In another life, I was a children’s party host. As well as being able to karaoke on-demand, I prided myself on my cake cutting skills. It didn’t matter whether I had a melting ice cream cake and 50 hyperactive children on my hands, I could work it out so every single person got a slice.
But turns out I’ve been doing it wrong the whole time. Yes, according to science, there are good ways and bad (very, very bad) ways to cut a cake. And when it comes to culinary delights, this is not something you want to be screwing up.
As mathemetician Alex Bellos explains in a video, the traditional way of cutting a round cake into slices and leaving two sides exposed when you store overnight only serves to make the remaining sponge “dry and horrible”. (Post continues after video.)
He says that in doing so, you’re failing to “maximising the amount of gastronomic pleasure” that you can get from the cake. How dare you.
Instead, Bellos believes we should “break all the rules of cake etiquette” and instead use a method first published in science magazine Nature way back in 1906 – cutting the cake from the middle.
While it sounds strange, he argues the result are more uniform slices – and deliciously fresh cake for much, much longer.
To employ the mathematically approved method, simply slice the round cake in half down the middle. Then move the knife to your desired slice thickness and cut in a parallel line, removing the strip from the cake and cutting into the required number of pieces.