10 Tricks to a Naked Cake

Uniced Cake by sheholdsdearly.com

Sharing is caring!

Cake decorating is one of the most advanced creative endeavors I have attempted. Let me just say, it is so much harder than it looks!!  But, over the years, I have found several tricks to get me through and a go-to cake for celebrations.

Enter the naked cake.

Aging Gracefully by sheholdsdearly.com

I know, the name sounds a tad inappropriate, but what it really means is less cake decorating for you!

This simple naked cake is easy, delicious and beautiful.

The perfect trifecta, don’t you think?

Cake Decorating for Beginners by sheholdsdearly.com

I have seen variations of the naked cake around the internet for years. They are always my favorites.


How about this woodland cake?


*This post contains affiliate links to products I know and love.*

Or this gorgeous wedding cake . . .


Gasp, see what I mean?

So, when my 40th birthday began looming, I knew exactly what I wanted for my cake.  Well, actually, I ended up making two cakes because I’m the birthday girl and I can do what I want.(wink)Naked Cake by sheholdsdearly.com

Beginning Cake Decorating by sheholdsdearly.com

I admit that turning 40 has been emotional for me at times.  It has made me very introspective these last few months, like New Year’s Eve- times ten.

I have been reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist and I realize more and more how much I want live my next forty years more peacefully, more simply. Less motivated by fear and more motivated by love.

The verse

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.”

-Proverbs 31:25

has become my theme verse as I step into this next decade.

All that being said, the huge party I always thought I wanted for my 40th was quietly canceled.  I realize how much I really love my family and our sweet, simply celebrations together.

My youngest got up at 5:30 AM to do all the laundry and dishes.  She cleaned the fridge. She tried to hang gold and white crepe paper, but was too short, so it was carefully laid out across the living room for someone taller to finish.

My other daughter ran outside to pick blackberries for my cake.

Naked Cake by sheholdsdearly.com

I took a nap. One of those where you don’t care what time it is, you just wake up when you are finally rested.

My fifteen year old daughter asked my husband to take her to the store.  She went to buy a lemon.  Her plan was to “make lemon water and sit on the porch with Mom for an hour- just talking about whatever we want.”

These are the things I hope I never forget.

 We all ate way too much cake batter that day and have been celebrating in various ways a little every day this week.

So, in honor of turning forty this week and learning more and more how to hold dearly, I am offering my ten best tricks for creating a splendid cake.

Here’s to simple, beautiful celebrations!

Turning 40 by sheholdsdearly.com


Simple Naked Cake by sheholdsdearly.com

10 Tricks to Making a Simple Naked Cake

  1. Use a slam dunk recipe. 

    My favorite is this White Velvet Wedding Cake (doesn’t that name just get you!) recipe.  It is made with a boxed cake mix and all kinds of added goodies. It is incredible!  Note- I don’t buy “cake flour”, I make my own.  Here is my go-to buttercream frosting recipe, too.

  2. Use different size cake pans for added interest.

    These six inch cake pans are the ones I used for my little cake.

  3. Line the bottoms of your pans with parchment paper for easy cake removal.

    Trace around the bottom of your pan and cut about a quarter inch around the inside of your circle, you don’t want the edges of the parchment paper coming up the sides of your pans. Place in the bottom of your pans and grease as usual.

  4. Use a leveling tool to make sure each cake layer is perfectly level before frosting.

  5. Place the cake on a cake stand for dramatic effect.

    Here are some cake stands I thought you might like. . .

  6. Add four skinny pieces of parchment paper, in the shape of a square, to your cake stand first.  

    After frosting, these will be carefully removed, leaving you a clean cake stand. Pull the two side ones out at the same time, then the top and bottom ones out at the same time.

  7. Put the assembled cake in the freezer for 30 minutes before frosting.

  8. Use an angled icing spatula to get the smoothe top and sides.

  9. Put back in the freezer for 30 more minutes.

  10. Add fruit, berries, herbs or whatever floats your boat!

So, even if you are new to cake decorating or consider yourself a beginner, this simple naked cake will have people believing you know exactly what you are doing!

Cake Decorating for Beginners by sheholdsdearly.com



Sharing at these parties!



  1. Vanessa
    August 10, 2017 / 12:12 PM

    Happy Belated 40th Birthday Sarah!!! May God Bless you and keep you in HIS care. You are a precious lady and a blessing to so many. Hugs!!!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      August 18, 2017 / 7:07 AM

      Thank you for your kind words, Vanessa. I really needed those today.

  2. Brenda
    August 10, 2017 / 2:34 PM

    Best wishes for the next forty!

