You’re Cutting Your Cake Wrong: The Scientifically Correct Way to Do It

The scientific way to cut a cake
You probably think you know how to cut a cake, but if you want to do it the scientifically correct way, the chances are high you’ve been doing it wrong all these years. If you cut a wedge when you’re ready to plate your cake, you’ve obviously failed to study the finer scientific points to make sure all the remaining cake slices are as fresh as possible the next time you want to have a piece.

The Scientific method for slicing cake was actually a rediscovery. Alex Bellos, the author of The Grapes of Math, was reading an early issue of Nature when he came across the interesting cutting method. About 100 years ago, the Victorian scientist Frances Galton submitted the letter to the magazine explaining a better way to cut a cake. Apparently, people were slicing their cakes incorrectly back then as well. While not a household name, Galton also happened to discover some other things in his life besides the best way to cut cakes, such as drawing the first weather map, fingerprints and coining the phrase “nature versus nurture.”

Instead of cutting out a wedge, which is the way the vast majority of people cut a cake, the scientific method cuts the cake all the way across the middle into a thin slice. The thin slice is then removed from the middle, and the two sides of the cake are pushed together. They’re then sealed tightly together by placing a rubber band around the cake. When this is done, there’s no interior part of the cake exposed to the air which keeps it from drying out. That means the next time you go to eat a slice of cake, your entire piece will be moist on the inside. Watch the video below and see for yourself:

While a method is quite clever, it obviously won’t work with all types of cakes. If the cake or other pastry has been covered with a somewhat hard frosting, as is shown in the video, then this method will work perfectly. If, however, you have your typical birthday cake with a soft frosting outside, trying to put a rubber band around it to keep it together could prove to be quite a mess.

Still, it’s worth giving a try. Even better, the next time you’re with others and get the chance, volunteer to cut the cake. Then watch the eyes of those around you grow wide as you break the common etiquette of how a cake is typically sliced, and put your new cake-cutting scientific knowledge to work.

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