Go Bare: 39 Naked Wedding Cakes

Proof you don't need fondant or buttercream to make a statement with your big-day confection


Photo by Ryan Ray Photography; Cake by Lele Patisserie

The old saying, "It's what's on the inside that counts," certainly applies to the naked wedding cake trend. No, you don't have to blush at the sound of this dessert—this is one aspect of your wedding day where it's totally acceptable to be in the buff.

Instead of frosting the outside of the cake with layer upon layer of fondant or buttercream, many bakers are increasing the filling between tiers and leaving layers exposed for a fresh (and delicious) look that many are calling semi-naked.

Naked cakes rose to popularity in 2013, and as more bakers began to offer these creative confections, but the style has been refined and completely elevated to a look that is definitely deserving of a place on your wedding dessert table.

Whether you're just not a fan of sweet frosting or love the rustic vibe of these bare desserts, a naked cake is a great option that allows you to have a more unique cake that still fits the "classic" mold. And with just as many ways to customize naked wedding cakes as their fully frosted counterparts, you'll be able to work with your baker to achieve a look that reflects your wedding style.

And though you don't get the extra frosting that comes along with a classic wedding cake, there are some pluses to going nude: Since these desserts don't have a barrier of buttercream and fondant, they tend to dry out faster. This means your baker will ensure it is freshly baked on the day of your wedding. And since they don't require as much prep time, they can be assembled with much less time to spare.

Ready for some major naked cake inspiration? Here are 39 of our favorites.

Chocolate-Covered Confection

Photo by With Love by Georgie

This unfrosted cake is dripping with a chocolate glaze and dotted with lush pink flowers and figs. It's perfect for the bride who wants something completely out of the ordinary.

Sweet and Light Summer Cake

Photo by Suzuran Photography; Cake by McPherson Events and Design

This naked cake with fluffy white filling is topped with a bundle of pink-hued blooms and rosy-red strawberries, and it's a gorgeous option for a low-key outdoor wedding.

Rustic (Almost) All-White Cake

Photo by Corinna & Dylan; Cake by Sweet Bones

This classic-yet-rustic cake comes lightly frosted with white buttercream and garnished with fresh flowers and succulents. Simply place it on a wooden server, as it's shown here, and it's picture perfect.

Indulgent Berry Cake

Photo by Gabriel Cabrera Photography & Styling; Cake by Artful Desperado; Recipe Available Here

This cake looks ready for an upscale backyard barbecue, so it's perfect for the bride who wants to stray from tradition. The rustic hazelnut cake is filled with mascarpone cream and blackberries throughout the layers and piled on top.

Barely Nude Cake

Photo by Olguin Photography

With almost-glazed sides, dripping chocolate, and all the adornments, this cake is hardly nude. It still gives you the feel of the naked cake trend, just with a chocolate drizzle, lots of flowers, and a cake topper.

Cascading Flower Cake

Photo by Ashley Cook Photography

Who says your centerpiece-worthy cake can't be naked? This three-tier beauty is sure to steal the show with a crawling vine of burgundy and beige blooms.

Naked Chocolate Cake

Photo by Artemis Photography; Cake by Love Bash Design

A naked chocolate cake fit with berries and fig is perfect for a whimsical, woodland wedding.

Strawberry Jam Cake

Photo by Leo Patrone Photography; Cake by Maribelle Cakery

This unfrosted wedding cake is looking extra natural thanks to raspberry jam layers and perfectly place flowers.

Towering Naked Cake

Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography; Cake by Front Street Bakery

This three-tier vanilla cake with fresh flowers and delicious buttercream is a showstopper that's ready to be put on full display at a preppy, nautical wedding.

Super Sweet Ombré Cake

Photo by La Vie Photography; Cake by Jackson Hole Cake Company

This pink ombré confection is a subtle way to use the trend, and it has a more classic feel thanks to petal-pink tulips that are bunched on top.

Island-Ready Naked Cake

Photo by Brandon Lata Photography; Cake by Buttercream Bakehouse

This semi-naked three-tier wedding cake is adorned with wildflower-like blooms that make it look ready for an island destination wedding.

Berries on Berries

Wedding cake with fruit
Photo by Emilie White

This unfrosted wedding cake is topped with a bounty of berries. It could be dressed up with a fancy cake plate for a more formal affair, but it could totally fit in a backyard soiree, as well.

Naked with Piping

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography; Cake by Sweet Hearts Patisserie

The thin rows of piped frosting dress this naked cake up a bit. It's gorgeous on the outside, but inside, this vanilla cake has alternating layers of rose-raspberry buttercream and salted caramel filling.

Super Rustic Naked Cake

Photo by Sara and Rocky; Cakewalk Bake Shop

A dusting of powdered sugar, fall flowers and pinecones, and edges that are dripping with jam filling make this cake perfect for a country celebration.

Natural Naked Cake

Photo by Katy Gray

This three-tier naked wedding cake trimmed with thin vines of eucalyptus is simple and elegant.

Summertime Strawberry Cake

Photo by Chris Isham Photography

This three-tier, 12-layer vanilla cake with buttercream filling, is topped with roses, greenery, and fresh strawberries that scream summer.

Ultra-Minimal Naked Cake

Photo by Hights Photography

Naked cakes already give of a minimalist vibe, so keep that theme with simply adorning it with a fern. There's no need to over-decorate your wedding cake, the delicious flavors will speak for themselves.

