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How to marzipan and ice a Christmas cake:

  • Heat the jam with a splash of water and push it through a sieve.
  • Brush this all over the sides and top of the cake in an even, thin layer.
  • Dust the work surface and your rolling pin with icing sugar.
  • Dust the ball of marzipan with icing sugar too .
  • Flatten the marzipan using a downwards pressing motion, turning 90 degrees a few times.
  • Then start to roll it out, with even pressure, turning as you go.
  • When it’s the desired thickness and size curl it onto the rolling pin.
  • Using the rolling pin, lift the marzipan and unroll it onto the cake starting at the back.
  • Use the flats of your hands to smooth the marzipan into place.
  • Trim away the excess marzipan from the base of the cake using a sharp knife.
  • To cover in ready-to-roll icing start by dusting the work surface and rolling pin again with icing sugar.
  • Take some ready-to-roll icing, which has been kneaded to make it more pliable and dust that with icing sugar too.
  • Repeat the same rolling process used for the marzipan until the icing is about 1/2cm thick.
  • Brush the cake with cold boiled water to help the icing stick.
  • Start by laying the icing at the back of the cake and lower it down to the front.
  • Use the flats of your hands to smooth the icing over the cake.
  • Neatly trim away any excess icing. The cake is now ready to decorate.