Unfrosted (or partially frosted) wedding cakes are all the rage. Bakers have started stacking cake layers sandwiched between buttercream sans fondant or frosting. This exposed no-frosting look, known as a “naked cake” 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.
We've rounded up 22 of our favorite naked wedding cakes to inspire your own wedding dessert. As you'll see, there's a naked cake style for every type of wedding, from rustic, partially frosted cakes accented with olive branches and eucalyptus leaves, to classic, all-white naked cakes that would look right at home at a more formal wedding celebration.
Looking for even more wedding-cake inspiration? Be sure to read our roundup of 27 beautiful wedding cakes and prep for your meeting with your baker by reviewing our checklist of important questions you need to ask your cake designer. Not sure how much you should budget for your wedding cake? We break it all down in our article on what wedding cakes cost, which also includes six helpful tips on ways to save on your wedding dessert.
Thinking of having a naked wedding cake at your celebration? Keep reading to see all of the delicious options.
Photo: Natalie Bell Photography
Rustic Naked Wedding Cake with Olive Leaves
This simple-yet-elegant cake features alternating layers of vanilla cake and buttercream frosting. Leaving the layers exposed gives the dessert a delicious, handmade feel that’s perfect for more casual and rustic celebrations.
Photo: Jemma Keech
Semi-Naked Wedding Cake with Fresh Eucalyptus
Not fully frosted and not quite naked, this partially iced confection hints at its delicious interior. This elegant cake design is simply accented with eucalyptus sprigs, rose hips, viburnum berries, and a garden rose (all fresh). It also features an extra-tall base tier, which is sometimes referred to as a "double-barrel" tier because it is actually two cakes stacked on top of each other.
Photo: D’arcy Benicosa
Naked Wedding Cake with Figs
This simple, two-tier naked cake is perfect for cozy and intimate weddings. Both tiers are partially frosted and adorned with a handful of fresh-cut figs.
Puff Pastry Naked Wedding Cake
This gorgeous dessert by Sweetheart St. Johns in Portland, Ore., is a stunning take on the naked wedding cake trend. Instead of regular cake, this dessert features layers of flaky mille-feuille (French puff pastry) sandwiched between freshly whipped buttercream. The entire confection is decorated with fresh flowers and fruit like figs, strawberries, and blueberries.
Photo: Mallory Dawn
Funfetti Naked Wedding Cake
Yes, please! I mean, who doesn’t love funfetti? Leave the cake layers unfrosted to expose the colorful rainbow sprinkles baked inside. Top off the confection with a sweet cake topper flag that bears your names, or browse through our list of creative cake topper ideas for inspiration. Trust us, this dessert is guaranteed to evoke some fond, childhood nostalgia among your wedding guests and will get them excited for dessert.
Photo: Dylan & Sara Photography
Strawberry Naked Wedding Cake
This darling dessert is just about the sweetest naked wedding cake idea we've ever seen. The fully exposed cake tiers are simply decorated with fresh strawberries (some cut in half, some left whole) as well as vines of white jasmine.
Photo: John Shim Photography
Naked Wedding Cake with Square Tiers
For a more modern look, skip the standard round tiers and opt for square cake tiers with no frosting on the sides. The end result is clean and crisp, but just as delectable. This unfrosted wedding cake by Sky's the Limit Cakes features layers of coconut-vanilla cake and strawberry cake with caramel cream. The dessert was decorated with a cake topper that spelled the word "love" in gold glitter script.
Photo: Cheyenne Schultz
Petite Naked Wedding Cake
Hosting an intimate wedding or micro wedding? Or maybe you’re serving several other delicious desserts, in addition to cake? Instead of a towering, multi-tiered wedding cake, have your baker create a petite, single-tier cake that's just for the cake-cutting ceremony. Another idea would be to serve multiple single-tier naked wedding cakes, with each cake featuring different flavor combinations, to create a delicious-looking cake display.
Photo: Danielle Sabol
Floral Cascade Naked Wedding Cake
We're loving this fresh take on the naked wedding cake: Lele Patisserie sandwiched two partially frosted cake tiers between two fully frosted ones, and then decorated the front with a lush cascade of fresh cappuccino and caffe latte roses, as well as variegated geranium leaves in beautiful shades of green.
Photo: Lacie Hansen
Fresh Berry Naked Wedding Cake
We were utterly charmed by this wedding dessert laden with ripe summer berries, fresh whipped cream, and dainty flower blossoms. The homespun, nature-inspired design perfectly complimented this couple's lush garden setting. For more ideas on the perfect summer wedding theme, we have got your covered in a detailed post!
