Modern Christmas cake recipe

(186 ratings)

This beautiful pleated icing design creates the perfect modern Christmas cake. Golden candles and tiny edible stars are the finishing touches.

Modern Christmas cake
Preparation Time1 hours
Cost RangeMid

This beautiful pleated icing design gives a classic Christmas cake a modern look. Shimmer spray adds a lovely luster, while golden candles and tiny edible stars are the finishing touches.

You can also mix up the colour scheme by replacing the golden candles, stars, and ribbons with silver or even bronze. Or use decorative holly leaves in place of the candles. Use your favourite recipe for the base for this modern Christmas cake – we love Mary Berry’s luxurious Christmas cake recipe. Brimming with sherry-soaked raisins, cherries, and currants, it’s the ultimate in festive decadence. 


  • 20cm (8in) round fruit cake
  • 4-6 level tablespoons apricot glaze or sieved apricot jam
  • 750g (1½lb) white marzipan
  • 1kg packet white sugarpaste
  • Pearl Lustre Spray (eg, PME)
  • Edible gold stars
  • Approx. 23cm (11in) round, flat plate or cake drum
  • 3 gold candles
  • Gold ribbon for decoration
  • Artificial ivy leaves




  1. Upturn the cake and place it centrally on a plate or cake drum. Cover, using the warm apricot glaze or jam, and marzipan. Knead the sugarpaste to soften, then roll out to 4-5mm thickness on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Cut out rectangles about 20 x 5cm (8 x 2in), then cut in half diagonally.
  2. Brush some water over the marzipan and arrange triangles so they overlap each other, with the points meeting in the centre. If possible, have the last triangle going under the first, but if the first one is stuck down too securely, just stick the last one overlapping on top. Roll 3 balls of sugarpaste, dampen the bases and press them in the centre of the cake to hold the candles.
  3. Spray the cake with lustre colour. It may be hard to spray evenly so, if necessary, give the cake 2 light coatings, then leave just long enough for the colour to dry.
  4. Cut the 3 candles to slightly different lengths, and while the sugarpaste is still soft, stick them into the balls on top of the cake. Sprinkle edible stars over the top of the cake. Hide sugarpaste balls with small bows of gold ribbon, and artificial ivy leaves. Tie a gold ribbon around the base of the cake.

Top tips for making this modern Christmas cake

Save time by buying ready-rolled sugarpaste and marzipan.

Why don't you try baking this Christmas cake in an air fryer? It's much quicker than using a conventional oven with great results too. For other mouthwatering Christmas cake ideas have a look at Mary Berry’s fruit cake or our easy Christmas cake recipe. We've also got plenty of Christmas cake ideas for decorating too.

Rosie Hopegood
Freelance Contributor (US)

Rosie Hopegood is a journalist, editor, and writer with many years of experience writing about lifestyle, including parenting, for a broad range of magazines and newspapers. Now based in Brooklyn, New York, Rosie has written for Daily Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Observer, The Guardian, The Independent, Vice, Telegraph Magazine, Fabulous Magazine, Stella Magazine, Notebook Magazine, Saga Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Mirror, S Magazine, and Stella Magazine. She spent five years on staff at the Mirror, where she was Deputy Features Editor on the magazines team.