let’s get naked!


Naked cakes that is. Similarly to rustic cakes, naked cakes have grown in popularity with the rise of barn and farm weddings. It’s all about that unfinished appeal. Usually decorated with fruit or flowers, these cakes are generally perceived to be “all about the cake” and not so much the decoration. But of course, we still want them to look ravishing.


It’s a common practice for naked cakes to be the showpiece of a dessert table. This coconut cake, filled with blackberry preserves and whipped cream, was paired with our Zingerman’s Bakehouse cherry pies and blueberry pies. What a summer treat!

Photos by Heather Jowett
Photos by Heather Jowett

This one is truly an edible delight. The dessert table features not only an almond pound naked with cherry preserves and lots of fresh fruit, but also what we call natural cakes. These cakes are decorated in a fashion where the outside is indicative of the flavor. On the left we have hummingbird cake (banana, coconut, pineapple, pecan) filled and iced with cream cheese frosting and finished with toasted, sweetened shredded coconut. In the center is a chocolate cake filled with peanut butter buttercream, iced in chocolate buttercream with a chocolate glaze, and then topped with Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory’s award-winning peanut brittle. Wow—that one is a chocolatey-peanut buttery fantasy! Last, but certainly not least, on the right is the delightfully decadent and summery coconut cake that was filled with raspberry preserves and iced in our irresistible vanilla buttercream. Piled high with fresh raspberries…oh man, so good. And I haven’t even mentioned the Key Lime pie and cherry pie!

Photo by Harthen Studio
Photo by Harthen Studios

This cake is an alternative to the traditional naked cake style. A little bit naked, a little bit finished. We call this a rough crumb coat (sometimes called a dirty ice). The reception was held at the Ford Piquette Plant, which if you haven’t been, is a combination of finished/unfinished steel beams, stone, and brick. So to have a cake “half done” fit right in. Inside was a light and airy vanilla chiffon cake with creamy dulce de leche and salted caramel buttercream. We then added handmade gumpaste succulents, fresh blackberries (with a bit of gold dusting) and fresh sage leaves. Charming, rustic, and unique—just what the couple wanted.

Got to love being naked!

Thank you to Heather Jowett Photography and Harthen Studios for the photos.