Less is more with gorgeous Pinterest-worthy minimalist cakes

Who doesn’t love cakes? Well, if you’ve been on social media for the past few months, you’ve bound to hear about the latest food craze… cake! Not just any old cake, “Korean minimalist cakes”.

Photo upon photo of these cakes are being posted everywhere online and have been on everyone’s to-do lists this month.

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What’s so special about these cakes? Well not only do people eat them with wine glasses…their simplistic look captivates the eyes of many professional (and non-professional) bakers!

What exactly is a minimalist cake?

Well, minimalist cakes are cakes that are often one or two tier and have a simple layer of colored frosting around them with a border of frosting.

A popular touch that is added is to write on top of the cake with the remaining frosting.

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These cakes are perfect for beginner bakers who have not yet mastered all the techniques. (Although let’s face it, frosting cakes is still relatively difficult no matter how much practice you’ve had).


One of the very first crazes of 2021 and of course, as it should be, it’s food related. This trendy treat started circulating the internet around mid-January and has been on every feed ever since.

Both successful and unsuccessful video tutorials have taken over the social media platform, TikTok, as well as those posting their cooking success on Instagram. These aesthetic cakes are perfect for any occasion and allow everyone to indulge their creative side.


Minimalist cakes are basically just cakes with very simple but effective decoration.

You’ll need a great recipe (keep reading and below you’ll find a simple one). Depending on the occasion or the ingredients you are limited to, the choices are entirely up to you!

The great thing about minimalist cakes is that it doesn’t matter what flavor you make, because you’ll be covering that cake entirely anyway, so the cake itself won’t be bare and visible through the frosting.

Minimalist cake recipe

If you’ve ever had a cake craving and feel like firing up the oven, never fear, here’s a basic cake recipe to get you started.

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  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 125g Butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 ½ cups standard-grade flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup of milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 Fahrenheit)
  2. Grease a 23cm x 23cm cake tin.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the white sugar and butter. One at a time, beat each egg and add the vanilla essence.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir in the flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix.
  5. Finally, stir in milk until smooth, pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes (cake will be done when it comes back to the touch).

Minimalist cakes are all about decoration and appearance, so you’ll need thick frosting and my favorite choice is always…buttercream!

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  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk
  • ⅓ cup softened butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla essence
  1. Take a medium bowl and combine the powdered sugar and butter, stir in the vanilla and add the milk.
  2. Gradually stir just enough to make the frosting smooth, if the frosting becomes too thin, combine a small amount of powdered sugar to thicken it.
  3. If the frosting becomes too thick, add more milk.

To show creativity! Add food coloring and frosting to a piping bag and pipe edges, just be sure to have a steady hand if you choose to write on the cake.

Less is more… Frosting is the exception

Believe me when I say you will need a lot more frosting than expected, depending on how many layers your cake has, if it is a single breaded cake you can just add a spoonful and ‘spread.

Layered cakes require a little more effort, although you can spread a dollop for the best result and watch that you should make what is called a crumb layer first. A crumb coat is a frosting coat that will get quite messy and is basically a base coat.

Trust me, this won’t look great during the crumb layer process, but once you let that layer cool in the fridge and apply another layer, your cake will transform!

Baker-to-baker tips

Anything can go wrong in the kitchen, and it’s important to know a few more tricks to make your life easier and your cake tastier!

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  1. If your butter is too cold or you want to avoid unincorporated butter lumps in your cake batter, melt your butter slightly before adding it to your mixture.
  2. Double check and double check! I can’t stress how important it is to make sure you’ve read everything correctly and added everything, one missing ingredient can completely destroy your cake.
  3. Apparently not everyone does that! To make sure your cake is completely baked, stick a knife in and if it comes out clean, it’s done.
  4. Minimal cakes require thick frosting, so make sure you have enough ingredients to thicken it. I had to run to the grocery store countless times because I underestimated how much icing sugar I needed.
  5. Relax, relax and relax again. Your cake MUST be chilled each time you work on it, so put it in the fridge before decorating.

Minimal cakes are easy yet elegant and made by professionals. This delicious craze has taken over the internet, as it should!

The simple and effective look is easy to replicate and will continue to be on our feeds for much longer. So what are you waiting for? Get your ingredients and cook up a storm.