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How to Cut a Round Cake Like a Pro

When you’ve worked so hard to bake a great cake, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to cut it properly.

5 min read

A freshly baked round cake is a work of art; the last thing you want is to cut it incorrectly, leaving uneven slices and a mess of cake crumbles.  Cutting cake is more complex than it may initially seem. Details like the knife you use and even the shape of your slices depend on the cake you’re cutting—like a fluffy angel food cake, a dense bundt cake or a tiered cake.

The following tips will help you become an expert at cutting a round cake so it’s as beautiful in presentation as it is delicious in taste.

How to Cut a Bundt Cake

When you take your bundt cake out of the oven, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. After removing the cake, let it cool completely on a cooling rack before cutting to help avoid the risk of it all falling apart in the process.

If you want to go with classic triangular cake slices, it’s best to start by cutting it in half with a large, serrated knife all the way across the cake rather than attempt to “freehand” the wedges.This will help ensure your cake slices are evenly distributed, aesthetically pleasing, sturdy and intact. Next, cut those halves in half, and continue halving until you have reasonably sized slices.

In general, a good rule of thumb is to make at least three cuts before you try to remove a single slice. This will give you ample room to maneuver the slice and pull it out smoothly with a pie server.

How to Cut a Large Round Cake

If the cake is bigger than nine inches in diameter, the aforementioned halving technique can be tricky—because the distance from the outside of the cake to the middle is so long, the wedges will likely either be too thin at the narrowest point or too large to offset that thinness.

Instead, try this trick that’s perfect for party servings: Start by cutting a smaller circle about two inches in from the cake’s edges. Then, cut rectangular(ish) slices out of that newly created cake ring and standard wedges from the smaller round cake that’s left in the middle.

For all of the slices, use a serrated knife with a thin blade that can move easily in all directions through the cake.

How to Cut a Tiered Cake

Ensuring a smooth cutting process for a tiered cake actually starts before you even bake the cake. Regardless of the size tiered cake you’re making—whether it’s a modest, two-tiered cake for your family or a show-stopping wedding cake—if you bake each level in non-stick aluminum bakeware, you’ll save yourself the nightmare of trying to free the sides and bottoms from the pan as you cut.

The cutting technique is also the same regardless of size; the only difference is the number of layers you’ll need to divide and separate before getting into the slicing.

First, remove each tier carefully, starting at the top and working your way down. To remove a single tier without damaging your cake’s structure, slide a large, flat spatula underneath the tier with a cake board and set it aside.

How to Cut Angel Food Cake 

The best part about angel food cake is its light and fluffy nature—but that’s also what makes it the hardest type of cake to cut. You can bake an angel food cake as a round cake by using a heavy-gauge aluminum steel non-stick round pan that’ll maintain its shape nicely and help it cook evenly. To avoid smashing the cake, use a serrated knife and a big dose of patience.

Cut angel food cake into even slices by moving slowly and carefully, as if you’re using a saw to trim a tree branch. It’s possible the cake will still get a bit squished in the cutting process, so it’s a good idea to cut slightly larger slices than you think you’ll want.

Once you’ve perfected your cake baking and cutting skills, the natural next step is cookies, right? Get inspired with a few recipes you can use to make delicious and beautiful pressed cookies.

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