Baking and decorating cookies with the kids is a holiday tradition for many families. As the kids grow, you can keep the cookies but expand your creativity to beautifully decorated cakes. These cake decorating ideas for the holidays will earn “oohs” and “aahs” from the family. Some of these cakes are so lovely that you’ll be reluctant to cut into them. Don’t worry—you’ll overcome that feeling to enjoy the delicious treat you baked.
The classic Santa cake can grace your holiday table. A round cake of any flavor can become Santa’s face with the right icing. Use chocolate chips or piped black icing gel for eyes and piped buttercream frosting for the beard. Mix a separate batch of buttercream to color red for the hat and mouth.
Gift Box Cake
A two- or three-layer square cake becomes a gorgeous gift box with fondant. Cover your cake with a crumb-protecting layer of buttercream, and chill it before you roll your fondant. Make two colors of fondant—one for the “wrapping paper” and one for the “ribbon.” Work quickly to smooth the fondant over the cake and trim excess before the weight of it causes it to tear. Cut strips of the contrast color fondant to make the ribbon. You also can add sugar roses or apply fondant cut-outs in the shape of stars or ornaments.
Birch Forest Cake
Another fabulous holiday cake decorating idea comes from the Cakegirls, an online cake supply store. Brush melted chocolate candy coating thinly on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, forming knots and stripes distributed across the parchment. Put it in the fridge for a few minutes to harden.
Next, spread melted but cooled white candy coating over the entire stretch of parchment, covering your chocolate knots and stripes. Chill it for another 10 minutes. When it hardens, you can pull the parchment toward you to gently break the hardened candy coating into strips of “bark.” Fix the strips vertically to a frosted, three-layer cake (tall enough to show off the effect of your “bark”). Use inverted ice cream cones decorated with green icing as “trees” for your forest atop the cake.
Any of your favorite recipe sites online will likely have recipes for these and other classic Christmas cakes, like Bûche de Noël (Christmas Log Cake) and cakes that use crushed peppermint candies to add some crunch to the icing. If a complex cake is too much, try baking cupcakes and using buttercream and marshmallows to make “snowmen” with chocolate sauce faces and decorative sugar buttons.
Have fun baking holiday treats to brighten the holidays for your family.