Delicious Naked Wedding Cakes: Coconut and Limoncello Cake Recipe with Honey Buttercream and Lemon Curd

21 Jan 2016

Fondant haters, lazy bakers and time-poor hosts rejoice…Naked cakes are time and budget friendly, utterly gorgeous and now you can learn how to create one for your wedding 

Image gallery

Image gallery

For those of us who gaze admiringly at a beautiful four-tiered cake with trims and bows, but baulk at the time and skill needed to create it, the new Naked Cakes book by Lyndel Miller is the answer.

Understated and elegant, naked cakes are left bare to reveal their stunning layers, which are sumptuously sandwiched together with creams and frostings, then crowned with candied fruits, edible blooms or handcrafted finishing touches.

About the book
The Naked Cakes book provides a wealth of practical information and inspiration including recipes for cakes, buttercreams, glazes, syrups and frostings; advice on flavour and colour combinations; step-by-step instructions for making your own toppers including edible flowers; inspiration for creating a lavishly styled or themed event; and handcrafted table settings and room decorations. It’s ideal for any bride or family member hoping to try their hand at baking and decorating a wedding cake.

The best bits: it’s a DIY bride’s dream
From a wedding or bride point of view, the best part about this book is that not only can readers explore the limits of creativity with a naked cake, but they can also discover the joys of DIY decor ideas and more. We’ve whittled down four reasons why the book is one you’ll probably love…


1. Innovative creations
Innovative creations to make in this book include a simple green foliage chandelier, vintage paper flowers, tissue paper garlands, super cute origami wishing boats (perfect for table favours), tissue paper pom poms and pleated paper pinwheels. There are even tips on how to style a simple eco wedding, with advice on colour palette, the cake, place setting and table decorations, plus lighting, flowers and foliage.

2. Indulgent recipes for weddings and occasions
Though not all the cake recipes in this book have been especially created for weddings, there are plenty pretty enough to be a standout cake for the big day. And Lyndel does point out which are the best for occasions such as weddings, just be sure to calculate the ingredients correctly so it will serve enough guests.

Take this coconut and limoncello with honey buttercream and lemon curd cake for example. This would go down a treat at a wedding, as would the almond and lemon cake, orange yoghurt cake with orange syrup and mascarpone buttercream, or the delicate vanilla cake with rose buttercream.  Yum.

3. It has useful features for being an experimental whizz in the kitchen
One of the most useful features of the book is the ‘This goes with that’ section at the beginning, which is an A-Z (almost, it goes to W) on excellent flavour combinations to try. Basically the aim is to get you creating and experimenting, handy for foodie brides keen to mix it up.

4. It’s not just for a wedding, it’s for life
Overall, it’s a book that will get the creative juices flowing and be a firm favourite on the bookshelf for all sorts of events in life that call for cake. Whether that’s a wedding, anniversary, baby shower or birthday party, this book and it’s delicious recipes and photography will have you covered.

Keen to try out your skills at naked cake baking? Try out this recipe from the Naked Cake book ahead of the wedding.


Coconut and limoncello cake with honey buttercream and lemon curd

“Visually speaking, this delightful cake is my favourite,” says Lyndel. “It has an air of sophistication and simply oozes style. It has a coconut cake base, which is beautifully teamed with lemon liqueur, lemon curd and notes of vanilla and honey.”


Makes one 2-tiered 20 cm (8 inch) round cake
quantity Honey buttercream 
quantity Lemon curd
2 x Coconut cakes
quantity Limoncello glaze

To crown
Lightly toasted coconut flakes 
Large lemon-yellow or cream
Organic rose petals
Small tortured willow twigs, about 10 cm (4 inches) long 
1–2 oOganic elderflower blossom sprigs 

Prepare the honey buttercream.

Prepare the lemon curd.

Prepare two coconut cakes.

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the limoncello glaze. Pour the limoncello glaze evenly over the top of the cooled cakes and allow to stand until set.

To assemble, place one of the cakes on a cake stand or serving plate. Using a clean, damp spatula, spread half the honey buttercream over the top of the cake. Place the second cake on top and spread the remaining buttercream over the top of the second cake. Use some of the buttercream oozing out of the layers to thinly ‘whitewash’ the sides. Just before serving, spoon the lemon curd over the top of the cake, allowing some to drizzle down the side. Cover the lemon curd with coconut flakes, piling them a little higher in the centre and allowing them to spill slightly over the side of the cake, into the drizzling lemon curd. Pile several large rose petals in the centre of the cake. Place the willow twigs on top of the petals and tuck some underneath. Finally, place the elderflower blossoms in and around the rose petals.

Honey buttercream
Honey flavours can vary immensely, and some change with age, so experiment and see which type works best for you. Personally, I just love the flavour of untreated honey.

270 g (9½ oz/2¼ cups) Icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
120 g (4¼ oz/½ cup) Cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon milk
1 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste or natural vanilla extract
50 ml (1¾ fl oz) Honey

Using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together for 3–5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Use it to fill or top the cake of your choice.

note: Honey will vary in sweetness, so add it to taste. If you need to add more sweetness, then add a little extra icing sugar as required.

Lemon curd
This brings back such fond memories of times in the kitchen with my grandmother. 

2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
55 g (2 oz) Unsalted butter
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) Honey
Juice of 2 lemons
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Place all the ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of just simmering water,
making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk continuously for
15 minutes or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat, cool slightly, then pour into sterilised jars, or cool and serve on
a cake. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Coconut cake
The coconut flavour of this lovely moist cake is setting trends and pleasing crowds everywhere. It’s a wonderful choice for summer events, and pairs effortlessly with fresh fruit – especially tropical fruit.

Makes one 20 cm (8 inch) round cake

280 g (10 oz) Plain (all-purpose) flour or gluten-free plain flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¾ Teaspoon fine salt
5 Large egg whites
1 Large egg
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) Coconut cream
1 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste or natural vanilla extract
1 Teaspoon coconut extract
170 g (6 oz) Unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup) Caster (superfine) sugar or stevia

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F). Lightly grease a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and use a hand-held whisk to combine well. 

Using a fork, lightly beat the egg whites and the egg in a bowl, then add the coconut cream, vanilla and coconut extract and whisk until well combined.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and the egg mixture alternately and beat until well combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 20–30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: If using stevia, make sure you use a brand that substitutes the sugar with an equal amount of stevia. Some brands use a considerably smaller quantity of stevia and this will adversely affect the batter, so make sure you check the packet.

If you prefer, you can make two thinner cakes by dividing the batter between two 20 cm (8 inch) cake tins and reducing the cooking time to 15–20 minutes.

Limoncello glaze
Limoncello is an Italian liqueur made from fermented lemons, which I am quite partial to – especially the organic variety! You can substitute Mandarinello, made from mandarins, or Arancello, made from oranges.

170 g (6 oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
2 tablespoons Limoncello

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Use it to top the cake of your choice.


Naked Cakes by Lyndel Miller (Murdoch Books) is available for £20.00.

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