Naked and semi-naked cakes what is the difference

Naked cakes and semi naked cakes are so popular….but what are they?

Traditionally a cake consists of layers of sponge, a filling such as buttercream and covered in a layer of fondant icing or thick buttercream. A naked cake doesn’t have a covering – hence the term naked.

Naked cakes vs Semi-naked – what’s the difference?

A true naked cake is a sponge cake, with a buttercream filling in between the tiers and nothing else. A semi-naked cake is the same, but has a slight buttercream covering over the whole cake. Generally when people ask for a a naked cake, they often mean semi-naked.

We prefer semi-naked cakes, that little scrape of buttercream around the edge makes all the difference:

  • It helps seal in the freshness. Cakes do not like being exposed to the air, the longer a sponge is left exposed, the drier it will get.
  • It makes the cake slightly more even. So although you want a rustic cake, this just refines the edges slightly to give it a professional look.
  • They are more stable. Adding this thin layer of buttercream around the edge means the cake is less likely to slip and move.
  • Consistency. You can still see the sponge, but the overall look is the same colour and looks consistent.

Rustic naked cakes

We are certain naked cakes were invented from the rise in popularity of rustic weddings. Popular venues now include barn conversions, marquees and even yurts. A rustic venue, needs a rustic theme consisting of soft colours, upcycled decor, simple flowers, pretty candles and fairy lights. A less formal theme called for a less formal cake, and naked cakes suit this perfectly.

Displayed on large log slices and adorned with fresh flowers, if you’re having a rustic wedding, naked and semi-naked cakes are a fantastic option. See more of our rustic wedding cakes.


You can add any decoration that takes your fancy. We believe the cake is rustic and natural so the decoration should be too. Fresh flowers, simple folliage or fruit are great options for these pretty cakes.

Of course you can add a little glamour with a pretty topper, gold leaf or icing drip.

Great for all occasions

Naked and semi-naked cakes are not just for weddings, they are ideal for birthdays, engagements, pretty much any celebration.


Think about the flavours and colours.

If you have a tiered cake in different flavours, the sponges will all be a different colour. If you want a consistent look we recommend having the same flavour cake for all your tiers or choosing cakes that are similar in colour. (e.g. vanilla cake and lemon cake)

Alternatively opt for the semi-naked option; adding a thin layer of buttercream to the outside of the cake will help even out the colour for a more consistent look.