If you're getting married and you've been lusting over Pinterest inspiration, then you can't have failed to notice one of the biggest wedding cake trends of the year - the semi-naked cake. The semi-naked cake has overtaken the popularity of naked cakes recently, it seems that we prefer our cakes a little more covered up! Personally, I love them and I think that their simplicity is the secret to their appeal, and also the ease in which they can be dressed up to suit all manner of wedding styles.
Simple & Floral
Stripped back buttercream reveals delicate layers of sponge underneath, and the way to keep it super simple is just to dress it with a scattering of fresh flowers.
I get asked all the time "Do I need to have drips on my wedding cake?", of course you don't have to - but they don't half look good! The drips are chocolate and they can be painted in a number of beautiful metallic colours from copper, gold and silver to the all favourite rose gold.
Bright & Bold
Semi-naked cakes lend themselves to being part of a fun and relaxed wedding, there are no rules that say a wedding cake has to be all white, in fact, they look even more awesome with a splash of bright colour!
It's so easy to incorporate the little details that are important to you when designing your wedding cake, for the cake design below I included some Pac-man and Ghost iced cookies as a nod to the couples' love of computer games.
The ultimate level of semi-naked cake decoration has to be the addition of delicious sweet treats such as macarons, meringues, doughnuts and iced cookies. There really are no limits to this kind of edible decoration; lollies, sweeties, marshmallow and biscuits would all look amazing. Also, an added bonus - there will be leftovers that can be displayed as a sweet table - winner!
Do semi-naked cakes dry out quickly?
As they have a layer of buttercream on the outside, they do not dry out as quickly as a naked cake would. They are also assembled either the evening before or on the morning of your wedding, so they will be super fresh!
Do I have to have white buttercream on the outside?
No, you really don't - in fact, I'm desperate to decorate a semi-naked wedding cake in something other than white buttercream! The only limitation on colouring the icing is your imagination - if you want it cerise, then go for it!
Can any fresh flowers be used?
As with any type of cake, care has to be taken when using fresh flowers as decoration. There are some varieties of flowers that can not be used (ie. if they are an irritant or toxic), and it is also important to remember that most flowers will have been treated with sprays whilst growing.
In order to minimise the risks, all fresh flowers are attached to the cake using a flower pic, or arranged in oasis so there is no part of the flower or stem touching the inside of the cake. There are flower growers who produce organic and food safe edible flowers that can be used on a cake risk-free.
Can I have different flavoured tiers?
Abso-flipping-lutely!!! I always recommend that you both pick your favourite flavours and then pick another one you think your guests would like! There are so many different flavour combinations, choosing them may just be the hardest bit!
Won't the buttercream filling show on the outside?
No, don't worry about that - I've got you covered! I pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of each sponge layer, in the same colour as the buttercream on the outside of the cake. this means you can have raspberry or chocolate buttercream on the inside but it won't show on the outside!
Does it matter if I choose chocolate or red velvet?
I think this comes down to personal preference, however, I have made plenty of semi-naked cakes that had chocolate and red velvet layers and I think it looks fantastic with a little bit of a darker or brighter colour peeking through the buttercream!
Can I have a traditional fruit cake tier?
The semi-naked cakes look better as sponge, this is because there are four layers of sponge with buttercream filling for each tier (which makes for a really tall tier - about seven inches high!). Fruit cakes aren't suitable for this because they aren't cut into layers, and it is really hard to bake them tall in one tin. An alternative would be to have a bottom fruit layer that was covered, and then a semi-naked layer/s on top of that.
Are semi-naked cakes suitable for a Summer wedding?
I'll be honest with you - Summer hates cakes! In the height of Summer, when it's beautifully warm and humid, no cake is immune to high temperatures - whether it be naked, semi-naked or fondant iced. However, because the buttercream icing on the outside is a thin layer, it will fare well being on display for six or seven hours.
All wedding cakes are dowelled, which means that in each tier a number of food safe dowels are cut to length and placed in the cake, to ensure that the next tier of cake above it is supported, and so it will not squash the layer below.
As with any cake, it is advisable to position it in a part of the reception room where it will not be in direct sunlight or next to a radiator etc. If you're worried that it's an above average warm day, you could always have your picture taken cutting the cake a little earlier, then the cake could be taken to the kitchen and refrigerated before serving.
What if my guests have food allergies?
We can cater for gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and vegan guests. You can either choose for the top layer of your cake to be gluten-free etc., or you can have a batch of half a dozen cupcakes to serve your guests.
Our kitchen is organised so that all gluten containing and gluten free products are stored in airtight containers in different places. Also, we keep all products containing nuts away from our baking ingredients, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that our ingredients have been manufactured in a nut-free environment.
I wonder if you're converted to semi-naked cakes yet?! I still love them, and I can see they'll be around for a while longer yet!