Baking Recipes & Tutorials,

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Cake Decoration Guide

Cake Decoration Guide

Stirrup Sunday kicked off the start of festive baking and Tala aim to help every baker perfect their Christmas Showstopper with this guide of useful tips and tricks. This recipe is taken from the Tala Christmas Icing Set booklet which contains a great assortment of recipes for every occasion over the festive season. 

Cake Decoration 


500g ready to roll marzipan (room temperature)

1 kg ready to roll fondant icing (room temperature)

2 tablespoons of apricot jam

Batch of royal icing ( see booklet for the recipe) 

Food colouring gel or paste

Cornflour for dusting

Covering The Cake 

1) Heat the apricot jam with a splash of water in a saucepan. Push it through a sieve to remove lumps then brush a thin  layer over the cake. This will help the marzipan to stick. 

2) Form the marzipan into a flat ball, dust the work surface and rolling pin with cornflour. Flatten the marzipan with the rolling pin, using a downwards pressing action. Turn 90 degrees and continue flattening and turning until it is about 2cm thick. Now roll it with an even pressure and keep turning until it is about 3mm thick and as round as possible. 

3) Using the rolling pin, lift the marzipan and ease it over the cake starting from the back. Use your hands to smooth the marzipan across the top and down the sides. Trim the excess using a small knife. 

4) Next cover the cake with 800g of white or pale blue fondant icing depending on which cake design you are choosing. The method is the same as for the marzipan. Wet the marzipan with a little cold water to help the fondant stick. 

Once you have your cake covered, you can decorate it as you please but if you would like to try your hand at recreating any of the two cakes above, use the helpful tips and instructions below. 

Piping and Decorating 

1) Place the covered cake on a cake board ready for decoration. 

2) Make up a batch of white royal icing. 

3) Both cakes, seen above, have a thick shell border around the bottom which helps to disguide the trimmed edge. Practice piping a shell border with nozzle no. 98 round a plate until you feel confident piping your cake. Turn the cake clockwise every quarter rather than moving yourself around the cake. 

4) The holly cake has a second border around the top edge which is piped using the six point star nozzle no.24. It is easy to stray offline during piping so mark a guideline for this border with tiny pin pricks around the cake, measuring up to the same point from the bottom (This is easier to do before you pipe the thick shell border). 

5) Roll out the rest of the fondant icing to make holly or snowflake decorations for the cake. Follow the instructions for using the cutters on the packaging. Once you have decided on the exact position of the fondant shapes, wet the back with a little water and gently hold in position on the cake until it feels 'glued'. The fondant is soft so you can easily fold the snowflakes over the edge of the cake. 

6) To finish the snowflake cake, pipe little white icing pearls at regular intervals using nozzle no.  4

7) Finish the holly cake with a red ribbon tied in a bow. 

8) Enjoy the delicious results of your hardwork. 

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