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Top 10 Christmas Cake Designs

Christmas tree cake

1: Christmas Tree

Festive Christmas cakes are a staple of any holiday table. Whether you want an elegant cake that shows off your skills or a simple cake that is sure to elicit smiles, one of these 10 designs is sure to be the right option for your dessert.

Christmas trees are in around 80 percent of U.S. households, so use one as the focal point for your cake. Fondant is the main ingredient for the Christmas tree cake. Form a cone shape out of crispy rice treats around a wooden food-safe dowel and cover with a thin layer of green fondant. Cut branches in various sizes out of green fondant or gum paste using a petal cutter set. Attach to the cake with royal icing adhesive, working carefully from the bottom to the top.

Allow the tree to set and then carefully insert the tree into a decorated cake using the dowel to anchor it. Additional tree decorations, like ornaments, stars, and gifts, can be added once the tree is in place.

Fir cone cake

2: Fir Cone Cake

If you want something a little different from traditional Christmas cakes, a fir cone is the perfect option. In fact, the National Gardening Association has four different fir trees at the top of their list of Top-10 Most Popular Christmas Trees.

Bake a heavy cake in the number of layers desired, add your desired filling between layers (frosting, fruit, cream, ganache), and cut into a cone shape. Cover with ganache, and working from the bottom to the top, place candy disks in rows that slightly overlap one another.

Keep additional ganache and a food-safe paintbrush handy so you can add more ganache as adhesive when you need it.

Buttercream wreath cake

3: Wreath

A round cake provides a great template for a wreath. Wreaths have a long tradition dating back to ancient times, so they are a great design to use on a cake. To make the wreath, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a decorating bag with light green buttercream and fit with a large star tip.
  2. Carefully make a row around the outside edge of the top of the cake. Work your way in with each row, making sure your stars are the same size. Four or five rows wide should be sufficient.
  3. While the buttercream sets, roll green and red fondant.
  4. Cut out holly leaves and berries and set aside.
  5. Cut strips from the red fondant to form the bow and then another long strip to wrap the bottom of the cake.
  6. Attach the bow and holly and leaves with dabs of additional buttercream icing.
  7. Attach the ribbon border at the bottom with a thin layer of buttercream icing.
Ugly Christmas sweater cake
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4: Ugly Christmas Sweater Cake

Ugly sweater parties are a hot party trend, so capitalize on their popularity with a cake. Use a Wilton sweater cake pan and decorate to your heart's desire. In fact, the worse this cake looks, the better - so don't worry about any mistakes! Here, the cake is decked out in pea green buttercream with piping gel snowflakes, buttercream stiching, candy ornaments, and some festive holiday lights at the neckline. For a precise look, use cookie or fondant cutters or stencils to create your desired design.

Christmas yule log

5: Christmas Yule Log

The Christmas Yule log, or Buche de Noel, is a classic French holiday dessert. A rolled sponge cake is typically filled with cream cheese, whipped cream, or other type of filling. While chocolate is popular, you can choose other flavors like pumpkin with cream cheese or vanilla cake with a raspberry filling.

Decorate the log by drizzling ganache over the entire cake. As you wait for it to set, cut and shape leaves from chocolate modeling clay, fondant, or royal icing. Berries can be candied or sugared berries, or you can create them with fondant. Add decorations with a dab of royal icing adhesive to affix them.

Gift cake

6: Gift Cake

A gift cake is a great design for a decorator of any skill level, and with Americans spending over $602 billion dollars on holiday sales, it's a fitting choice. Once you've covered your cake in fondant or buttercream, roll out red and green fondant.

  • Use round cookie cutters to cut out polka dots for the cake and the ribbon center.
  • Cut a thin line of green fondant to twist and use as the border at the bottom of the cake.
  • Cut strips of red fondant for the ribbon; press the ends together and allow the fondant to dry overnight for the bow before you add it to the cake.
  • Attach everything to the cake with royal icing adhesive.

7: Simple Christmas Stars

A simple star cake cake be made using star fondant cutters. Cover your cake in white fondant. Roll out red and yellow fondant and cut out stars using various sizes of fondant cutters. Attach them to the cake with royal icing adhesive. For a little extra glow, add some gold edible glitter or luster dust to the yellow stars.

A star cake design makes the top 10 list of Christmas cakes from Top Inspired.

snowmen cakes in a circle

8: Snowman

The snowman is a historical figure who garners plenty of attention as a holiday icon. The chilly winter man (or woman) is a natural fit for a cake that even somewhat resembles the traditional shape!

Even if you've never worked with fondant before, a snowman cake is easy to create. Once your cakes are stacked and covered in white fondant, make your snowman accessories:

  • Scarf - Roll red fondant and cut thin strips, making fringe at the ends.
  • Face and buttons - Roll black fondant and cut out small circles for the buttons, mouth, and eyes.
  • Nose - Roll orange fondant into the shape of a carrot.
  • Hat - Form the hat shape with the black fondant. Cut small flowers out of the red fondant and set aside in a small flower former. Using a small star tip and buttercream frosting, add a yellow or orange center to the flowers once they have set. Roll green fondant and cut into small, thin strips.

Use pretzel rods for the snowman's arms and create a border out of buttercream at the bottom of the cakes.

Peppermint drum cake

9: Peppermint Drum Cake

"Twelve drummers drumming" is part of the final verse in the popular carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. A drum with peppermint designs is perfect for pairing with a candy cane flavored cake. Create the simple design by doing the following:

  • Frost with cream cheese frosting or thick buttercream icing.
  • Cut and roll fondant to create the drum stitching at the top and bottom of the cake. Press into the cake top and sides before the icing crusts.
  • Break candy canes or sticks into pieces and place in v-shapes around the sides of the cake.
  • Add candied cherries to the top.
  • If desired, add some candy-striped spoons or peppermint rods to represent the drumsticks.
Ornament cake

10: Ornament Cake

Trimming the tree is a festive tradition for many families. No tree is complete without a few cherished ornaments, so use this as the basis for your cake design.

Use a round ball baking pan to make the basic shape. Cover in fondant or buttercream in the color of your choice. Create a stripe with buttercream frosting through the middle with a medium to large sized round decorator tip and pastry bag with vertical stripes; you can make horizontal stripes as borders to keep your end points even. Add additional decorations as desired, like cornelli lace. Shape the ornament hook out of dark gray or black fondant and add to the cake once it has been decorated.

If you're pressed for time, you don't need to create an elaborate Christmas cake design. Instead, opt to use a Christmas cake stencil with colored sanding sugar or powdered sugar for a pretty cake that's easy to decorate. No matter what design you pick, the cake is sure to be the focal point of your holiday dessert table.

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Top 10 Christmas Cake Designs