Weddings

Cutting a Square Wedding Cake

Make sure all your guests receive a slice

By Glyn Sheridan

4 Tier Wedding Cake with Roses
Photo by iStockphoto.comBookmark and Share

Although wedding cakes come in all shapes and sizes, square cake layers are unusually stunning and elegant. The traditional wedding cake slice is small, approximately 1 inch wide by 2 inches deep, cut from a 4-inch-high cake layer. When cutting a square wedding cake, a simple ruled reference guide will allow the cake cutter to make the pieces small and uniform, ensuring that all the guests receive a slice.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Though cutting a wedding cake may seem easy, once the task is tried it proves to be more difficult. That is why you'll want to have a ruled reference guide, 1-inch-wide offset spatula, tall glass of hot water and sharp cake knife. You'll also want a wiping cloth to keep the plates and serving table clean.
Cutting the cake piece by piece

Step 1:

Assuming you have a multi-tiered cake, remove the top cake tier and set it aside for the newlyweds to preserve and enjoy on their first anniversary. Then remove and cut the remaining tiers, one at a time. Start with the uppermost one and place each layer on the tabletop before cutting.

Step 2:

Make a ruled guide by cutting a 2-inch-wide piece of cardboard or sheet plastic the length of the largest cake layer and making lines with an indelible marker at 1-inch increments. This simple guide will serve as your reference for cutting the large and the small layers.

Step 3:

Place the guide lightly on the surface of the cake, aligning the edges without pressing the guide into the icing. With the cake knife, lightly score the icing along the inside edge of the guide, making a 2-inch strip on the cake.

Step 4:

Reposition the ruled guide so you can score the icing in 1-inch increments along the strip. This will allow you to cut uniform slices from the cake. Although a wedding cake slice is small compared to the slices you may cut from a dessert cake, it is traditional to offer only a small piece and allow the guests to snack on other reception treats.

Step 5:

Keep the cake knife blade in a glass of hot water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth before slicing. The heated knife will slide smoothly through the icing, making each slice clean and attractive.

Step 6:

Begin cutting at one edge and slice each piece according to the scores on the icing, dipping and wiping the knife between every two or three slices. Cut only one strip and remove all the slices, one at a time, to serving plates before using the guide again to score a new section of slices.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Appoint one person to cut the cake. Go through the scoring and cutting instructions with him or her before the reception.
  • Refill the cake knife glass frequently with hot water.
  • Avoid cutting the cake freehand. It's easy to cut the pieces too large, leaving some guests without a slice.

About the Author

Glyn Sheridan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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