The Cutting Technique That Makes Serving Up Large Cakes A Breeze

The only thing more impressive than baking a giant, multi-layer cake is cutting it into perfectly equal, servable slices. Unlike a standard sheet pan cake or single-layer circular cake, tall or oversized cakes are much harder to gauge when it comes time to slice it up and divvy it out. While you may leave the complicated cutting to professional bakers, there's a technique that makes serving up large, round cakes a breeze — even for the most daunted novice.

While we tend to cut a small round cake into triangular slices, for a large circular cake, this technique will result in uneven slices that are way too big for a single serving. Therefore, the best way to break down a large cake is to begin by carving a smaller round cake in the center of it. You can do this by placing a bowl with a smaller diameter upside down over the center of your cake. The lip of the bowl will leave an indentation in the icing that will serve as your guide to make a circular cut.

Once you've cut the smaller circular cake inside of the larger cake, you're left with a thick outer ring of cake. Now, you're ready to begin slicing and serving. Cut short, thick wedges from the outer ring. This makes it much easier to create proportional, evenly spaced slices that are effortless to remove with a spatula.

Another way to cut ultra-tall cakes

The circular ring cake-cutting technique is perfect for large-diameter cakes, with two to three layers, because it gives you slices with the most proportionate ratio of crumb to icing. However, there's an alternative cut that also works well for ultra-tall round cakes. This technique involves dividing and cutting the cake into four even rectangles. Once you've made four equally spaced vertical incisions through the cake, you will then gently lie each quartered section horizontally, exposing its layers of crumb and icing.

Then you'll cut the two central rectangular pieces vertically into four long rectangular slices. With the rounded outer edge rectangles, you can lie crumb-side down to cut at an angle. You'll start by cutting a central incision in the middle of the dome to create two halves, then each half at a slant for four long triangular slices. This method is more high-maintenance than the circular ring method because you need numerous cutting boards and surfaces to cut each large quarter. That said, it's the best way to maximize the number of slices you dole out.

Whichever method you try, a chilled cake and a hot knife will help you make precise incisions and easier slice removal. A room-temperature cake is more likely to result in a crumbly cake crumb or gloopy icing that won't separate cleanly from each slice. Incidentally, chilling your cake also makes frosting it easier, too.