smeared frosting cakes

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This is a PB&J Chocolate cake: a three layer chocolate cake with peanut butter and raspberry jam filling. I opted not to frost it and was going for a certain look.

Does anyone know the proper term or technique for cakes that have smeared frosting like this (besides “smeared frosting”)? They are not quite naked cakes, but seem to be a shoot off of that trend. I’m also curious if anyone has a remedy for how to slice and serve tall-ish cakes with multiple cake layers to keep them straight and upright. These cake slices were leaning like crazy. I even put skewers in a slice, and it still leaned.

Also, does anyone have tips, or know how to make the filling layers a little neater and more distinct? I made a peanut butter/cream cheese/confectioner’s sugar/vanilla extract mixture and a raspberry coulis/raspberry jam mixture, and used a hot knife, but I wanted it to be more separate and distinct than it is.

Please feel free to chime in. I welcome constructive criticism and even harsh, constructive criticism. My goal is to get better at making and serving taller cakes, and to make them better looking while serving them.

I also welcome your thoughts on this kind of design. Don’t be shy, even if you are not a fan, and why. I mean it. I will not think less of you, I promise.

I’ll start:

I don’t think the smeared or close to naked look of the cakes offer enough frosting. The frosting to cake ratio is not where it should be, so when it is eaten, it might feel like one needs more frosting with every bite. The cake might dry out faster without the protection of the frosting in a cold, drying environment like the fridge. I’d even say that the sturdiness issue I had of the cake slices leaning might even be due to the lack of frosting to anchor it down.

13 responses to “smeared frosting cakes”

  1. Loving the smeared on frosting look, it’s the first time I’ve come across this before. Looks so delicious! If it’s not too warm outside, I try to keep butter cream frosted cakes out of the fridge. If your cake is moist enough you’ll get away with less frosting!


  2. I love how it looks! Actually, I think that chilling it in the fridge might give it the sturdiness you need… (with skewers too?) it just needs to be tightly wrapped so that it doesn’t dry out.


  3. You know what I noticed too about these triple layer cakes? The bottom cake layer seems to be compacted by the weight of the other two layers. They all started off being the same thickness. So I either need to find a sturdier cake, or else cut the upper cakes smaller than the lowest one.


  4. You need to make thinner (shallow not deep) cakes or just slice each of the cakes two or three times so the whole thing is not so tall. But you can also use sandwich tins because they will give you the right height for the cake (nice discussion on why you should use sandwich tins)
    I personally always use sandwich pans (tins) or if you want it perfect slice them!
    You can also buy a cake slicer there are several different types but this one is really cool
    All the best!


    • Liz,
      Thank you so much for your input! I’ve never heard of sandwich tins. Interesting. I do like these tall, but narrow, cakes, though. If I make this again and make it shorter, it would just look the same proportion as the wider cakes. I think what I need to do is decrease the size a little for the top two cakes, then cut the third one a little bit thicker. I will look into your links, though.


  5. I love this look – I’m not a big frosting fan but I reckon this would give the perfect taste without the heaviness. Fab idea.


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