Ever wondered how to make a naked cake? Or how to frost a naked cake? Or how to decorate a naked cake? Find out everything you need to know about this easy, beautiful dessert!
I thought about titling this post “Naked Cakes Made Easy”… but that just had way too many innuendos for one phrase. 😉 Seriously, though, this is the second year in a row that I’ve made naked cakes for my kids’ early summer birthday parties, and everyone is SO impressed. Easy, beautiful, and perfect for summer, naked cakes are my new favorite!
How to make a naked cake
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I never make white cakes from scratch. I have an amazing chocolate cake recipe that my family has used for years, but for white or yellow cake, I think the boxes simply can’t be beat. So…
- line the bottom of three 8 or 9″ cake pans with wax paper and grease the sides (I’ve decided three layers just looks more elegant on a naked cake)
- prepare a good white cake mix according to box instructions
- divide the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans
- bake until your toothpick comes out clean (note: it will be less than the time stated on box for two 9″ cake pans)
- allow to cool
And while a white cake is my usual go-to for a naked cake, you can actually make beautiful chocolate naked cakes, strawberry naked cakes, or any other flavor you like!
How to frost a naked cake
A naked cake generally has less frosting (obviously), which makes it perfect for summer. I don’t like dry cake, though, so the three layers allows not only for the beauty of more layers on the exposed sides but also gives just a tad more delicious icing. And while I do like white cake mixes, I never use store-bought icing… Homemade frosting is absolutely the ticket to delicious cakes!! I play with the balance of butter and cream cheese each time, but this recipe is probably the closest to my favorite, and it is so very easy.
There are, however some tricks that can help you frost a naked cake beautifully and deliciously (check out the images below for some guidance on these tips!).
- Use a whisk attachment on your mixer when making your icing so that it is lighter and easier to spread
- Use a large knife to slice off the rounded portion of the bottom and middle cake layers so they are flat on top for stacking (the top layer can maintain its rounded top)
- After all three layers are stacked and frosted, add a little extra frosting to the edges of the seams between layers with the side of a butter knife
- Finally, use the back edge of a butter knife to smooth around the outside of the cake
How to decorate a naked cake
The best part about a naked cake is that its rustic elegance needs very little decoration. You can put almost anything pretty on top of it and it becomes instantly gorgeous.
Naked cake with flowers
This is my usual naked cake decoration. I love to clip flowers from my garden or from the arrangement used for the table and just place a few on top. Be sure to remove the flowers before actually serving the cake if they’re not safe for eating! Pink flowers atop a strawberry naked cake are especially adorable for a little girl’s birthday!
Naked cake with fruit
I have also topped naked cakes with fruit in times past. A few fresh berries and some mint leaves make such a beautiful topper for chocolate naked cake.
Naked cake with candy
Since I threw just one party for my three kiddos last year, I wanted a separate cake for each of them – something special for each to call his own. The strawberry cake with flowers was for my daughter; the chocolate cake with fruit for my oldest son… and I wanted a third – and fully unique – cake for my younger son. So I topped his vanilla cake with chopped up mini chocolate candies (leftover from Halloween and Easter 😉 ) and drizzled a little chocolate sauce to finish the look.
How to serve and store a naked cake
Naked cakes really have become my favorite for everything from birthday parties to impromptu summer get togethers. With a little less icing and a very forgiving structure, they are easy to slice into wedges to serve and store perfectly in a plastic cake carrier in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks. Just remember to remove the fresh flowers before serving and remove any fruit that might go bad quickly if you want to store it for a more than a couple of days.
I hope you found this helpful for your next spring or summer party!
Now for more fun summer recipes, my friend Krista from The Happy Housie is hosting a group of bloggers sharing their favorites. Be sure to visit them below!
Check out what they have in store…
Lavender Blackberry Sparkling Lemonade at Satori Design for Living // Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes at Nina Hendrick Design Co. // Luscious Lemon Curd Parfaits at Summer Adams // Strawberry Jello Poke Cake at A Pretty Life