Why should cookies get all the glory during the holiday season? Christmas is also the perfect time to try out some new cake-decorating techniques. These inspirational ideas will impress your holiday guests and bring a little holly jolly spirit to your dessert table.
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Rich, chocolatey rum balls are a Christmas classic that deserves pride of place atop your festive cakes. Place them around the base of layer cakes, or pile them in the center on top, for a beautiful, boozy, edible decoration. They are easy to make in about half an hour, with just six ingredients, and are great for holiday gifting, too.
02 of 20
Sugar Cone Christmas Trees
Beautiful sugar cone Christmas trees made with ice cream cones and an icing kid are a fun, festive project for adults and kids alike. They look especially festive on top of a white layer cake or "snowy" coconut cake to create a winter wonderland theme. You can prep them days in advance, and they double as a dessert and cute holiday party decor.
03 of 20
Chocolate Cherry Mice
Create a Nutcracker-themed Christmas cake by arranging these chocolate cherry mice, plus a few miniature candy canes, atop a field of chocolate frosting. We can think of a few things more whimsical than edible mice decorations created with chocolate-covered cherries, and decorated with chocolate kisses and almonds. They require zero baking, and kids will enjoy helping with the easy assembly.
04 of 20
How to Wrap a Cake With Chocolat
Have you ever seen a cake covered in a seamless coating of glossy chocolate and wondered how it was done? Our surprisingly easy tutorial will show you how to wrap any cake in chocolate and create chocolate cut-out decorations that will take your cakes from ordinary to extraordinary.
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05 of 20
Candy Cane Shapes
Add a little Christmas magic to your cake tops with candy cane shapes. Simply by gently heating store-bought candy canes, you can create customized, edible candy sticks, molded into whatever words, letters, or festive shapes you like.
06 of 20
Meringue mushrooms are a classic topping for the traditional buche de noel, or Christmas yule log cake. You need just four ingredients and 15 minutes to whip up the meringue in a stand mixer, but allow time for overnight resting to let them set up.
07 of 20
Crunchy Candy Cane Truffles
Candy cane truffles are smooth, minty balls of dark chocolate ganache covered in crunchy candy cane bits. They make an indulgent decoration for any frosted layer cake destined for your Christmas dinner table, or a holiday potluck party.
08 of 20
Cake Gemstones Candy
Cake gems are gorgeous truffles shaped like precious gemstones, and filled with moist bites of cake. They make stunning edible decorations on all your celebration cakes and cupcakes, from the holidays to birthday and anniversary parties. Or give them out as wedding favors, packaged in cellophane bags tied with ribbon.
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09 of 20
Bubble sugar is an easy decoration made from cooked sugar that adds a beautiful flair to cakes and cupcakes. You can add coloring and flavoring to it match the theme of your desserts. For a winter holiday cake, try swapping out the clear alcohol in the recipe for something more festive, such as Kahlua coffee liqueur or Irish Cream liqueur.
10 of 20
Brown Sugar Meringue Topping
A browned meringue topping will make any cake or pie more special. This simple meringue recipe calls for the standard egg whites and vanilla but replaces the typical white sugar with richer-tasting brown sugar. It's the perfect topping for a caramel cheesecake, or banana cream pie.
11 of 20
Red Velvet Cake Truffles
With their snowball-like appearance, speckled with festive red candy sprinkles, red velvet cake truffles can transform a vanilla frosted layer cake into a Christmas dessert table centerpiece. Our recipe uses a convenient store-bought cake mix and prepared cream cheese frosting, and makes a big batch of truffles.
12 of 20
Homemade Chocolate-Covered Cherries
Create chocolate-covered cherries from scratch to decorate a show-stopping Black Forest cake, or elevate an easy chocolate sheet cake. While they take a little time and patience, the payoff is scrumptious homemade cordials that will wow party guests, or anyone lucky enough to receive them as a hostess or holiday gift.
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13 of 20
Sure, you could buy fondant, but learning how to make it from scratch is more fun and rewarding. Not only is it quick and easy, but our homemade fondant made with mini-marshmallows has a sweet, light, vanilla flavor that tastes better than most store-bought brands. It's ideal for covering cakes and forming decorative shapes, and you can make it in any color to suit your party theme.
14 of 20
Broken Glass Candy
Broken glass candy is a gorgeous hard candy that looks like jagged shards of colorful broken glass, and makes an eye-catching decoration for cakes and cupcakes. You'll need a candy thermometer for this recipe that can be boosted with any variety of flavorings and colors to suit any celebration.
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Use miniature cookie cutters to cut out little gingerbread people for placing atop your winter holiday cakes, or sharing at Christmas cookie exchanges. Get the kids involved in decorating these delicious, nicely-spiced cookies. You may want to make a double batch, so you can reward your helpers with a treat!
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Candy Cane Reindeer
Candy cane reindeer are a fun Christmas craft for kids that can double as an adorable cake decoration. They are quick and easy to put together, and you can use royal icing instead of glue, and candy eyes instead of plastic googly eyes, to make a more edible version.
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17 of 20
Meringue Candy Kisses
Sweet, light, airy, crispy meringue candy kisses are a fun addition to frosted cakes at any time of year, and make a delicious candy treat on their own, either left plain, sprinkled with cocoa powder, or drizzled in melted chocolate. The easy recipe comes together quickly, but needs plenty of time to slowly cook in a low oven, and then dry out for hours as they cool. Try dotting them around the sides of a chocolate cake for a show-stopping decoration.
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Fondant petals are beautiful, edible rose petals made out of fondant. Once you get the hang of forming them, you will want to make them in every color of the rainbow to adorn your cakes, cupcakes, and other pastries. The gorgeous results are worth the practice, and the "petals" can be stored indefinitely in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Eggnog truffles are luxurious holiday candies combining the rich taste of eggnog with an extra dash of nutmeg and sweet white chocolate. While they are delicious on their own, or as part of a holiday treat plate, they make an especially festive topper for a white chocolate cheesecake at your Christmas gatherings.
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Sugarplum Christmas Candies
Sugarplums are an iconic, no-bake holiday treat included in the poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and made famous in The Nutcracker Ballet. Containing dried fruit, nuts, and cozy holiday spices, they are naturally sweet using just a small amount of sugar (though you could add a glug of brandy for a more adult candy). Use them to decorate a fruitcake platter or serve them as part of a festive dessert buffet.