CUTTING A CAKE LIKE A PRO
OK, the celebration was great, the food was a smash and now it is time to serve the cake. Sheer panic sets in as you know you have to cut the beautiful celebration cake in front of you. Well, this is going to be the last time you have to struggle with this. When I had the bakery we would often draw the cutting instructions on the top of the cake box to save our clientele that anxiety.
I am assuming a 9 inch round cake. This will also work for an 8 or 10 inches.
Simple Cutting: Remove the cake to the kitchen or away from the celebration if possible. Lightly mark the top of the cake in fourths. Determine the number of pieces you wish to cut. Fill a very tall measuring cup (8 cups or more) with very hot water. Have a serrated knife and paper towels handy. Dip the knife in the hot water and quickly dry with a paper towel. Make your first cut but do not bring the knife back up to the top of the cake. Instead, place a finger on each side of the cut and pull the knife out at the bottom. Your fingers will keep the frosting in place as you withdraw the knife. If you determine the frosting will not pull away, this step can be skipped. You will know after the first cut. Cut each quarter into the desired number of pieces (3 for 12 pieces, 4 for 16 pieces, 5 for 20 really skinny pieces). Re-wet and dry the knife for each cut.
Celebration Cake Cutting: This will allow you to get more pieces out of the cake. Wedding cakes and large cakes are cut in one of these two ways. Use the same wet knife
technique described above for either method.
1. Cut the cake in 1 to 1 1/2 inch strips across the cake – no more than two at a time. Cut in the opposite direction about 2 inches wide. This method yields about 30 to 35 pieces per 9” cake. The corner pieces will be mostly frosting so find those that love the frosting more than the cake.
2. This is a bit more complicated but is the desired method for large rounds. Make a vertical cut 2 inches in from the outside edge all the way around the cake. Cut 1 inch slices and plate them. You will have a 7 inch round cake with no frosting on the sides left. Divide the frosting on top into quarters and proceed to cut 14 to 16 pieces. If you have a 12 inch are larger round, keep making vertical cuts 2 inches in from the outside edge. Cut 1 inch slices all the way around. Keep moving in 2 inches until you have a
6 to 7 inch round left, quarter the frosting and make the desired number of cuts .
A note about square cakes. These are a snap. Just cut 2 to 3 inch strips, then cross-cut one or more inches wide.