It’s a holiday occasion and you’ve made fruit cake. Now, the dessert isn’t exactly a show-stopper on the dining table. Some people push it aside for a chocolate pudding or other dessert.
Nonetheless, you can hone your cake decorating skills to add elements like fruits, chocolate drizzles, and crushed nuts.
Your fruit cake will be the first to finish once served on the dessert table. Stick around to learn more about decorating ideas.
With cake decorating, you want your imagination to run wild. From nuts and fruits to frosting and meringues, here are a few ideas on how to take your fruit cake to the next level.
In most cases, fruit cakes call for frosting. To create it, you’ll need powdered sugar, butter, food coloring, milk, and flavoring, such as vanilla essence.
Once you whisk all the ingredients together, you should be left with a fluffy consistency. Now you can either slap on the frosting with a spatula or use a piping bag for more intricate designs.
In the prior’s case, use the spatula to spoon a few dollops of the frosting in the middle of the cake. Next, spread it evenly until you reach the cake’s edge.
The other method involves using a piping bag to squeeze multiple designs. You can use several tips for different designs, such as a star or round option.
For example, a wide-open star tip can allow you to create roses. Large round tips can create mounds that you can line around the fruit cake.
Overall, frosting opens numerous avenues for decorating your fruit cake, whether you’ll leave it at a simple smooth surface or add complex piped elements.
Icing is a staple in cake decorating. It’s easy to make and is also commercially available if you’re in a pinch.
While you can keep it simple with piped swirls lining the edge, I think you can get more creative, especially when the holidays roll around.
Grab a few ice cream cones and white icing. First, cover the fruit cake with icing. Next, place the cones downward and pipe them with icing to resemble a Christmas tree.
You can use food coloring to turn the tree green or leave it white for a snowy appearance.
Nuts in cake decorating display texture and a rustic appeal. From almond slices to hazelnuts and crushed macadamias, you can use several kinds of nuts to decorate your fruit cake.
Before adding the nuts, you’ll need to add frosting, icing, or a glaze for stickiness. In terms of where you can place them, you can add the chopped nuts to the sides of the cake.
The toasted nuts will add a crunchy texture and elevate its appearance.
You can also submerge the nuts in a sugar solution, let them set for extra shine, and add them to the cake’s top.
Adding fruits will integrate more color into your fruit cake and make it more appetizing for your guests. Check out some fruity ideas below.
The citrus addition will incorporate freshness into your cake’s appearance. You can use multiple design methods for oranges.
One of them involves slicing the orange into thin circled cross-sections and laying them around the top edge of the cake.
Next, you can slice a few thick wedges and place them in the center of the cake. Add a few green leaves to contrast with the orange elements.
Make sure to candy the oranges beforehand.
A passion fruit topping to a fruit cake will showcase a tropical and exotic design. You can first apply a frosting or glaze to your cake before spooning some passion fruit pulp on the surface.
Alternatively, you can add passion fruit jam if things prove too messy. Spread it all over the cake or at the edges, either way, it’ll display a unique design.
Strawberries are a classic fruit in the cake decorating industry. You can add them to your fruit cake in the form of slices around the cake’s edge.
Alternatively, you can keep things simple and add a few strawberries at the center of the cake along with some piped frosting.
Rather than stick to one fruit, you can add all kinds of cohesive options, such as berries, oranges, kiwis, and cherries.
Try to follow a simple pattern to avoid a mixed mess on top of the cake. For instance, you can create a circle in the center of it.
Start by lining it with large orange slices. Then, add a second layer of kiwis. Add a third and fourth inner layer of berries and cherries.
Next, pipe a few dollops of cream in the arrangement for contrast.
Adding melted chocolate to your cake’s design will provide not only a gorgeous presentation but a delicious taste as well.
You can pour it over your entire cake, then drizzle a dark chocolate sauce over it for an elegant appearance. Alternatively, you can add chocolate elements to the design.
Those could include shapes like hearts or butterflies, but they’ll require extra practice to perfect. You’ll need a piping bag and tempered chocolate.
Pipe your design and let it cool before sticking it on the fruit cake with icing or frosting.
Alternatively, you can dip fruits like strawberries and let them set. Then, assort them on the cake for a unique appearance. You can put a few on one edge for a minimal design.
Besides that, other designs include edged drips, which can heighten the cake. The idea can work with candy melts, white chocolate, and regular chocolate, as long as it’s tempered.
Fondant allows you to experiment with more designs since you can create more 3D shapes like balls, leaves, or other elements.
The sugar paste is ideal for special occasions as well. For instance, if it’s Christmas, you can dust the fruit cake with sugar, create a few small red balls with fondant, and add a few leaves.
That way, it’ll resemble a mini-mistletoe on top of the fruit cake. You can create other designs using molds, like hearts and stars.
Fortunately, fondant is easy to create, you’ll only need about four ingredients, including gelatin, shortening, glycerin, and sifted confectioner’s sugar.
A meringue topping can enhance your cake’s flavor. Creating it primarily involves egg whites and confectioners’ sugar. Once beaten, it should be fluffy.
Use a spatula or piping bag to create your customized design. It can be a few dollops on the top of the cake, or you can use a rounded spatula to create textured stripes.
Then, use a torch to slightly burn the meringue. It’ll add more depth to your decoration and toast the topping.
If you want to add height to your fruit cake, you can cut it midway and add a filling to create a double-tiered cake. The filling can be cream, fruit jam, or a mixture of both.
Your fruit cake will seem bigger than it is, and it’ll add extra flavor and depth to the dessert.
If you’re looking for a traditional decorative option, marzipan is your best bet. You’ll need it along with apricot jam and icing.
Firstly, heat the apricot jam in a saucepan and use a sieve to filter out the lumps. Next, brush the smooth jam on top of the fruit cake.
Dust your countertop with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan into a circle. If it’s sticky, use the icing sugar.
Then, wrap the cake with the marzipan layer, making sure the jam underneath seals off any air pockets. Cut off any excess from the base.
Loosely cover the cake and leave it out to set at room temperature for about five to seven days. Create a batch of icing and use a spatula to smoothen it over the marzipan layer.
You can create angled flicks for more texture. Allow the icing to set for another two to three days, so it hardens. Add an assortment of candied nuts and fruits to your liking and enjoy.
Although most cake decorating involves some form of icing, it’s not always necessary. Instead, you can use a glaze for your fruit cake.
Creating the glaze requires a cup of confectioner’s sugar and a couple of tablespoons of milk. After you mix it under heat, the sugar should dissolve into the milk and create a runny consistency.
Once you’re done, pour that glaze over your fruit cake or use a brush to apply it. Next, let the glazed top set for a few moments before setting decorative elements like cut fruit.
Decorating a fruit cake adds an aesthetic appeal to your dessert and complements its taste and texture.
Fruit cakes are usually dense, sweet, and rich. Adding a softening element like frosting can balance the texture and flavor.
Meanwhile, nuts can incorporate a crunch. Plus, decorative fruits integrate acidity into your sweet dish. Each decorative approach has its taste and aesthetic appeal.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.