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The minimalist cake trend is an elegant take on a favorite. But there’s a bit of an art to making naked cakes look like they do in pictures. Although these cakes are bare, we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together our best tips to help you get a beautiful cake the first time around.

Tips for Making Rustic Tiered Cakes

Naked cakes, also known as rustic cakes, are cakes left unfrosted on the sides. The belle of weddings and holiday gatherings alike, they have a homespun charm that fits in perfectly with many themes. But it takes a little confidence to forgo the traditional frosting. We’ve made it easy for you with this naked cake tutorial. Just follow these simple guidelines to get your naked cake dressed for success!

1. Start with your favorite cake recipe. In our recipe, we are using a traditional white or vanilla cake and adding HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips to the batter. When baking, make sure your baking pans are slick with grease or lined with parchment paper so that your fresh-baked beauties can slide off shapely and intact. Unlike classic cakes, you won’t have any frosting or fondant to cover up those baking imperfections.

The tops and bottoms of the layered cakes can also be sliced for an even, flat surface. The layers can be made ahead of time and should be completely cooled before building your cake — a warm cake will be too difficult to decorate.

2. Bake three pans of your favorite cake in varying sizes, allowing the bottom cake to be slightly bigger than cake layers on top. The layers should allow for space where toppings and frostings can rest comfortably on the “ledges” between each layer.

3. Choose a filling that’s been going to the gym­ — it’s got to do some heavy lifting! Buttercream or a thicker whipped frosting is perfect for holding the cake’s layers in place, with a layer of frosting seen between each cake layer. Stack and frost, stack and frost …

4. Take your naked cake for a skinny-dip. If naked cakes are left on display for too long, they can dry out a bit faster than frosted cakes. But it’s nothing that a light brush of syrup, butter or even coffee can’t fix!

We chose to add a little extra fudge around the base of each cake and pour HERSHEY’S Caramel Flavored Syrup over the top, allowing it to spill down the sides for taste, looks and another level of moisture.

5. Once the wet ingredients have been added on the cake, sprinkle your favorite topping on the exposed tops of each cake. We chose to add HEATH Toffee Bits to our cake, as shown below.

Pro Tip: Naked cakes have been known to slide around while being decorated, so be sure to chill the cake. And if possible, set it on a center dowel if you plan to move it around before serving.

Bake it your own with Hershey.

Baking is all about making a recipe your own! A naked cake shows your personality and makes a beautiful conversation piece for your next party. So go forth into the kitchen with confidence! With our heartwarming baking tips at your side, you can achieve this Pinterest-worthy creation.

And don’t sweat it if you make a mistake: Just check out our Tips for Fixing and Decorating Desserts to save any cookie or cake.