Could your next wedding cake be naked? According to bakers around the country, “naked” wedding cakes are one of the new trends for wedding day treats.
Don’t worry, these cakes don’t feature bare-bottomed sunbathers. Instead, “naked” refers to a cake without the outer layer of icing. Instead of placing buttercream or fondant on display, it’s the texture of the cake and the inner layers of icing themselves. The cake is essentially in its “birthday suit,” and brides across the country are requesting it this upcoming wedding season. Christina Tosi, the baker behind Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC, is credited with starting the trend. Says Tosi: “Why am I hiding all of the colorful, textural, exciting parts of being in the kitchen behind of decor?”
Also known as an “exposed edge” or “exposed crumb finish” cake, it adds another range of visual variables that couples can choose from for their special day. Professional bakers who have experience working with naked cakes say that naturally colored cakes tend to look best, like vanilla, pistachio or carrot cake. They point out that naked cakes are a great way to experiment with less traditional cake and filling flavors. Instead of being decorated with sugary flowers, real flowers, fresh fruits and other edibles are often used for decorating the cake.
One potential shortcoming of the naked cake is that it needs to be served fairly soon after preparation since there’s no icing layer to keep the cake’s moisture intact. “Twenty-four hours before it’s going to be served is the max [time] that you’d want for a naked cake to be stacked,” says Molly Lawson, a Charleston-area baker. The majority of bakers aim to make their cakes the very day they will be eaten, which can be a more risky timeline. Still, enough couples find it worth the risk.
“It’s not the same old white wedding cake with buttercream and flowers. It’s very fashionable and stylish and delicious, frankly,” says Andrea Boudewijn, owner of Superfine Bakery. Whether couples are looking for a fresh, natural look for their cake, or just a way to cut out sugary icing, naked cakes are likely to stick around as a viable wedding-day option.
“I guess this has not made its way up to Canada as I have not been getting any requests for naked cakes,” says Lior Aronivici,Owner of Amadeus Fine Cakes in Thornhill, ON, Canada. “It is only a matter of time though as trends these days seem to spread like wildfire. It is an interesting idea, but usually I only see cakes like this at the supermarket.”