Christmas Cakes and Cottages

This weekend I finally got round to decorating a pair of gingerbread houses – one for us and one for my son – daughter wants to decorate her own 🙂 I don’t make the gingerbread, these are kits from the local supermarket. I used to get the Ikea ones,but these taste nicer and it saves a trip across to the other side of Leeds to buy one. I used to make about 15 or 20 and sell them at work, now it’s just for us.

I like them without any sweets, concentrating on the icing instead. I add a few cake decorations though, the usual silver draghees, I also bought some pretty silver stars and some white and sparkly grey snowflakes…

I feel these houses don’t actually have to be that neat or perfectly iced (luckily!) I follow the imprints for doors and windows, making the front windows a little taller…

…and covering the back door with a Christmas tree. I infill with squiggles and swirls and spots of icing.

The designs change each year but my favourite bit is usually the roof! The tile pattern is imprinted, so I just need to follow the lines.I then added the shell piping, dots and snowflakes….

,,,and I always have icing loops hanging under the eaves.

In contrast James wanted sweets and he wanted to buy his own, so rather than getting ones which are vaguely to scale, he bought M&M’s and Haribos!

gingerbread houses

I did my best!!!

I also decorated two Christmas cakes, one for us and one for James – Helen didn’t want one. The traditional Christmas cakes here are rich fruit cakes, ideally made about 6 weeks in advance so they have chance to mature. They’re covered in marzipan first, I then used a thin layer of fondant icing to cover the cake.

To decorated ours I made a round imprint with a pastry cutter and used it as a guide to place 12 gold candles with silver balls in between. At first I just sprinkled some tiny gold stars over the cake and tied a bow round the sides but it didn’t look quite enugh. I then cut out some stars in icing and arranged those round the candles. Much better!

Christmas cakes

James cake used a circle of silver candles. I tried imprinting snowflake stamps but it didn’t quite show up enough and with the sparkly grey and white snowflakes it still looked a bit naff! I cut out some snowflakes instead, two different sizes, and arranged them around the cake, adding silver and grey ones more randomly. It looked much better. A twinkly ribbon finished it off.

In case you’re wondering how my experiment went with the oasis free advent ring went – not good! In less than a week it looked pretty dead! I thought about removing the very dead bits and replacing with artificial – something I usually do with the oasis one in the last week. However I was worried that the dry hay of the base was not a good mix with candles and matches!! I was thinking I would have to buy an oasis after all when I started getting all the Christmas decorations out.

I found an artificial swag of folliage and lights. I decided to have a play. I wound it a couple of times round my candelabra. It looked a bit thin, so I started poking other artificial and dried natural decorations in, such as pinecones, poppy heads. They’re not particularly fastened in, just arranged – if I turned it upside down they would all fall out! I just kept going until it looked OK.

I think it looks really pretty, whilst I like having the natural wreath, this does save using oasis which is totally non biodegradeable. Whilst a lot of it is artificial, most of it is five to ten years old, having been used every Christmas. Hopefully it will now get used for many more Christmases.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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19 Responses to Christmas Cakes and Cottages

  1. claire93 says:

    gingerbread houses and xmas cakes all look very pretty ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tialys says:

    🤣 I like James’s ‘very’ young at heart gingerbread cottage.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tinaor says:

    Love the gingerbread houses – I favour the one without the sweets though – even though I have a really sweet tooth! Cakes and decoration look great too. I bet you feel really Christmassy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    It all looks beautiful. Christmas Cake is not something we have here. These look gorgeous. Almost too pretty to eat.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gail says:

    Very festive gingerbread houses and cakes! We used to do gingerbread houses with our daughter and nieces. One year, we used shredded wheat cereal for shingles. Those icing loops look hard to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      Thanks Gail, the loops are actually really easy, so long as you use proper royal icing made with egg whites, I add some lemon juice too. It naturally falls into the loop shape, you just have to secure it at each end.

      Like

  6. I’ve settled in with a pot of tea and now it is time to catch up on your posts and see what amazing things you are making. Gingerbread houses!!! Beautifully decorated 🙂
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. nanacathy2 says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, can’t beat the fun of a gingerbread house. Does that mean we are becomng witches? Have a very happy Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Shasta says:

    Your gingerbread houses and the decorations are really beautiful. I think I’ve made one gingerbread house in my life and it turned out horribly because I couldn’t get the walls to stand straight. Have a merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mandycurrie says:

    Hello Margaret, Wow, not only are you a talented stitcher but a cake decorator too. Wow again. Well done. Kind regards Mandy xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. hantimps says:

    The gingerbread looks soooo good, I wanted to do one this year but didn’t get round to it 😦

    Like

  11. Cupcakes and Cookies says:

    Your pipework is stunning, what’s your secret?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. wow that looks so good!

    Liked by 1 person

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