The first cake I ever made was this design and it came from a supermarket magazine. That was in 1999 and I lost the photo of it so I decided to do this year’s Christmas cake in the same way and get a good photo of it. It’s a really simple cake to do although getting the icing to sit just right is a little tricky.

You will need:

– a round cake of whatever size you like using your own recipe. I use a recipe from the Good Food magazine from 1999. You don’t need to level the top before icing unless you think it’s a little too well done.

– Apricot jam

– marzipan

– red fondant icing

– several pieces of cling film rolled into balls

– small boxes wrapped in Christmas paper. I used mini boxes of smarties and raisins

-a length of gold cord/ braid for the rope


1.Heat a couple of tablespoons of apricot jam to thin it and then spread on the bottom of the cake. Roll out the marzipan and set the cake on top. Cut around the cake and press down on it to ensure it is well stuck.

2.Spread the rest of the cake with jam and cover with marzipan.

3.Roll out bright red fondant icing to the thickness of a pound coin (4mm) and wide enough to almost cover the cake, including the bottom.

4.Set the cake in the centre of the icing and use cool boiled water and a pastry brush to dampen the marzipan and the icing.

5.Lift the icing in sections and press firmly against the cake. Roll the excess icing in an artistic way to represent the folds on the top of Santa’s sack and prop these up with the rolls of cling film. You may want to pinch the icing in places to allow space for the cord.

6.Leave to dry overnight then tie the cord around the cake and pile it up with presents.

7.Add a “Merry Christmas” sign if you have one.