You've Been Cutting Cake Wrong Your Whole Life

Cutting a delicious slice of cake seems simple enough, right? Well, perhaps you thought that you were eating cupcakes properly all along, too (hint: you're probably not). There's almost always a better way to do something, and slicing up a cake for your party guests is no different.

Most of us are probably familiar with the old school method of taking a knife and slicing a v-shaped piece of cake. It's simple and gets the job done. The issue here is that this method has some definite drawbacks. You're often left with a bunch of cake and icing stuck to the knife and this makes getting a clean cut on the next slice even trickier. And if somebody only wants a small slice, well, good luck. That person is either going to be getting part of a larger slice that's all icing or the front part of the wedge with not much icing at all.

So how should you really be cutting your cake?

The better way to slice a cake

Food & Wine was tipped off to Australian baker Katherine Sabbath's method via her Instagram account and it's pretty ingenious. Sabbath's friend Julie begins by gently pressing a large cutting board against the cake and then slicing it across horizontally before moving the long piece onto the cutting board. From there, it's as simple as cutting the one big slice into numerous smaller slices for the guests.

People can either have a big slice or smaller slice if they choose, and there's none of the clumsiness of trying to cut out a thin wedge of cake.

As creative as this method is already, it can be made even better by ditching the knife in favor of dental floss (via Delish). A simple piece of unflavored dental floss will glide through that cake with ease and keep the icing perfectly intact.

A better cake cutting method has been around for over 100 years

Are you ready for a real kick in the pants? Superior cake-cutting methods have been around for over 100 years, yet most of us still resort to the laziest approach when it comes to cutting a cake (via YouTube). Why better ways have been largely ignored is a topic for another time, but there's more than one way to properly cut a piece of cake. While Sabbath's method does address the issue of cutting small slices with minimal mess, what about keeping a cake fresh after it's been cut?

The problem with most cake slicing methods is that once that cake is cut, its moist insides are exposed to air, and when covered and placed in a fridge overnight the exposed part dries out. Nothing ruins a once-great slice of birthday cake like having one side of it taste dry and crumbly. 

Way back in 1906, British mathematician Francis Galton put his foot down when it came to poor cake cutting technique and wrote into science journal Nature that wedge cake cutting was "very faulty." So what superior method did Galton have in mind?

The trick to never eating dried out cake again

Galton, who had presumably grown tired of eating dried-out cake, took a rather simple (but brilliant) approach to the problem. The first step is to slice the cake right down the middle. Much like the technique employed by Sabbath, Galton then advised cutting a slice horizontally across with the desired thickness up to the cake slicer in charge. Easy enough, right?

Once you're done eating the cake and ready to put it away — assuming there's any left — simply push the two remaining halves together. Doing this prevents the air from drying out the cake and will help protect it so that the next day it's just as moist and soft as when you first cut it. If you don't want a second slice of cake that's the entire width of the cake, simply slice across where you made the first slice to cut the cake into four pieces. You can even take an extra precautionary step to ensure your cake doesn't dry out and use a rubber band to help hold the slices together. After you're finished eating, push the pieces back together until you're ready to slice again. 

So there you have it, not only can you now slice a cake more efficiently where each slice comes out with the right amount of icing, but you can use dental floss to make those cuts as clean as possible. Easier cleanup and perfectly sliced pieces of cake in any size that are always fresh? That sure sounds like a sweet deal to us.