‘The perfect Christmas cake is something creative that the whole family can enjoy. My mum will always make a fruit cake, but we aren’t all huge fans, so on Christmas Day we would knock up a chocolate orange cake or something equally delicious like pistachio and cherry. We take colour inspiration from the season, using pistachios for the green and raspberries or cherries for the red. Gold and white also looks amazing. To create a modern Christmas showstopper, be relaxed and creative, and don’t feel the need to stick to tradition. One year we did a festive woodland theme with gingerbread animals and bark-effect buttercream, rose petals and a dusting of icing sugar – so simple but so effective.’ Annabel Lui, co-founder of Cutter & Squidge
You can make a traditional fruit cake up to three months in advance as long as you moisten it every few weeks with whiskey or brandy. If covering a fruit cake with fondant icing, add the marzipan layer around seven days before the icing.