Naked Layer Cake Tutorial

Naked Layer Cake Tutorial

Tiered naked cakes are so popular at the moment and it's no surprise as the fruit and flowers effortlessly make the cake beautiful and delicious. This two-tier naked cake makes good use of the Victoria Sponge recipe I shared with you last week. I have used four cake tins, the kind with the removable bottoms. We are going to make two cakes for each tier, and split each in half so that each tier has four layers. We will bake at a very low temperature: 150 degrees Celsius (or 300 degrees Fahrenheit). It is vital that choose flowers that are non-toxic, and you must use flower picks to position the flowers on the cake, don't be tempted to the stems directly into the sponge. You can buy picks from sugarcraft shops or online, or you can make them yourself, I'll show you how below. Choose fruits that look beautiful but don't spoil easily or need lots of cutting, as the fruit will bleed. Depending on the weather and the type of flowers you use, the cake should make a splendid display for a minimum of three hours -- after this time, it would be a good idea to keep an eye out for any wilting flowers, at which point it would be a good idea to whisk it off and cut it up. 

Equipment:


Counter top mixers (or large mixing bowl and wooden spoon)

Kitchen scales

Small mixing bowl

Tala round, non-stick, loose base, deep cake tins (2 x 15cm diameter and 2 x 20cm diameter)

Greaseproof paper circles to fit the cake tins

Foil covered cake boards (1 x 15cm diameter and 1 x 20cm diameter)

Wire cooling rack

Cake leveller

Mini metal spatula

Large metal spatula

Table knife

Wide diameter drinking straws

Sharp kitchen scissors

Piping bag and coupler

No 6 writing nozzle

Icing sugar shaker

Food safe pen

 

Ingredients:

 

For the smaller cake:

4 medium size free range eggs

Caster sugar (around 240g)

Margarine or softened butter (around 240g )

Self-raising flour (around 240g)

 

For the larger cake

7 medium size free range eggs

Caster sugar (around 420g)

Margarine or softened butter (around 420g)

Self-raising flour (around 420g)

 

For the filling:

250g butter

330g icing sugar

Seedless raspberry jam

 

Decoration:

Fresh, non-toxic flowers

Fresh fruit

 

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit).

2. Starting with the smaller cake first, weigh the eggs, shells and all and make a mental note of how much they weigh. 

3. Crack the eggs into a bowl and set aside while you measure out caster sugar, margarine and self-raising flour to exactly the same weight as the eggs. (So if the eggs weighed 200g, weigh 200g each of caster sugar, margarine and self-raising flour.)

4. Cream margarine and sugar together, then beat in the eggs.

Step One - Mixing Batter

5. Slowly mix in the flour until the mixture is smooth. 

6. Place a greaseproof paper circle on the bottom of each 15cm diameter tin.

7. Divide the mixture equally between the two tins and bake for twenty minutes. 

Mixture in cake pans

8. After twenty minutes, turn the tins and bake for another twenty minutes. The cakes will be fully baked when they are risen and golden and spring back when pressed in the middle.

9. Allow the cake to cool for five minutes in the tin, then run a knife around the outside of the cake and turn out to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Sponge cooked

10. Repeat the process again for the larger sponge, this time using 7 eggs and dividing the mixture between the 20cm diameter tins.

11. While the cakes are cooling, make a batch of buttercream by creaming the softened butter with the icing sugar until soft and fluffy. 

12. Cover the icing and set aside for later.

13. Wash the fresh fruit and remove any stones or leaves and set aside to dry. 

Washed Fruit

14. When all four of the cakes are cool, take the cake leveller and first take off the top of the dome for each cake, so that they are flat on top, and then split each cake in half, horizontally. 

Cake leveller

15. Secure the bottom layer of each cake with a blob of buttercream onto a foil covered cake board. 

16. Spread a layer of buttercream over the cake and then take the next layer of sponge, spreading jam thinly over the surface and place on top of the first layer. 

Spreading buttercream

17. Repeat the process until all four layers are assembled. 

Assembled layers of cake

18. Construct the larger cake in the same way. 

19. Dowel the larger cake to support the weight of the smaller cake by sinking four large diameter drinking straws all the way through the cake until you feel the straws make contact with the cake card underneath. (I use a 15cm diameter cake tin positioned on top of the cake as a guide, to ensure the straws will be in the right place to support the smaller cake on top.) 

using straws to make structure

20. Using a food-safe pen, mark the straws at the point where they emerge from the surface of the cake, and cut them off so that they are flush with the surface of the cake. 

straws are flush

21. Dust each cake all over with a light sprinkling of icing sugar from a sugar shaker. 

icing sugar light dusting

22. Using a large metal spatula, lift the smaller cake on top of the larger one, securing in place with another dab of buttercream. (This is a good time to lift the whole cake onto a cake stand or plate if you are using one.)

forming the layered cake

23. Using a sharp pair of scissors, snip several sections of drinking straw for your flower picks. Cut at an angle, so you have a sharp end to poke into the cake. 

cutting straws

24. Select the flowers you want to use and cut off the heads, leaving at least 2cm of stem on each bloom. 

Flowers cut

25. Roughly plan where you want the flowers to sit on the cake and make spaces for your flower picks to sit in by taking a fresh uncut drinking straw and sinking it into the places where the picks will sit and pulling out the straw to remove a small section of sponge.

26. Sink your picks into the small cavities you have made and push them down until they are level with the surface of the cake. 

find straw holes

26. Put the largest flowers in place first, poking the stems down into the flower picks so that the picks are no longer visible. 

large flowers first

27. Add smaller complimentary flower heads and continue adding flowers until you are happy with the composition. 

more decor

28. Fit a piping bag with a coupler and a number 6 writing nozzle and fill the piping bag with buttercream.

29. Use the piping bag to squeeze out small amounts of buttercream to individually 'glue' berries in place on the cake. 

buttercream the berries

30. Glue the fruit onto the cake on the top, sides and around the base until you are happy with the overall effect. 

finished

31. Display the cake out of direct sunlight. There is no need to refrigerate the cake, but do keep an eye on it in very hot weather. 

topper

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