Photo: Stefanie Kapra
Naked Wedding Cake with Peonies
What is the simplest way to decorate a wedding cake? Ask your florist to set aside some fresh blooms to use as cake embellishments. This way, your cake flowers will match all of the other blooms in the floral arrangements. And 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 fresh-flower cascade.
Photo: Matt McElligott Photography
Naked Wedding Cake with Greenery
For an elegant, pared-down look, keep things simple by adding sprigs of fresh greenery to the partially frosted cake tiers. This one looks 90% frosted, which is just the perfect amount, in our opinion. Display the naked wedding cake on a wine barrel like this one if you're tying the knot in a rustic-style venue like a winery, farm, or barn.
Photo: Teneil Kable
Naked Wedding Cake with Fall Fruit
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. For other fall wedding ideas, read through our detailed post that reviews color combinations, venue ideas, wedding favors, and more!
Photo: Jennifer Oliphant
Floral Naked Wedding Cake
Accent the tiers of a semi-naked wedding cake with a pretty cluster of fresh flowers. This one features pink roses combined with thistles, waxflowers, blue thistles, and veronica. Clueless on what flowers to feature? Read our complete guide to wedding flowers by season written by a professional florist!
Photo: Mallory Renee
Naked Wedding Cake with Succulents
This chic, four-tier confection by cake designer Sweet Heather Anne features perfectly smooth, nearly fully frosted cake tiers. All you need for additional decoration are a few clusters of fresh succulents paired with delicate maidenhair ferns.
Photo: Rachel Liu Photography
Chocolate Naked Wedding Cake with Figs
If you and your fiancé love chocolate, then opt for a decadent, all-chocolate wedding cake that combines layers of chocolate cake with chocolate-flavored buttercream. This no-side-frosting design is topped with fresh blueberries, blackberries and figs. Or, you could go for a high-contrast look and choose vanilla icing to create dramatic black-and-white layers. Red-velvet cake would be a delicious option, too.
Photo: Allan Zepeda Photography
Classic Naked Wedding Cake
If your wedding style is more traditional and classic, you can't go wrong with an all-white wedding cake. These tiers are almost entirely covered in white buttercream icing, but the slightly unfinished quality gives the cake a more relaxed feel. Embellish the dessert with a cascade of cream-colored roses down the tiers and display it on a pewter cake stand to give the dessert display a regal touch.
Photo: Ashlen Sydney Photography
Citrus Naked Wedding Cake
We are loving the zingy, citrus-themed naked cake. The semi-frosted tiers are topped with lemon and lime wedges, as well as a handful of fresh kumquats. Display the dessert on a milk-glass cake stand for guests to admire before the cake-cutting ceremony.
Photo: Hannah Alyssa
Naked Carrot Cake with Caramel Drizzle
What sets this naked-cake design by Scootabaker apart are the thin, intricate layers of carrot cake and cream-cheese frosting, which give the dessert a delicious appeal. Skip the frosting on the sides and finish it with a caramel glaze, instead. Lastly, add embellishments like fresh roses and a handful of red cherries.
Naked Drip Wedding Cake
This dessert by Byron Bay Cake Boutique is a mashup of our two favorite cake trends: the naked wedding cake and the drip wedding cake. All three tiers are partially frosted on the sides before being finished with fresh-cut fruit and flowers, as well as a delicious drizzle of caramel over the tiers.
Photo: Jimmy Raper Photography
Naked Wedding Cake with Flecks of Gold
Looking to add a little bling to your cake design? We love this idea by Frost It Cakery in Thousand Oaks, Calif., which features a trio of semi-naked cake tiers that are embellished with gleaming flakes of edible gold. Topping it all off is a personalized, laser-cut cake topper bearing the newlyweds' names.
Photo: Melanie Osorio Photography
Chocolate Naked Wedding Cake with Initial Topper
This delicious-looking confection features layers of Guinness chocolate cake sandwiched between perfectly piped buttercream. Top off your wedding cake with a personalized cake topper, like these wood initials (which were hand-carved by the groom's father!).
Photo: Heidi Benjamin
Looking for more wedding cake inspiration? See how Minted's wedding invitation designs can inspire some truly one-of-a-kind wedding cakes. If you pair your cake design with a Minted product, we would love to see it! Feel free to email us or contact us on social media to share your pictures!