Over recent months, social media sites such as Pinterest have seen an explosion in naked wedding cakes, that is, cakes without an outer layer of frosting or icing. By following a few simple tips, you too can achieve this chic and rustic look.
As long as you properly plan and prepare yourself, you can confidently and easily achieve this new trend in cake.
When making a traditionally finished cake, you’ll bake about 3 or four days in advance to ensure you have plenty of time to decorate it. As naked cakes have no outside layer of icing, which seals in essential moisture and freshness, you will have to bake as close to the day as possible, ideally the day before.
As you won’t have icing, frosting or fondant to hide any baking perfections, you will need to make sure your pans and entirely greased up. This will help them to slide easily out of the pan in one piece.
Most people do this already, but it’s absolutely essential when you’re making a naked wedding cake. Measuring out and distributing your cake batter evenly will make your job a lot easier when you have to cut and fill the cake. Your layers will be taking centre stage, so this needs to be done right.
Measure, measure, cut
Once you’ve greased your pans, evenly filled them and baked your cakes to perfection, you then need to cut them for your layers. In order to keep your cake straight and beautiful, take a decent amount of time to measure them beforehand. Even layers look stunning, but they provide essential stability to your finished cake.
With naked cakes, there is a concern that they easily dry out, but a cake soak will prevent this. Simply brush plain syrup to add moisture without compromising the flavour. That being said, the use of tea, coffee or liquors, or anything else you can think of, will both add moisture and compliment yhr cake and icing’s flavours.
Remember, you only need a small amount of syrup, as too much will make your cake unstable and mushy.
Choose the right fillings
Pastry creams and light airy mousses are gorgeous, but not the best filling for a naked cake, especially if you want to present it outside. Ganache, American buttercream or Swiss meringue buttercream all firm up nicely, so would work well. French buttercream and cream cheese are likely to ooze or shift under the weight of the cake. Even if your cake is staying inside, softer fillings should be kept to a single tier cake.
To keep your layers nice and even, and to prevent the filling marking up the sides of your cake, use a piping bag with a large, round tip. If you want to use a softer filling like jam or mousse, a dam of firmer buttercream around the edges is essential to holding weight and keeping the cake’s shape. When you’re piping your filling, allow for a small lip to allow it to spread when other cake layers are added.
Once your cake is filled, you can go back and add detail by using a star tip.
Kick back and chill
After you’ve put in all that hard work, take some time to relax and put your feet up as your cake chills out. Letting your cake’s fillings completely set before you move it or eat it will keep it a lot more stable.
Centre dowels will add an extra level of stability to a layered cake. This small step will prevent slipping and sliding and give you peace of mind.
The point of naked cakes is that the sides are the star of the show, and they won’t be stable for adding more decoration. Embellishments and design details will look great, however, on the tops of your cakes.
Naked cakes look completely stunning when you decorate with the season in mind. Foliage and fresh flowers will help you to complete a lovely romantic and rustic appearance.