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Naked Cake, Cakes, Gemma Stafford, Bigger Bolder Baking, Recipes

“Naked” Wedding Cake

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It’s wedding season so I decided to get naked for this week’s episode…Naked Cake, that is! A naked cake is a rustic style cake that is lovely for weddings. I made it with buttercream & jam and decorated it with seasonal berries and flowers. I even included hair, makeup and table setting tips to make any wedding or special event Big & Bold!

4.34 from 9 votes
Naked Cake, Cakes, Gemma Stafford, Bigger Bolder Baking, Recipes
"Naked" Wedding Cake
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 4 cup (2 lbs) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cup (2 lbs) sugar
  • 16 large free-range eggs
  • 8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cup (2 lbs) all-purpose flour, sifted (you may need a bit extra)
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • TO MAKE THE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING: (watch video for method)
  • 3 cups Butter , at room temperature
  • 6 cups Icing sugar , sifted
  • 6 tbsp Milk
  • 4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Raspberry/Strawberry jam
  • Fresh seasonal berries like strawberries , raspberries and blueberries
  • powdered sugar , for dusting
  • Greenery , like little leaves and babies breath
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. For the wedding cake I made, use 10 in., 8 in. & 6 in. cake tins.
  3. Line the bottom of the cake tins with a circle of greaseproof paper & grease with butter
  4. On a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat well to ensure you get lots of air into the mixture.
  5. In a jug whisk the eggs & vanilla together.
  6. With the mixer on high speed, beat in the eggs one at a time. You want to avoid the mixture curdling, so that it stays airy. If it does curdle, add a tbsp of flour.
  7. Sift together the flour, baking powder & salt. Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients using a large metal spoon or mix on low speed. Take wet mix off the stand mixer & fold in by hand if there is too much flour for the bowl. Be careful not to over-mix. Pour the mixture into the cake tins & fill 2/3 the way up the tin. Level with the spatula.
  8. Place in the oven & bake for about 35-40 minutes (the bigger cakes take longer), or until the cakes are well-risen, spring back when pressed gently with a finger and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and peel off the paper. Place onto a wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours. I suggest you make the cakes the day before to make it easier to frost.
  10. While they are cooling, make the Buttercream frosting. On Medium speed beat the butter for about 8-10 minutes on its own. This makes a huge difference in the end so be patient and you will be rewarded with amazing frosting.
  11. When pale in color, add powdered sugar spoonful by spoonful on Low speed. This helps make a fluffy frosting too.
  12. Turn off the mix and run a spatula under and around the frosting to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Add milk, vanilla and salt and beat on medium speed for another 5 minutes. The frosting will almost double in size and will be so fluffy and pale in color. It helps to chill your frosting before use so it's not too soft.
  13. Cut 2 layers into each cake. When cutting get down to the level of the cake. Use a long carving knife and slowly cut through . This helps to get an even layer straight across.
  14. Frost each cake separately with the buttercream and jam.
  15. How to get that Naked look: With the buttercream that comes out over the edges of the cake, use a palette knife and smooth it around the cake. This is what gives your rustic look.
  16. Dust each cake separately with powdered sugar. Try to get it on the sides also, it looks good.
  17. Lift your largest cake carefully onto your serving dish or cake stand. Followed by the second and then the top tier. You can separate the layer with a cake board if you wish for extra support. I didn't.
  18. This is the best part- Decorate around the cake with the berries and then with the greenery and babies breath. Start off with a little at first, stand back and look and add more if needed.
  19. This cake will live happily at room temperature. This recipe is multiplied for a 3 tiered cake. Divide the ingredients by 4 for one 8 inch cake. The cake is best if you make the cake the day before and then frost the next day and serve. Because it is 'Naked' and not frosted on the outside it may get a little dry around the sides if left out too long, a good reason to eat it up fast!



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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

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  1. Lois Muzzy on February 11, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    You said to make one 8″ cake to divide by 4 . My math is terrible. Can’t figure out what 1\4 of 6 is or 3 is.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 13, 2019 at 1:50 am

      Hi there,
      I am thinking this is not a math question! This is a visual thing. Cut the cake through the center to divide it in two, the divide these slices in two again! Not math.
      If you are talking about dividing the batter, then that is a different thing!
      Gemma 😉

  2. Louloubelle27 on November 12, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Hi, I just made this three tier wedding cake on the weekend and it was a massive hit with everyone! I am so proud of how it came out. Thanks, Gemma for this amazing recipe and your videos for the cake and the vanilla buttercream. I have a Thermomix that i usually use for any mixing, but i also have my old trusty stand mixer that i haven’t used in many years. I decided to dig it out for this cake and it did an amazing job, especially with the beating of the butter and the slow adding of the icing sugar in the buttercream. I’ll be keeping it on hand for more bigger bolder baking recipes into the future. Really learning a lot from your amazing website, thanks again!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Wow, i am delighted to hear that! Great job, next time please send us a photo!

      • Louloubelle27 on November 16, 2018 at 4:27 pm

        It’s the bottom photo with the K C stuck in it! ????

