When it comes to cutting a round cake, there seems to be a school of thought that there is simply one way to do it.
Cut out a triangular-shaped slice from the middle and simply go around until all of the cake has been sliced and dished out.
However, there is more than one way to cut a round cake, and some work better than others.
There is even a scientific method that can go some way to ensuring that each slice of cake remains moist and relatively fresh.
If you do have to cut a round cake, you should learn that there is more than a single way to do it, even if that does initially seem strange.
In this guide, we will look at how to cut a round cake including the traditional method, the scientific method, and even creating an inner round and an outer section of a round cake.
The Traditional Method
Let’s start with the traditional method that you have likely seen at every birthday party you can remember though this one may be more exact.
This is to create even triangles and you will need a sharp slicing or chef’s knife that can cut across the entire round cake or at least halfway across the diameter.
Heat the knife in some hot water first and then score a line across the diameter of the round cake.
Next, score another line at a 70-degree angle to that initial line so it appears you have divided the cake into three pieces.
Score a third line through the middle of that small triangle and with two more lines, create three pieces from that larger triangle with two lines.
Each piece should look equally sized as they should have angles of approximately 36 degrees each.
There should be four lines that go halfway across your cake and you can now finish them off to go across the diameter of the cake resulting in ten even pieces.
However, if you have more than ten guests, half each piece to get a grand total of 20 even pieces of cake.
The Scientific Method
If you can expect that the whole round cake will not be eaten in one sitting then try the scientific method if you plan to store the leftovers.
The British mathematician, Sir Francis Galton, came up with this method when it was first published in 1906 and it is really straightforward.
Create an inch-wide strip of cake going across the diameter and remove it to divide it into two or three individual pieces.
With the remaining two halves of cake, slide them together until they are both touching and secure them both together.
When it is time to create more slices of cake, cut out another strip of cake but make it perpendicular to that initial strip.
You should now have four quarters of the remaining round cake and these should be placed together and secured.
Keep repeating this process of taking out slices perpendicular to the last until all the cake is used up.
Each slice should be moist and seem relatively fresh, if you keep the cake in the refrigerator that is between slicing it up into strips.
Slicing From An Inner And An Outer Section
Creating rings of cake may also seem like a strange way of cutting a round cake yet it does work if the cake is around eight or more inches in diameter.
Heat up your slicing or chef’s knife in some hot water first then wipe off the excess water as a warmed knife will cut through the cake easier.
Create an inner circle in your round cake around two inches from the edge and you should get an outer ring of cake too.
Start to cut pieces from the outer ring and they should look oblong rather than triangular or square.
Once you have dished out pieces of cake from that outer ring you can either store the inner round of cake or dish out more pieces.
For the inner cake round, you can simply create triangular pieces and you should get around eight pieces if you cut in half, then at a 90-degree angle and two more slices through those quarters.
If you have taken the time to bake a round cake for a special occasion, or even if you have bought one from the store, learn to cut it properly.
Any of these three methods can be used yet some are better than others.
If you know you need to deliver 20 pieces of cake then use the traditional method.
However, if you want to show some nous and look after the leftovers then creating an inner round and an outer ring of cake, or using the scientific method, can both work really well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Ideal Time To Wait Before You Begin Slicing A Cake?
If you have baked a cake from scratch, you should be patient before slicing it up.
You may have to wait at least ten minutes for it to cool down before you begin to slice it up.
That time could be extended up to two hours if you want to ensure that it does not crumble but comes out as nice, clean slices when sliced with a sharp knife.
Which Type Of Knife Is Best For Slicing A Round Cake?
Deciding on the type of knife to use to slice a round cake is important as some are simply not fit for purpose.
For example, you may struggle with a knife you would typically use with your dinner.
However, a chef’s knife can work really well yet a slicing knife is best as its thinner blade can prove more delicate for a cake.
The cut should be clean to reduce crumbs so avoid using a serrated knife or a thick, heavy knife as using these can dredge up crumbs.