Naked Cake Recipe

For years I’ve wanted to make a naked cake. I see them all over Pinterest and they seem like the most logical choice when it comes to cakes. And when I mean logical, I mean the easiest looking cake to make. Of course, just like any craft I embark on, it’s never quite as easy as it seems. I should know this by now. When my good friend Kelly told me she was having a flamingo-themed pool party for her birthday my mind instantly went to “yes omg I need to make something for this party” but she had her heart set on my donuts. Yes, I made some of those for the party as well (duh), but I really really really wanted an excuse to make a naked cake. After all, I can’t make one for my own birthday, right??

To me a naked cake is right up my alley because it’s aesthetically simple yet makes a big statement. It elevates your dessert table from “cute” to “wow” and that’s exactly what I wanted for Kelly’s birthday cake. I must admit, the concept of this wreath-like arrangement on the top was inspired by a confection artist named Jonathan Caleb that I was recently introduced to and have not stopped stalking (if you’re reading this, Jonathan, sorry if I sound creepy!). And while I’m giving credit where credit is due, the actual cake part was made by my epicurean genius sis Gypset Kitchen (find her on IG @gypsetkitchen) since I’m not much of a baker.

For me the fun part is the exterior, the decorating. While I thought I would just jump in and begin free-handing the frosting, I quickly learned that there is actually a technique to making it look so effortlessly frosted. The layers in between each cake must overflow to the outside and from there you use a flat surface (I used a knife) to essentially wipe away the excess and make a clean, smooth layer. The beauty is you can have “holes” or “gaps” in the frosting. Nothing has to be perfect on a naked cake. Yep, all about it!

The top is pretty self explanatory. I used real leaves and roses from the flower mart to create the wreath and made sure to wipe all the leaves clean of any frosting that got on them during placement. In the case of a naked cake, less is definitely more. And in case you are wondering, the cake was made with real vanilla beans and the middle layers were chocolate and raspberry ganache. Delish!