Naked Vanilla Celebration Cake

  • Total Time

    3h 30m
    • Prep Time

      2h 0m
    • Bake Time

      1h 30m
  • Serves


  • Skill Level

  • 3 Reviews

    5 star rating


This beautiful naked celebration cake created by Juliet Sear, is perfect for a wedding or any celebration where you want a show-stopping centre piece.  The vanilla sponge layers combined with two types of buttercream works magically and is sure to delight your guests. Don't be put off by thinking it will take a long time to make, it is simply lots of sponge and lots of buttercream!

You can even make the sponge layers in advance and freeze them for up to a month. This recipe produces a 6 inch, 8 inch and 10 inch cake and will feed up to 100 guests. You can make two layers of this cake instead if you would prefer, just make sure you weigh you mixture before pouring it into the cake tins. The 6 inch cake needs 600g of mixture in each tin, the 8 inch needs 1kg in each and the 10 inch needs 1.8kg of the mixture in each tin.


  1. You will need to prepare 2 x 6 inch, 2 x 8 inch and 2 x 10 inch cake tins by greasing them and lining with baking parchment. You will probably be unable to make all of the mixture in one go as it will be too large, so split the ingredients evenly into a manageable size.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C, gas mark 6).

  3. First beat the butter, sugar and vanilla paste slowly until combined in a stand mixer and then beat on fast for a couple of minutes until pale and fluffy. You can use a bowl and wooden spoon but you need to allow extra time for beating.

    • 1700g Butter (unsalted)
    • 1700g Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar (We like Billington's)
    • 4 tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste (We like Nielsen Massey)
  4. Add your beaten egg a little at a time, slowly mixing until it is all incorporated. If  the mixture curdles, add a tablespoon of flour when needed.

    • 34 Egg(s) (free range) (medium )
    • 1700g Self-Raising White Flour (We like Allinson)
  5. Slowly add in the flour, scrape the bowl to make sure the bottom of mixture is well mixed. Make sure not to over beat.

  6. Spoon evenly into the tins, weighing the mixture before adding to each tin to ensure they are even. The 6 inch cake needs 600g of mixture in each tin, the 8 inch needs 1kg in each and the 10 inch needs 1.8kg of the mixture in each tin. Put your tins in the oven.

  7. The smaller cakes will cook quicker. Put the oven on for 25 minutes and then begin checking the smaller ones first, every 10 minutes or so. Check they are cooked with a sharp knife or skewer in the centre of the sponge and be springy to touch with a golden crust.

  8. Once cooked, turn on to wire rack. Once cool if not using the same day, double wrap in clingfilm and freeze if needed. These will keep well for up to a month in the freezer.

  9. For extra height and indulgence, you can split each cake in half horizontally, allowing you to add an extra layer of buttercream in between each half.

  10. You can make your favourite buttercream to sandwich the sponges together. This recipe uses a basic vanilla buttercream, with half of the mixture coloured with strawberry jam and some French strawberry coulis to make alternative coloured layers. For a Winter cake, you may want to make a caramel flavoured buttercream for more of a Winter feel.

  11. To make the buttercream, cream the soft butter until pale soft and lighter in colour with the vanilla bean paste.

    • 1kg Butter (unsalted)
    • 2 tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste (We like Nielsen Massey)
  12. Then add your icing sugar in small parts, about one quarter at a time, slowly mixing to begin with and then turn up the speed until the mixture is very pale and fluffy. Repeat until it's all mixed in.

  13. Split the mixture in half and add the strawberry jam and coulis to one half of the buttercream.

    • 1 tbsp Strawberry Jam
    • 2 tsp Strawberry Coulis
  14. Put the two buttercreams in to two separate piping bags and start sandwiching your sponges together, with alternate layers of strawberry and vanilla buttercream. You could also do this with a pallet knife instead of a piping bag if you prefer. Use the remaining buttercream to smooth around the outside and top of your sponges. This will only partially cover the sponge to give the naked cake effect.

  15. Then you just need to layer the cakes. For this you will need some cake dowels and two thin cake drums an inch smaller than your two smallest cakes so 7 inch and 5 inch. Place about 5 cake dowels into the largest cake at least an inch from the edge of the cake.

  16. Push the dowels as far down as they can go and then make a mark with a pencil on the dowels just at the top of where they are poking out of the top of the cake. You will then need to cut the dowels down to this size. Make sure that all of the dowels are even and then pop the dowels back into the cake.

  17. Place the second cake on the 7 inch drum (it is one inch smaller than the cake to stop you from seeing it) and then carefully place the second layer on top of the bottom layer. If you have a third tier, you will need to take the second tier back off and add the dowels to support the top later in exactly the same way.

  18. Once the cake is fully layered, add fruit, edible flowers or cake toppers for decoration, sticking them on, if necessary, with a bit of buttercream.

Let's Bake

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  1. 5 star rating

    Busy baking this cake , just wondered how long you cook each size for exactly.

  2. 4 star rating

    I would like to make this for my wedding cake. But I want to make the cakes in stages, and freeze them as I go along. Please can you tell me what quantities are needed for each ingredient for each of the 6, 8 and 10 inch cakes. I can't seem to work it out but really want to use this recipe to make my cake!


    Hi Louise,

    How Exciting! We would recommend the following:

    For the 6" Cake:
    400g Butter
    2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
    400g Self Raising Flour
    400g Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    8 Eggs

    For the 8" Cake:
    600g Butter
    3 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
    600g Self Raising Flour
    600g Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    12 Eggs

    For the 10" Cake:
    800g Butter
    4 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
    800g Self Raising Flour
    800g Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    16 Eggs

    We hope this helps and it turns out beautifully for you! Let us know how you get on!

    Happy Baking

    The Baking Mad Team

  3. 5 star rating

    Love this recipe, it's my go to when making a celebration cake. Have you got a chocolate version pretty please? I cannot find a naked chocolate recipe- my normal chocolate recipe is too crumbly for a naked cake. xx

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