The cake-cutting ceremony is a highlight of any wedding reception and a special moment that will be caught on film. It’s another opportunity for guests to ooh and ahh, and it offers the couple an excuse to publicly declare their love for one another once again.
But as special as the cake-cutting moment is, most couples don’t realize the importance of having the proper technique or planning for it during the wedding planning process. Though it may seem simple, there is a specific technique and method for cutting and serving wedding cake that ensures clean slices.
There is nothing worse than a messy, unevenly cut cake being served to guests. It can be a disaster to try and salvage uneven slices, not to mention how unappealing they look. So if you want to avoid any cake-cutting catastrophes, read on for the proper technique on how to cut a wedding cake.
Planning for Cutting of The Wedding Cake
Of course, before you can even begin to cut the cake, there needs to be some planning and preparation. Tools like a cake knife, serving spatula, and cake plates should all be prepared and ready to go so as to avoid any potential hiccups during the cake-cutting ceremony. All necessary utensils should be set out beforehand, and the cake-cutting table should be cleared of any unnecessary items.
It’s also important to have a game plan for how you want to cut and serve the cake and the number of slices needed. Discuss ahead of time with the bakery or caterer how many guests will be at the wedding and what size slice to cut for each person. This will ensure there are enough slices for every guest, as well as avoid any wasted cake.
The Proper Technique
Now that the planning and preparation are in place, it’s time to actually begin cutting the cake. There are different ways of cutting and serving the cake depending on the type of cake, such as layered cakes or tiered cakes. The usual designs of most wedding cakes are round and square, so we’ll focus on those shapes for the proper cutting technique.
How to Cut a Round Wedding Cake
Round cakes are the most common shape for wedding cakes because they are the easiest to slice and serve. Make sure your serving tools are ready and that the serrated knife is sharp before you cut the cake. For proper cutting technique, follow these steps;
- Start by cutting a thin slice off the top of the cake to create a flat surface. This will ensure that the top layer of the cake is nice and even before making any additional cuts. And this slice will act as a guide for all subsequent slices and ensure they are even.
- Next, make parallel cuts along the guide slice, creating even wedges of cake. Make sure to keep the knife as straight as possible, and use a gentle sawing motion for clean cuts.
- Place each slice of cake onto individual plates, using the serving spatula to transfer them carefully. Serve with any accompanying dessert toppings or sauces on the side.
However, when it comes to cutting a tiered round cake, it can be slightly more complicated as you have to account for each tier individually, and you might not be able to figure out how to slice each tier in the most efficient manner. When cutting a tiered wedding cake, follow these steps;
- First, remove all tiered layers and place them onto a separate cake platter or serving plate. This will make it easier to access each tier individually and cut them separately. Most times, the top tier is kept for the couple to enjoy on their first anniversary, so it’s important not to cut into that tier.
- Start with the bottom tier and cut thin slices, following the same technique as a round cake. Make sure to keep the knife straight and use a gentle sawing motion for clean cuts.
- For the middle cake tier, cut small wedges or triangle slices, following the guide slice method.
- Then for the top tier, if it is not being saved, cut small wedges or triangle slices as well. Place each slice onto individual plates, using the serving spatula to transfer them carefully. Serve with any accompanying dessert toppings or sauces on the side.
- When cutting a tiered cake into slices, it is important to have an additional serving utensil or knife on hand for each tier in order to avoid cross-contamination.
How to Cut a Square Wedding Cake
Obviously, the same technique for cutting a round cake cannot be applied to a square cake, because the shape is different. A square cake typically has four equal sides, so the cutting technique is slightly different and most often done in a grid or checkerboard pattern.
- Start by cutting thin slices along one side of the cake, keeping the knife straight, and using a gentle sawing motion for clean cuts.
- Then rotate the cake 90 degrees and make another set of cuts, creating small squares or rectangles of cake. Repeat until all sides have been cut into small squares or rectangles.
- Place each slice onto individual plates, using the serving spatula to transfer them carefully, and serve with any accompanying dessert toppings or sauces on the side.
However, if it is a square-tier wedding cake, then it is important to follow the same technique as a tiered cake and cut each tier separately, following the guide slice method.
More Tips for Cutting a Wedding Cake
- Use a wedding knife set specifically made for cutting cakes. These knives are usually sharper and sturdier than regular knives, making it easier to cut through the layers without tearing or crumbling the cake.
- Consider cutting smaller slices. This gives your guests more options for their preferred cake flavor and also creates a more elegant presentation on the plates.
- Make sure the knife is clean before each cut to prevent crumbs and icing from getting on the slices.
- Ask your cake baker or caterer for instructions on how many servings the cake will yield, as this can vary depending on the cake design and serving size. This will help you determine the proper cutting technique, such as if the cake should be cut in a straight line or diagonal wedges.
- Use a gentle sawing motion to ensure even cuts and smooth edges.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from a member of your wedding party or a catering staff member. Two sets of hands can make the cutting process smoother and easier.
Should the Top Tier of a Wedding Cake Be Eaten on the Wedding Day?
Traditionally, the top tier of a wedding cake is saved and frozen for the couple to enjoy on their first anniversary. However, some couples choose to eat it on their wedding day or even use it as their groom’s cake.
Where Do You Start Cutting a Wedding Cake?
It is best to start cutting from the bottom tier of a tiered wedding cake, then move onto the middle tiers, before finally cutting the top tier (if it is not being saved). For a single-tier cake, it is typically best to start cutting from one side or corner.
How Do You Cut a Tiered Cake?
Remove any decorations or figurines from the top tier and disassemble the tiers, if necessary. Then cut each tier separately, using the guide slice method to ensure an even distribution of layers.
Do You Cut The Top or Bottom of The Wedding Cake?
For a tiered wedding cake, it is best to start cutting from the bottom tier and work your way up. For a single-tier cake, you can start from any side or corner. It may also depend on the design or structure of the cake.
Can a Wedding Cake Be 2 Layers?
Yes, a wedding cake can have two layers or even multiple layers. The number of layers in a cake usually depends on how the couple wants it to look and how many people they want to serve.
When it comes to cutting and serving a wedding cake, there are a number of different methods that can be used to avoid any potential mishaps. The techniques and methods will vary depending on the cake shape and design, but the goal is always to cut and serve the cake cleanly so that guests can enjoy a piece of your big day.
While serving a wedding cake at your reception by cutting it into wedges is the most traditional and customary method, there are times when a different approach is necessary. It might be more entertaining to cut the cake into shapes that correspond to the wedding’s theme.
No matter what method you choose, make sure to have the proper equipment on hand and consult with your baker for guidance if needed. Above all else, enjoy the wedding cake’s sweet treat!