When I saw the photo above I assumed it was taken before the cake was finished. Not so. Leaving the sides of a cake unfrosted is intentional.
Bakers these days are holding back frosting from wedding cakes for an exposed look that is popular with couples looking for a traditional wedding cake alternative. But is this frosting-free look right for you? These naked cakes will surely convince you.A gallery of 44 "naked cakes" is included at this Martha Stewart Weddings link.
As these couples will show, there's a naked cake for every celebration. Choose between shaved, striped layers or creative bases (think: pavlova, crêpes, or even cheese), sparsely placed icing or no icing at all, and décor that makes up for whatever frosting is missing. Even better, try new flavors, without the threat of finding a frosting to match. These naked concoctions are chic, sophisticated, and beautiful—not too sweet, but just sweet enough.
Photo via a post at the Food subreddit, where the discussion thread hashes over the pros and cons of frosting and fondant.