Wedding Planning Guide

naked wedding cakes

Unfrosted (or partially frosted) wedding cakes are all the rage: Cake layers are sandwiched between buttercream and stacked sans fondant or frosting. This exposed look is popular with couples looking for an alternative to the traditional wedding cake; top the dessert off with simple decorations like fresh flowers, greenery, and fruit to complement the unfussy, frosting-free look

Thinking of having a naked wedding cake at your celebration? Our guide covers all the delicious options.

naked cake decorated with flowers

Photo: Mallory Renee

Style: Fully exposed layers

floral naked cake partially frosted

Photo: Jemma Keech

This style features multiple cake layers with layers of frosting sandwiched in between, but without the additional buttercream on the sides. The exposed layers have a delicious handmade feel that’s perfect for more casual and rustic celebrations.

Style: Partially frosted

floral naked cake fully exposed layers

Photo: D'arcy Benincosa

Not fully frosted and not quite naked, these partially iced confections hint at their delicious interiors.

Style: Square tiers

naked cake with square tiers

Photo: Cheyenne Schultz

For a more modern look, skip the standard round tiers and opt for squares, instead. The end result is clean and crisp, but just as delectable.

Style: Chocolate

chocolate naked cake with fruit

Photo: Allan Zepeda

If you and your fiancé love chocolate, then opt for chocolate cake layers combined with chocolate or coffee-flavored buttercream. Or, for a high-contrast look, choose vanilla icing to create dramatic black-and-white layers. Red-velvet cake would be a delicious option, too.

Style: Funfetti

funfetti naked cake

Photo: Dylan & Sarah Photography

Yes, please! I mean, who doesn’t love funfetti cake? Leave the layers unfrosted to reveal the colorful sprinkles baked inside. Trust us, this dessert is guaranteed to get guests pumped for the cake cutting.

Style: Single tier

floral single tier naked cake

Photo: Danielle Sabol

Hosting a small reception? Or perhaps you’re serving other desserts in addition to cake? Instead of a multi-tiered confection, have your baker create a single-tier naked cake for the cutting ceremony. Another idea would be to serve multiple single-tier cakes in different flavors to create a delicious-looking cake display.

Style: Decorated with flowers

naked cake with flowers

Photo: Matt McElligott Photography

The simplest way to decorate a naked wedding cake? Ask your florist to set aside some fresh blooms to use as cake embellishments. The design options are endless: Place a few flowers on each tier on alternating sides, go the minimalist route with blooms on just the top tier, or go all out with a lush floral cascade.

Style: Decorated with greenery

naked cake with greenery

Photo: Teneil Kable

For an elegant, pared-down look, keep things simple by adding a few sprigs of fresh greenery to the cake tiers.

Style: Decorated with fruit

naked cake with fruit

Photo: Jennifer Oliphant

Instead of flowers or greenery, you could instead decorate your naked cake with fresh, in-season fruit. Think: figs and pears in the fall and raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries in the summer.