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Make this stunning semi naked cake from Chyka Home by Chyka Keebaugh

27 Jun 2018 |

The Semi-Naked Cake


Chyka Home by Chyka Keebaugh

The trend for stunning naked cakes is continuing to grow, with these semi-frosted sponge cakes, often topped with beautiful flowers or fruit, taking centre stage at birthdays, home made weddings and stylish parties. We love the look of this semi-naked cake from the brilliant Chyka Home by Chyka Keebaugh, so we thought we'd share the recipe with you and give you a taster of what else you can find in this fabulous book.


5 eggs, at room temperature

450 g (1 lb/2 cups) caster (superfine) sugar

300 ml (10 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil

300 g (10½ oz/1¼ cups) plain yoghurt

zest of ½ lemon

1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

450 g (1 lb/3 cups) self-raising flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

roses, to garnish (optional)


For the Buttercream

500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature

500 g (1 lb 2 oz/4 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar

125 ml (4½ fl oz/½ cup) lukewarm full cream (whole) milk

2 tablespoons vanilla extract



Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Grease the base and sides of three 20 × 5 cm (8 × 2 in) round cake tins. Line each tin with baking paper.

Cream the eggs and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Gradually add the olive oil until emulsified, then add the yoghurt, lemon zest and juice and beat for 30 seconds until combined. Sift the self-raising flour, cinnamon and salt into the bowl and gently fold in using a metal spoon.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool a little before turning them onto wire racks to cool completely.

To prepare the buttercream, place the butter in a mixing bowl and, using a hand-held electric beater, mix until soft and pale. Gradually add the icing sugar and continue beating well for 5 minutes.

Add the milk (you don’t have to use it all) and the vanilla extract and mix to a smooth consistency.

Place the first cake layer, upside down, on a serving plate. Make sure the bottom is completely flat or you will have a wobbly cake (see the tips on below).

Spread about 1 cup of buttercream on top of the first layer, taking it just past the edges of the first cake. Carefully place the second cake upside down on top of the first cake and repeat the process.

Once you have placed the last cake, spread buttercream on top. Then, using a palette knife or spatula, lightly spread the remaining icing around the outside of the cake, starting from the top and moving down the sides, leaving some of the cake exposed.

Chill the cake in the fridge for 1 hour to set the icing before serving. Garnish with roses, if desired.


Tips for making the perfect semi-naked cake

Grease your pans as well as you can so the cake can be easily removed from the tin and won’t lose its shape. Imperfections can’t be hidden in a cake like this.

Allow time for the cakes to cool before adding icing and stacking them.

If you are worried about your cakes drying out, brush them with a simple sugar syrup, or use rose liqueur for that added hit of flavour.

A strong, thick buttercream filling is a must. You want your layers to sit comfortably on one another without filling oozing out the sides.

For a nice flat finish, trim the top off each cake with a sharp knife to create a stable flat surface, and stack the cakes upside down.

The sides of the cake are the heroes, so go as naked or as dressed as you like. I like an uneven smearing, to make the cake look a little rustic. Make sure you leave a good layer of icing on top for the decorations to sit on.

If you want to create a two-tiered cake, make two-and-a-half batches of the batter and buttercream recipes and use a 24 cm (9½ in) round cake tin for the bottom-tier cakes. Prepare the smaller and larger cakes as described in the recipe, then assemble your tiers once the cakes have chilled to ensure everything is stable.


Photography by Lisa Atkinson 

Chyka Home by Chyka Keebaugh is available now from good shops that sell books and online from Amazon and Waterstones.

With a natural flair for making everything practical and beautiful, Chyka Keebaugh shares practical tips and advice on her website on all things home, outdoor and food. The online magazine was first launched in January 2015, and has since grown into a must-visit destination to learn Chyka's insights and solutions on how to create a beautiful home life.

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