Naked cakes are becoming increasingly popular recently! This is a cake without the outer coating of icing, so the layers of sponge are visible.
Before I started making them, I wasn't attracted to them at all, although all I'd seen were rather slapdash ones with jam oozing messily out the sides, which, for some may be just the job, but with me liking more precise creations, I was keen that mine were elegant and neat.
I set about my mission to make, decorate and get professional images of a naked cake so I could perfect the process and decide on how I wanted to present them in the future. A huge thanks to www.photographsbyeve.co.uk for the fantastic images above!
The lack of outer icing reduces any risk of 'icing issues', lessens sugary sweetness and sometimes time and cost......but it also brings issues of it's own.
With a naked cake, the sponge itself has to be very evenly cooked, have not dents, holes or cracks and be very evenly torted (this is the cutting of the layers). Not to mention having to avoid letting the cake dry out since it has nothing to keep the moisture in! This means that the timings of assembly matter so much more - the cake can't be left set up for many hours like an iced cake can be. There is no hiding with naked cakes!
Once the cake is cut in to layers, it's not a case of slapping on some butter icing.........the butter icing has to be a perfect piping consistency, you have to have the right sized nozzle, and have a steady hand to do the outer circles of icing. Each tier has to be chilled slightly to strengthen it, and then dowelled if there are tiers being placed on top of one another. Additionally, the tiers have to be assembled at the venue, so there is more work on site as compared to a sugarpasted cake.
There are many options with naked cakes regarding flavours, fillings and decorations. Usually people have similar coloured tiers, for example, lemon, vanilla or white chocolate tiers can look the same, while those wanting contrast may opt for chocolate, vanilla and red velvet.
Decorations are often berry and fruit orientated, but flowers, foliage and herbs can also be used. I've also had a caramel flavoured two tier wedding cake with sea salt caramel layers and toffee pieces scattered around it, that was quite a hit!
Naked cakes can be presented at any celebration, and of course, different sizes, shapes and presentation methods can be used. They can be themed to different seasons too, so they are a very versatile cake style!