Love the look of a naked cake but not sure how to bake it yourself? Try this basic recipe and see how you like the results!
How to Make a Naked Cake for Any Occasion
What to Expect From This Recipe
A naked cake is a unique type of cake decoration that only uses a thin coating of frosting on the whole cake, leaving its layers artfully exposed. This recipe needs two hours and 10 minutes to complete, with 40 minutes prep time, 30 minutes bake time, and one hour freeze time.
This recipe makes three eight-inch rounds, resulting in a three-tier cake.
Basic Naked Cake Recipe
- 9 large egg whites
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 18 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 3/8 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour three eight-inch round cake pans round.
- In a medium bowl, whisk salt, baking powder, and flour, then set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat sugar and butter using an electric mixer at medium speed. Do this until the mixture is fluffy and light, about 5 minutes, and then mix vanilla in.
- In another separate bowl, whisk egg whites and milk until well-combined.
- Slowly add the milk and flour mixtures alternately into the butter mixture, ending with the flour.
- As needed, scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula to make sure the batter is evenly mixed.
- Once you achieve the right consistency, pour the batter in the three baking pans evenly.
- Bake the layers at the same temperature for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Transfer pans onto cooling racks and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Remove cake layers from the pans and continue to let them cool on the wire racks for one hour.
- Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and freeze. This ensures that crumbs don’t mess with the icing.
- When ready to frost the cake, remove the plastic wrap from each layer and make sure to level uneven layers using a serrated knife.
- Prepare the frosting and put a dollop of it at the center of the serving plate or cake stand to prevent the cake from sliding.
- Place one layer on the serving plate or stand and frost the top of the first layer using a spatula, spreading evenly.
- Place the second layer on top, upside-down, and repeat frosting.
- Put the third layer on top and lightly coat the entire cake, beginning at the top and then down the sides. Allow cake to peek through the sheer layer of frosting. Don’t worry about doing it perfectly — the magic of a naked cake is it’s meant to look slightly natural and undone.
- Freeze the cake for 20 minutes to let the icing settle.
- Decorate with flowers, fruit, and nuts, if desired.
How to Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
This frosting is a great option for your semi-naked cake. This recipe takes only 20 minutes to make, giving you enough coating for a four-layer, eight-inch cake.
- 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
- 2 cups unsalted butter (softened)
- Beat butter using an electric mixer at high speed until very fluffy and white (about five minutes).
- Scrape bottom and sides of the bowl two times with a spatula during the beating process.
- Switch mixer to low speed, slowly add sugar and then scrape the bowl again when combined.
- Gradually add vanilla and milk and mix well. Scrape the bowl again.
- Switch to high speed again and beat the mixture until very fluffy for 8-10 minutes. Achieve a consistency where it looks like whipped cream and without the waxy sheen of the butter.
Note: You can make this buttercream a few days ahead chilled. But, you need to re-whip it upon using, which can take a while to achieve room temperature compared to making it fresh.
Get more tips on how to achieve a perfect semi naked cake in this video from FFEAbySawsen Cake Decorating Tutorials:
With this basic recipe, you can make the most out of your naked wedding cake with unique and personalized decoration. This naked cake is versatile; you can create colorful and fun decorations that fit any occasion.
What other naked cake recipes can you share with us? Tell us in the comments section below!
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