It’s all the rage, the naked cake phenomenon. Now the ‘naked’ does indeed only refer to the lack of icing on the cake and is NOT as my husband hoped or dreamed a reference to the bakers clothing status. (Yep, that’s actually what he said. In a funny kind of way, of course… sigh.)
The trend started to really take off a couple of years ago, although there were a few bakeries, mine included, who offered cakes with just beautiful piped frosting between the layers and nothing else, for quite some time. But these cakes were rarely intended as wedding cakes or celebration cakes. Think maybe more in the lines of a bigger cupcake for an afternoon tea. But the naked cake is still going strong and it’s actually becoming my wedding cake best seller.
As easy and delicious as it looks, there are a few hiccups with these cakes. In fact there are many bakers who will not sell them, period. So here are a few tips and tricks to help you along:
- The number one problem I would say is that un-iced cakes dry out super fast and the last thing you want to deliver is a crumbly, dried out cake. To avoid this, I wrap the cake as soon as it’s out of the pan in many layers of cling wrap and refrigerate them. After they are sufficiently cooled, I’ll torte, fill, stack the cake and refrigerate it for at least 15 minutes, fully assembled. After the buttercream had a chance to harden up in the fridge I’ll re wrap the whole cake in cling wrap and the cake is protected. I promise!
- The next difficulty on the list is making sure that the cake comes out of the pan easily. My pans of preference are Fat Daddios, another good brand is Magic Line. Although I am not sure if it makes much of a difference to tell you the truth. More importantly is to line the cakes with parchment rounds so that the pan releases the cake nicely. Here’s a wonderful tip: for small cakes I’ll reuse the butter wax wrappers. It works beautifully and I don’t have to cut endless circles of parchment rounds. First butter the pan, line it with parchment, butter it again, flour the buttered surface and give it a generous thump to shake out the excess flour. After the cake is baked make sure to run a small knife along the side of the cake and out it comes.
- Lastly, go with a cake recipe that bakes even. One that doesn’t have a huge hump in the middle. You want to have your cake layers as even as possible. Baking Strips do help a bit and I use them with all my cakes. Make sure to soak them in water if you bake in convection mode, in normal baking mode I’ll find just dampening them is sufficient.
And that pretty much sums it up.