Covering a Christmas Cake with Ready Rolled Marzipan

Eureka!! I've discovered ready rolled marzipan! I'd run out of the kitchen with just my apron on to proclaim the good news, but I'm afraid I'd end up on Santa's naughty list for indecency.

Nevertheless, I couldn't be more kicked with my latest discovery. Spreading a disk of smooth, ready rolled marzipan over my Christmas cake couldn't have been easier and made for a real show stopping topping. Ready rolled marzipan, where have you been all my life??

Waitrose ready rolled marzipan over Christmas Cake, decorated with marzipan cut out Christmas trees and snow on a blue tablecloth with white snowflakes

Ready Rolled Marzipan

I picked up a roll of ready rolled marzipan from Waitrose on my trip to London this Autumn. That's one of my favourite things to do when I travel abroad...troll the local supermarket aisles for novelties that I can't get stateside. 

If ever you're in the UK and wondering what to buy, head for the baking aisle in any supermarket- Tescos, Sainsbury's, Waitrose-and get yourself a tube (or three) of ready rolled marzipan. You won't be sorry. This is the simplest way to decorate Christmas cakes with marzipan for a smooth, polished look. And if you have any left over marzipan, you can just eat it plain!

How to Cover a Christmas Cake with Ready Rolled Marzipan

All you need is a package of ready rolled marzipan at room temperature, a light coloured jam or syrup and your Christmas plum cake. 

Here's my recipe for Christmas Plum cake (in case you're looking for one)

How to use ready rolled marzipan, covering a Christmas cake with marzipan, covering a fruit cake with marzipan,
A disk of ready rolled marzipan is perfect for covering a Christmas Plum Cake

1. Turn your Christmas Plum Cake Upside Down on the Cake Base

  • Turning over the cake ensures that the smooth, flat bottom of the cake becomes the top, which provides a smooth surface to lay the marzipan disk on.
  • Keep the cake on a cake base which is the size of the cake.

Christmas Plum Cake, fruit cake
My Christmas Plum Cake

Christmas plum cake, fruit cake turned upside down
Turn the Christmas Plum Cake over so that the smooth underside becomes the top. Keep it on the cake base.


2. Brush the Cake with a Light Colored Smooth Jam/ Syrup

I used the syrup from Waitrose's Plump and Spicy Ginger Stems in Syrup to brush the top and sides of the cake to create a tacky surface.

Other alternatives, are apricot jam or marmalade that has been warmed and strained.

Applying Waitrose Ginger in Syrup with brush over fruit cake
Brush ginger syrup over top and side of cake using a pastry brush

3. Lift Marzipan onto Top of Cake and Smooth

Using both hands, lift the marzipan disk onto the center of the cake. There will be some overhang.

Use the flats of your hands to smooth the marzipan over the top of the cake.

how to apply ready rolled marzipan, how to cover round cake with ready rolled marzipan, smoothing marzipan with hands
Lift marzipan disk over cake and smooth out using flats of hands

4. Smooth Marzipan over Sides of Cake 

To attach and smooth marzipan to the sides of the cake, lift the marzipan fold and lightly stretch it to remove the fold. 

How to cover sides of Christmas cake with marzipan
Lift and stretch marzipan over the sides,smoothing down with hands to remove creases.


Then rub your hands against the side of the cake to adhere the marzipan to the cake. Repeat lifting, stretching and smoothing all around the cake.

how to use ready to roll marzipan, ready rolled marzipan sainsbury's, smooth marzipan over cake with hands
Smooth top and sides with flats of hands to remove creases and adhere marzipan to cake.


5.  Trim Excess

Using a sharp knife, trim off excess marzipan leaving about half a centimeter from the edges.

Save scraps to make decorations for the top of the cake.

Trim excess marzipan off using knife
Trim excess marzipan off leaving 1/2 cm from edge.

6. Fold Edges Under

Lift the entire cake up and hold it on the tips of your fingers on one hand. Using your other hand, fold the excess marzipan under the cake base. Then use a knife to trim off the excess.

Cut off excess marzipan from under cake
Fold excess marzipan under cake base. Slice off excess with a sharp knife.



Rub hands over the sides of the cake to smooth out the marzipan. This creates a nice, smooth clean finish. Fix any cracks or tears in the marzipan, brush on a little cold water and rub gently with finger tips to fuse breaks together.

Christmas cake covered with Waitrose ready rolled marzipan
Fruit cake covered with ready rolled marzipan. Save scraps to make decorations.


7. Make Decorations with Marzipan Scraps

Roll the marzipan scraps into a ball. 

Dust a board with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan into a sheet. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. I used a Christmas tree cookie cutter to cut out Christmas tree shapes, but other festive alternatives are snowflakes or stars in various sizes.

Roll little pieces of marzipan into small balls to add as decorations.

Rolling marzipan and cutting into Christmas trees using cookie cutter
Roll out scraps and cut into shapes using cookie cutter

8. Decorate Cake with Marzipan Cut Outs

To attach marzipan cut outs to the marzipan covered cake, brush the undersides with a little cold water to stick them to the cake. 

I used icing, sprinkles and dusting sugar to pretty up the cake some more.

Fruit cake covered with  marzipan and decorated with Christmas trees, Christmas cake with flat marzipan Christmas tree cut out deocrations and snow on blue cloth
Decorate top of cake with marzipan scraps. Brush underside of shapes with cold water to adhere.

Related Recipes

If you have any left over marzipan, you can try my:

Marzipan Flowers


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