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asked March 22nd 2018

Semi naked wedding cake

Hi everyone. I have to make a 3 tier lemon semi naked wedding cake which will be filled with lemon curd and buttercream for my niece . She is using the cake with berries for dessert so no pressure! The first layer of each tier will be painted gold. I will need to make in advance layer up on Thursday transport 200miles on Friday and then set up Saturday My questions are : 1. will I be best using a sponge cake or Madeira cake recipe . 1 will I be best covering the cake with white chocolate ganache or buttercream. It will have to travel like this so I need something which will cope. I’m all confused . I’d be so o,eased to hear your tips. Many thanks


Hi Nookums

If it's being served as dessert, sponge may be the better choice. Madeira tends to be a little on the dry side, evenso, would be good if served with berries and a little pouring cream. Madeira has a better shelf life so you could bake it up at least a week sooner than sponge. Stored in an airtight container, it will become more moist. It benefits from a simple syrup drench which adds more moisture and flavour. Sponge cake needs to be baked as close to the event as possible to keep fresh.

With both cake type, because of the type of filling being used, ganache would be the better choice for the crumb coating. It will set harder than butter cream and prevent the layers from sliding around. As an added bonus, ganache would be easier to paint than buttercream. Both types of cake will benefit with a fine misting of simple syrup before being loosely covered with cling film to prevent excessive moisture loss.

Please let me know if this helps and if you need more information. 🙂


Hi Madeitwithlove, thank you so much for your helpful reply. Your tips have helped me feel more confident about making this cake. She knows I’m only a hobby baker and it won’t be perfect. Usually, 8 cover cakes with fondant which really helps with the transporting ...I a,ways seem to be taking a cake somewhere! Not having the fondant is making me feel very nervous. Your tips are really helpful. Just as an aside, have you made a mud cake...is it very Heavy? Thank you


I've made lots of mud cakes and really love them. I wouldn't really call them heavy as in weight. That is determined by the amount of the ingredients rather than the method. Paul's recipe is really lovely, it is dense but very moist. When I bake it for home we usually eat it with a dollop of creme fraich. Don't worry about the cake not having fondant on it. If you moisten the cake layers with simple syrup before filling, it won't dry out. You can also keep a misting bottle with you and spray the cake after setting up. Don't over do it otherwise the cake will become soggy.


Hi madeitwithlove, thank you once again for yor advice It . Makes complete sense to bake the large sizes in separate tins and do without the hassle of slicing.
Cheeky question here! What type of cake would you opt for if you were making / dealing with such a cake ?
Take care and thank you


I have favourite chocolate, lemon and victoria sponge recipes and I adapt madeira recipe depending on what it's being used for. It really does depend on the purpose for each type of cake.

For instance if I want a very moist chocolate cake which is good for stacking, carving or just eating straight out of the tin, I use Paul's recipe.
Another favourite is Jane Hornby's chocolate cake. It's from her wedding cake selections but it's also great for carving. Her lemon cake recipe is dense, moist and versatile. She has a an excellent vanilla cake recipe too.

However, Mrs Jones' vanilla cake has fab reviews from many members and can be used as a tier if the flour amount is increased by a further 10%. I'm sure in the comments under her tutorial, Mrs Jones says that the cake can also be carved.

Peggy Porchen does a great all in one method victoria sponge which can be used for various applications. It is very fluffy but sturdy enough to stack for wedding tier. It cuts up beautifully for fondant fancies and other small cake designs. I've used it for making Paul's carousel cake from the tutorials.

I tend to stick to what I know works and if necessary bake trial cakes in layer pans for timing purposes. There's nothing worse than dividing a recipe up into shallow pans only to find it doesn't work. Doing it in advance prevents a lot of stress and heartache.
Experimenting with recipes is great if you'd like to extend your repertoire.


I am making a naked wedding cake for my nephews wedding in may , do you have advice on a recipe to use as the only want a vanilla cake thanks


Hi Paula Milburn

I've made several suggestions in my answer above your question. I hope you find the suggestions useful.

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