Naked cakes - do you like the look?

Have you seen the current trend of “naked” cakes? Essentially, cakes with no frosting or icing on the outside, only in between the layers. Here are some examples if you’re not familiar: https://www.theknot.com/content/naked-cake-designs

I don’t see the appeal, they mostly look sloppy and unfinished to me. Plus, I bet those cake edges get super dry, and nobody likes dry cake! If you’re a fan, what do you like about them?

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I actually like them because I’m not a fan of most cake frostings (too sweet). The amount between the layers is just the right amount. I went to a birthday a few weeks ago with a naked cake that was great – not dry at all.

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I’m not a fan of a lot of frosting either in terms of eating, but decorating can be most of the fun of cake making. Glad to hear it wasn’t dry!

I hadn’t heard of this trend until seeing this thread. Agreed that some of these look sloppy, but some look really good (the fruit with the white glaze, the squared off cake, the drip).

I happen to be a fan of really good buttercream frosting, so I’d miss that. But if it’s replacing that sickeningly sweet grocery store frosting or, even worse, fondant, I’m good with a naked cake.

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another laziness trend, like beards. expect more.

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lol! Recently a local baker/pastry chef held a class on how to make naked cakes. I couldn’t help but think, ‘$120 to learn how to NOT ice a cake?’ :laughing: But yeah, it certainly would save time!

If i went to a wedding and saw any of those cakes i would think it was really bizarre. The square cake is the only one that looks finished to me, some of those actually look like a hot mess and I’m surprised they were photo shoot worthy

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Cakes were always like that when I grew up, only a very few specific cakes had icing all around e.g. Christmas Cakes, Black Forest Gateaux etc.

I too find the modern style of over iced or frosted cakes not to my taste. I actually like to taste the cake and complement it with the icing rather than have the flavour swamped.

A simple Victoria sandwich sponge filled with freshly whipped cream and berries is heaven. Or a Dundee Cake baked with whole almonds on top and nothing else is wonderful.

http://www.maryberry.co.uk/recipes/great-british-bake-off-recipes/victoria-sandwich

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I was watching season 3 of the British Baking Show today and I have to admit the young lady contestant - Flora - made a really pretty version of Black Forest cake without icing on the sides. But neatly piped with the whipped cream detail showing between the layers. So maybe it’s a more European style, or maybe it mostly bugs me when the result is “rustic” and people act like they’ve reinvented cake.

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Some are pretty, some look quite amateur.

But yes my mum rarely frosted a cake, we had lemon drizzle cakes, plain butter or madeira cakes, fruit cake, victoria sponge cake. Maybe a dusting of icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) was all.

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I agree with most, some of those pictured look very pretty and some look like a hot mess. I really dislike frosting, so I would probably prefer to eat naked cake.

I think this is pretty.

This, not so much.

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I don’t mind, but I can understand why it may look sloppy and unfinished especially in certain occasions.

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Some of them look fun, but I love frosting and would prefer it to be completed.

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Who doesn’t love frosting?! That’s like not loving kittens and puppies playing together!

I do this type of cake, too, and I say it’s to get the balance right. But maybe it’s because I’m terrible at frosting the sides of cakes. Cupcakes are much simpler. I would gladly pay $120 to learn how to frost cakes.

I understand what they are trying to do in the pictures, but I don’t think it works in most cases. And, I wonder, if that’s how the cakes look in the pictures, how did they look in real life? I think there’s actually way too much frosting in many of them, too.

You’re right, it kind of defeats the purpose of not icing the sides when the filling in the middle is 1/2 inch thick!

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Yes, I like cakes like that too, but they need a “finish” on the top, like the nuts on the Dundee cake.

I was thinking of “fondant”; need that be sickly sweet? Because some swirls of very dark halfbitter chocolate can also be a chic finish on a cake. I only make small cakes that I expect my guests to be able to finish at the given meal, usually in a smallish springform pan.

Yes, fondant is always going to be very sweet, as it is about 98% sugar. You can make a lot of cool details and sculptural elements with it, but it is essentially sugar play-doh. Traditional fondant is made via controlled crystallization of sugar syrup. Marshmallow fondant, which is cheap and easy and which I’ve used for a few cakes, is made by melting a 1# bag of mini marshmallows with a little water and kneading in 2# of powdered sugar. No way that’s not going to be sweet!

Agree it needs a finish. I don’t like the thick fondants preferring an iced cake to have flavour. ExamplesI like include coffee or chocolate icing or ganaches, or one of my favourites a lemon icing made with just icing sugar and lemon juice drizzled over the top - the centre contains a nice tart lemon curd.

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I’ve never made that, and am certainly not going to start now! Nothing like melting (faire fondre) dark bitter chocolate that is about 5% sugar!

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

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