This delicious Naked Cake will be the show stopper of your party! This post and recipe will give you the secrets to make it at home.
What was the occasion for this recipe
Last week was my birthday. I am already at the “serious” age of 35. It might be strange but I am much happier now than when I was 25 or 15. I hope the trend continues so that in 10 or 20 years I am at the top of my happiness 🙂
Life at 35 has a pastel colour and a richer taste. I might be 5 kilos heavier than at 25 but I feel better in my skin. I have great people around me and a fantastic family I am so thankful about. Motherhood brought me more energy and positive aims. When I was younger I thought that at age 35 people feel already old but it’s not true. I am still expecting many new things to happen in my life, like baking a wedding cake (a big dream of mine:)) and visiting Portugal.
What kind of cake is this
This year I didn’t have enough time to make fondant decorations, so I chose a cake that I wanted to make for a long time: naked cake. It is called so is because it doesn’t have much frosting outside and the layers are visible. There are different varieties: completely naked, lightly frosted (or semi-exposed), tiered, decorated with fruits, with flowers, with both or almost without decoration…
I decided to decorate my birthday naked cake with fruit and artificial flowers. Eventually it became beautiful and delicious, even though not very light. And no wonder that the taste was good because I adapted the recipes for the bases from The Cake Bible – an incredibly useful book.
- The bases of this cake are not very common: one is made with just egg yolks and the other one contains only egg whites. As a result the yolk base is more tender and fragile. I recommend you to refrigerate both layers before cutting them in half, to avoid breakage.
- If you break a layer, that is not the end of the world. As this cake is semi-exposed, you will be able to cover the imperfections with some frosting.
- For the outside I used buttercream frosting, which is perfect for this type of semi-exposed cakes. The reason is that it “seals” the layers and covers easily broken parts.
- However if you want to make a fully naked cake, I recommend you to use a fluffier frosting like cream cheese or mascarpone frosting. My Honey Cake with Ricotta frosting is exactly this kind.
- Make sure you place on top a layer that has been at the bottom of the pan during baking. That way you will ensure an even top.
- Use a cake ring to assemble the cake easier. If you don’t have such, that’s not a big issue. Just watch closely the cake while assembling it to prevent tilting.
I hope that you like my birthday naked cake and that it would inspire you to make a similar one for your personal celebration!
Naked Birthday Cake
Cake base 1:
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅔ cup/ 160 g yogurt
- 1 ⅔ cups 200 g cake flour, sifted
- 1 cup /200 g sugar
- 3 teaspoon/ 15 g baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup/ 115 g butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cake base 2:
- 4 egg whites
- ⅞ cup/ 200 ml milk
- 2 ½ cups/ 300 g sifted cake flour
- 1 ½ cups/ 300 g sugar
- 3,5 teaspoon /18 g baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup/ 170 g butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup/ 100 g butter, softened
- 1 cup/ 100 g powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pink food colouring
- artificial flowers
- seasonal fruits
Cake Base 1:
- Grease well a 9 inch/ 23 cm cake pan lined with a circle of baking paper. Preheat oven to 350° F/ 180° C.
- In a bowl combine about ¼ of the yogurt with the yolks and vanilla. Mix gently and set aside.
- In a big mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients (including sugar) and stir in order to blend. Add butter and the rest of the yogurt and mix until homogeneous. Add the yolk mixture at 3 batches, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Pour the batter onto the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before carefully running a knife around the edges of the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool on a greased rack (be careful because it is fragile).
Cake Base 2:
- Grease a 9 inch/ 23 cm cake pan lined with a circle of baking paper. Preheat oven to 350° F/ 180° C.
- In a bowl combine ¼ of the milk with the egg whites and vanilla. Mix gently and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients (including sugar) and stir well. Add butter and ¾ of the milk and mix until homogeneous. Add the egg white mixture at 3 batches, mixing well after each addition until absorbed. Scrap the sides of the bowl.
- Pour the batter onto the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until a taster inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before carefully running a knife around the edges of the pan. Revert the cake on a greased rack and let cool completely.
- In a bowl beat mascarpone, cream cheese, vanilla and powder sugar until homogeneous.
- In a large mixing bowl whip the cold heavy cream until thick. Using a spoon add gradually the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture, folding carefully, until homogeneous.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and vanilla. Add in the sugar in several batches while beating at high speed. Add the food colouring and continue beating until fluffy.
- When the cake bases are completely cool, use a serrated knife to cut in half each one horizontally in 2 layers. Place one layer on a serving plate or a cake stand and tighten it with a cake ring. Spread ⅓ of the filling on top. Cover with another layer (different than the first one) and spread another ⅓ of the filling over it. Continue with another layer and the remaining filling. Place the last layer on top (ideally bottom up). Leave the cake in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Remove the cake ring and frost the cake all around with a very thin layer of buttercream frosting, so that the layers are still visible. Decorate with flowers and seasonal fruits.
- The cake layers are adapted from The Cake Bible.
- If you use fresh flowers for decoration, make sure that they haven’t been treated with chemicals.