I have mixed feelings about the term “Naked Cake”. I get it, in theory, but I think naked is a little harsh. I mean, just because these cakes didn’t get all dolled up in fondant, doesn’t mean they aren’t trying at all! I think they are casually chic. Like nice jeans and a great top. We don’t always have to wear our Sunday best, do we? This naked wedding cake is looking fine with layers of chocolate cake, vanilla cake, and my favourite luscious buttercream. Here comes the cake!
I completely understand the popularity of these casually chic cakes. Sometimes you just want something on the lighter side, less statuesque and more inviting to eat. Pop on some fresh flowers in your desired colour palette and you have a cake that never goes out of style.
So when my cousin Jerald and his soon to be wife, Laine requested this type of cake for their wedding day, I was thrilled. Mainly because I was a guest at this wedding, so I knew I’d get a piece!
Let's Make A Tiered Naked Wedding Cake!
The Chocolate & Vanilla Cakes!
You will need:
2 x 6” round Yo’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake (4 lb portion) – find my recipe here
2 x 10” round Yo’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake (8 lb portion) – find my recipe here
2 x 8” round Yo’s Ultimate Vanilla Cake (6 lb portion) – find my recipe here
3 x Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe – find my recipe here
Keep It Moist With Simple syrup
1 cup sugar - http://amzn.to/1Sm38i3
1 cup water
Simple Syrup Soaker Bottle - http://bit.ly/
Place both ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Set aside to cool completely.
While you're waiting for your simple syrup to cool, don’t forget to SIGN UP and become a How To Cake It member HERE! Why? Because I will give you access to all my video tutorials BEFORE they are released on YouTube, AND send you member-only discount codes for all the merchandise on my site!
Assembling Your Cake Layers
You will need:
Serrated knife - http://amzn.to/1KEcg2M
Small offset palette knife - http://amzn.to/1fPnWC1
Rubber spatula - http://amzn.to/1Iuj2S0
Piping bag - http://amzn.to/1f1n1xW
#805 piping tip - http://amzn.to/1f1n6lx
Paring knife - http://amzn.to/1Dexl1l
1 x 6” cake board - http://amzn.to/1IBpLto
1 x 8” cake board - http://amzn.to/1SDJgwh
1 x 10” cake board - http://amzn.to/1MIe5er
Level all 6 of your cakes and cut them in half horizontally, with a ruler and a serrated knife – for a video tutorial on how to do this click here. You should now have 12 layers of delicious cake!
Fill your piping bag with Italian meringue buttercream, and keep the rest in a bowl beside you. Have your simple syrup close by as well.
Begin with your 4 x 8” layers of vanilla cake. Put cakes in a row, soak each layer with simple syrup, and let it absorb. This will keep them moist throughout the decorating process. This is especially helpful for event cakes like my wedding cake where there is a stretch of time between decorating and the event. Place your first cake layer on the 8” cake board, and pipe a border of buttercream around the circumference. Then fill in the circle by gently spreading more buttercream with a small offset palette knife. Be careful not to disturb the beautiful buttercream fence around the cake, or the vanilla cake underneath. If you prefer, you can also pipe the entire layer, rather than using the palette knife to fill in. This may be easier for someone who isn’t confident in using a palette knife.
Repeat this process until you have stacked all four layers. For the top layer of the cake, use the same method, and try to smooth out the buttercream as nicely as possible. In this case you will have to use the palette knife vs. piping the entire layer. We want a nice smooth finish!
Please note that if you live in a really hot climate, you many want to chill each layer of buttercream before topping with the next layer of cake. Just to make sure your buttercream does not ooze out the sides.
Place your cake in the fridge to chill and clear your work space of all vanilla crumbs so none of them end up on your chocolate cake. Repeat the process above with the 10” and 6” round chocolate cakes. Place both of those cakes in the fridge to chill as well.
** Note: If you would like a to clean up your buttercream filling around the edge of the cake, you can use a sharp knife to cut away the excess once your cake is well chilled. I suggest doing this before stacking your tiers. **
Creating a Strong Cake With Dowelling and Assembly
Yes, you need to dowel a tiered cake! There is no way around it, unless you want your cakes to collapse of course – probably not the climax you were hoping for at your wedding! Dowels are inserted into the cake and not visible from the outside, and easily removed once you begin to cut into it.
Tools You Will Need:
8 x 1/4” wooden dowels - http://amzn.to/1HaFGhi
Pencil or marker
Garden shears - http://amzn.to/1fPoW9l
Unused emery board/nail file of piece of sand paper
Begin with the 10” cake. Find the center of your cake using a ruler and make a little mark in the buttercream with a dowel. Then place a 6” cake pan on top and using your dowel again, mark out a circle of 8 points in your buttercream. Remove the pan, and insert one dowel firmly into the centre mark of your cake. When you feel it hit the bottom, mark the dowel where it meets top of the cake, and pull it back out. Use this dowel as a template for marking your other dowels. Cut all nine of your dowels to the same size, and gently file away any rough bits. I like to use an emery board for this, but you can also use sandpaper.
Insert all your dowels in the ring formation marker on your cake. Add a few dabs of buttercream within that circle and carefully place your 8” tier on top. Repeat the same process on your 8” tier, this time using a 4” cake pan to mark out your circle with 6 points. Then place your 6” tier on top.
Generally, I like my dowels to be placed 1 1/2” – 2” from the edge of the cake that will be resting on top. I also always like to place a dowel in the centre of that circle.
Time to stack these tiers! The tricky thing about stacking a cake without fondant, is that you absolutely cannot touch the sides. Take your time and be careful. It helps if your cakes are well chilled before stacking begins. You keep you cakes on their boards when stacking – we are going to cover them up in a minute!
Covering Your Cake Boards and Adding Fresh Flowers & Greenery
Tools You Will Need:
Fresh flowers of your choice
*Floral tape or plastic drinking straws
Ribbon of your choice, about the width of your cake boards
Pearl pins, or decorative pins of your choice
Let’s start by covering your cake boards! Cut three strips of ribbon – each one a bit longer than the circumference of a corresponding cake tier. Start at the bottom – wrap the ribbon around the bottom cake board, overlapping the ends at the back, and gently pinning in place. Repeat for the other two tiers, but as you wrap your ribbon around the boards be careful not to disturb your buttercream on the tier underneath!
I like to trim all my flowers and have them ready – I remove all leaves and cut the stems to about 2” long. I begin by placing the largest flower first, and using the smaller flowers and greenery to fill in around that focal point. I also find it helpful to work with one flower at a time – roses, then mums, etc., but arrange all the clusters on all three tiers at the same time. In other words, I don’t want to fully dress my top tier, then, my second, then my third. I attack it by placing one or two large flowers on each tier to mark where the clusters will sit. Then I move onto the next flower and build up each tier, then the next flower, and so on.
I was fortunate enough to be able to source organic flowers for my cake. If this is not possible, you may want to wrap the stems of your flowers in floral tape. You can also insert plastic drinking straws into your cake, and insert the flowers into the straws.
One Last Caking Tip:
Whenever I make cakes for a wedding or special event, I like to work with the florist personally. It is always nice when the flowers match the whole event. Flowers also last longer if you put them on as close to the last minute as possible. I often do it on site at the event.
This naked wedding cake looks lovely. Casual chic at it’s best. Moist vanilla cake, rich chocolate cake, and sinful buttercream. What else could you need on your big day? That’s a whole other blog!