Cake Cutting Questions

Lounge By SecretAgentCakeBaker Updated 28 Jan 2011 , 7:46am by cheatize

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 1:43pm
post #1 of 11

I'll start off by saying that I hate cutting the cake, but everyone expects me to do it since I made the cake.

http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/cake%20comb

I like to Use IndyDebi's method to cut the cake. I still seem to have major problems though. First, in Debi's instuctions, she has the first strip of cake already gone. If you lay that first strip down, the side frosting would get destroyed. I always leave it standing up, but that is where a big pa of my problems are. When the slices are standing, they seem to be less stable. What do you all do.

When I get to that second 2-inch row, if I try to lay it on it's side, the top half of the cake always falls over at the filling. I use WASC cake, and one of several icings, either IndyDebi's or a hybrid meringue/powdered sugar one.
So, because it falls over, I need to leave it standing up. I'm just getting so frustrated. For each slice I then have to keep switching the knife from one hand to the other; I feel like I'm all twisted up. I know I am doing it incorrectly, but I am just having trouble figuring this out. I think I need to see it in action. Is there a video somewhere showing how to do this? Thanks!

Lastly, I have to clean off my knife and server after every one or two slices, otherwise the slices get even more mangled from the globs of cake and frosting stuck to it. I will be less frustrated with having to wipe it off so often if I know that is normal.

I just want to serve pretty slices instead of mangled hunks.

Also, just venting about this. I hate it when someone comes up and cuts themselves a slice of cake, because they only want a sliver, but they cut it incorrectly (a wedge.) when they do that it makes it so difficult for me to cut any more pieces the correct way, because I now cannot get that 2-inch band cut. When I am finished cutting what I think is all the slices we need, I usually cut several extra slices and put them on plates next to the cake.

Thanks so much everyone! As always, I appreciate the help!

10 replies
indydebi Posted 25 Jan 2011 , 7:21pm
post #2 of 11

I once cut another baker's cake and she had a LOT of chocolate (mousse? fudge? pudding?) filling in the cake. with every slice, the top layer tried to slide off of the bottom layer. I finally began laying the big wedge over on its side and my helper said, "Oh those pieces are looking LOTS better since you're cutting it that way!"

So the first thing I'll suggest is to check the amount of filling you're putting in the cake, if the layers are unstable and move around while being cut.

I am also curious as to how much icing is on your cake? Having to clean off the knife periodically is normal, but if there is an overabundance of icing, you WILL have to clean the knife every slice or two.

Are you using a cake comb or any other kind of 2nd utensil to help hold the cake pieces in place while you move them to the plates? Explain to me why you are having to switch the knife from one hand to the other? icon_confused.gif I can't visualize why or how that happens.

I place the comb in my left hand and the knife in my right. Place the comb along the left end of the cake, slice with the knife, use the knife to push the cut piece of cake onto the comb, move the comb-holding-the-cut-piece-of-cake to the plate, use the knife in my right hand to push the cut piece of cake off of the comb and onto the plate.

I use the comb to keep the knife clean. Scrape the knife against the comb to remove the icing, then use the knife to push the scrap icing from the comb onto a plate that I've set aside just for this purpose.

Laying the wedge of cake on its side will help to keep the cake knife clean, but it IS an optional step.

cheatize Posted 26 Jan 2011 , 12:50am
post #3 of 11

Indydebi: are you a lefty or a righty? That may make a difference in your description. I'm left-handed and nobody wants to see me use a knife right-handed. LOL

indydebi Posted 26 Jan 2011 , 12:59am
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

Indydebi: are you a lefty or a righty? That may make a difference in your description. I'm left-handed and nobody wants to see me use a knife right-handed. LOL



Easy fix! icon_biggrin.gif

In my photos, you see me cutting from the left to the right. You would cut on the other end, from right to left! thumbs_up.gif

cheatize Posted 26 Jan 2011 , 4:35am
post #5 of 11

Huh? Your pictures show you starting on the right side.

indydebi Posted 26 Jan 2011 , 5:09am
post #6 of 11

I cut the 2" wide 'ribbon' on the right side of the cake. Then I start on the left side of that 2" wide piece of cake (left, as you're looking at the photo).

