

  • 0.5 tsp salt

  • 275g butter (unsalted, at room temperature)

  • 225g brown sugar (soft)

  • 5 medium eggs

  • 1 lemons (grated zest)

  • 1 oranges (grated zest)

  • 3 tbsp brandy

To Decorate


  • rolling pin

  • cake smoother

See more...

Iced deer in the woodland
Iced Bird
Iced leaves
My winter woodland Christmas cake
Winter woodland Christmas cake
Petal paste reindeer
Sugarpaste reindeer
Sugar paste reindeer
Sugar pearls and glittered leaves
Back of Iced Reindeer
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