This vanilla bean layer cake is an absolute showstopper, and so easy to make! Fresh berries and rich vanilla bean buttercream frosting get sandwiched between two layers of moist vanilla bean cake. Cutting into the cake reveals the gorgeous, juicy fresh berries. This Vanilla Naked Cake is perfect for any celebration!
LAYERED VANILLA CAKE
This Layered Vanilla Naked Cake Topped With Sugared Berries is for a very special occasion. Today is the tenth anniversary of WonkyWonderful. I started this little blog exactly ten years ago today with a simple text post basically saying Hello.
So much has happened in those 10 years. I could never have imagined what this website would become and how much it would change my life for the better. I am so appreciative of everyone that visits this website and those who have been supportive over the years. I can’t thank you enough.
Here is to 10 more years!
WHAT IS THE POINT OF NAKED CAKE?
Naked Layer Cakes are just a different style of cake. Minimal frosting on the outside of the cake with sugared berries, flowers etc for decoration. It is a more minimalistic style of cake for those that enjoy that look.
- 1 TBSP vanilla bean paste can be substituted for 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract, or half of a scraped vanilla bean.
- The sugared berries are optional. You can decorate the cake with just the frosting, or some fresh berries.
FROSTING PIPING TIPS/TRICKS:
- This American buttercream is very forgiving. Test the consistency by piping out a small amount onto a plate. If it flattens at all under a light touch, you need to add a bit more powdered sugar.
- This cake is “semi naked.” To create a completely naked cake, do not pipe frosting on the outer edge of the cakes, just the center and top.
- You can also frost the cake sides completely, but you’ll want to make a 1 ½ size batch of the frosting to be sure you have enough.
CAKE ASSEMBLY TIPS/TRICKS:
- Wrapping a cake in plastic wrap when it’s still piping hot will help keep evaporation from happening, which will keep your cake moist. When you unwrap the cake, the top will be sticky from the extra moisture, that’s ok.
- You can remove the cakes from the pan after about 10 minutes and tightly wrap completely in plastic wrap, then place in freezer to cool it rapidly, or for long term storage (up to 1 month).
- Store this cake tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to 6 days. Use extra buttercream to frost the cut ends and lock the moisture in. Store finished cake, tightly wrapped with plastic and foil, for up to 1 month.
- To make a four layer cake: Level one cake, then slice in half through the center to create two 1” thick cakes. Slice the second cake to create two equal size cakes. Pipe first layer with buttercream. Second layer with buttercream and well of berries. Third layer with buttercream. Top cake with more buttercream. You’ll want to make a 1 ½ size batch of the buttercream for 4 layers.
DO NAKED CAKES DRY OUT QUICKLY?
Naked layer cakes can potentially dry out quicker than traditional cakes because they don’t have all of the frosting holding in the moisture.
MORE CAKE RECIPES:
MORE RECIPES WITH BERRIES:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 3 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled into measuring cup
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, *see notes for substitutions
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup strawberries, diced
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- 2 cups (4 sticks) salted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, *see notes for substitutions
- 6-7 cups confectioners sugar
- 3-4 tablespoon heavy cream
- SUGARED BERRIES (optional):
- 1 cup fresh strawberries
- ¼ cup each: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries
- 2 teaspoon meringue powder (or 1 pasteurized egg white, beaten)
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
Line two 9” cake straight sided cake pans with a circle of parchment paper, coat sides of pans and parchment with non stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350℉.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter at medium speed until it’s no longer lumpy, add sugar and beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time on low speed until incorporated.
Whisk or sift the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add one third of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mix at low speed until just combined, add half of the milk, mix until combined. Continue alternating dry ingredients and milk until combined, ending with the dry ingredients. Mix in the vanilla bean paste and almond extract.
Use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold a scoop of the egg whites into the cake batter until just combined. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
Divide evenly between the pans, bake on middle rack for 26-30 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Remove cakes and cool on the countertop for 10 minutes, cover tightly with plastic wrap and cool for another 15 minutes to prevent evaporation (this will keep your cake moist). Keep covered and cool completely in the refrigerator (about 1 hour), or remove the plastic wrap and cool completely at room temperature (2+ hours).
In a large bowl, or using a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add in the vanilla bean paste and 1 cup powdered sugar, beat on lowest speed until just combined. Continue adding powdered sugar and splashes of heavy cream and mixing on low until desired consistency and sweetness is reached. If you need it thicker, add a bit of powdered sugar. If you need it thinner, add a splash of cream. The frosting should be thick enough to hold it’s shape and support the cake. Place frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
Mix meringue powder with water in a small bowl. If using an egg white, do not add water. Use a pastry brush to dab a bit of the meringue mixture onto the berries, let excess drip off, roll in sugar and place on a cooling rack until dry, about 15 minutes.
Line serving platter with 4 rectangles of parchment paper to keep it clean during decorating. Level the bottom cake layer with a large serrated knife to remove the “dome” and give the second layer a flat surface to rest on. Pipe a ¼” thick layer of frosting onto the cake, smooth with offset spatula. Pipe or dot a ½” well around the outer edge of the bottom layer. If you’d like a thicker layer of berries, pipe the well a bit higher. Place berries in the well you’ve created. Save unused berries for serving. You can now top berries with more buttercream in a spiral shape, or just place the second layer on and press lightly to seal everything in.
Pipe a ½” thick spiral of frosting on the top layer of the cake, smooth with offset spatula. Pipe a few dabs of frosting around the outside of the cake, adding more frosting to the center to be sure the two cake layers are flush, if you look straight on at the cake and it appears hourglass shape, you need to pipe more frosting in the center to fill this gap. Gently, with very light pressure, smooth the buttercream around the cake with a bench scraper. Lightly smooth the cake, removing excess frosting from the bench scraper, until the layers are revealed and the cake has straight and flush sides.
Decorate with sugared (or fresh) berries, using dots of frosting to hold berries in place. Remove parchment paper pieces and discard. Serve with any leftover berries.
1 TBSP vanilla bean paste can be substituted for 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract, or half of a scraped vanilla bean.
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Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 1905Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 76mgSodium 219mgCarbohydrates 464gFiber 2gSugar 431gProtein 7g
Nutritional information on WonkyWonderful is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.