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.
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.
Always begin by first removing the domed top of the cake (unless a domed cake shape is desired).
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.
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.
Now you have a cake top. Follow this link to read my tutorial on what to do with leftover cake tops.
Repeat the same process on the remaining slices.
To maneuver large 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.
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 layer cake filling method: