Mother’s Day has long passed, but as I was amidst finals, AP exams, and all things stressful, the time to get more than four hours of sleep much less to write a blog post was sadly scarce. However, summer has finally rolled by and while Mother’s Day is no longer here, I’d like to think any day is a great day to celebrate our moms.
And so I present to you this six inch naked cake with caramelized nuts and vanilla whipped cream! A cake that sounds a lot more fancy than it actually is, this is sure to blow everyone away, mothers and all.
As I mentioned before, during this time I was extremely busy, so I had to figure something out that was quick to make while still being flavorful and elegant. I settled with using my favorite vanilla cake recipe as a base and built on that with toasted nuts and a light whipped cream which turned out to be a lovely combination.
For the nuts, I chopped up handfuls of cashews, walnuts, and pecans, but any preferred type of nut can be used in place. I then placed them into a bowl where I lightly coated them with honey, a couple pinches of cinnamon, and the smallest pinch of salt. With a spatula, I evenly spread out the coated nuts onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat (parchment paper works as well!) and I put them into a 350 degree F oven until they were brown and toasted. While in the oven, I also used a spatula to stir the nuts every few minutes. I had to make sure to watch the nuts carefully, as they can burn easily.
When I was deciding on the filling I wanted to make, I debated making some kind of buttercream, but I ultimately opted for a homemade vanilla whipped cream as I was aiming for a lighter, less filling dessert. The whipped cream filling was super easy to make; all I did was whip us some heavy cream using the whisk attachment of my electric mixer (careful not to over mix, no one wants to end up with a splitting, curdled mess!) and added a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract and powdered sugar to sweeten.
(Also side note, losing my electric whisk attachment and having to whip up cream by hand was the biggest workout in my severely nonathletic life. Definitely would not recommend.)
So after baking off my cakes in six inch cake pans, leveling the tops off, and letting them cool completely, I began the final step – putting it all together. Also, I cannot stress enough how important it is that the cakes are cool; if the cakes are even a little bit warm, the whipped cream will soften and be an absolute monster to work with. So if you have the patience of a toddler as I do, try to restrain yourself.
Moving on, to start I stuck the first layer of cake onto my cake stand with just a bit of whipped cream so the rest of the cake stayed in one place. After securing the first layer onto the stand, I used an offset spatula to evenly spread a few dollops of the filling on top. I then dispersed most of the caramelized nuts and placed the second layer of cake directly on top.
Next, I spread the whipped cream onto the sides and top of the cake in a very thin layer. Because I was short on time, I decided to do a naked cake, so I didn’t have to worry about covering the sides completely with the cream. I tried to achieve a sort of rustic, yet sophisticated feel.
I finished the cake off with a piping bag fitted with a star tip and filled with my remaining whipped cream, and piped a shell border on the bottom as well as a few simple stars on the top border. Lastly, I piled leftover caramelized nuts into the center.
And that’s how I showed all of my appreciation and love for my mom in the undoubtedly best way possible – cake! There are so many fun additions you can put in as well; flavoring the whipped cream with a different extract or folding in pureed fruit, and pairing that with different flavored cake bases makes for unlimited possibilities and room for so much creativity.
As always, thanks for reading and happy baking,