How to Slice Cake Layers

How to Slice Cake Layers - Wicked Goodies

VIDEO TUTORIAL:

FURTHER EXPLANATION:

How to Slice Cake Layers by Wicked Goodies

Many people slice cake layers by sawing with the knife. However that back-and-forth motion often leads to jagged, uneven layers. There are many awkward gadgets out there for sawing cake when the truth is, all that’s needed is a long serrated knife, a turntable, and a different approach.

How to Slice Cake Layers - Wicked Goodies

With this method, I don’t saw but reather, I push a serrated knife steadily sideways through a cake while turning the cake continuously on a wheel.

That way, the friction of the turning cake against the teeth of the knife drives the cut. The cut radiates inward, first encircling the cake then spiraling towards center. As long as the knife is held steady, this method yields nice clean slices.

My cakes, before slicing and filling, are 3-4” high because I bake them in deep cake pans that double as molds for cake filling. Read my tutorial on how to fill cakes for more on that topic.

Heating Core, Amazon link

I often use a heating core, as seen on the right, for larger sized cakes. As for the knife, I recommend this one or an equivalent serrated knife with a blade that is long, wide, and thin.

Always begin by first removing the domed top of the cake (unless a domed cake shape is desired).

How to Slice Cake Layers - Wicked Goodies

Step #1: Place the cake on a turntable. With one hand, position the knife blade at the top edge of the cake (the base of the dome). With the other hand, grip the top of the cake and spin it on the wheel so that the teeth of the knife cut just through the surface of the cake (no deeper). The idea is to trace the intended cut by carving a groove all the way around the side of the cake. That groove will help guide the knife in the next step.

How to Slice Cake Layers - Wicked Goodies

Step #2: Continue turning the cake while gently pushing the knife towards center, following the line of the groove. Since cake is soft, the blade should move through it with ease as long as the cake remains in motion. Once the blade reaches center, there is a feeling of release as the cut is complete. Use the knife like a spatula at this point to remove the cake top.

How to Slice Cake Layers - Wicked Goodies

Now you have a cake top. Follow this link to read my tutorial on what to do with leftover cake tops.

How to Slice Cake Layers - Wicked Goodies

Repeat the same process on the remaining slices.

How to Slice Cake Layers - Wicked Goodies

To maneuver cake layers without breaking them, slide them onto cardboard circles of equal or greater size.

Now you see how this method yields nice even layers.
How to Slice Cake Layers - Wicked Goodies

Disclaimer: Always remain cautious of your opposite hand while slicing cake. Serrated knives can cause injury.

For best results, proceed by filling and assembling the cake in its pan using this method:
How to Fill Cakes by Wicked Goodies

This cake slicing tutorial was brought to you by:
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5 clever ways to use leftover cake by Wicked Goodies


Comments

How to Slice Cake Layers — 10 Comments

  1. Your website is filled with GREAT tips. thank goodness for people like you willing to share. Question: Do you offer your cake recipies anywhere? I would like to have recipies that will allow my cakes to bake super tall in the pan such as yours. I do use 3″ pans, but my recipies dont allow for enough batter to get my cakes to rise so tall.
    B. Also do you know the best way to convert the recipes to allow for differnt pan sizes?? I have scoured the internet and this issue has not been addressed as far as I can tell. A future tutorial suggestion for you? You would get hundreds of hits…like I said, this has not been addressed yet in the interwebs. Thanks again….Nadine

    • Nadine, I’m more accustomed to doing those types of computations by hand with the help of this cooking volume converter. I haven’t tried it before but there is this cake app called the CakeOmeter, which scales the entire recipe for you.

      I don’t have any cake recipes up on this website but I can tell you that I get decent results using pound cake. The recipe that I use for is straight out of The Cake Bible. It’s a very sturdy type of cake so it can be baked at higher heights. That’s what I used in the video in this tutorial. Baking big cakes like that can lead to dryness however so my trick to combating that is to soak each cake layer with simple syrup during assembly. Also, it’s important to make sure your baking powder is fresh as that will help with the rise.

  2. I have seen many people that suggest using the cone, exactly how do you use it without leaving a hole in your cake, I noticed your have cake where the cone would have been but have noticed a circle shape in center of cake.what do you do?

    Thank you

    Dee Terra

    • You put some batter into the cone as well and then once the cake is cool, you pop out that cone of cake and plug it into the hole. It’s pretty neat how well it works. Then you can see a circle of cake when you slice horizontally to make layers but that gets hidden once the whole cake is assembled. Just remember to grease and flour the cone thoroughly before using it.

  3. When you cut layer like that use a CUT PROOF GLOVE, been layering cake for over 35 years in large Hotels & Casinos and seen many hands cut from not wearing a CUT PROOF GLOVE. Being a Exec.Pastry Chef if the cooks did not wear the glove they was written up.

    • Hey Wayne, it’s true that those gloves are perfect for cake carving and slicing. I’ve never worked somewhere I was required to wear one even though I’ve had jobs at bakeries where it was my task to slice cakes for hours. I’ve definitely cut myself a few times doing it…but more often when carving sculpted cakes. I could use some more of your discipline for sure ;) Thanks for the suggestion.

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