Strawberries & Cream Naked Cake
It took me a while to get into the whole naked cakes thing. They started popping up everywhere – my favourite food blogs, in my cookbooks – and I honestly just thought they were rather ‘meh’ looking. It even got to a point where if I spent hours pouring my heart & soul into decorating a big cake, my mom would say something along the lines of how a naked cake would be just as beautiful & considerably easier to decorate. Soul-crushing, yes, but meant with the best of intentions. I just never got it, I never thought any of them looked as ‘wow’ as everyone said. The only reason I decided to make this cake a naked one is because I wanted to showcase the gorgeous white roses that Boyfriend had given me, without them being sidelined by any over-the-top cake decor.
After making this cake, I see what everyone else saw when the naked cake craze took hold of the baking world. They’re rustic & charmingly simple, but there’s also something so elegant & clean about a naked cake that has me making heart eyes at the screen right now. I’ve seen fellow food bloggers decorate naked cakes with fresh fruit or herbs, drippy caramel, chocolate flakes, etc, but flowers are by far my favourite embellishment – there’s just something so simple-yet-classy about them. Another pro on the list is that by scraping a super thin layer of frosting around the outside you catch a sneaky peek at the slices of strawberries hiding in between the layers of frosting, a small tease of what’s to come.
Aside from looks, this is a summer cake that requires minimum effort to achieve maximum taste. The cake is a simple sponge made of ingredients you more than likely have in your kitchen right now. It’s crumbly & light & easy to make. The filling is a mixture of fresh cream & mascarpone, which is thick & creamy & easy to pile high for that added wow factor. The strawberries are fresh & seasonal & go hand-in-hand with the tangy cream filling. Perfect to bring to that summer BBQ you’ve been invited to this weekend. Need I say more?
Makes a two layer, 6-inch cake | Adapted from Linda Lomelino
- 1 ¼ cup plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 14 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon & 2 teaspoons of milk, at room temperature
- 255g mascarpone
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- ¾ cup double cream
- 200g strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease two 6-inch baking tins with butter, and line the base of each with baking parchment. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder.
- In a large bowl, use an electric whisk to beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs into the bowl one at a time, ensure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the wet mixture & gently fold together with a spatula. Once folded together, add the milk & stir together until smooth and even.
- Evenly divide the batter into the two prepared tins & bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-minutes, or until the cakes are a light golden brown & a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once baked, leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 15-minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake cools, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together the icing sugar & mascarpone until creamy. Slowly add the cream into the mix & beat until it is a spreadable consistency.
- To assemble, place one of the cake layers on a serving plate & spread generously with a thick layer of frosting. Slice up some of the strawberries & place over the frosting, even push a few slices into the sides of the frosting. Place the second layer of cake on top of the strawberries/frosting. Cover the cake with an equally generous layer of frosting as before, & use an offset spatula/knife to smooth out the frosting around the edges of the entire cake, creating a thin layer all over. Slice the remaining strawberries & use as decoration on the top of the cake or on the plate.