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I’m not sure who first started the trend of naked cakes, but I love them for it!  Seriously– you can hardly go wrong with these.  I’ve made them several times and I always feel like a cake decorating pro because I always love how they turn out!  And anyone can do this!  Here are the basic steps to get you on your way!

First– you’ll need basic cake mixes.  For a 4-layer cake, use 2 mixes and 3 cans of frosting.. Of course you can use a homemade recipe if you choose, but I’ve learned through the years that my guests love my cake mix cakes just as much or more as a scratch cake, so I just stick with the box!



Mix and bake the cake according to directions.  I like to use 8- or 9- inch non-stick spring form pans to bake.   (Click here for the type I use in various sizes.)


Bake the 4 layers and let them cool completely.


Next, you’ll need to cut off the tops of each layer to give them each a flat top.


To do this, I use a sharp, long-bladed knife, cutting gently through the cake, being careful to keep the knife straight and parallel to the counter.




This should leave you with a nice, flat surface to build upon. Repeat the process with each layer!


Once they’re all cut, it’s time to build the layers.  I like to use a couple pieces of wax paper under the bottom layer to keep my cake stand clean while I’m frosting.


I like to use whipped frosting because it is lighter and goes on easy without tearing the cake up as you apply the frosting.  Using a long off-set spatula to ice the cake, I scoop out about 2/3 of the can onto the layer and then spread evenly.





Repeat this process for each layer.




After you have stacked all the layers, you might choose to leave the cake with the sides completely naked and just decorate the top!  I’ve done that many times.

Or, you can proceed with covering the sides slightly with frosting, like I did for this cake.  In this case, simply use the remaining frosting to spread a light layer around the sides of the cake.  The beauty of this type of cake is the imperfection!  So just cover the sides as little or as much as you prefer.



Then, just remove the wax paper and decorate the top!


You can decorate these cakes with whatever your heart desires, but I love the flowers on top.  Real or faux flowers can be used, or even a combination of the two like I did for this cake!  Just a tip–if you are going with an unusual plant or flower, be sure to research that it is not harmful or poisonous since it will be in contact with the cake.  I always make sure my flowers are washed off before placing them on the cake.

Also, if you’re using real flowers, remember they will only stay fresh-looking for a few hours out of water, so save the decorating until you are ready for the presentation so they will look their best.


For this one, I started with some faux green sprigs, then added some roses and lavender for a nice combination of color and texture.



The possibilities are truly endless for this type of cake.  And they’re perfect for so many different occasions.

Here are a couple examples of naked cakes I’ve made for my girls in the past…



And here is another example of a naked cake with raspberry preserves added between the layers!  Click here for more on this one…


Hope you have fun with this!  I’d love to see some pics of your own versions of this cake!  Here are a few supplies you may need for these cakes: