I have a lot of trouble with my cake not staying together when I trim/carve it. It usually crumbs in big chunks then I have to try and repair it with icing. Next time I going to use a jelly roll pan and cut my shapes from there. I have wondered if my knife (serraded) is too dull or am I doing something wrong? I just would rather be able to stack a couple of square or round pans and then trim the sides so that they are all even. Any suggestions?
Some cakes are just not good for carving. I don't know what recipe you're using, but look for a dense, moist cake, like a pound cake. Those are the ones that work best. I don't know what your carving technique is, either, but I always torte, fill and stack my cakes and then go to town on them with my knife. I use a really sharp non-serrated knife, but that's just my preference - others might like using different carving tools. I use a larger knife for the main cuts and a paring knife for the details. But I'd certainly say sharp is the operative word here. If your knife is the least bit dull, it will drag the cake with it as you carve.
Thanks, I will continue to experiment and I will try a differnt knife. I have another one to do this weekend so I will keep my fingers crossed.