How To Make A Holly Leaf Gift Box Cake

During a season of sugar cookie production, you just sometimes need to create a cake masterpiece to mix it up a bit. Well, if you're looking for a centerpiece dessert for your next Christmas party or buffet...this cake is it. It starts with a 6" square buttercream iced cake that is then layered with fondant holly leaves to give it some amazing texture. Add a fondant bow and you have a trompe l'oeil gift box that your guests may actually try to unwrap.

Icing a square cake can have it's challenges, so we designed this cake with lots of texture so you don't have to sweat the perfect icing job. Be sure to create your fondant bow ahead of time so it has ample time to dry and doesn't wilt when added to the cake.

Also, we baked a square Classic Chocolate Cake Recipe and filled it with peppermint buttercream made from Brenda's Bakery Buttercream (our personal favorite for icing this kind of cake). But, if you're prone to vanilla, try out Vanilla Cake Recipe instead.

Looking for more cake ideas? Check out our Knitted Hat Cake Tutorial or our Piped Buttercream Christmas Tree Cake for more inspiration!

Availability: In stock

Shop ProductsPriceQty
2 - 6" Square Chocolate Cake Layers
1 Recipe Brenda's Buttercream (See RECIPE Section)
Holly Leaf Plunger Cutter - Set of 3
Fat Daddio's White Rolled Fondant Icing - 8 oz
Fat Daddio's Red Rolled Fondant Icing - 8oz
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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).

How To Make a Fondant 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.

How To Make A Fondant Bow

Use your fingers to squeeze the center of the bow. Try not to crush it, but instead try to create a wrinkled effect.

How To Make A Fondant Bow

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.

How To Make a Red Fondant Bow


Ice 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.

How To Ice A Square Cake

Next, roll out 1/4 of your tub of 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.

How To Make A Holly Gift Box

 When you have 15 done, pull your cake from the fridge and apply the leaves in groups, leaving 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 keep doing this until your sides are covered.

How To Make A Holly Gift Box Cake

Roll little holly berries with your remaining red fondant and press them into the cake.

How To Make A Holly Gift Box Cake

Add your dried bow and boom! have yourself a beautiful little edible gift. Enjoy!

How To Make A Gift Box Cake

Christmas Cake Projects Step x Step

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