Cutting a wedding cake can be a daunting task, but if you know a few secrets, it’s not that hard! We share the most important tips below to help you cut equally sized & clean slices, whether it's for a small party or a wedding.
While there are quite a few different methods to cut or portion out a cake, we will explain our two favourite methods because they are easy to understand & execute:
The "Wedge" or "Even Triangles" Method - for a party or larger servings. This is the method that most people would normally associate with cake cutting, where the cake is cut into half then divided into equally sized triangular wedges.
The "Rectangular Slab" or "Small Squares" Method. This is our preferred method for cutting larger wedding cakes or smaller servings.
Below is a visual guide showing you how many servings you can expect to have for 6-inch and 8-inch round cakes with these two methods:
The table below shows how many servings you can expect to have for other cake sizes (based on coffee servings):
Please note that the number of servings shown here are intended only as a guide. You may wish to vary the servings sizes depending on your event & other factors. For example, cakes with a lot of fruit & nuts (e.g. fruit cake, carrot cake) can be difficult to cut neatly and therefore it is more realistic to work on slightly larger portions.
Step 1 - Assemble Your Tools
Before you start, it's useful to assemble all the tools you will need:
You will need a sharp knife that is long enough to cut through the widest part of your round cake, or the entire length of your square or rectangular cake. If your knife isn't long enough, you can score the top of your cake first before cutting through with your knife. A serrated knife can also work well, depending on the texture of the cake.
For the Rectangular Slab method - A thin light cutting board, similar to the one showed in the photo above.
A pair of clean gloves, for hygiene.
A tall glass filled with warm water. Soaking your knife in warm water before you slice the cake will give you a cleaner cut. Use a vessel that is heavier (e.g. made with glass) so that it won't topple over when you place the knife in the water.
A tea towel to clean your knife before you make each slice. This will prevent excess crumb spillage on your cake slices.
Step 2 - Prepare Your Cake
First, you will need to remove all decorations (e.g. edible flowers & other decor, candles, fresh florals, toys, cake topper etc.)
Next, remove any supporting dowels - this is usually the case for cakes with multiple tiers as dowels are inserted to stabilise the cake.
Many of our clients like to preserve the handmade sugar flowers from their cakes by storing them in a nice vase or glass dome, as a keepsake or memento or. If you are doing this, be sure to wipe off all excess cake, frostings or fillings from the decorations.
We also recommend using a pair of pliers when removing sugar flowers from the cake, as pliers will enable you to get a good grasp of the stems when removing the sugar flowers, without breaking any delicate petals.
Sugar flowers will last for at least a few months or more, depending on how they are stored. Please refer to this blog post for more details on how to properly store your sugar flowers.
Part 3 - Cut Your Cake!
Next, follow the steps as shown in the video below to cut your cake:
Other Cake Care Tips
As a rule of thumb, cakes and edible decorations don't like heat & humidity. After the cake has been taken out of its box, it is best kept in a cool air-conditioned spot & away from direct sunlight.
Fondant & gum paste are both hygroscopic, which means that they will absorb moisture from the surrounding air. Therefore you should never store fondant cakes or sugar flowers uncovered in the refrigerator, because these pieces of edible art will start to sweat & lose their shape. If you would like to keep them in the fridge, store them in a sealed box or Tupperware to prevent the fridge air from coming into contact with the decorations.
Wafer paper holds up better in the heat & in the humidity, but it may also break (even though it is less delicate than gum paste). Wafer paper will also wilt or melt when it comes into contact with buttercream or moisture.
On very humid days, you may see your cake start to 'sweat' when you remove your cake from the refrigerator. You can gently dab the beads of moisture with a piece of tissue paper whilst the buttercream or fondant is firm to prevent any damage to cake design.
For best consumption, please let the cake sit out from the refrigerator for at least 30 - 45 mins so the buttercream can soften.
If you wish to store the rest of the cake in the fridge, it is best to leave the cake unsliced because the refrigerator air causes exposed cake to dry out. If the cake is still covered with buttercream or fondant, the inside of the cake will still remain moist. You could also cover the exposed cake sides with clingfilm or acetate, or push together two sides of the cake together so that the exposed sides are covered as well.
I hope this post has answered some of your questions! If you have any other querie, please drop me an email at email@example.com & I'll be happy to assist!