Holly Gift Box Cake! Learn how to make this festive gift box cake that looks just like a present with a simple step-by-step tutorial by our contributors, Mary and Brenda Maher of Cakegirls.
This is certainly the season for making cookies. Lots of ’em. But that doesn’t mean there’s not room for a spectacularly decorated Christmas cake, especially if it’ll make a great centerpiece at the next holiday party. That’s where this textured Holly Gift Box Cake comes in. Part mistletoe, part wrapped present, this is a cake that may trick the eye just enough that your guests try to unwrap it.
It starts with a 6″ square cake. We baked up a classic chocolate cake but your favorite cake recipe will surely work just as well. Icing a square cake can be a little intimidating but no need to sweat it, the textured holly leaves mean that your layer of buttercream doesn’t have to be perfect. Once your fondant leaves are added, all this cake is the perfect finishing touch which is a handmade red fondant bow. One word of warning, be sure to create the bow at least one day ahead so that it’s firm enough to be added to your cake when finished.
HOLLY GIFT BOX CAKE
a tutorial by Cakegirls
ONE DAY AHEAD OR MORE, MAKE FONDANT BOW
Roll out your red fondant into a long rectanglish shape. You will want it no thicker than 1/8″ to 1/4″ in thickness so that your bow folds easily. From this shape, trim a 12″ x 3″ wide rectangle. (Anything close to this size should work, but those were our measurements for this bow).
Bring both ends of the rectangle to meet in the middle, with a tiny gap, and adhere just the ends with a little bit of water.
Use your fingers to squeeze the center of the bow. Try not to crush it, but instead try to create a wrinkled effect.
Use some rolled up paper towels to slip inside the bow loops and support their shape for drying. At this point you can also flare the edges of the bow loops a little with your fingers.
Cut out an additional rectangle strip of fondant for the center. You will only need it to be 4″ long x 2″ wide (a little less wide than the bow). Gently wrap it around the center to mask the pinched area and use dabs of water to adhere the strip in place. Leave your bow on a parchment lined tray to dry so that the bottom doesn’t stick to the surface. Let dry at least one day before using.
When ready to decorate, start by frost your square cake, doing your best to preserve the square edges. (Don’t sweat this step too much, we’re covering most of the surface with holly leaves). Place your cake in the fridge to firm up while you work on your holly leaves.
Next, roll out 1/4 of your white fondant very thinly (you do not want your holly leaves too heavy for the sides). Cut out 15 leaves by cutting through the fondant, then pressing down on the cutter to make the veining, then pop the leaf out in your hand.
Once you have about 15 holly leaves complete, pull your cake from the fridge and apply the leaves, in clusters, to one side of the cake. Leave space for the holly berries. Don’t press the leaves completely flat to the cake. Leave some of the edges curled for texture.
Put the cake back in the fridge and make additional leaves for the next side. Repeat until all sides are covered with holly leaves.
Once all of your holly leaves are placed, roll little holly berries with your remaining red fondant and press them into the cake.
Add your dried bow and boom!…you have yourself a beautiful little edible gift. Enjoy!