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asked April 14th 2021

Alternative to marzipan on fruit cake

Hi all, I’m hoping someone can help.

I’ve been asked to make a three tier wedding cake with all three tiers made from fruitcake. However the bride is allergic to nuts, so marzipan is a no go. To be honest, I don’t like marzipan anyway, I find I struggle with sharp edges, but that’s a different issue.

I am considering ganache as it’s what I would cover a sponge with and I have heard of it being a nice (non traditional) accompaniment to fruit cake. However they want to keep the top tier for a christening cake, so can’t ganache that because of shelf life.

What do people think about two layers of fondant? Would that give me a smooth surface and can I get sharp edges this way?

Any suggestions would be really helpful, fruit cake isn’t really my thing usually!! I have a couple of fruit cakes I forgot to feed from Christmas, so can use these to practice if necessary.


Hi Charlotte Parkinson

You are correct to reject ganache which will considerably diminish the cakes shelf life.

Double icing will produce a smooth finish and still achieve sharp edges. Allow the first layer to dry for a couple of days just as you would with marzipan before the final coating.

Dowel the cakes immediately after the final coating and leave to crust over before before stacking.



Amazing thank you. That makes perfect sense. How thin would you roll the under layer? Just conscious of having a really thick layer of sugarpaste when cake is cut.


Roll it as comfortable as you feel lifting it and smoothing. I usually aim for 3mm depending on the elasticity of the fondant.

Just ensure that the cake is perfectly smooth, all holes plugged in with little pills of fondant. Any sticking out bits of fruit gently push in. Use your smoother to make flush.

Fill any gap between the cake and board at the bottom with a roll of fondant. Smooth it flush with the cake to make a perfect seal and seam. Really that’s the trick for a smooth finish. Fruit cake covering can be such hard work!



I’m also having to make a bottom tier fruit cake without nuts and so will also be double layering the icing. What do you advise attaching the first layer of icing to the fruit cake with sieved jam or vodka?
Many thanks


Hi Clare.W

Boiled, cool water, vodka, simple syrup or a clear jam will all do the job. Brush just enough to make the tack, being careful not to over wet. ?

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