A pad should exist on several layers:
- on the copper layer, on the correct side of the board
- then a cutout in the soldermask (coating over the copper, usually transparent green)
- (optionally) on the solderpaste layer. This might be the cream layer you're referring to. You need this if you will be mass producing it with a solderpaste stencil. Pads that are defined on this layer recieve solder paste during assembly, then the parts are added and the whole thing is baked in an oven to solder all the parts at once. Often this is only for surface mount parts.
- (optionally) the part should have an outline and reference designator (R1 etc) on the silkscreen layer. This is the white printed text. It's not functionally required but helps in assembly.
Edit in response to image:
That looks like "tinning" (thin layer of tin or solder over the copper). Tinning is one available PCB finish; gold plating ("ENIG") is also popular. It's the default on OSHpark, for example.
To achieve what's shown in your image, put the pad on "copper" and "soldermask", then request tinning from your PCB manufacturer. The traces will only be on the copper layer and will not be tinned.
Note that pads on the copper layer define where there is copper, and on soldermask specify where the holes in the soldermask are.