Igloo cake recipe

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This cute igloo Christmas cake with miniature homemade sugarpaste penguins is a perfect Christmas treat for all the family.

Igloo Christmas cake
Serves12–15
SkillMedium
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time3 hours 30 mins
Total Time4 hours
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories1173 Kcal59%
Sugar205.5 g228%
Fat25.3 g36%
Saturated Fat6.2 g31%
Protein10.2 g20%
Carbohydrates226.6 g87%

This adorable winter wonderland igloo cake features playful sugarpaste penguins and a cosy looking igloo.

Follow a classic Christmas cake recipe (opens in new tab) to make the base of the igloo. There are several ways to create a basin-shaped cake, the simplest being to use a specially shaped cake tin. You can also get the same effect by ‘gluing’ several square sponges with apricot glaze before carving them into shape. Alternatively, you can bake your cake in a Pyrex bowl, but be sure not to let the oven temperature go above 170°C to avoid shocking the glass.

Ingredients

  • Basin-shaped fruit cake
  • 3 tbsp apricot glaze or sieved apricot jam
  • 500-750g (1-1½lb) marzipan
  • 1.5kg (3lb) white sugarpaste
  • CMC (also known as Tylose or Tylopur)
  • Paste food colouring in Ice Blue, Liquorice and Tangerine
  • 1-2 tbsp royal icing
  • 28cm (11in) round cake drum
  • Icing smoother
  • Small round cutter
  • 90 x 15mm (35 x 5⁄8in) white satin ribbon (optional), or white felt icicles
  • Double-sided sticky tape

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. Trim the top of the cake and level, if necessary. Place the upturned cake slightly offset on the cake drum. Cover the cake with warm apricot glaze or jam, and marzipan. Roll out half of the white sugarpaste and create strips about 2.5cm (1in) in width. Cut the strips in 3cm (1¾in) lengths for the bricks and stick to the cake with cooled, boiled water. As you move towards the top of the cake, make the bricks smaller. As you build up the brickwork, flatten the cake with the icing smoother. For the top of the cake, use the cutter to cut out a circle.
  2. Cover the cake drum with white sugarpaste. For the igloo’s entrance, create several more bricks, curving them slightly to make an arch.
  3. To make the penguins: Mix 1 tsp CMC in with 250g (8oz) white sugarpaste. Make large teardrop shapes in white sugarpaste for the adult penguins’ bodies and make smaller teardrop shapes in Ice Blue for the chicks’ bodies. Colour some sugarpaste black with Liquorice food colouring and some orange with Tangerine. Roll a ball for the head. The feet can be either orange or black, made from teardrop, shapes, flattened, and then cut twice with sharp scissors. Make tiny cone shapes for the beaks, again in either black or orange. The flippers are made in either black or white and are little sausages, flattened. The eyes can be made by making tiny, oval shapes and flattening them. The chick’s mask is made in white and is a kidney shape of thin, rolled-out sugarpaste.
  4. Position the penguins and the chicks on and around the cake, securing them in place with royal icing.

Top tips for making an igloo cake

The edge of the cake drum can be decorated with some felt, cut to look like icicles, as in our photo. Display the cake on a raised cake stand, or place the cake on an upturned bowl, so the icicles can hang down.

Please note nutritional information is based on using Mary Berry's Christmas cake recipe as the main base serving 15.

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Mary Berry’s fruit cake (opens in new tab)

Christmas cake decorations (opens in new tab)

Easy Christmas cake (opens in new tab)

Rosie Hopegood
Rosie Hopegood


Rosie Hopegood is a former professional chef turned journalist with a passion for veggie food. She spent several years working as a chef aboard superyachts, catering for the culinary demands of the very rich and sometimes famous. She also worked as a private chef in the Swiss Alps, the Scottish Highlands, and the Balearic Islands. Later, she spent five years looking after the food pages at Reach Plc’s magazines. Rosie lives in New York and writes for Al Jazeera, Sunday Telegraph, and The Guardian.