    The Proverbs 31 passage is always one to meditate on, seeing yourself in the verses presented. Certainly our times are in HIs Hands and we want to be all He wants us to be, nothing less, nothing more.

    After years and years of gobby decorated cakes, the “naked cake” is such a welcome relief. Delicious and its simplicity is good on the eyes, as well. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      August 18, 2017 / 7:09 AM

      Thank you, Brenda. I love what you said being all that God wants us to be, nothing less, nothing more. So much to think about there.

  3. Amber Martin
    August 10, 2017 / 4:46 PM

    Your cake is so refreshing. I, too, love a naked cake. Happy belated birthday!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      August 18, 2017 / 7:09 AM

      Isn’t the simplicity lovely? Thank you for your birthday wishes. xoxo

  4. Tanya Hulbert
    August 10, 2017 / 6:49 PM

    I love how your cake turned out. Simply beautiful. My piece is waiting for me! With blackberries to top it off with! I may just make it my dinner tonight. Yep. Sounds good to me.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      August 18, 2017 / 7:10 AM

      Best. cake. ever! Hope you loved it as much as ever, sounds like B loved it.;)

  5. August 10, 2017 / 7:08 PM

    First of all, I thought you were around 3o! You are so beautiful, inside and out. Second, Happy Birthday! I’m so glad you spent it exactly how you wanted. Third, I pinned this gorgeous cake and super smart tips. Lastly, I stared at the pics for 15 minutes! Your cake could be a poster in a bake shop! So lovely. Hope you have a great weekend and I look forward to the next decade of fabulous posts!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      August 18, 2017 / 7:11 AM

      Oh thank you, haha, I will receive that compliment. But, tis true, I am really 40. Thank you for all your encouragement and compliments.

  6. August 11, 2017 / 7:27 AM

    What an elegant cake, Sarah! I would like to feature it on my blog in my next “Second Tuesday Art Walk” roundup. Would you give me permission to use one of your photos for this? Check out my website and let me know. Thanks much!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      August 18, 2017 / 7:14 AM

      Yes, of course, thank you so much!

  7. Linda
    August 11, 2017 / 12:59 PM

    Happy birthday! The best is yet to come. Enjoy every year as a gift and live life to the fullest with your wonderful family.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      August 18, 2017 / 7:16 AM

      Thank you for that encouragement and sound advice.

  8. August 16, 2017 / 9:38 AM

    I hope you had a great birthday and the cake is gorgeous. As a cake decorator for over 30 years, I was delighted to see naked cakes take center stage. Thank you for the tips!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      August 18, 2017 / 6:23 AM

      Oh wow, I am so impressed with you. Cake decorating is such a challenge and I totally agree about loving the naked cake trend!

  9. Kristie Condry
    August 19, 2017 / 6:48 AM

    I thought the same as Cindy, as far as your age! I cried on my 40th birthday! After having dinner with with two other couples, we all came back to the house for coffee and cake, and the tears just came while opening cards and a couple of gifts! Silly me! I turned 62 on the 16th of August and I think about how fast time flew by!! Next month I will have major surgery on my back from developing Scoliosis in the last year due to a car wreck I had in my 20’s and have suffered in pain since my 40’s! I will be getting a new lease on life and I can’t wait to have a new life without pain/pain medications! We have prayed a lot about this and because I have no choice really and my moto will be to live life to its fullest once I recover! My daughter and husband gave me such a special birthday by just taking me to dinner and buying my favorite cake! Sarah, I have admired you for a couple of years now and you keep inspiring us each day with your words of wisdom and receipes!❤️?

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 19, 2017 / 6:39 PM

      Oh, Kristie, you’re so sweet! I’m glad your time between your forties and sixties was a happy time. I’m praying that your back surgery goes/went well. xoxo

  10. August 19, 2017 / 8:49 PM

    Happy birthday, Sarah! Forty is just the beginning of the best part of your life. Treasure every day. I like the idea of a naked cake. I have just recently discovered such a thing exists. For me it’s great because icing has always been my least favorite part of a cake, with few exceptions. Congratulations on being a featured blogger at Sundays at Home.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 19, 2017 / 6:44 PM

      I’m loving my forties and thank you for featuring my cake at your party! I hear you on “the less icing the better”.

  11. August 20, 2017 / 5:26 PM

    Than ks so much for sharing your tips! These cakes are all the craz right now and your tips are awesome!!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 19, 2017 / 6:45 PM

      You bet! I hope you get to try one very soon! xoxo

  12. August 24, 2017 / 9:25 AM

    I love baking and icing cakes but this is much simpler! I’d to try it! Happy birthday girl 😉
    Hugs, Jamie

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 6, 2017 / 3:28 PM

      Oh, you would make the best naked cake, you are so talented at baking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *