How We Made This Gorgeous Naked Wedding Cake for Less Than $25

If a spring or summer wedding is in your future, it’s possible to create a budget-friendly affair that’s as elegant as the most expensive events.

With a few clever DIY tricks, you can save hundreds of dollars and still host an evening that’s stunning, special, and stylish.

Whether you’re a new baker or a seasoned one, creating a naked wedding cake may be one of the easiest ways to save big wedding bucks. Instead of doling out $250+ for a bakery-made cake, hit the grocery store, grab a few basics, and create a one-, two-, or three-tiered DIY wedding cake. It’s easier than you might imagine, and faster than you’d ever guess.

Find out why Naked Cakes are all the rage for weddings right now!

The Budget Basics

How to Make a Wedding Cake | thegoodstuff

Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk time and money. Though it’s certainly more convenient to pay a pro to create a cake, you really only need approximately one hour of hands-on time and four hours total to prep this stunning pastry.

I started a clock in the morning, then shopped for, baked, cooled, frosted, and decorated the cake. I was able to all this in just under four hours.

Total cost for this cake rang in just under $22. That included two boxes of cake mix, a few pantry staples (eggs, oil, powdered sugar, butter), three cartons of fresh berries (which were on sale this week, hooray for spring produce prices!), and a handful of grocery store roses.

Décor tip: Look for edible flowers in the produce aisle, or wrap the bottom stems of flowers with kitchen plastic wrap and florist tape, then press them into a large dollop of frosting that can be easily removed before serving to keep your cake food-safe.

How to Make a Naked Wedding Cake

Naked Wedding Cakes | thegoodstuff

The recipe below makes a four-layer, nine-inch round cake. But if you’d prefer a more traditional tiered wedding cake, I’ve got you covered. The recipe below also works for:

2-tiered, 5-layer cake: Prepare the batter as written below. Pour a little more than half of the cake mix into two 9-inch cake pans.

Pour the remaining into two 6- to 7-inch round cake pans. Assemble the three 9-inch cake pans on the bottom, topped by the two final rounds.

3 cakes, 3-tiers each: Double the batter as written below. Pour batter into three 8-inch cake pans, three 5-to 6-inch cake pans, and spread the remaining batter between three 3-inch cake pans.

Bake same-sized cakes until centers spring back when touched lightly. Cool, frost, and decorate as desired.

Creative Cake Filling

How to Make a Naked Wedding Cake | thegoodstuff

The recipe below makes enough frosting to frost four naked cake rounds. But you’re making a cake for a wedding, so why not create a cake to remember?

Rather than straight frosting the cake, I’ve stuffed two layers with sliced strawberries and added a layer of honeyed ricotta. You can also swap in eight ounces of cream cheese or vanilla pudding for the ricotta.

Décor tip: One of the simplest ways to decorate a cake for a wedding is by adding a sprinkling of powdered sugar to give your centerpiece that delicate, dainty, fairy-kissed look.

I’d love to see your DIY Naked Wedding Cake! If you make one, snap a photo and upload it to Instagram, then tag us with @budget_bites #budgetbites!

 Find more smart tips for a budget wedding here.

Strawberry & Honeyed Ricotta Naked Wedding Cake Recipe

Yield: Four 9-inch rounds
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 4 hours

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 boxes Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Fudge cake mix
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups canola oil or melted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • Nonstick baking spray

Save even more on this dream wedding cake with Betty Crocker coupons!

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 (2-pound) bag powdered sugar (or 8 cups)
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3-5 Tablespoons milk

Strawberry & Honeyed Ricotta Filling Ingredients

  • 1 quart strawberries, sliced
  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 1 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

For the Decor

  • Fresh strawberries, raspberries, and mint leaves
  • Edible flowers, if desired
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (for sifting)

Cake Base Directions

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, eggs, canola oil, and milk.

3. Spray four 9-inch pans with nonstick baking spray. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until center of cake springs back when touched lightly. Cool completely, then invert on a cooling rack.

Buttercream Frosting Directions

5. In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat together powdered sugar, butter, and 1 Tablespoon of milk at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy.

6. Transfer into a large icing bag. Snip the top of the icing bag to create a 3/4-inch wide opening.

Strawberry & Honeyed Ricotta Filling Directions

7. In a large bowl, mix together strawberries and jam.

8. In a second large bowl, mix together ricotta, honey, almond extract, and gelatin.

Naked Wedding Cake Assembly Directions

9. To assemble the cake, place one cake on a cake stand. Pipe a thick circle of buttercream around the outer edge of the cake.

10. Fill the center of the cake with half of strawberry mixture. Gently set a second layer of cake on top.

11. Pipe a thick circle of buttercream around the outer edge of the cake. Fill the center of the cake with ricotta mixture. Gently set a third layer of cake on top.

12. Pipe a thick circle of buttercream around outer edge of cake. Fill the center of the cake with remaining strawberry mixture. Gently set final layer of cake on top.

13. Pipe frosting around the top of the cake. Carefully drag a spatula around the edges of the cake.

14. Decorate with fresh berries, flowers, and mint leaves. Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.


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