Naked Cake with Scrollwork

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Today, I'm going to demonstrate a beautiful naked cake with scrollwork! 

This unique cake is sure to be a favorite, whether you are making it for a birthday cake, bridal shower, or wedding! 


Semi-Dressed Cake member cake decorating video tutorial! Learn to glaze the cake to prevent dryness, and beautiful piped scrollwork!


Naked Cakes

I love the rustic feel and simplicity of a “naked” (unfrosted) cake.   Cake layers are sandwiched between layers of frosting or filling, and adorned with natural decorations like fruit, flowers, and perhaps a dusting of powdered sugar.  

The result is a cake that is surprisingly beautiful, and couldn't be simpler to assemble.

Semi-Dressed Cake

What is unique about this tutorial is that our cake is not completely "naked".  We discuss the basics of applying a glaze and assembly, but we've added an unexpected twist -- buttercream scrollwork.

I think that the effect works very well, much like the idea of a burlap and lace cake. It retains the rustic feel that the unfrosted layers provide, but somehow the elegant piping doesn't feel out of place.  It works well, and I hope that you find the final look as charming as we do!

You can find other versions of "semi-naked" cakes further down in this post.


Any cake would work well for this design, but we used the White Almond Sour Cream (doctored mix) cake.  We have a three layer 8 inch tier, and three layer 6 inch.  

We used the fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting recipe for our filling and scrollwork.  Use whatever frosting you'd like! Our Classic Vanilla Buttercream is a great choice also.

Piping Tips:  I used a Wilton tip 2 for my scrollwork.  (Tip 3 would work well also and  you may find that the slightly easier tip it is easier on your hands!)

Support:  Use your usual supports of choice for a tiered cake.   I used a cardboard cake circle beneath each tier and also 4 bubble tea straws in my bottom tier to support the top tier.  Base or pedestal of choice.

Viva paper towels:  Optional.  I used the towels to smooth down my crusting buttercream before piping.


You may want to experiment with other glazes, but we were happy with the glaze that we made with gelatin and water.  This glaze is easy to apply (with a pastry brush), and dries quickly also.  It leaves a very faint shine after setting.

1 tsp. unflavored (clear) gelatin (We used Knox brand)

½ c. boiling water

1 teaspoon sugar

Stir gelatin into hot water, add sugar.  You can chill in the refrigerator to thicken, but we added two ice cubes and stirred until thickened (does not take long!).  Once at a soft set state, it's ready to brush over your cakes to help preserve the moisture of your unfrosted layers.  (We glazed before assembling our tiers.)

**Update: Here's another glaze option for you. For our Alphabet Cake linked at the bottom of this page, we used a Sugar Glaze with good results also. We've only tried it on pound cake layers may want to do a patch test on darker cake layers to make sure it goes on clear.

A fun twist on a naked cake, this cake is dressed in buttercream scrollwork!


Notes: Naked Cake with Scrollwork 

The options are endless when it comes to naked (and "semi dressed") cakes!  You may find it helpful to look online for additional "naked cake" ideas.  Another option for naked cakes is to tint your cake batter--I've even seen ombre tinted layers.  So many ideas, so little time!  ;0) --

I mentioned in the video that it is probably best to assemble/decorate your naked cakes no more than 24 hours from the time of the event since the cake layers don't have the added layer of frosting or fondant to keep them moist.  

However, we sliced and tried this cake after it sat (decorated) in the refrigerator for 3 days and it was not dried out. I attribute this to the gelatin glaze that we brushed over the layers.  While I still wouldn't recommend assembling the cake far in advance, but for our little experiment, the glaze did seem to work well.


More Naked Cake Tutorials!

We have a couple of related cake tutorials that you may be interested, featuring "almost naked" cakes!

Here is a beautiful Semi-Naked Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting that we created for an elegant look with a rustic feel.

The difference with semi-naked cakes and the cake that we created in today's tutorial is that no glaze is needed.

The frosting in the semi-naked cake is applied all over the cake, but so thinly that it is see through. This protects the cake layers from drying out and also lends a very rustic feel.


Semi-Naked Red Velvet Cake! My Cake School member cake video section.


We've also created this trendy Alphabet Cake, filled and topped with a whipped cream cheese frosting (and glazed around the sides with a transparent sugar glaze).


A beautiful Alphabet Cake from's Member Cake Video Tutorial Section



We hope that you enjoy this tutorial. If you give our naked cake a try, we would love for you to leave a comment and photo below.


Elegant Semi-Dressed "Naked" Cake Video Tutorial by! {Member Section} So unique & beautiful!






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  1. Haha! even i noticed the 'nekkid' its so cute.. i am not a big fan of naked cakes, but this one is too adorable....i love it love it. Thanks Malissa. you are brilliant.

  2. Haha ;0) I need to change this tutorial name to "Elegant Nekkid Cake" ;0) --
    I'm so happy to hear that you like this design, especially since nekkid cakes are normally not your favorite ;0) --

  3. Are you using a coupler when you putting on the buttercream to the sides? Or did you just cut the bag?

  4. Hi Janelle- When piping the icing around the sides (in between layers) to fill in gaps and clean up the look a bit, I used a piping bag with the end snipped off. The hole is about the same as a medium round tip 10 or 12 though if you need a reference or would rather go that route. ;0)

  5. Beautiful Melissa!!
    I have to do a two tier square naked cake this weekend, a 6"/8" square. My square tiers usually come out hard and crusty (is that a real word?!) around the edges. Any suggestions on how to keep that from happening? With any other square cake, I would just trim those edges off, however with this cake, I don't believe that will work. Any tips/suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!! :)

  6. I am going to make a wedding cake with a similar design as what you piped on this cake. I am wondering what you suggest, covering the cake with fondant then piping with buttercream or even royal icing. Or just frosting with buttercream and piping with buttercream. I need to transport this cake and am just wondering what you think will work best. Thanks!

  7. Is there a list of flowers...somewhere... that is safe to use on cakes? I am aware of sickness that some flowers can cause, and the lawsuits that could happen. Thank you