i wouldn't charge less for one, and I do think that they are an interesting look. I did one as a dessert cake as part of a cake buffet, and I think it would look cool larger as a centerpiece cake (though with smaller tier heights). WHere as you don't have the time involved in decorating with an outer coat of buttercream, you have to take that time to perfectly bake and trim those layers so that each layer is the same color and not over browned. There is nothing to hide behind.
AI wouldn't dream of trimming anything off. My most popular recipe gets a nice crunchy top and edge if it goes over the pan a bit and I leave it be. I've actually been complimented on it. Part of that whole look, I think is leaving the cake in it's natural glory. Cutting the edges would indeed cause it to dry, so leave it be.
AUnless the desired look truly is white and perfect. ;-)
I have been asked by a bride for a Naked Cake and my primary concern is having a dry stale cake! Here in Brazil wedding receptions go on for at least 6 hours - normally the cake is exposed during the whole party. If the cake is set up before the reception - we are looking at a 7 to 8 hour exposure!
I am trying to convince the Bride to allow me to do a false cake and cover it with fondant to allow it to look like a Naked Cake and have real cake in the kitchen. Big Question .... How Much!
I love them, when they are well done.
They don't have to be made the day off, I've done 2, just wrap saran wrap tightly around the exposed cake, and leave it on until the last possible minute, then spritz with a soaking syrup.
They are actually way harder than they look though, the people charging way less for them are the people producing the sloppy messes with icing gooping out of the sides.
They have to be perfectly torted, sides smoothly carved, filled just so, and obviously extra care has to be taken so that nothing goes stale.
I charge by ingredients/supplies + misc overhead + time, so they save some money on ingredients, but labour wise it costs just as much as having a flat iced cake.
I wouldn't charge less for them for just these reasons. It's like saying that a perfectly plain buttercream cake is "easier" because it doesn't have piping on it. It's actually more time to do a plain cake than a piped one since you have to make sure it's perfectly iced and you can't cover up the mistakes.
When I did the naked cake for my bride and groom I had not problems. Because I didn't have to worry about frosting and smoothing I was able to do it the day before. I stuck them in the freezer until the day of, when I stacked them and layered with frosting. I only stacked the first 2 tiers then added the 3rd one at the venue along with the decorations and berries. Everyone raved over it. I even got an order for a 2nd naked cake. And it wasn't dry at all.. quite the opposite in fact.
Edited to add.... I didn't charge any less for this cake than I would any other