SWEET-TOOTHED historians have unveiled the creation which will form the final piece of an impressive Christmas cake display.

Renowned food historian Ivan Day has created a centrepiece Twelfth Cake for Fairfax House's Keeping of Christmas.

By adopting 18th Century traditions, the grand dessert is surmounted by double gilded crowns, is made using period baking methods and decorated with lavish moulded sugar work using original carved wooden moulds.

The attraction's Keeping of Christmas display is part of its efforts to celebrate the season by transforming its rooms into scenes reminiscent of the Georgian era.

It is decorated throughout, not with the tinsel, baubles and Christmas trees, but with a display of evergreens revealing the period's love of the natural world.

The Twelfth Cake, which is enjoyed during Twelfth Night revels on January 6, can be found in the dining room surrounded by beautiful silver, table decorations, elaborate parterres of sugar sand and sculptures.

Twelfth cakes were elaborate creations, first seen in the 16th Century, but particularly popular in England between 1750 and 1850.

They were often decorated with sugar or wax figures and other spectacular ornaments, some were embellished with one or two crowns, and used by confectioners to dress their windows.

The Keeping of Christmas runs at Fairfax House until January 2.