Sometimes I realize that baking can be like art that I so enjoy creating, (and then eating!) Recently I have discovered the rustic simplicity that is a naked cake and I can’t get enough. What is a “naked cake” do you ask? Well, it’s pretty darn simple is what it is. It’s a layer cake without the hassle of frosting on the outside. Sometimes they are left completely bare, but the way I have fallen in love with them is with a super thin layer of frosting around the outside- leaving the layers clearly visible.
What’s amazing about a naked cake is that they really are a clean slate for decorating any way you choose. I love the look of flowers on them, how perfect for a wedding, shower, christening etc? I’m also excited to make some topped with berries or even drippy, gooey caramel. Really the options for decorating are endless. The options for flavors of cake and frosting also leave a lot up to your imagination, as pretty much any combo would work. I already have my mind set on making one with fresh berries layered between the cake and frosting- wouldn’t that be lovely?
I know I didn’t cut into this cake for pics to really show the texture of the cake. (I just couldn’t bear to serve it any other way than in it’s full beauty,) but man oh man is this banana cake fabulous. It is the lightest, fluffiest banana cake I’ve ever made and I know it’s the new standard recipe for any banana cake in my future. The light and fluffy cake paired with the creamy frosting is just a match made in heaven.
What do you think about this naked cake trend? Would you like a step by step tutorial on making them?
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs- room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup buttermilk- room temperature
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas Ii got this from 2 large bananas)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 oz cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat over to 375F. Prepare your cake pans by greasing, dusting with flour and lining with a parchment round. Set aside. (I used 3- 6inch pans for this cake, thinner layer in an 8 or 9 inch pan would work too.)
- In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the buttermilk and bananas until well-combined.
- In a smaller bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add them to the batter and beat on low, mixing until almost combined, finishing off mixing by hand, making sure to not over-mix the batter.
- Divide batter evenly amongst the 3 pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool before removing from pans and frosting.
- Cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and the powdered sugar, a little at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if you want a more stiff-textured frosting.