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the most impressive cake you’ll ever decorate. very little skill required

For thanksgiving this year I baked one show-stopping ‘naked’ cake. Our family members gushed over how pretty it was AND how yummy it tasted. My secret? Cake mix and 15 minutes of decorating.

CAKE MIX??!?! (gasp). I don’t know why boxed cake mix has such a bad rap. A company that specializes in MAKING CAKE perfected a recipe to the point of mass-producing it for public consumption. This cake is downright tasty and I would bet that unless you are a self-proclaimed cake connoisseur, you couldn’t tell the difference between my Betty Crocker spice cake and one made from scratch.

That being said, this blog post isn’t about a cake recipe – or how I add some cream cheese and then mix for exactly 6 minutes to make my cake extra tasty. It is about decorating it so beautifully that no one even dares to ask how long it took to make.

The ‘naked cake’. Taking Pinterest and weddings across the country by storm. Easy on the eyes and extremely simple to create.


-cake mix (2 boxes)

-frosting (1 can)

-Garnishes (I used rosemary sprigs and raw cranberries to decorate this cake)

S T E P 1 :

Bake your boxed cake. Or your homemade cake (overachiever).

Darker cakes are better when using white frosting – I used one spice cake and one vanilla cake mix and combined the two to make all three layers (Vanilla Spice cake… sounds good to me)!

You want at least 2, ideally 3-4 layers for your cake so use two boxes or double your recipe. I baked 3, 8’' rounds.

S T E P 2 :

With a long bread knife, cut the rounded top off of each layer. Spread a nice thick layer of frosting between each layer, with the flat cake-pan side facing UP on your top and final layer. Let cool for at least an hour, but covering with plastic wrap and letting cool at room temperature overnight is ideal.

S T E P 3 :

Put some frosting in a plastic zip-lock bag and trim the corner off the bag to make a ½ inch opening.

Pipe the frosting around the outside of each layer – making sure the frosting fills in the little gap between each section of cake.

Spread another thick and smooth layer on top of your cake.

S T E P 4 :

With the flat tip of a rubber spatula (the batter scraping NOT pancake flipping variety), smooth the frosting rings flat while turning the cake around. The frosting should spread imperfectly onto the edges of each layer.

S T E P 5 :

Add some edible garnishes to the top! This festive cake is perfect for the holidays and was simply decorated with some rosemary in a half moon shape and raw cranberries where the two sides met.

The whole idea of this cake is imperfection, so have fun and experiment with edible flowers, different herbs or a-symmetrical sprinkles.

Serve for a special birthday or gathering and be proud to admit that Grandma Crocker is to thank for the recipe.


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