Dripping Chocolate Cake

Dark Chocolate Drip Wedding Cake with Blueberries
Photo by Lisa Poggi; Cake by Roxane Floquet

Drenched in dark chocolate and scattered with blueberries and figs all over, this two-tier wedding cake doesn't even feel naked. But it sure will be delicious.

Flower-Covered Naked Cake

Two-Tiered Naked Wedding Cake with Flowers
Photo by Kate Olson Photo; Cake by Ava Bakes Cakes

You can barely tell this naked cake is in the buff because of a gorgeous, big bouquet of roses and greenery on the side. Ditching the frosting that would normally be along the edges helps the flowers really shine here, giving off a super romantic feel.

Short Naked Cake

Three-Tiered Naked Wedding Cake with White Flowers
Photo by Veronica Lola Photography; Cake by Seed to Sprout

This semi-naked wedding cake is dotted with white blooms and sprigs of greenery, giving it a natural feel all over.

Desert Naked Cake

Photo by Ashley Rae Photography

If you're getting married in the desert, ditch the flowers and go naked. Go almost completely bare on the sides and then top your cake with a cactus for a chic ode to your location.

White Rose Naked Cake

Photo by Merari Photography; Cake by Cloud 9 Bakery & Café

This white-all-over naked cake is gorgeous with fresh roses and hints of fern.

The Ultimate Party Cake

Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography; Cake by Momofuku Milk Bar

If you want to bring the fun to your wedding bash, make sure your cake is rainbow. The confetti is on full display with this naked cake, and the adorning jewel-toned dahlias make it even more fun.

Sweet Peach Naked Cake

Photo by Rachael Osborn Photography; Cake by Frosted Pumpkin

This peach-colored cake is a romantic dessert made of barely there frosting and lush blooms.

Very Naked Cake

Photo by Kallima Photography; Cake by Little Island Design

This naked cake isn't holding back. With no frosting in sight, this vanilla cake leaves the fresh berries to fully come forward and provide a delicious, naturally sweet dessert.

Still-Life Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake
Photo by Jordan Voth; Cake by Kim Donker

This wedding cake looks like it could be a still-life painting in some of the world's best art galleries. But the lightly frosted cake topped with fresh fruit and flowers could be a table centerpiece on your wedding day.

Natural Gold Foil Naked Cake

Nearly-Naked Chocolate Cake with Gold Foil
Photo by Chaz Cruz; Cake by Lucky Bird Bakery

This three-tier semi-naked cake has glam gold foil on the side, but super natural layers and sparse greenery adorning the sides makes it feel laid-back.

Naked on Bottom

Photo by Eliza & Elizabeth; Cake by S'more Sweets.

A huge bouquet piled up tall makes this naked cake feel anything but bare.

Chocolate and Berry Delight

Photo by Gert Huygaerts; Cake by Sugarlips Cakes

Chocolate and berries go hand in hand. The two flavors together are already so rich, that you can leave the sides bare and still have an incredible, flavorful cake.

Overgrown Garden Cake

Photo by Jessica Lorren Organic Photography; Cake by Earth and Sugar.

This naked cake is topped with sprawling white flowers and lush greenery, making it a true stunner.

All Chocolate Naked Cake

Photo by Aaron & Whitney Photography

There's no need for any extra decor here. This tiered confection of chocolate cake and vanilla buttercream comes drizzled with all the chocolate glaze you need to make your guests drool.

Fresh Crisp Naked Cake

Photo by Whitney Furst Photography

Sometimes a simple, large pink peony is all you need to dress up a naked cake for your backyard wedding.

Naked Carrot Cake

Photo by Chad Hansen for First Mate Photography Co.; Cake by Mayflour Confections

If you're having an autumn wedding, go all in. Carrot cake cascading fall blooms makes a gorgeous (and delicious) addition.

Chocolate Mouse Naked Cake

Photo by Byron Loves Fawn; Cake by Seaweed Cuisine

This cake may be naked on the outside, but you can tell that each layer is stuffed with tons of chocolate mousse and rich chocolate cake.

Muted Fall Naked Cake

Photo by Crystal Stokes Photography; Cake by Sky's the Limit! Custom Cakes & More

Just because you chose a fall wedding, it doesn't mean you have to go super dark with your decor. This lightly frosted three-tier cake has fall berries and flowers, without leaning on typical fall themed colors.

Vanilla and Chocolate Naked Cake

Photo by Flora + Fauna; Cake by Sweet N' Flour

Who says you can't have it all? This single-tier naked cake is showing off that the happy couple decided to go all in on their cake.

Dotted-Edge Naked Cake

Photo by Daniel Cruz Photography; Cake by Naked Cakes by Terry and Brier Rose Design

With piped white dots of frosting peeking out between layers, this naked cake looks good enough to eat (and eat, and eat).

Refreshing Berry Dessert

Photo by Feather and Twine Photography; Cake by Sugar Bee Sweets

This super tall cake is massive, but still looks light and refreshing thanks to bright berries and whipped cream.

Thick-Layer Naked Cake

Photo by Becca Borge Photography; Cake by Delliquez Custom Cakes N' Catering

With thick layers of frosting and cake piled high into three-tiers, this naked cake is gorgeous as is. Add the rustic greenery and berry accents, and guests won't be able to look away.

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