As I mentioned above, there are two types of naked cake. A fully naked cake has no icing on the outside at all. When you look at it, you can see cake layers and icing layers. A semi-naked cake is covered in buttercream all over, but then scraped back so that you can see the cake peeking through underneath.
Like with buttercream cakes, naked cakes are particularly fickle and therefore, I only offer them in certain situations. I want you to enjoy your cake, and I know that naked cakes deteriorate very quickly. So I would usually only offer naked wedding cakes to couples with small numbers to feed, delivered locally and set up about 2 hours before serving. However, they’re great cakes for Summer as they’re light to eat and look beautiful when decorated with fresh berries.
For me, semi-naked cakes are perfect all year round. In Summer, because they aren’t covered in tonnes of (meltable) buttercream and aren’t too weighty, they tend to withstand slightly higher temperatures better. The lightness of the icing also works perfectly with seasonal British fruits or flowers. In Winter, you can completely transform the same semi-naked base to a darker, richer style with dark fruits and caramels. If the cake is being set up in a cooler room during Winter, it’s also going to be more enjoyable to eat as there won’t be large amounts of firmer buttercream/ganache on the outside.
Semi-naked cakes are ‘undressed’ so by their very nature are quite modern and informal. And they’re not very popular with more traditional couples and families. Your design options are more limited with semi-naked cakes, with most couples opting for one or a combination of the following designs: fresh fruit, fresh flowers, gold/silver leaf, patisserie (e.g. macarons, dried fruits), coloured buttercream, and stencilling. As the decoration tends to be more simple, and less time and ingredients are required to make semi-naked wedding cakes, they are cheaper than buttercream or fondant cakes. If you’re curious how much budget to set aside for wedding cakes in general, or want to read about my wedding cake pricing, then please do head over to the pages linked by the text.
I love semi-naked wedding cakes and think they are a great, sustainable option. To start with, it’s likely that most decorations you pick will be compostable/biodegradable because they’re completely edible, with no wires or plastics. You’re also likely to have less waste if you choose edible decorations and serve them alongside slices, and there won’t be any leftover fondant or ganache. If you do have slices left over, they can be eaten or frozen (much easier for naked than fondant cakes).