Naked cakes and semi-naked have been pretty fashionable at weddings, anniversaries and birthdays the past few years. Pretty much they are just a cake without all the extra fondant and buttercream which some people actually prefer.
Plus they can be perfect if you want to make your own rustic version. In fact the one in the picture I made with a shop purchased cake then decorated with pesticide free flowers and herbs from my garden and the whole thing cost less than $10.
Although don't go rocking up to your cake decorator expecting the same, they actually put quite a bit more effort into than I did and they probably can barely turn the oven on without it costing $10 (let alone make a wage). Plus in Australia I don't think it would be legal for them to stick flowers from their own garden onto a cake.
But like I said if you want a really rustic pretty cake without all the fuss this is the perfect cake for you.
I've popped a guide as to how I made the cake down below but if you are making one yourself or even just ordering one for an event here are a few things to think about:
- How hot is it going to be? Is your event in summer? You don't want to end up with a slippery slidy mess of cream and wilted flowers. Think about what type of frosting you are going to use and make sure there is a fridge handy. Then pop the flowers, fruit and a dusting of sugar on top just before you need to display the cake.
- How long will it be out? Cake decorators often use recipes that can be out of the fridge for quite a while. I used cream cheese frosting which is highly perishable and should not be left out for hours on end. If you are concerned a whipped ganache made by boiling cream and adding to white chocolate is a safe fall back.
- Where are your flowers from? The flowers in my garden are pesticide free because I am too lazy to spray them. If you're not sure if the ones you source are edible or if they have been sprayed be careful about placing them on the cake, You might want to make a barrier of parchment paper. Also it should go without saying, but....never ever ever use poisonous flowers.
- Will my frosting hold up the weight of the cake? I used a light sponge, if you are using a heavier cake you might want to use a frosting that will hold up better (ie whipped ganache or a sturdy buttercream).
- How high do you want the cake? If you are making a tiered cake you will need internal dowels and cake boards otherwise you will have a leaning tower of cake. It will cost you way more than $10 and you may say some curse words like shoot and fudge if you're not used to making cakes. Same goes for a single tier but very tall cake.
- What type of cake stand should I use? Once again my cake was pretty light so I used a pretty 10" mint cake stand and it was able to hold up the weight. If you cake has a number of layers and is very heavy this type of stand may not hold the weight.
- Do you want a rustic look or a semi-naked finish? The cake I have pictured is very, very rustic. If you like a neater finish you should use a spatula to run around the frosting and make it even with the edges of the cake. For a semi-naked finish you will need some cake scrappers or similar to spread a thin patchy layer of frosting around the edge of the cake.
- Hey I don't like the brown edges on the cake can I cut them off? Of course you can, it's your cake, but it will be a crumby mess to do this and will take way longer than you think it will. Plus the cake will dry out faster. On the plus side it looks pretty.
- Do you want any other decorations? I love the trend of glittery or wooden signs on top of rustic cakes at the moment, or bunting can be cute as well.
Simple guide for Naked Cake
I purchased a store made cake, however you can make your own from scratch or use a packet mix. Use edible pesticide free flowers. If you are selling your cakes make sure you follow your local food and safety standards.
2 layer white cake (I picked up a sponge cake from Drakes/IGA on sale for $1.69)
Raspberry Jam (optional)
Frosting (recipe below)
Edible pesticide free flowers, fruit, chocolates, macarons or herbs for decorating
Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Cut each cake into half so you end up with 4 cake layers. If any of the cakes have a domed top trim it off to make the cakes flatter.
Spread 3 layers generously with jam if you are using it and leave one free of jam. The jam free layer will be the top/final layer.
Place the first jam topped layer on your cake stand or cake board and top with a thick layer of frosting and then place the second layer of cake onto the top of the first layer and gently press into place. Make sure the second layer of cake evenly centered. Spread a layer of frosting onto the top of the second layer do not press down very hard. Pop the 3rd layer of cake onto the top of the cake and then place the cake into fridge to chill for about 10 minutes.
Remove the cake from the fridge spread on another layer of frosting and top with the final layer of cake.
Place in the fridge to allow the frosting to set a little for 10 minutes and then remove from fridge and spread on the final layer of frosting.
Decorate with fresh flowers, fruit and herbs. Use a sieve or tea strainer to dust with a little icing sugar (powder sugar).
I find removing the flowers prior to slicing the cake is best.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
115 g (4oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
115g (4oz) cream cheese (full fat)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups icing sugar mixture (powdered sugar) sifted
Mix together all ingredients until light and fluffy.
Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the Children's cookbook Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! Published in the USA in 2011 the book is still available at Amazon and many online bookstores.
Affililate links may earn me money and contribute to supporting this blog.
Original ideas, photography and recipes Linda Vandermeer please do not reuse without permission.