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Here’s a fun collection of tips I’ve gathered for showing how to cut cakes in creative ways, these have been snipped from my vast collection of vintage cookbooks.
The intention of the illustrations was to show how to economize by getting more servings or to serve pieces in more unique shapes for something a little different.
You’ll also find a few nifty frosting suggestions at the bottom of the page.
#1 – Two Layer Beauty
Use a thin, sharp knife. Insert the point into the cake…keeping the point down and handle up, slice…pulling the knife toward you. If frosting sticks, dip blade in hot water.
- Cut around in a circle half way to the center.
- Slice pieces from outer circle then from the inner circle.
- Yields 38.
#2 – Small & Dainty
- First cut into 4 quarters.
- Then make even slices in each quarter. The 2 pieces closest to the middle may be halved.
- Makes 32.
#3 – Center Layer
- Choose a sharp knife with thin blade. First, make a circle about 2 inches from the edge. If the frosting is soft, dip the blade in hot water before beginning.
- Now cut as shown (click the image to view a larger example if needed). From each slice there will be 2 servings. Do not press down–hold handle of knife up and slice by pulling it toward you. You may get into family arguments over who gets outside pieces.
#4 – Party Sheet (Triangles)
For oblong/rectangular shapes
- First halve it lengthwise.
- Next cut diagonally starting at one corner to make wedge shapes. Repeat at opposite corner.
- Yields 22 servings.
#5 – Diamond Shapes:
- After cutting cooled cake in diamond shapes, arrange the diamonds in a geometric star or snowflake pattern.
#6 – Suggestions For Squares:
- Dainty finger slices (left image): Each quarter section is sliced into thirds.
- Perfect Squares (right image): Score surface with toothpicks first.
- Triangle Eighths (bottom picture): First section off into quarters, then each in half diagonally to make triangles.
More Tips: (From this page )
- Heat a knife first for crumble-free pieces (to do this, run it under very hot water then wipe dry with a clean towel).
- Use unwaxed dental floss to slice through the cake (great for the gooey or sticky ones).
Sources: Better Homes & Gardens Cookbooks (1940s & 1950s) and Betty Crocker Cookbook (1950s)
Next I have a few different frosting suggestions (moved to this page for better organization, originally published December 10, 2009).
These have also been snipped from vintage cookbooks (Better Homes & Gardens and Fry’s Cocoa).
- Ice as soon as thoroughly cool. Brush loose crumbs away with hand. Place one layer, top side down, on plate.
- Spread with filling or frosting to edge. Let stand until set then place second layer, bottom side down, on filling.
- Ice the side, holding spatula in vertical position. Pull up toward top. Beware of gaps in the bottom.
- Pile on remaining frosting. Spread lightly with sweeping strokes to make attractive swirls, ridges or spirals. To make it look taller, pull spatula around to form ridges at edge.
- A frosting for a 2-layer (8-inch) cake will also do for a 9x13x2 inch or top and sides of 12 cupcakes or top of 24 cupcakes or top of 2 9-inch squares. If layering with a special filling, 2/3 of the icing is sufficient for top and sides.
Neat To Know:
- Place four strips of waxed paper over edge of plate. Place cake on strips. Paper will catch surplus icing as you work.
- Ice between layers, then sides, and last of all, the top. Press finely chopped nuts against the sides.
- Decorate with a swirl of nuts. When finished, carefully remove waxed-paper strips–ta da–the plate is spotless.