7 Hacks For Cutting Cake You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

Cake-making is an all-consuming process. Mixing, cooling, layering, and frosting a cake requires hours (and sometimes days) of hard work. On top of all that, serving the cake can add another layer of stress because the last thing you want to do is ruin your delectable masterpiece by slicing it the wrong way. After all that effort, you want to ensure that your cake looks pristine and beautiful for as long as possible, even after it's sliced.

Many people have cut cakes into triangle-shaped pieces for years, suffering through collapsed centers, smeared frosting, disproportionate slices, and crumbled cake layers. Well, it's time to turn over a new leaf and start using some easy cake-cutting hacks that preserve the beauty of your cake — and maintain your sanity. Ready to find out what they are and rid yourself of cake-cutting angst for good? Read on to learn the best hacks we've found through research for cutting cake efficiently and precisely. They're simple to do and don't require any fancy tools or equipment. You'll see that cutting cake is, indeed, a piece of cake.

The tong method

We can thank TikTok user @mimstercx or, more specifically, their mom, for this game-changing hack that uses a simple pair of kitchen tongs to slice a birthday cake. In a viral video that has now been viewed more than 6 million times, their mom casually uses the handle portion of metal tongs — instead of a knife — to cut an utterly symmetrical slice of birthday cake. In addition to loving the mother's serious, dead-pan expression, viewers praised the hack as "brilliant" and "genius." We especially love this creative hack because the tongs double as a spatula for moving the piece of sliced cake onto a dessert plate, as perfectly demonstrated in the video. One less utensil to wash is always a good thing.

If you're going to give this hack a try, be forewarned that you can't just use any pair of tongs. For the hack to work, your tong handles must be perfectly straight and flat-edged and have a curved hinge (as opposed to a spring hinge). This type of tong is more commonly called a pom tong by those in the food industry. It is distinguished by its unique one-piece design and serrated ends, perfect for grabbing food at salad bars and buffet lines.

The inward knife cut

If you've tried cutting a cake with a knife, failed miserably, and are at your wit's end, hold on. Before you swear off cutting cake for good and resort to serving cupcakes, consider this unique cake-cutting hack by baker Dan Langan.

In a viral TikTok post viewed almost 3 million times, Langan — also known as Baked By Dan — shows a simple yet effective way to cut a piece of cake without all those little crumbs getting mixed into the layers of classic buttercream, and we think it's pretty nifty. Instead of cutting down into a cake with a knife, Langan cuts in from the side, preventing cake crumbs from dragging through the frosting. The beautifully defined layers of cake and buttercream preserved by using this cake-cutting method should be enough to convince anyone to give this hack a try.

Langan's hack is perfect for those who prefer using a knife to cut cake wedges but are looking for better results, as it just proposes a different way of using a knife. For the cleanest cuts, use a sharp knife with a thin blade and hold it perfectly straight up and down while pulling inward carefully, starting on the opposite side of the cake from you. When the blade reaches the center, pull the knife straight up and out of the cake. Continue this process until the desired number of slices is achieved.

The slab hack

If you've ever had to cut a round cake for a large group (think office party), you know how challenging it can be to ensure everyone gets a piece. Thankfully, Australian baker Katherine Sabbath shared their clever cutting method for tackling such a task on their Instagram account in 2017.

Best known for creating bright, colorful cakes rather than cutting them, Sabbath sent social media aflutter when they shared a post showing a friend divvying up one of their cakes using a knife and a cutting board. In the popular post, the friend cuts into one of Sabbath's cakes — but instead of cutting the cake into triangular pieces, they slice it into 1-inch-thick slabs across the entire length of the cake. During each cut, they hold a cutting board against the slab to catch it as it separates from the cake. Then, they lay the cutting board (with the cake slab) onto the counter and cut each slab into 1-inch rectangular portions.

Many viewers agreed that her slab hack method was downright "smart," as the portion sizes are much more reasonable. Plus, everyone is assured a piece of cake, and if someone wants a second piece, there will definitely be more for the taking.

