How to Cut a Wedding Cake

Let chef Michelle Doll show you how to cut a wedding cake in this Howcast video.

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Ever wonder how bakers make wedding cakes look so amazing? Wonder no more: Cake designer Michelle Doll shares her secrets for creating beautiful cakes using fondant, frosting, flowers, candy, glitter, and other embellishments. Whether you're making a cake for a wedding or some other special occasion, these cake decorating tips, tricks, and techniques will help make your next cake a culinary standout.

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So now it's time to cut and enjoy the cake. The first thing we'll do is take off our anniversary tier to wrap up and preserve later. I'm just going to put this on the plate here. I'm going to gingerly slide a knife between the two tiers. They should be fairly stuck together and if the cake has been out for the entire reception, there's a good chance it's a little soft. So just carefully lift it off. Lost a Necco wafer. That's okay. I'm going to leave that on the plate to preserve later. So the first thing we want to do is remove our dowels that protected this tier so well. I've got a pair of needle-nosed pliers here. I'll just reach in, pull these out. All right, now here's the big secret about cutting wedding cakes. You make a square and then you're going to cut exactly equal portions. If you have a tiny cake and you have a birthday party, it's fine to do slices all the way around, but for a wedding cake you want every slice to be exactly the same. The way you do that is by making this into a square. That does mean you're going to have some waste, and if you go into the back, you'll probably find your caterers feasting on the little scraps left behind. There's a lot left in there and it's part of why wedding cakes are so expensive as well, because there's some waste involved. So the first thing I'm going to do is with a long serrated blade, just go straight down the side. There's our one outside, which I will discard. It's tricky too, because the cake has likely been sitting out for a number of hours, which means it's at its most delicious because it's room temperature, but at its most difficult to cut because it's soft. There we go, more scrap. So now I'm going to go through the center, so I have a nice squared off piece here. I'm going to cut it right down the middle and it's serrated for a reason. You want to kind of saw it back and forth. You don't necessarily want to just squish it all the way down right away. So now we should be able to get even slices. I'm going to hold these two together. The industry standard for a wedding cake slice is that they're about four fingers wide by two fingers deep and my tiers are usually around five inches tall, so it's a pretty healthy serving. This is why there's often a cake cutting fee associated with wedding cakes at venues, because it is not the easiest thing in the world to do. Another server here, and there we go. And that is how you cut your wedding cake.

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  • Michelle Doll

    Michelle Doll is a professional chef instructor and design expert in Park Slope, Brooklyn where she lives with her husband, graphic artist Eric Olson, and their son. She won Throwdown with Bobby Flay and has appeared on Food Network a number of times. Check out michelledollcakes.com for cake inspiration and a new design/food blog.