Get Naked For Valentine’s Day

Get naked this Valentines Day! Ahem, not that, silly, I’m talking about a naked cake where you keep your cake exposed in between layers of sinfully delicious cream cheese frosting. Now you get the picture, right?

Naked Cake

Wouldn’t it be awesome to bust out a cake that oozes romance and decadence? (All in between soccer practice and homework helping, naturally!).  I the idea of dressing a simple vanilla cake with red roses and decadent cream cheese frosting. It’s bold. It’s classy. It’s so delicious.

You’ll see that I’ve created two cakes from one simple vanilla recipe, but today I’m going to focus solely on the naked cake which is much easier to execute! Essentially what you see is one naked cake and a frosted cake – both adorned with roses, because roses are beautiful.

Naked Cake

I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly sure how to combine the roses and cakes together so I enlisted the help of my dear friend and floral expert, Amy Murphy, of Parties, Petal & Paper.  She is the gal that puts it all together.  Her ability to simplify a seemingly complicated task will lull you into baking in no time! And can we talk about her next-level ‘presentation’ skills? I knew she would create a scene that was sophisticated and fun (just like her!).

Naked Cake

Naked Cake 101

Ingredients for Assembly:

  1. Three layer cakes, 8″
  2. Simple vanilla frosting
  3. 18 roses, trimmed leaving a 1 – 1.5″ stem

Naked Cake

Naked Cake

Save Time & Prep Ahead

You can make the vanilla cakes one week in advance and store them in the freezer.  A day prior to decorating, take them out of the freezer and have them thaw in the refrigerator.  You can also make the frosting a day beforehand. Just thaw it on the counter for 30-60 minutes before you re-whip it.

Naked Cake

Putting It All Together
  1. Start with the bottom cake layer and frost the first layer just until the edge of the cake.
  2. Layer the next cake layer and frost the second layer just until the edge of the cake. (Refrigerate if you need to firm the frosting.)
  3. Lastly, add the third and final vanilla cake layer.
  4. Put the cake in the refrigerator to get it firm before you add the flower layer.

Naked Cake

Topping with Roses 
  1. Trim 18 roses so that the stem is long enough to be inserted into the cake layer. I did about 1″, but test one out for a sample size.
  2. Amy led us through this simple yet gorgeous process.  Enjoy this part as you transform this naked cake into a beautiful creation with each rose that you add.  Just perfection!

Naked Cake

Props & Baking Tools 
  1. Plate Props: Anthropology
  2. Cake Platter: American Heirloom
  3. Cake Topper: Juniper & Ivy Designs

Roses are red, violets are blue, make this cake and he’ll always think of you.  XO, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography


Naked Vanilla Cake

By TheSweetNerd  

January 8, 2020

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins


Cake (double recipe for three 8" rounds)

6 oz plain flour

1/2 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

4 1/2 oz unsalted butter, softened

1 cup caster sugar

4 eggs, separated

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1/2 cup milk

Cream Cheese Buttercream (double recipe)

6 oz unsalted butter, softened

9½ oz/ 2¼ cups icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted

4¼ oz/ ½ cup cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or natural vanilla extract



1Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease an 8 inch round cake tin.

2Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and combine well with a hand-held whisk.

3Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until well combined, scraping down the side of the bowl from time to time. Add the vanilla and beat until well combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and milk alternately and beat until well combined.

4Place the egg whites in another clean bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the egg whites in the batter to loosen, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Be gentle and patient in this process as you want to keep as much air in the batter as possible to keep the cake light.

5Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

1Using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together for 3–5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Use it to fill or top the cake of your choice.


1Cut cake rounds to be smooth on top.

2Layer with cake round, then add cream cheese frosting. With each layer, load into freezer for 10 minutes to help firm the frosting to carry the weight of each cake round. Place in refrigerator once you add third and final layer. Leave in refrigerator overnight.

3Decorate with trimmed roses or flowers of your choice.

Recipe Credits: Lyndel Miller


Naked Cake


  • What gorgeous cakes Cindy! I love naked cakes! I tried one for the first time at Christmas this year and I’m in love. What a way to impress your Valentine!

  • 7 years ago

    This whole naked cake thing is new to me. I love it! And those roses. Seriously. Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing, Cindy. I look forward to giving this one a try (though I don’t know where I’ll find roses so beautiful!)

  • Anna Ehrlich
    7 years ago

    Cannot wait to try this beautiful cake! Love the look, love the prep time and love the cream cheese buttercream frosting!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      7 years ago

      Thanks Anna. These cakes are amazing and I promise your family will love the cream cheese! Yum.

  • Love. Love. Love. Everything about this!! I have yet to make a naked cake but I’ve wanted to since the first time I saw one! You have inspired me, once again!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      7 years ago

      Thanks Annie. I love naked cakes too. They are simpler to execute than traditional cakes, and they hold their own in beauty and taste.

  • I am so sad that I’ve never made a naked cake. It is a must for February for me. Thanks for all the gorgeous photo inspiration!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      7 years ago

      Aww, thanks Karen! Naked cakes are fun. I think they are easier than the regular cakes. Maybe you can make it healthy! Ha, I could use more of that in my life.

Related Posts