The dental floss trick

This cake-cutting hack uses a surprising tool that's probably not in your kitchen, but that you probably have somewhere in your house. We're talking about dental floss.

Using dental floss to cut a cake is faster and cleaner than using a knife. A strand of floss is thinner than most knives, and dental floss is specifically designed to slide easily through tight spaces. In 2012, YouTube user mgasman demonstrated this easy technique, which begins with spooling out a length of floss longer than the widest part of a cake. After wrapping the floss around some fingers, hold the string of floss tightly over the cut you want to make, then use a sawing motion to slice through the cake completely. After the cut is made, don't pull the floss back up through the cake, as this will bring crumbs up through the frosting to the top of your cake, and you won't get that clean look you're hoping for. Instead, let go of one end of the floss and pull it out the other end, leaving you with a clean slice of not just cake but also floss.

This dental floss hack works best when your cake sits on a flat surface or on a stand, so you have plenty of room to push the floss all the way down through the cake. For the most uniform slices, score the cake with the floss before cutting. Also, avoid using flavored floss for obvious reasons.

The Wilton way

This tried-and-true trick to easily cut a round cake into perfect servings was developed by baking and decorating behemoth Wilton and is followed by bakers and caterers worldwide, especially for large wedding cakes. It's a terrific bang-for-your-buck technique when you have a lot of mouths to feed, but your cake budget is tight.

According to the professionals at Wilton, the best way to portion a round cake (8 inches or larger) is to begin by cutting a circle about two inches from the outer edge of your cake. Next, cut the outer circle into 1 ½-inch pieces, leaving you with a round 6-inch cake in the center if you started with an 8-inch cake. You can then cut the center 6-inch cake into traditional wedges or whatever shape of slices you prefer. If you start with a cake larger than 8 inches in diameter, the process repeats until you're left with a 6-inch cake in the center. In other words, continue cutting 2-inch circles from the outer edge and slicing those outer circles until a 6-inch cake remains in the center. How smart is that?

The wine glass method

Who needs a knife when you have a wine glass? TikTok user @theroseperiod demonstrated this perfectly in a 2020 post, which currently has over 1.8 million views. The video shows a family celebrating their daughter's 20th birthday. After the candles are blown out, each family member grabs a wine glass and uses it to scoop out perfectly portioned mounds of cake from around the perimeter before toasting each other. Viewers commented "winner winner' and that this hack "literally makes so much sense."

Cutting cake with a wine glass may be quirky, but it seems like a wise way to serve cake because there's almost zero chance of someone else's fingers touching your slice of cake, keeping the whole cake-cutting process sanitary. Plus, everyone can scoop as little or as much cake as they want.

Before you try out this hack, there are some things you should keep in mind. A cold cake may be too hard for a wine glass to cut through without breaking, so make sure to bring your cake up to room temperature beforehand. Use sturdy wine glasses and save the delicate fancy ones for drinking. It's also best to use a wine glass with a stem, so you have something to hold onto, as the side of the glass tends to get covered in cake crumbs after scooping.

The pro technique

If you aren't ready to relinquish using a knife to cut cake, this pro technique may be just what you've been looking for. This simple cake-cutting trick will have you slicing up servings with the precision of a pro. You'll need three tools for this method: a serrated knife, a tall pitcher filled with warm water, and a dish towel (paper towels work, too).

To start, dip the serrated knife in the pitcher of warm water and wipe it dry, then use it to slice your cake in half down the middle with a sawing motion. Working with one half at a time, make cuts in the cake, as thick or thin as needed, at a 90-degree angle from your first cut. Remember to dip your knife in the warm water and wipe it dry after each cut to remove frosting from the blade. When you finish cutting one half of the cake, you can start slicing the remaining half.

This technique works best with a cold cake because the layers will hold together better, resulting in cleaner cuts. But, you may wonder, don't most cakes taste better when served at room temperature? To get around this dilemma, cut the cake while cold, transfer the slices onto individual dessert plates, and let the cake slices temper on the plates for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.