- Food and Cooking
M&M Christmas Cakes and Patterns
Use M&M's to Make A Fun Christmas Cake
I couldn't resist the idea of using M&M's to make holiday designs on Christmas cakes. After doing some research for patterns, M&M colors, cakes and cake icing I've come up with some fun Christmas patterns to share using these wonderful little bits of color.
On this page there's a Christmas Tree, a peppermint design, a snowflake and a reindeer. I'm currently working on a few more designs. Also, look for hints and tips I've learned through trial and error. Enjoy these ideas and patterns!
These are my practice pattern cakes...
Just so you know, most of the cakes on this page are "fake cakes" or "dummy cakes". The icing is rock hard and it's super simple to move M&M's around on dummy cakes since nothing will stick. A real cake with real icing requires a lot more care!
Now on to the patterns!
Christmas Tree made with M and M's
This is my favorite
Making these trees is fun even when it's not on a cake. Get a bag of M&M candies and let your kids go to town making Christmas Trees.
This pattern is great for cakes too. White icing looks nice since the green is a strong color. And it's fun to add different colored "lights" in the tree. I just noticed that I took this picture before I added the 2 extra brown pieces on the trunk. If you look back at the picture in the intro you'll see what I mean. I think the 4 brown pieces looks better than 2.
I like to add a little color in the corners as you can see here. Maybe next time I'll add 2 greens and a red in the corners to look like holly leaves.
Peppermint Candy design with Red and White M&M's
Festive Peppermint Design
For this pattern I found a peppermint beading craft design online and changed it to make it work with M&M's. You can order . Or they may be available in bags of Christmas M&Ms during the holidays. This is a good time to point out that you can find LOTS of patterns for use with other crafts that can be made to work with M&M Candies. Look for bead, perler bead and very simple crossstitch patterns - then adjust them to work for your design. white M&M's here
M&M's will usually stick to the side of the cake if the icing is not completely dry. If the weather is hot, they may slide down some from gravity. The M&M's on top thankfully won't have that problem.
I think this pattern would stand out much better with an icing any color other than white. A very light blue would like nice. I'll try that next time.
Cute Reindeer M&M Pattern
Rudolph cake pattern
I got the idea for this pattern from a bead craft pattern. I changed it up a little to work with the M&M's. I like the playful cartoonish look of the deer.
For the eyes, I used white M&M's and painted them with black food coloring. It took 2 coats of food coloring to make it "stick". You could do all sorts of things with the eyes. You could make them look up or down or sideways. Play around and see what you come up with.
I also like to add borders to give extra color. Here I've used red and green. In the picture below I used all red. One color is easier (only red or only green) - you don't have to worry about matching the last 2 M&M's when you make a full circle.
Here's the reindeer with a red border - Spruce up any cake (M&M patterns or not) with a colorful border
Since the icing is white, I'll make the snowflake red!
You could even use for this design. This one is striking but really very simple (even kids can give this one a try). One of the tricks is to use a thin coat of icing on the top of the cake. Not skimming it, but not adding any extra. You may need to shift the M&M's just a little after you add them to the cake and a thin layer of icing on top makes this do-able. light blue M&M's
I also like to add M&M's to the sides of cakes to dress them up. If your icing is still a little "wet" then they will stick right into it. If you are using fondant, use a dab of royal icing to make them stick.
Here's a peek at how I added the M&M's from my pattern.
Planning is Everything
Making your patterns
I start with a pattern (mine or one I find online) and tweak it until it's just right. I took some pictures of these pattern while I was planning. I can't image working a pattern without mapping it out first. For example, here you see blue eyes for the reindeer but I ended up changing the eyes to white (with black cirles) after seeing the design all together. Sometimes I work on graph paper sometimes I don't. And here's a hint for adding the M&M's to the cake: Work from the center out. Find the center of the cake (mark icing lightly with a toothpick) and also find the center of your pattern. Start in the middle and work outward so you don't run off the side of the cake!
Candy Cane Design
This one is indeed a real cake!
This design was tricky. Getting the curve right on the Candy Cane was difficult. If only one M&M was off position, it didn't look right. I probably won't make this one again, but I do like the white and red on the chocolate frosting.
This is where design and planning show their importance! I knew from my planning stage that this pattern would be difficult with the curve of the candy cane, but I tried it anyway since I had a cake just for that purpose. If I had been taking the cake to a Christmas party, I would have not continued with the design - I would have chosen a simpler one.
Here's my next adventure: Muppet M&M Cakes
These are tricky!
Here's what I'm working on now. Muppet Cakes. In terms of pixel art, M&M's are rather large. If you think about other art made by dots like pointilism etc, the bits of color are very small and blend easily. To make pictures with M and M's, the patterns need to be simple and recognizable with larger "dots" of color. That's why it does get a little tricky.
Kermit is pretty simple and the farther you are away from the cake the more recognizable he is. He looks great on this 9" x 13" cake, but would look fabulous with this pattern double size on a double size cake. If anyone gives it a try let me know!