Info On How To Cut A Stacked Cake?

Decorating By Spectra Updated 28 Feb 2011 , 9:19am by Randyrav

Spectra Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 3:19pm
post #1 of 21

I've only made a couple for friends, and I've always done it with 4 wooden dowels supporting the top 6 inch layer on a cake board with a 5th dowel going through the centre. I am always at these parties so then I end up cutting it, and I cut the top layer right on top of the 8 inch. Is that right or is there another way I should be doing it? Thanks for any advice! icon_smile.gif

20 replies
Lcubed82 Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 3:37pm
post #2 of 21

I usually separate the layers to cut.

Here is a great cutting method from Indydebi:
http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/cake%20comb

So much better than cutting the "rings".

Lcubed82 Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 3:39pm
post #3 of 21

I also usually start by serving the largest tier, then work up. That way, if there is extra, it is the smaller tiers, which are easier to store.

sweet_honesty Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 3:42pm
post #4 of 21

I would suggest separating the tiers before you cut. You wouldn't want to risk squashing the tiers below when you apply pressure to the upper tiers.

Spectra Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 3:54pm
post #5 of 21

Okay, makes sense, but how do I remove the top layer without destroying the bottom one? I ask because so far all I've done is buttercream and I can just imagine the big old mess. Do you use a spatula?

indydebi Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 8:47pm
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectra

Okay, makes sense, but how do I remove the top layer without destroying the bottom one? I ask because so far all I've done is buttercream and I can just imagine the big old mess. Do you use a spatula?


Put a spatula under the top tier and lift it enough to get your hand under it. Then lift it off of the center dowel.

Once you start taking the the cake apart, it doesn't really matter that it stay "pretty" and "perfect". You're about to hack it into little pieces. The photos are done and nobody cares what it looks like at this point.

Spectra Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 8:53pm
post #7 of 21

Awesome, thank you!

PinkLisa Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 9:24pm
post #8 of 21

I don't ever cut my own cakes, but would like to put together an instruction sheet for those clients who will cut the cake themselves. I do think it's important to put a nice looking piece of cake on the plate. I'd love suggestions to keep the cake looking nice after slicingicon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 9:26pm
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkLisa

I'd love suggestions to keep the cake looking nice after slicingicon_smile.gif


See the above link to my blog on how to cut a cake.

PinkLisa Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 9:32pm
post #10 of 21

Thanks Debi. I've seen your instruction sheet. I guess I was curious about your comment that it didn't need to look pretty. Does the cake look nice as you take it apart?

indydebi Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 9:44pm
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkLisa

Thanks Debi. I've seen your instruction sheet. I guess I was curious about your comment that it didn't need to look pretty. Does the cake look nice as you take it apart?


Meaning, it doesn't have to continue to look perfect during the cutting stage. I've seen posts where people worry about getting finger indentations in the cake or losing the border a little bit when the top tier is removed. The guests at a wedding are not even paying attention ..... they don't notice if the border is askew a little bit.

If a flowers is in my way, I remove it and set it aside or set it on the cake plate next to the slice of cake. I don't worry about leaving the flowers in place to "keep it pretty". When there are silk or real flowers, we yank those off before cutting .... we dont' leave them in place to "keep it pretty".

Some people remove the fondant before cutting. The cake DEFINITELY doesn't "look pretty" at that point.

I'm not saying it's ok to lean on it and mash your hand in the top. icon_lol.gif Just that once the cutting process starts, it's going to be cut ... into pieces .... it's no longer going to look like a decorated cake.

I actually saw one article that said to cut the cake while it's still stacked but to cut the back half away so the guests still saw a pretty front half that looked like the whole cake! icon_surprised.gif I also read of a place that did this and the whole front of the cake fell forward onto the floor! Just because they were trying to "keep it pretty".

PinkLisa Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 9:54pm
post #12 of 21

Ha ha. That's crazy to cut the back half off to "keep it pretty". Thanks for your thorough explanation!

jenniboo Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 10:25pm
post #13 of 21

indydebi, I just read your cake cutting post that was linked above. Thanks so much for sharing this information! I am a beginner at cake decorating, and definitely a hobbyist. I'll be cutting cake at a family wedding soon and really appreciate your time tested advice! icon_smile.gif

Shaywest Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 2:58pm
post #14 of 21

How do I remove the tiers without the frosting from the bottom layers coming with it? I always end up with a bottom layer with no top frosting. Should I be using cardboard or a plate between the layers? Also, does anyone know where I can get the "fat" straws or cardboard dowels to use when stacking a cake?

CWR41 Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 6:49pm
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaywest

How do I remove the tiers without the frosting from the bottom layers coming with it? I always end up with a bottom layer with no top frosting. Should I be using cardboard or a plate between the layers?




Aren't you already using cardboard or a plate between the tiers? If not, what's supporting your upper tier?

You can use a circle of waxed paper on the surface of your bottom tier before placing the next tier above to prevent the icing from being removed when disassembling for serving.

Spectra Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 6:57pm
post #16 of 21

What do you all find works better, cake plate or the thicker boards for the top level to sit on?

Oh and thank you everyone for all your advice! icon_smile.gif

CWR41 Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 7:36pm
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectra

What do you all find works better, cake plate or the thicker boards for the top level to sit on?




It depends on if it's a stacked cake or separated.

If separated, cake plate with cardboard under cake.
If stacked, (and not using Single-Plate Separators), just a plain corrugated cake circle or two.

(I don't know what thicker boards you are referring to, but I'm not a fan of thick boards showing throughout a wedding cake unless you're talking about a sturdy base board or drum on the bottom. If you're using thick boards that show, like Lady Mary Boards or drums in between separated tiers, then it would look best to use on all tiers--not just the top level, and using multiple boards like these can be quite expensive.)

Spectra Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 8:15pm
post #18 of 21

The only two that I know of is those really thin cardboard cake plates, that are like the thickness of two cracker box cardboards, and the corrugated ones which are a lot thicker and sturdier. I have only done stacked cakes, and have used the thinner cake plates for the top teir, but wondering if now I should use the corrugated boards for all levels so the person picking up the top tier with a spatula would have an easier time doing it?

Randyrav Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 11:42am
post #19 of 21

I am ok with cutting a 2 tier for example but what if it is a stacked train shaped cake? If there are 4 layers with butter cream in between, how would you cut it then? There are no boards to seperate first?

CWR41 Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 2:42pm
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyrav

If there are 4 layers with butter cream in between, how would you cut it then? There are no boards to seperate first?




If your 4 layers are 2" tall each (8" tall total), you should use supports for every 4" of cake height, therefore you'd cut and serve the first 4" down to the cardboard, remove the cardboard, and cut and serve the bottom 4" of cake.

Randyrav Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 9:19am
post #21 of 21

Thankyou! That makes it so much easier!

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