When I tell a friend or family member, “I saw the cutest naked cake on Pinterest,” I’m usually met with quizzical looks.
“What’s a naked cake?” they ask. My reply is usually the description of a multi layered cake with either a minimal to no coat of icing on it, typically decorated with fruit and or flowers and some kind of filling.
Still I’m met with dumbfounded looks of them trying to picture what I am talking about. Pulling out my phone, I show them a picture.
Their eyes get big and and their mouths open wide. “Ooohhh… yeah,” they say, “I’ve seen those. I didn’t know it was called a naked cake.”
Yes, it’s a naked cake. No signs of fondant or buttercream covering up the entire cake. We get to see the cake in its natural state. A yummy, fluffy, and airy cake with sweet and smooth filling.
There are two kinds of naked cakes, naked and semi-naked.
The simplistic naked naked cake showcases just the cake, generally white or yellow but can be any other color and flavoring. It is layered and filled commonly with buttercream and decorated with fresh fruit; berries are the fan favorite because they don’t need to be cut and they look gorgeous whole. Flowers and herbs also adorn many of these exposed cakes; edible flowers are ideal but not always the choice. To finish off, each cake is lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
Now let’s talk about the semi-naked cake. This kind of cake receives a minimal coat of frosting, usually described by cake bakers as a “crumb coat.” That usually goes on before fondant or more buttercream is added to hold in any crumbs that could potentially come off while trying to decorate it.
Through the crumb coat the cake and filling are slightly in view, resembling the affect of swiping a paint brush on a canvas with only one stroke where the lines are not defined but blurred.
A naked cake doesn’t always need to be simply decorated with fruit and flowers. Bakers have started glazing the tops, letting the glaze run down the sides in long soft drips adding effect and texture. Another texture technique done is piping buttercream in intricate scroll work over the cake. This adds beauty and detail to the already-bare cake.
One of the benefits of making or buying a naked cake is that they can be cheaper than buying a cake that is completely covered in buttercream or fondant.
Buttercream also tends to melt quicker. Purchasing a naked cake will ensure the cake will stay intact longer in the warmer months.
Naked cakes aren’t necessarily a new idea but they have become widely popular. Going naked on a bride’s wedding day isn’t always a good idea but when it comes to cake, it might not be a bad idea.
Written by Angel Hugs, OCI Baking & Pastry Graduate