For a DIY Christmas that’s fun but frugal, get baking!

Share Article

Top tips and advice on home baking from the experts at Baking Mad

Top tips and advice on home baking from the experts at Baking Mad

Enjoy being creative in the kitchen and cut down on costs by baking homemade goodies This is a great way to create personalised, heartfelt gifts for Christmas without breaking the bank.

From homemade jams, to mini mince pies and individual Christmas puddings why not try and make a few different recipes and create a tantalizing homemade hamper?
Worried that your baking attempts might look a bit amateurish? Don’t is here to help.

The place to go for inspirational Christmas cupcakes and recipes, also offers top tips and advice from their very own home baking experts. And because Baking Mad’s recipes use only the finest baking ingredients, great results every time is assured.

For some great inspirational ideas why not visit

Classic Christmas Cake:

The classic Christmas cake is beautifully decorated with Mich Turner’s superior quality Ready to Roll White Icing.

Mich Turner, founder of London’s Little Venice Cake Company, is the queen of couture cakes. Her Ready to Roll Madagascan vanilla icing is made using the finest ingredients, making it ideal for those special baking occasions when you require a perfect finish.


1.25 kg Mixed Dried Fruit     
100 ml rum or brandy, plus extra for feeding    
1 Orange zest and juice    
1 Lemon zest and juice    
125 grams    Billington’s Natural Glace Cherries     
275 grams    Allinson Nature Friendly Plain White Flour                         
2 tsp    ground mixed spice    
225 grams    Butter softened    
225 grams    Billington’s Light Muscovado Sugar     
5 Large Eggs    
100 grams    Almonds ground    
1 kg    Silverspoon Ready to Roll Marzipan designed by Mich Turner    
2 tbsp Apricot Jam    
1kg Silver Spoon Ready to Roll Vanilla Icing designed by Mich Turner    
Silver Balls (Silver Spoon Cakecraft) a few to decorate

1. Put all the mixed dried fruit into a large mixing bowl and add the brandy, orange juice and the zest of both the orange and lemon. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for 24 hours, shaking occasionally.

2. Line a round 23cm cake tin or a square 20cm square tin with three layers of greaseproof paper. You will also need a double layer of brown paper to wrap round the outside of the tin.

3. Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C Fan/300°F, Gas 2.

4. Rinse the cherries carefully in warm water. Dry and cut into quarters

5. Sift the flour and mixed spice together

6. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time, adding a
tablespoon of the flour mix after each addition.

7. Fold in the remaining flour, ground almonds, cherries and the soaked dried fruit

8. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the top with the back of a spoon, making a slight well in the middle of the cake. Wrap the brown paper round the cake tin and tie with string. Bake the cake for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature to 140°C/120°C Fan/275°F, Gas 1 and bake for
3 hours or until a skewer in the centre comes out clean. Cover the top loosely with foil if the cake is browning too much.

9. Remove the cake from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack (leave the baking paper on).

10. When cold wrap the cake in foil and store carefully. To feed the cake, pierce the cake a few times with a skewer. Drizzle over 2tbsp brandy, rewrap and store. Repeat a few times.

11. To Marzipan the cake: Warm the apricot jam in a small pan or in the microwave, until melted and just warm. Remove all the paper from the cake and place on a cake board. Lightly knead a small piece of marzipan and use this to fill in the gaps between the cake and the board. Brush the warm jam over the top and sides of the cake

12. Lightly dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll out the remaining marzipan into a circle or square large enough to cover the cake (about 35cm for a 23cm diameter round cake or 20cm square cake). Using the rolling pin, lift the marzipan and lay it over the cake. Ease it down the sides with your hands ensuring there are no air pockets. Trim excess marzipan off the sides with a kitchen knife. Dust your hands with icing sugar and rub the cake lightly with your hands to ensure a smooth finish. If possible leave the marzipan to set and dry for 1 to 2 days at room temperature

13. To Ice the cake: When ready to ice the cakes, brush the marzipaned cakes lightly with a little alcohol or boiled water. Lightly dust the work surface with icing sugar. Lightly knead the icing and roll to thickness of 5mm thick and 35cm circle or square. Using the rolling pin, lift the icing and lay it over the cake. Push it down the sides with your hands ensuring there are no air pockets and gently easing out and folds or pleats.

14. Trim off the excess icing around the base with a sharp knife. Lightly dust with icing sugar then, using the palms of clean hands, make a polishing action over the icing to smooth the surface as much as possible. Collect all the icing trimmings and knead until smooth. Roll out again to a 5mm thickness and using the cutter of your choice (snowflakes, stars, Christmas trees, snowman), cut a number of the shapes in various sizes. Brush the bottom of the shapes with boiled water and stick to the cake. Decorate with a few Silver Spoon Cakecraft Silver Balls. Again is possible leave the icing to set of 1-2 days.

ABOUT BAKINGMAD.COM is a free mouth-wateringly helpful website that offers everything you want to know about home baking. The site is packed full of hundreds of inspiring recipes including everything from biscuits, breads and cupcakes to muffins, pies and pizzas. All the recipes are tried and tested by the home-baking experts in the Baking Mad kitchen and come with top tips, ‘how to’ videos and easy to follow step-by-step instructions.


  • Allinson Nature Friendly flours are milled from Conservation Grade™ wheat, from farms that demonstrate their dedication to helping wildlife flourish. This provides a more balanced and sustainable environment allowing crops to be pollinated naturally and helps to provide a sustainable environment for the future. There is regularly five times more wildlife on Nature Friendly Farms™ *
  • Did you know that not all brown sugars are the same; many are white sugar simply dyed brown. The secret of natural, unrefined sugar is that it locks in, rather than refines out, the natural molasses of the sugar cane, resulting in superior taste, texture, colour and aroma to your home cooking.

To ensure that you are buying the finest unrefined sugars simply look for UNREFINED on the packet. Or just look for the name ‘Billington’s’ and you can’t go wrong. You can buy Billington’s unrefined sugars in all major supermarkets.

  • Create is the new range of edible cake decorations and baking ingredients from Silver Spoon, available nationwide across major retailers. Silver Spoon Create delivers quality and reliability for all your baking needs, from a name you can trust.
  • Mich Turner is the founder of London’s Little Venice Cake company – the leading designers of celebration cakes. Internationally renowned, she has created cakes for royalty and celebrities and is now delighted to be able to offer a great range of professional quality ingredients.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Orly Klibansky

020 7961 3586
Email >