Baking Club

9 Naked Cakes That Prove Less (Frosting) Is More

October  5, 2017

All October long, our Baking Club is making its way through Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar, possibly the Club's most technically challenging book to date. After gathering our materials, members dove right in, tackling Tosi's complicated layer cakes, each with multiple sub-recipes.

Some Tier-iffic Cakes

Photo by Lindsay MacDonald
Photo by Timmy Gibbons
Photo by Patty Eggen
Photo by Lydia Scharon Sanders

Tosi's cakes have an especially unique look because she bakes them on quarter sheet pans, cuts out the layers with 6-inch cake rings, and builds them up with the help of strips of acetate. This results in frosting-free sides that highlight layers—so-called "naked cakes."

Inspired by our club bakers? Make a naked cake yourself with one of the nine recipes below. We bet you'll agree that sometimes frosting-free is the way to be.

See what's ahead for the Baking Club this fall (and beyond) here, and get in on the action by joining us on Facebook.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • amanda russell
    amanda russell
  • Rhonda35
  • Rebekah Carlson
    Rebekah Carlson
  • BerryBaby
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


amanda R. October 14, 2017
Those cakes are seriously impressive! Great job, baking club.
Rhonda35 October 6, 2017
I don't "love" frosting, so these cakes are up my alley!
Rebekah C. October 5, 2017
So, this is a little funny, but I regularly read your articles and love them, and as I was showing my husband this article (which I totally resonate with), he informed me that you two went out in high school! So hello from Matt Carlson :) Love what you're doing here!
Lindsay-Jean H. October 6, 2017
Ha, that is funny, small world! Many thanks for the kind words Rebekah and for taking the time to comment. Hello back to Matt and best wishes to you both :)
BerryBaby October 5, 2017
I'm sure these are delicious, but I'm a frosting freak! When making or buying a cake, I'm all about the frosting first.
Lindsay-Jean H. October 5, 2017
My daughter is right there with you, she will dissect a layer cake to get at all of the frosting and leave the layers behind!