A left handed person would make their cuts starting on the right end of the 2" wide piece of cake (right, as you're looking at the photo). thumbs_up.gif

cheatize Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 4:31am
post #7 of 11

Oy! You've got me sitting here pretending I have a knife in my left hand and the comb in my right. If I start on the right, use my left hand to cut the first column, the comb in my right hand would be against the outside of the cake, thus the frosting adheres the cake to the comb. In your picture, the comb is against the inside of the cake where the only frosting is the filling in the middle of the cake.

I then tried imagining it starting from the left side. Knife in the left hand, comb in the right. Slice the first column with my left hand, stick the comb that's in the right hand into the space left by the slice. That would mimic your picture.

Argh. I should look at your blog post while trying to reply. I can't remember how I get the column of cake to fall against the comb so I can move it enough to lay it down. I'm sure this is simple when actually doing it. After all, it's become so second nature to translate right to left that I hardly realize when I'm doing it. It's only when it comes to cake that I have this problem.

On the bright side, if any righties out there want to learn to knit or crochet, come on over! I'll sit facing you and my left handed movements will perfectly mimic what you need to do for right handed movements. LOL

indydebi Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 4:39am
post #8 of 11

you are so funny! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

Oy! You've got me sitting here pretending I have a knife in my left hand and the comb in my right. If I start on the right, use my left hand to cut the first column, the comb in my right hand would be against the outside of the cake, thus the frosting adheres the cake to the comb. In your picture, the comb is against the inside of the cake where the only frosting is the filling in the middle of the cake.


But the comb is only against the icing on the outside for one slice. After that, its exposed cake! thumbs_up.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

I can't remember how I get the column of cake to fall against the comb so I can move it enough to lay it down. I'm sure this is simple when actually doing it. After all, it's become so second nature to translate right to left that I hardly realize when I'm doing it. It's only when it comes to cake that I have this problem.


I scoot the 2" column out to the side a bit (using the comb to push it) then lay it down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

On the bright side, if any righties out there want to learn to knit or crochet, come on over! I'll sit facing you and my left handed movements will perfectly mimic what you need to do for right handed movements. LOL


omg, I JUST posted on my facebook page how crocheting is definitely becoming a lost art because I can NOT find crochet THREAD in any craft store in Indy!!! Ended up having to order size 30 onlin that I need for a new project I'm designing. I crochet American flags and sell them in a consignment shop. Photos are on my FB page.

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 6:39am
post #9 of 11

Thanks, Debi, for responding!

Hmm, I didn't think I was using too much filling, but perhaps. I don't know. It always seems to me that my cakes have less filling than cakes from professional bakeries.

I ice the cake to the edge of the cake board. Sometimes the top has a bit more, sometimes a lot less.

No, I don't have a cake comb (planning on getting one at some point), but I do use a cake server.

The switching hands issue I'm having I guess is because I have to pick the slice up with the server with my right hand. When I try to use my left, everything falls apart.

Do you have the cake plates on the left or the right side of you? Maybe that is part of the crossing over issue I'm noticing.

I think I am going to have to make a new cake just so I can practice and figure this all out.

indydebi Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 7:03am
post #10 of 11

I think *I'M* going to have to make a 3-tiered cake to video hwo to put it together and take it apart! icon_lol.gif

Definitely get one of those combs. cake servers are useless and I always encouraged brides NOT to buy them! Part of the reason I hate them is the servers are shaped to a wedge-shaped piece of cake (pointy end on the server) and we are cutting square/rectangle pieces.

Those servers are not designed for "high volume" food service, but are designed for pretty little parties in the front parlor. The surface of those servers are usually smaller than 2x4", so yes, the piece of cake WILL tend to fall off, whereas the comb has a surface area much larger and can adequately hold the piece of cake in its entirety.

I have the plates spread out all over the table and I use the comb as the vehicle to deliver the cut piece to the plates.

Now .... I just need to find a group of 100 friends who need cake for 100!!

cheatize Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 7:46am
post #11 of 11

I had to hunt down a battery operated light today so I checked out the crochet thread supply around here.
Hobby Lobby: about a dozen colors available. They have red, white, but no navy blue.
Walmart: a few colors but none that are in the flag except for white.
Joann Fabrics: nothing

I didn't stop at Michaels because by that time I was three hours into the trip and decided I'd check the dollar store for what I needed and if they didn't have it, I'd figure out something else. I was looking for a tea light that doesn't flicker.

I think I understand now about your cutting method. I'll try it Saturday when I slice my son's birthday cake. Thanks for everything!

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