Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers and Mother figures out there! I am so grateful for all the amazing moms I have in my life who inspire, guide and push me to be the best and then comfort and support when things don’t turn out as I hoped, only to inspire and push me to try again. Blessed. I have been desperately wanting to try my had at these gorgeous Naked Cakes I’ve been seeing everywhere and what better occasion than Mother’s Day!
I must say this was not as difficult as I was expecting! While I do need to work on slicing the cakes to create two equal halves, overall I’m thrilled with how it turned out! And most importantly, I think my Mom is going to love it!
Nonstick cooking spray or butter for the pan
2-3/4 cups cake flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3-3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. table salt
6 oz. (12 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole or low-fat milk, at room temperature
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cup of butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons of vanilla
8 cups of icing sugar
8-10 tablespoons heavy cream
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly coat two 9×2-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment.
Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are well combined.
Add the softened butter pieces and mix on low speed for 20 to 30 seconds to mix the butter into the dry ingredients—the mixture should look a little lumpy, with the largest lumps being about the size of a hazelnut. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed for 1 min. to thoroughly blend the ingredients and aerate the batter. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed for about 15 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl after the second egg.
Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans. Use a small offset spatula or spoon to spread the batter evenly in each pan. Bake until the cakes are golden brown and the tops feel firm but spring back a little when tapped lightly with a finger, and a pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 min. Set the pans on a rack, run a table knife around the edge of each cake and let cool in the pans for 30 min. Invert the cakes onto the rack, lift the pans, peel off the parchment, and let the cakes cool completely.
Note: You can bake the cakes up to one day ahead of filling and frosting. Let the cakes cool completely, then wrap them tightly in plastic.
Once the cakes have cooled, you can level them if the tops of the cakes have mounded unevenly, by removing the top crust with a long serrated knife.
Slice each cake into two layers: start by tracing a line around the middle of the cake with a long serrated knife. Then slowly rotate the cake while following that line with the knife and cut through the cake toward the center. After a few rotations you will have sliced the cake in two.
Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.
Brush or spoon the vanilla syrup over the cooled cake halves.
Cream the butter, with a paddle beater if you have it, or a hand held mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the icing sugar, alternating with cream until desired consistently, I used 8 tablespoons of cream as I wanted a stiffer icing for this cake. And lastly add vanilla, I love vanilla so I used 2 tablespoons, but feel free to use a little less.
Place the bottom layer on a flat serving platter or a cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to keep it clean while assembling the cake. Top the layer with a scant 1-1/2 cups icing, spreading it evenly with a metal cake spatula to the cake’s edge. Repeat with next two layers.
Add the final layer and then apply a light coat of frosting (called crumb coating) to seal the cake crumbs in. Then spread (almost scrape) a very thin layer of icing over the entire cake with a small metal cake spatula or butter knife. You want to be able to see the cake layers through the frosting. Once iced, let your creativity soar and decorate the cake how ever you’d like! I wanted to use fresh flowers, however I could not find flowers that were grown without pesticides so I decided to go with fake flowers. Next time I’ll start looking for flowers sooner!
Chill the cake for at least 20 minutes or until the frosting is firm before serving!