Because it is straightforward but still elegant, and because it can be prepared in a standard kitchen, the Naked Cake is a popular choice for weddings and other types of special occasions. This chic and contemporary cake consists of a vanilla cake that has been frosted with vanilla buttercream and is topped with a variety of lovely berries. You will learn the ins and outs of making a naked cake from scratch with this recipe, including how to make the frosting and decorate the cake.

A naked cake is the way to go if you’re not a fan of frosting cakes or just want something with a more homemade appearance. Due to the fact that there is either no frosting on the outside of the cake or very little, it is possible to see through the layers of the cake and into the buttercream filling.

In 2014, Christina Tosi, the founder of Milk Bar, brought the trend of naked cakes into the mainstream, and they quickly became a popular choice for celebratory occasions such as weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, Easter, and Mother’s Day. It is easy to prepare and put together, and it is certain to be a favorite at any party you take it to.


  • Always use baking powder that has been freshly opened whenever you bake.
  • Did you know that there is a difference in the amount of salt that is contained in salted butter across different brands? Because of this, it is recommended that unsalted butter be used, and more salt should be added to the batter. Before you begin creaming the butter, you need to make sure that it has been allowed to reach room temperature. When you press your finger into butter that has been allowed to reach room temperature, you should see a slight imprint remain.
  • This cake calls for four eggs, but I only see two. If you bring the ingredients to room temperature before adding them to the batter, you’ll get better results.
  • Because vanilla plays such an important role in the flavor of the cake, it is imperative that you use real vanilla extract rather than an imitation of it.
  • Milk Not only does the addition of milk make the naked cake more moist, but it also makes it richer and gives it a more robust flavor.
  • Do not substitute ordinary sugar for powdered sugar in any recipe. The fine powder can be used to make a buttercream that has the texture of smooth vanilla velvet. It’s possible that you’ve heard of this sugar being referred to as confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar. Before you use it, you should pass it through a sieve if it is lumpy.


For the Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (360g)
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups unsalted butter softened (284g)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups whole milk room temperature (320ml)

For the Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 1½ cups unsalted butter room temperature (340g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (720g)
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream room temperature (75-90ml)


Calories: 914kcal | Carbohydrates: 119g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 94g | Vitamin A: 1526IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 2mg


Prep Time 1 hour

Cook Time 30 minutes

Chill Time 1 hour

Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Servings 12 servings

Calories 914kcal


  • Mixing Bowls
  • Stand mixer or electric mixer
  • 3 (8-inch) cake pans


  1. In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine all of the ingredients.

2. Utilize the paddle attachment of a stand mixer to beat the butter until it is silky smooth and creamy. Beat the butter on medium speed. Add the sugar to the bowl of beaten eggs, and continue mixing until the mixture becomes foamy. While the mixer is running, one egg at a time should be added, and then the vanilla extract should be added after that.

3. While the mixer is running on a low speed, add one third of the flour mixture and half of the milk. Keep combining the flour and milk together, alternating between the two, until the mixture is smooth. Evenly distribute the batter in each of the prepared pans. To determine whether the middle is cooked through, insert a wooden pick and remove it with a few crumbs still clinging to it. Bake for 30 minutes. After the cakes have rested for twenty minutes in their respective pans, they should be transferred to a cooling rack.

4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until the butter is light and fluffy and can be spread. Mix the sugar in on low speed, about a half a cup at a time, while alternating with a tablespoon of cream at each point in time, using the mixer.

5. After adding the sugar and cream, increase the speed of the mixer to medium and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.

6. After the cake layer has cooled, place it on a cake stand that you have already prepared. Spread one cup of frosting all over the surface of the cake. Place a second layer of cake on top of the first, then frost the top of the second layer with another cup of frosting. Place the last layer on the very top.

7. Spread the remainder of the frosting in a layer that is slightly thicker on top of the cake and a layer that is slightly thinner along the sides of the cake. Run the side of a big offset spatula or a bench scraper around the edge of the cake to remove any excess icing. Alternatively, you can use a bench scraper.

8. If you prefer, put some fresh berries on top. When serving naked cakes, it’s preferable to cut them after they’ve been chilled in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.


  • I use cake strips so that this naked cake will bake without developing a dome. Cake strips make certain that the entire cake rises at the same rate, which eliminates the possibility of the cake developing a dome in the middle.
  • If you combine the ingredients for the cake for an excessive amount of time, the gluten will become overdeveloped, and the finished cake will be harsh, dry, and dense.
  • Always weigh your flour before weighing it out to ensure the most accurate results. If an excessive amount of flour is added to the recipe, the cake will have a dense texture when it is baked. If you do not have a scale, you can fluff your flour using a spoon, then spoon it into your cups and then use a knife to level it out. This is the correct method to follow in order to obtain an exact measurement of flour.
  • The naked cake tastes best after being allowed to chill in the refrigerator for as long as possible. If you do this, the cake will be less likely to fall apart, and the buttercream will cling to the layers more successfully.
  • If you are planning on making the cake ahead of time, you should wait to decorate it with berries or anything else until just before it is served. Because the liquids from the berries will leak out and color the cake as it sits, adding them at the very last minute before serving is your best bet.



The cake layers and buttercream icing can both be prepared in advance so that the dessert only needs to be assembled right before serving. Wrap the cake layers tightly and let them sit out at room temperature for 12 hours after baking. The vanilla buttercream can be made the day before and stored in the fridge.


Covered and kept at room temperature, leftover cake will keep for up to four days. Alternatively, you can store it in the fridge.


After the cake has been assembled, it can be frozen in its entirety or in portions. You may freeze the cake for up to three months if you lightly cover it in plastic wrap first. Bring to room temperature after defrosting in the fridge overnight.


Fresh berries are my favorite topping for a naked cake. However, you can add whatever you choose to the top, whether it be edible flowers, sprinkles, fresh herbs, sweets, biscuits, nuts, or anything else. The cake can be customized to fit any celebration’s aesthetic.


No, the cake won’t dry out. Buttercream not only adds flavor, but also moisture, so don’t skimp when spreading it in between the cakes.

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