How to Make a Traditional Bow Christmas Cake
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How to Make a Traditional Bow Christmas Cake

Difficulty Intermediate
Budget £10 - £30
Time 1 hr +

You will need

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How to make


You will need:

White Iced Cake

Renshaw Ready to Roll Icing in Poppy Red and Lincoln Green 

Gum Tragacanth 

PME Star Cutters 


Craft Essentials

Long ruler or other straight edge

Pizza wheel

Kitchen roll


Step 1 

Before you start to decorate your cake, make some gumpaste by mixing 1 teaspoon of Gum Tragacanth into 250 g of Poppy Red fondant icing. Knead it in well.

Top Tip! Adding gum tragacanth to your icing will give it strength and it will dry firmer and quicker so you need to work moderately quickly! Keep unused gumpaste well wrapped in cling film and store in a sandwich bag/airtight container.

Step 2 

You can roll out the icing for the ribbon on the cake straight away – wrap up half of the icing well in cling film and leave to cure for making the bow. Measure up the side, across and down the other side of your cake. Roll out the icing in a long strip and use the ruler and pizza wheel to cut a length of ‘ribbon’ approximately 35mm wide.

Step 3 

Brush a line of cooled boiled water across the middle of your cake and lay the icing strip onto the cake to stick. Trim excess icing at the base of the cake and use a little water to secure.

Step 4 

Repeat with another strip of icing going across the cake and over the first strip.

Step 5 

Use any off cuts of icing to make the 2 ends of the ribbon bow – use a sharp knife to cut out a triangle at the ends.

Step 6 

Attach these to the centre of your cake using a little water and use some rolled up bits of kitchen paper to support the underside of the icing whilst it dries – this will give the ribbon movement. Gently curl up the pointed ends with your fingertip.

Step 7 

Gather up any leftover icing and knead it into the reserved icing that you have kept well wrapped. Leave it to cure for an hour or longer. Then you will be ready to make the bow.

Step 8 

Roll out the icing and cut out a long rectangle twice as wide as the ribbon strips on the cake (so approx. 70mm wide) and approx 200mm long. Move the icing onto a board covered with non-stick parchment and make 2 sausages with rolled up kitchen paper. Fold the ends into the middle to form the bow and use the kitchen paper to support the icing.

Step 9 

Pinch the icing in the middle and secure with water…

Step 10 

Cut away the icing underneath like so.

Step 11 

Leave your bow to dry hard, preferably overnight. In the meantime, you can decorate your cake with green icing stars attached with water.

Step 12 

When you are ready to add the bow to your cake, cut a strip of ‘ribbon’ icing and wrap it around the middle of the bow to make the knot. Secure the bow to your cake with water or royal icing.

Step 13 

Remove the kitchen paper supports at the very last minute.

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