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A fabulous Christmas stocking cake overflowing with old-fashioned toys and adorned with shining bells.
This definitely isn’t the speediest of cakes to make, but we think the end result is pretty spectacular. If you’re short on time, skip the sugarpaste toys – the stocking design alone is wonderfully festive. We recommend using Mary Berry’s hearty Christmas cake recipe (opens in new tab) for the base, although the decorations would also work well on a plain sponge for those who don’t like fruit cake. You could even cheat and use a ready-made sheet cake.
- 18cm (7in) square fruit cake
- 4-6 level tbsp apricot glaze or sieved apricot jam
- 600-750g (1¼-1½lb) white marzipan
- 4 x 250g packets red sugarpaste
- 1kg packet white sugarpaste
- Lustre dust food colour in Snowflake and Gold
- 2-4tsp CMC (also known as Tylose or Tylopur)
- Rose water (alcohol-based, eg, Star Kay White)
- Paste food colouring in Autumn Leaf, Liquorice, Flesh, Baby Blue, Dark Brown, Mint Green, Melon, Tangerine, Navy and Dusky Pink
- Edible glue (eg, Squires Kitchen)
- ½ x 500g packet royal icing
- Paper for template
- 35.5 x 25cm (14 x 10in)
- cake drum
- Tracing wheel (optional)
- Wooden skewers
- Clay gun (optional)
- Approx. 122 x 15mm (48 x 5⁄8in) red satin ribbon
- Double-sided sticky tape
- Make a template for the stocking by cutting a boot shape out of paper. Place this on the cake and cut out the shape (see the photo as a guide).
- Join pieces with apricot glaze or jam to stick the cake into the shape of a stocking.
- Place the stocking-shaped cake on the drum and cover it with apricot glaze or jam, marzipan, and the red sugarpaste.
- To make the stocking cuff: Take about 400g (14oz) of white sugarpaste and roll it out thinly. Cut out the edging for the stocking. Carefully stick this to the stocking with cooled, boiled water, raising some of the pointed edges for effect. Carefully dust with Snowflake lustre to add a slight sparkle.
- To make the bells and toys: Knead 2 teaspoons CMC to 500g (1lb) white sugarpaste until it’s well blended. For the bells, roll 9 evenshaped balls, make an incision down the middle of each one, and then push the end of a paintbrush in at the sides of the cuts. Paint the bells with the Gold lustre dust mixed with rose water, and attach to the cake, at the points of the stocking cuffs.
- To make the teddy: Colour some sugarpaste Autumn Leaf. Make a pear-shaped body. With the tracing wheel, if using, mark stitch lines through the centre of the body. Make a ball for its head and flatten slightly. Take a smaller ball and mix with white sugarpaste for the bear’s snout, again flattening slightly. Create 2 ears, and roll out 3 sausages for arms and 1 leg. Place a bit of Liquorice-coloured sugarpaste on top of snout for nose. Paint eyes in Liquorice food colour. Using edible glue, assemble bear. Insert a length of wooden skewer to secure it to the cake.
- To make the soldier: Colour some sugarpaste Flesh. Roll a ball for the head, and a smaller one for the nose. Roll a small ball of Baby Blue-coloured sugarpaste and flatten it for his collar. Colour some sugarpaste Dark Brown for the hair. With Liquorice-coloured sugarpaste, make a hat and the brim, and 2 minute balls for the eyes. For the body, use the surplus red sugarpaste again, adding CMC accordingly. Make a square shape and flatten slightly, roll 2 sausages for the arms, and a little ball flattened and cut in half for the lips. Take some white sugarpaste and create 2 teardrop shapes for the pelmets. For the hat accessories, make another teardrop shape and incise with a scalpel to create plumes. Roll a tiny sausage shape for the rope. Make small flattened balls for the buttons. Paint all of the white accessories with Gold lustre dust mixed with rose water. Finally, cut a strip from Liquorice-coloured sugarpaste for his belt. Assemble the soldier with edible glue. Insert a length of wooden skewer through body, neck and head; this will help secure the soldier to the cake.
- To make the train: Colour some sugarpaste slightly with Dark Brown. Make a rectangular shape for the body, then repeat using sugarpaste coloured Mint Green and Baby Blue. From red sugarpaste, make 4 round balls then flatten them for wheels, and make a teardrop shape and flatten ends to create a chimney. Finally, roll 2 small balls of Melon-coloured sugarpaste and flatten for windows. Assemble with edible glue.
- To make the hobby horse: Colour some sugarpaste Dark Brown for the head. Shape the paste and insert a length of the wooden skewer through the neck. Create 2 teardrop shapes for ears. With Autumn Leaf-coloured sugarpaste, cut out thin strips for a bridle. Make the paste soft and push through a sieve or clay gun, if using, for the mane. Make a tiny ball of Liquorice-coloured sugarpaste for the eye. Insert the hobby horse into the stocking.
- To make the rubber duck: Colour some sugarpaste Melon. Make an oval shape for the body, upturning one end for the tail feathers. Create a perfect ball for the head, and 2 flattened teardrop shapes for the wings. Make indents for the feathers with a scalpel. Create a beak with Tangerine-coloured sugarpaste. From white sugarpaste, roll 2 tiny balls and flatten for the whites of the eyes, with 2 smaller balls made from Liquorice-coloured sugarpaste for pupils. Assemble using edible glue. Insert a length of wooden skewer through the body and position it on the cake.
- To make the drum: Roll out some white sugarpaste to create 2 discs. Leave to dry out thoroughly. Next, take some sugarpaste coloured Navy and cut out a strip long enough to go around the disc. Cut it to the desired length, and with edible glue, moisten the edge of each disc and wrap the Navy sugarpaste around the discs, forming a drum. Next, cut 2 narrow strips of white sugarpaste and stick around top and bottom of drum, using edible glue. Make the drumsticks from Autumn Leaf-coloured sugarpaste.
- Lastly, colour some sugarpaste Dusky Pink and roll into a ball. When dry, dust with Snowflake lustre. Use royal icing to stick the toys on the cake, above the stocking top. Attach ribbon around edge of cake drum with double-sided sticky tape.
Top tips for making this Christmas stocking cake
Make sure that all the wooden skewers are removed before cutting the cake (it helps to remember how many you used) Wear kitchen safe gloves when handling the food dyes. You could also buy ready-made coloured sugarpaste.
You might also like...
Mary Berry’s fruit cake (opens in new tab)
Christmas cake ideas (opens in new tab)
Easy Christmas cake recipe (opens in new tab)
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.
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