See ya, frosting! After multiple seasons in the spotlight, naked cakes are still trending in the wedding industry. To make these minimalistic confections, bakers skip the outer layer of frosting and let the cake's natural texture shine through. The sweet confection is then topped with anything you like—lush flowers, fresh fruit, and greenery are all fair game. Most couples choose a naked wedding cake because they love the laid-back, rustic appearance, but a memorable dessert should taste as good as it looks.
Since guests can actually see your wedding cake flavor from the outside, it's important to choose a confection flavor that complements the vibe you're after. To better understand naked wedding cake flavors, we talked to five cake bakers about their favorites.
Vanilla or Almond
Michelle Leaming from La Momo Maes Bakery in Longmont, Colorado, says light-colored cakes work well for naked or semi-naked designs (semi-naked cakes often have a light scraping of frosting for added moisture and enhanced appearance). She recommends flavors like vanilla, almond, or even coconut.
Berries and Cream
Amy Berger Roy, owner of Luckybird Bakery in Brooklyn, New York, says you can't go wrong with berries and cream (usually paired with vanilla cake). The classic taste will satisfy any guest, and the color combination looks so festive. It's a flavor that works for any season, too. Blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries are great for spring and summer while cranberries are a nice choice in the fall and winter.
Banana or Carrot
Alison Okabayashi-Ellison from Pretty Please Bakeshop in San Francisco says carrot and banana flavors work well for naked cakes. "The orange/yellow colors show a contrast between the cake and the icing that I love," she says.
If you prefer a darker wedding cake, Sabine Garrido, owner of A Love for Cakes in Maspeth, New York, suggests chocolate. The brown color contrasts nicely with fresh fruit and hints of white frosting, and it tastes great, too. "Chocolate naked cakes stay slightly more moist on the outer edges" than their vanilla counterparts, she explains. Sarah Bignell, owner of Thirsty Whale Bakery in Minneapolis, has a similar suggestion: chocolate stout cake made with Guinness beer. "It's a cool twist on the trend and a bit more dramatic," she says. "I love to pair it with our Bailey's Mousse filling!"
Vanilla Bean with Rosewater Buttercream
Roy's personal favorite naked cake flavor: vanilla bean with rosewater buttercream. "The rosewater is so subtle and sneaks up on the sweetness of the buttercream. It's fresh, aromatic, exotic, and quite exquisite," she says.
Okabayashi-Ellison also recommends red velvet cake for its vibrant hue. "It can be really pretty if there are deeper berry colors in the event's décor," she says. However, Garrido warns that the edges of red velvet cake aren't always red, so the baker may need to cut the cake down before serving.