A buttercream or semi-naked wedding cake is a more modern option, ideal for couples who aren’t keen on the really clean cut, formal style of fondant wedding cakes. In fact, semi-naked wedding cakes have really only been a ‘thing’ since 2015. Before that, the concept of ‘not finishing’ a wedding cake just wasn’t something that cake designers offered. Your wedding cake options before then were fondant or buttercream. And although it’s a ‘rougher finish’, it actually takes a lot of skill to create a perfectly imperfect semi-naked cake. Any slight issue like uneven layers is incredibly obvious. The other great thing about buttercream/semi-naked wedding cakes is that they look lovely when simply decorated with fresh flowers or fruit. Overall buttercream and semi-naked cakes are at the lower end of pricing. And they work beautifully with more modern wedding venues like barns, outdoors and industrial interiors.
Tell us more about having a (buttercream or) semi-naked wedding cake…
Although I do offer buttercream wedding cakes, I don’t offer them all year round so please flag your preference for buttercream when you enquire. That way, I can be upfront about the options available to you for your wedding cake. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it’s a stylistic choice that I prefer making fondant and semi-naked wedding cakes. Secondly, I will generally avoid booking buttercream wedding cakes in between May and August when the weather can be extremely hot. It’s far more difficult to make, deliver and look after a buttercream cake in hot weather, and it does impact how good the cake looks and tastes at the end of the day. I take a similar approach for fully naked wedding cakes (i.e. no icing at all, just cake layers and filling). I don’t offer them for every wedding, but there are some situations where I would be able to offer them.
Both buttercream and semi-naked wedding cakes start in the same way – with 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of filling. Depending on the flavour, the season and a number of other factors, these fillings could be British buttercream, swiss meringue buttercream, ganache or jam. Once the cake is stacked up, a very light layer of icing is then smoothed over the outside. The technical name is a crumb coat – it’s a thin buttercream layer used to trap in all of the crumbs. For a semi-naked cake, this is the icing finished – the cake is refrigerated and later prepared for stacking. For a buttercream cake, after the cake has been refrigerated, another full coat of buttercream is added and then decorated.
If you’d like to read more detail about when they are the best fit, how suited semi-naked wedding cakes are to hot Summers, and the type of venues and designs that work well, then please head over to my blog.
What styles of buttercream and semi-naked wedding cake do you offer?
Part of the consultation process with couples is to design a wedding cake just for them – taking on board the flavours, colours and designs they like. But there are of course particular designs and techniques that are more popular, and/or that really suit my style. So these are some of the most common styles and techniques I create for buttercream and semi-naked wedding cakes:
- Textured effects
- Patisserie inspired with macarons / compotes / torched meringue / drips
- Seasonally inspired fruit / floral decorations
- Coloured effects
- Gold / silver leaf
I always provide cakes fully decorated, including supplying specialist flowers myself. If you’d like to see what I can create for your wedding, please send a note through my enquiry form.