youtube pinterest twitter facebook instagram vimeo Bookmark Entries BURGER NEW Chevron Down Chevron Left Chevron Right Basket Speech Comment Search Video Play Icon Premium Nigella Lawson Vegan Vegetarian Member Speech Recipe Bookmark Comment Camera Scales Quantity List Reorder Remove Open book
Menu Signed In
More Nigella recipes

Smooth Hatbox Icing

by . Featured in NIGELLA CHRISTMAS
Print me

Introduction

I love a plain white-iced cake: smooth icing, wrapping the cake almost like a hatbox. I am happy to have this decorated, but I'd just as soon the decorations were also white. I cut out bits of leftover rolled-out icing, using my snowflake or star cookie cutter, and perhaps throw a few silver baubles around, too. But play as you wish: red and green roll-out icing can be used to exuberantly Christmassy effect.

I love a plain white-iced cake: smooth icing, wrapping the cake almost like a hatbox. I am happy to have this decorated, but I'd just as soon the decorations were also white. I cut out bits of leftover rolled-out icing, using my snowflake or star cookie cutter, and perhaps throw a few silver baubles around, too. But play as you wish: red and green roll-out icing can be used to exuberantly Christmassy effect.

Smooth Hatbox Icing
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Makes: enough for a 23cm/8in cake

Metric Cups
  • 200 grams rindless marmalade or smooth apricot jam
  • 500 grams marzipan
  • 1 kilogram ready-to-roll icing (more if you want different colourways)
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • 1 cup rindless marmalade or smooth apricot jam
  • 1¼ pounds marzipan
  • 2¼ pounds ready-to-roll icing (more if you want different colourways)
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting

Method

  1. Warm the marmalade in a small saucepan over a low to medium heat. (If you are not using a rindless marmalade or smooth apricot jam, when it’s hot and runny, strain into a bowl to remove rind or pips.)
  2. Place the cake on a cake board or cake stand and, with a pastry brush, paint the warm marmalade or jam all over the sides and the top of the cake to make a tacky surface.
  3. Dust a work surface with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan till it’s about 2.5mm thick (don’t be fanatical; you just want a supple and pliable layer) and drape over the cake. Then press the marzipan cloak against the cake so it covers it smoothly and cut off the excess with a sharp knife. If you find it easier to roll out two lots of 250g / 10oz marzipan, that’s fine, but be sure to smooth over any joins, so the icing will lie smoothly on top.
  4. Dust the work surface again with icing sugar and plonk down your block of icing. Knead the icing for a couple of minutes until slightly softened, then dust the top with icing sugar and roll out patiently until it’s about 3mm thick.
  5. Cover the cake with it, cutting off the excess. If you need to stick bits together to patch up any breaks, sprinkle with cold water first; the water fuses breaks magically together.
  6. Cut out the shapes you want – stars, snowflakes, holly trees or ivy leaves – from leftover bits of icing and dibble or brush the undersides with cold water to stick them on to the cake.
  1. Warm the marmalade in a small saucepan over a low to medium heat. (If you are not using a rindless marmalade or smooth apricot jam, when it’s hot and runny, strain into a bowl to remove rind or pips.)
  2. Place the cake on a cake board or cake stand and, with a pastry brush, paint the warm marmalade or jam all over the sides and the top of the cake to make a tacky surface.
  3. Dust a work surface with confectioners' sugar, roll out the marzipan till it’s about 2.5mm thick (don’t be fanatical; you just want a supple and pliable layer) and drape over the cake. Then press the marzipan cloak against the cake so it covers it smoothly and cut off the excess with a sharp knife. If you find it easier to roll out two lots of 250g / 10oz marzipan, that’s fine, but be sure to smooth over any joins, so the icing will lie smoothly on top.
  4. Dust the work surface again with confectioners' sugar and plonk down your block of icing. Knead the icing for a couple of minutes until slightly softened, then dust the top with confectioners' sugar and roll out patiently until it’s about 3mm thick.
  5. Cover the cake with it, cutting off the excess. If you need to stick bits together to patch up any breaks, sprinkle with cold water first; the water fuses breaks magically together.
  6. Cut out the shapes you want – stars, snowflakes, holly trees or ivy leaves – from leftover bits of icing and dibble or brush the undersides with cold water to stick them on to the cake.

Tell us what you think