If you’ve taken a scroll through Instagram recently, you might have noticed the same thing popping up over and over— a seemingly simple video of a woman slicing up a cake. And though the cake looks really pretty, you probably found yourself wondering one thing: “What is the big deal?”
We’ll admit, we were skeptical too when this one started popping up over and over – and over and over – across pretty much all of our social media platforms. Then we couldn’t help being curious: was it part of the rainbow-esque “unicorn” food trend? Was there something hidden in the confection? Is it just that people really, really like cake?
And we have to say, if it were any of those reasons, we wouldn’t blame anybody. We mean, just look at this decadent treat, from Australian-based baker Katherine Sabbath:
But it turns out, however, that it’s not the treat itself – “Layers of chocolate mud cake filled with raspberries & vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream. Topped with chubby meringue kisses” – that’s going viral, but the way Katherine slices it that people are appreciating.
Why? Because it’s a brilliant, portion-controlling hack.
The Cake-Cutting Trick
Think about any time you’ve gone to a wedding and enjoyed a slice (or two) of the cake. Now picture the cake itself in your head, and compare it to the slice you received. If the wedding and the cake were traditional, you’ll probably remember a discrepancy between the two. Can you think of it?
That’s right— the wedding cake was round, but that slice? It was a rectangle.
The technique Katherine Sabbath is demonstrating here is one caterers have been using for years. Instead of the typical crisscrossing cuts that turn out thick, triangular slices, the technique allows the cake cutter to get many more slices out of a round cake, thus insuring that a) everybody gets some and b) the slices themselves aren’t monstrously big.
What’s more, now that we’ve all been clued into this caterer-approved trick, we can all easily implement it into our own lives, making sure that birthday cake feeds every guest at the party.
Just watch the video below to see it in action, then grab a cutting board. Hold the cutting board up to the cake, then slice all the way across the cake, forming a thin rectangular slab. Allow that slab to rest against the cutting board, and lay the board down. Cut the slab into square or rectangular pieces, and voila! Cake for everybody.
The Cake-Cutting Master
So if this technique’s one that’s well known to caterers, why is it suddenly garnering attention now?
Part of it is simply that it was shared on Katherine Sabbath’s popular account, which already has thousands of followers thanks to her colorful, baked-and-edible works of art. According to our friends at Food52, she’s:
a reformed high school teacher turned self-described “cake creative.” She’s a frankenfood magician, her aesthetic frenzied and joltingly colorful; Sabbath’s been credited as one of the progenitors of the unicorn food movement.
For some, this so-called “hack” is no revelation at all, and Sabbath isn’t exactly claiming to be its author. Sabbath has ripped a page from the playbook of wedding caterers who’ve been doing this for years. Nevertheless, the quick spread of this video implies that this technique isn’t exactly a mainstream practice. If you haven’t cut your cake this way before, now’s your time to begin.
Makes sense to us! To see her demonstration, check out the popular video below. It makes much more sense once you see it, we promise— and once you do, you’ll never want to slice your cake any other way.
What do you think of this cake-cutting technique? Have you ever tried anything similar? Were you familiar with it already, or is your mind blown?