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How to Make the Perfect Homemade Gift
Article - 23 December 2019

Introduction

Nothing beats a homemade gift filled with love (and lot’s of character!), so here’s some of Fiona’s favourite gifting ideas and tips which will get you on the top of everyone’s list.

 

Get Baking!

 
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Three christmas recipes Photography by Laura Hynd and Dan Jones

First thing’s first, you’ll need something to wrap so let’s get baking! We have three recipes here that you can start with, but we also have plenty of other recipes on our website that you could use as well. Gilded gingerbread and chocolate heart biscuits would certainly work well.

Try these three recipes for mini Christmas treats and get the whole family involved (click the title to head to the recipe):

  1. Melted Snowmen
  2. ‘Christmas pudding’ No-Bake Cakes
  3. Box of Baubles

You could place these treats on a nice plate and go from here, however they would also make lovely gifts! All it takes it a few props and some attention to detail, and before you know it. you’ll have some stunning presents to hand out to loved ones.

Time to Wrap!

 
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Wrapping gift ideas Photography by Dan Jones from Seasonal Baking

Set aside a few pleasurable hours to beautifully package your delicious gifts. if you plan ahead and gather a few cellophane bags, boxes, ribbons, jars and labels as you see them throughout the year, this will be very easy.

What you’ll need:

  • selection of jars
  • selection of cellophane bags
  • selection of boxes
  • coloured plastic tubes and tissue paper
  • gift tags and sticky labels
  • coloured and metallic pens
  • lengths if ribbon and twine
  • little baubles or artificial berries
  • springs of rosemary, ivy and holly leaves, cinnamon sticks

Get creative! You could start by placing your ‘Christmas puddings’ in a box and wrap around with ribbon- they are quite eye catching by themselves!

Fill a mason jar with your gilded gingerbread men, and tie a cutter with ribbon to the top to inspire your receiver to re-fill with their own. Alternatively, you could maximise the impact of the biscuit by placing a gingerbread man by himself and attach a bell or holly to the packet. Great for handing out around to the workplace or playground.

For a wonderfully colourful box of goodies, you could gift an entire selection of baubles, as your cakes will look great in a lovely box mixed with the real things.

Sprigs of rosemary, ivy and branches can add a wintry woodland feel, and brings a pop of colour to your gift, especially if you stuck to one colour palette when baking and decorating. Never underestimate the impact of a single sprig or berry!

Nothing needs to be too complicated here, even simple brown paper can look very chic when bundled up with lovely ribbon: less is often more.

Decorating Ideas

 
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Christmas Cakes Photography by Laura Hynd from Bake & Decorate

The sky is the limit when decorating cakes so don’t feel pressured to stick to that Pinterest perfect cake! A few special touches can turn your favourite all-year-round recipe into a Christmas showstopper. Cute characters and glittering fruits can make all the difference, and a well chosen ribbon can elevate your cake for a really professional look. Why not try these ideas to decorate your cake:

Perfect penguins for the top of your cake: 

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 250g black sugarpaste
  • 50g white sugarpaste
  • 20g bag white royal icing
  • 20g bag black royal icing
  • 20g bag yellow royal icing
  • 1 pot of clear edible glitter

For each penguin, make a cone of black sugarpaste (4cm for larger penguins and 2.5cm for the smaller ones). Snip out two wings with the tip of a pair of scissors, and ease them away from the body. Roll out a little ball of white sugarpaste , squash it flat to form the tummy and press onto the penguin, adhering with a little royal icing. Pipe two little eyes in white, and allow to dry for an hour or so, then pipe in the black centres. Finish by piping the yellow beak. You can make snowballs by rolling different-sized balls of white sugarpaste.

Glorious gingerbread men for the kids table:

Follow our gingerbread recipe here and get the family to decorate however they like! Line them up arm to arm around your cake and place a few smaller gingerbread men on top. It really is as simple as that!

Winter Wonderland for the big Christmas party:

Colour 300g of the sugarpaste in 2 shades of green with food colouring. Roll these out to about 7mm thick and cut out different size trees. Dip all their edges into clear edible glitter then, with the royal icing, stick them on the candy canes. Re-roll the rest of the two green sugarpastes to 2mm thick and cut out enough trees to match the first side. Stick these on to the backs of the trees, to hide the join to the candy canes. Push the ‘trunks’ into your cake, all facing the same way. Break up the sugar cubes and scatter over the surface, then sprinkle with glitter. Finish by twisting a colourful ribbon round the cake about 6 times and attaching at the back with the royal icing.

 

Get Creative

 
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Christmas is a great time to bring everyone together and experiment with different recipes and decorations. With a little planning (and lots of love!), you could easily get everyone’s gift sorted in one afternoon AND get the family dessert ready! Let us know which is your favourite gifting tip and send in your pictures to @fionacairnsltd on Instagram or @fionacairnscakes on Facebook.

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