  3. Jyoti on September 16, 2018 at 10:35 am

    This recipe is a keeper. The cake is delicious, light and soft. I made this to celebrate my daughter’s half birthday. I layered with strawberry jam ,fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Definitely use a 8 inch pan with more than 2 inches height. It rises quiet a bit. I am simply in love with this recipe. Thanks Gemma❤️

    • Gemma Stafford on September 18, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that, keep up the great baking! Would love to see a photo next time!

      • Jyoti Bhat on September 19, 2018 at 10:16 am

        Thanks Gemma. Well the photo on this post of a half birthday cake with purple frosting is from me☺️

        • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 11:44 am

          Thank you, I saw it! well done you. The photos do not present to me in conjunction with the comments, so I see the photos out of context, thank you for letting me know,
          Gemma 🙂

  4. Kryza on August 6, 2018 at 2:07 am

    Hello Gemma!!

    I would like to do this cake for my wedding. However I can’t see how much servings you get from this 3-tiered cake.

    Can you help me with this please?



    • Gemma Stafford on August 6, 2018 at 2:46 am

      Hi there,
      The number of servings depends on how much you serve!
      This is a big cake, should serve 40 people. Usually a wedding cake is served in small portions, alongside a dessert, not really meant to feed people, just to mark the occasion. I would have a back up cake in the kitchen to make up the extra portions if required.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Windy on June 5, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Can it be done with cream cheese icing and gluten free

    • Gemma Stafford on June 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Hi there,
      I do not see why not!
      You will need to use a good quality all purpose gluten free flour for best results. I suggest you run a small experiment first, this will tell you,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. AJ Daisy on June 3, 2018 at 5:14 am

    Hi Gemma
    This cake was amazing!came out very soft and spongy…….i didn’t add any buttecream tho as it would become too sweet for my family but great….also put some pictures.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 4, 2018 at 4:14 am

      Hi there,
      Great! i am really happy to hear this, well done you,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. AJ Daisy on May 30, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    hi gemma,
    can i make this a 1 layer cake… if so how should i cut the recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 31, 2018 at 6:00 am


      You can divide this recipe by 3 and it should make one big layer of cake.


      • AJ Daisy on May 31, 2018 at 9:13 am

        Thanks ????

  8. Sana on April 19, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Is there any way to make this a chocolate cake

    • Gemma Stafford on April 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

      Hi Sana,
      Yes! There are 32ozs/910g of flour in this recipe. Replacing some of this with cocoa, which has been mixed and sieved in with the flour, will do it for you.
      The balance is what will matter. I would say 4 ounces/125g will give a good flavor, remember that is a lot of this very light ingredient.
      You can judge it as you go, or make a sample cake, to test it. If you do this you do not need to replace the flour with the same weight of cocoa. About 1/2 the quantity of cocoa can be removed from the flour, but I rarely do this.
      Butter your pans, then sieve in some of the flour cocoa mix, shake to distribute it, this will also look great for this cake.
      That is all I can think of right now, but big rule is ‘DO NOT OVER MIX’ really important with this cake.
      Gemma 🙂

  9. faye on October 25, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Gemma, I’ve never had any desire to make a wedding cake but a friend has asked me to do a 3 layer vanilla cake. I’m pretty nervous about this. If I understand correctly, I need to double this recipe for a three layer cake. Is that correct. Just to be sure, for a 3 layer cake, I make 2=6″, 2-8″ and 2-10″. I hope you can find the time to answer this comment. Thanks so much – love your recipes. Faye

    • Gemma Stafford on October 26, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Hi Faye,
      First of all the naked one here is a really large cake, in three two sandwich layers. The ingredients will not need to be doubled, but you will need to perhaps make it in batches. I have a 5 quart mixer, and I mixed all of the wet ingredients in this, then added the flour in a larger bowl.
      You can prepare all of the ingredients, 1/2 them, leave at room temperature for an hour or so, then mix in two batches. This will speed up the mixing, and allow you bake all together. Tip: allow these to go completely cold and firm up before frosting. Refrigerate until about one hour before serving. Cover well. Decorate as close as possible to serving, especially if you are using fresh fruits, Gemma 🙂

  10. Kai Meret on September 16, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Hi Gemma!
    I don’t like buttercream frosting, would it make a difference if I substituted it for any other cream? Like cheesecake filling or ganache? Then I could even imagine filling each layer with a different creme.
    Thanks in advance,
    Best wishes from a German fan 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on September 16, 2016 at 1:02 am

      Hi there Kai, you can of course use a cream cheese frosting for a cake, it is light enough to make a good filling, and yet firm enough to be piped and behave as you wish it to. If it is for a large cake it is as well to consider the other people who may be eating it too. But in general go for it, a dark chocolate ganach will work beautifully with cream cheese frosting, think chocolate cheesecake! Gemma 🙂

  11. Abby Cornelius on August 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Hi, this cake is beautiful! I want to make one of these for my parents 40th anniversary. Did you use 3 inch deep pans? Also about how many does this feed?
    Thank you so much!

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