Wedding Trend: Cakes going Au Natural

You never want to come over dressed to a wedding, so why should your cake come over dressed either? With Bohemian wedding trends on the rise sporting styles like flower hairpieces, vintage suites and ubiquitous mason jars it is only natural that the traditional wedding cake get a hipster facelift as well. Naked wedding cakes have been popping up all over, sans outer layers of frosting or fondant, and instead bearing rustic accessories such as baby’s breath, fresh fruit, and flowers. The trend achieves a homemade, craftsman’s style that looks like it was lovingly made by your grandmother, but tastes like it came from a gourmet bakery.  The naked wedding cake’s boho, chic style is the perfect sweet addition to weddings looking to emulate a vintage, hipster, or rural vibe.

I had the delightful opportunity to correspond with Carla at Honey Crumb Cake Studio in Seattle in which she has noticed a surge in popularity for the naked cake since first receiving orders in 2012. After having a naked cake featured in Seattle Met Bride and Groom in 2013, she has been receiving loads of requests for the stylish cake and orders continue to come in. As far as flavors and décor go, Carla told me that she has made naked cakes in dark chocolate with caramel filling, lemon-lavender with honey buttercream filling, buttermilk with strawberry filling, and so on.  Carla explained that, “I always pipe a “dam” of buttercream onto the cake layer to contain the filling, so whatever filling you choose does not necessarily show through or leak out of the exposed cake layers. This means we can create a very “tidy” looking naked cakes in general.  It also seems like the tendency is *not* to put fruit or powdered sugar onto naked cakes any more — our clients want the cakes to be pretty modern and minimal in decor, which suits me perfectly because this is really my personal style when it comes to cakes. Less is more.”’ Carla has also noticed a trend towards the “nearly naked cake” in which the cake features just a light layer of outer frosting. This alternative style synthesizes the simplicity of the naked cake with a touch of rusticity that is both elegant and chic. Both styles look great and achieve a memorable status at any wedding.  Below are a few naked cakes Carla has done.

{Cakes by Carla Reich at Honey Crumb Cake Studio} Photos by Clare Barboza | Carla Reich | The Popes

I also had the chance to have a wonderful chat with Kara Burfeind at The Sweet Side in which we discussed the merits and downfalls of the naked cake trend. Kara explained that naked cakes are great for weddings with a natural, organic feel reflective of earthy, hispster wedding trends. She loves that naked cakes are so beautiful, yet so easy! Her favorites looks are those embellished with cut-open figs or mixed berries which give the cake a colorful, natural aesthetic. Other popular trends The Sweet Side sees are almond, champagne, carrot, and vanilla flavored cakes with added accessories such as fresh fruit, powdered sugar, and fresh flowers all added on-site for the freshest look and taste. However, as Kara explained, the naked cake has its caveats. According to Kara the problem is that buttercream is usually what holds the cake together and helps the cake retain moisture. Yet, without frosting it is easy for the cake to dry out which is often times the downside of naked cakes. To combat this issue, Kara reccommends flavors such as chocolate or carrot which are better at maintaining moisture. Kara is also a fan of the “nearly naked” cake which is an excelent option for moisture retention with the same aesthetic as the naked cake.

{Cakes by Kara at The Sweet Side} Photos by Vanasse Studios | Katie Parra

I love this trend and I cannot wait to see more vintage inspirations!

Happy Memory Making!

Heather xoxo

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