Have you seen these “naked” cakes? These unfrosted but filled multi-layer cakes are all over Pinterest…and I mean, all over. I can’t go on Pinterest without seeing a naked cake each day. But did you know these stunning naked cakes can be easy to make? They are if you do a few cheats and I’m going to show you how.
First, you have to appreciate that the majority of these naked cakes seen on Pinterest are professionally made and styled for events like weddings. A professional baker baked it, a professional stylist and/or florist decorated it, and a professional photographer took it’s picture. That is a lot of talent behind one cake and that is why the pictures are so amazing. It’s daunting to even think about making something yourself that all those people collaborate on.
To make this cake their way does require a lot of skill, but to make it my way…a person with average cooking skills can succeed and create a cake worthy of Pinterest.
A few key supplies. Don’t forget to cover your cake stand in bits of parchment. You will pull these out after the cake is decorated.
Here are the items you will need:
- Cake layers – honey or apple are both great for Rosh Hashanah
- Frosting – cream cheese is great on both honey cake and apple cake
- Piping bag
- Cake stand
- Decorations (more on that below)
CHEAT #1: THE CAKE
Almost any naked cake tutorial will say you have to “torte” the cake. That means cut it in half horizontally so the layers are thinner. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do that so the cake is even and level. No way. Here is an easier way: Bake the cake in a pan 1 inch bigger than the recipe calls for. So if you have a recipe that calls for an 8 inch pan, cook it in a 9 inch. Be sure to shorten the baking time by 5 mins or so. The bigger pan will naturally make your cake thinner…and no torting required!
TIP: Sprinkle confectioners sugar on each layer before proceeding. I didn’t do that here but I will definitely do it next time as it will make it way more pretty.
Begin by placing the fattest layer on the bottom. Pipe your frosting in a circular manner, starting on the outside.
CHEAT #2: THE ICING
Another common instruction you will see for making a naked cake (or any filled cake) is to spread the frosting with a knife. Even with a flat icing knife, I have never mastered this. My icing never spreads right and I end up getting bits of cake stuck all over it. Here is an easier way: Use a piping bag to pipe the frosting. No piping tip is required nor a steady hand since the piping is just a big circle. The result is beautifully smooth ends that you don’t need to massage with a knife or anything else. A few little air bubbles add to the charm.
The layers are complete
CHEAT #3: THE DECORATIONS
Unless you are really handy arranging flowers (which I’m not) making that beautiful mound of flowers and fruit on top of the cake is hard. To make it extra stressful is the fact that you can’t really do and re-do it because the cake has powdered sugar on it and you don’t want to mess that up and get it all over your flowers. So, one shot is all you’ve got. Here’s an easier way: Buy a pre-arranged bouquet and place it on top. The ones in the picture are from JoAnn Fabrics and cost $1.99 each. I snipped off the stem but left them with a little binding left so they didn’t fall apart. The berries I did cut fully and placed freely.
And there you are, a completed and beautiful naked cake for Rosh Hashanah. Whether you serve it for your own party or bring it as a potluck item, your guests will be convinced they have already been sealed for a good year. Tag yours with #nakedhoneycake so we can check it out!