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Help! How do I cut up a wedding cake????

My friend is getting married in a few weeks and she's asked me to be the official wedding cake cutter. I said "yes", but I've never done this before and I usually avoid weddings, so I haven't seen this done very often. What do I need? A couple of serrated knives? A pail of hot water to wipe the knife between cuts? I believe it'll be the stacked, round wedding cake variety. How big should the pieces be? I've looked at a couple of YouTube videos, but I'm hoping the Chowhounds have some advice for me. Should I be practicing this?

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  1. There are a couple of links with some tips for this here:

    http://weddingstyle.suite101.com/arti...
    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content...

    You might also find some videos on YouTube or eHow that can give you some input.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jostber

      Assuming the wedding cake is coming from a bakery, I would call them and ask for instructions and advice. Chances are they'll invite you to come in and give you a lesson without charge. Possibly a piece of cake too! I don't know of any bakers who want to see their hard work manhandled, so give them a call!

      Oh, and if either the bride or groom shove cake in the other's face, deck 'em! I think this is unforgivable. So you're in charge, nofunlatte. Don't let it happen!

    2. You'll need a large serrated knife, a tall container of hot water and a no-nap dishtowel or napkin to wipe blade between cuts. Portion size should be about 4 ounces, and what you'll be doing is dis-assembling the cake after B & G make the ceremonial cuts. Cut the round around itself but inside, like cutting out a "core". You may need to do the larger layers more than once around. Then, once you have it cut like that, cut straight across to make pieces. You could practice with a few nine-inch layers yourself, cutting about a 5-inch core into them just to give you a visual. Remember to keep the knife clean between cuts.

      1. The whole core/wheel thing is a royal pain in the butt and extremely messy. I do cakes on the side, and here is the best way to do it, pictures included, from a woman who has been in the business for a very long time: http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/sea...

        Also, a standard slice in 4 inches tall, by 1 inch wide and 2 inches in length.

        5 Replies
        1. re: LuckyCharm

          This is brilliant! The photos are really helpful!

          1. re: LuckyCharm

            Granted, absolutely. What you sent is much better.

            1. re: LuckyCharm

              Genius! I thought I was the only one who cut cake like that. It's so much easier.

              1. re: LuckyCharm

                For some reasons, I suddenly want to eat cakes (really).

                1. re: LuckyCharm

                  Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I often make the wedding cake, but then I hand it off and never have to deal with cutting it. This past weekend I not only made, but had to cut and serve the wedding cake I made for my friend's very DIY wedding. I had anxiety about cutting it (because I was planning on using the wheel method) until I came across this post. It worked perfect! Thank you so much for posting on this thread and for your blog post that so clearly demonstrates the method.

                2. People actually eat those things?

                  I thought that they were just for looks ...

                  9 Replies
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Every wedding I've been some half-naked person jumps out of the cake ... oh, wait that was something else ...

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Ha ha ha. I love that. No wonder you said, it is for show. :)

                        In my experience, the guests are expect to eat the wedding cake. I don't think it is even an option :P

                        Usually this happens at the end of the reception.

                        I know young women are really into wedding cakes. I often hear comments like "Oh this cake tastes so good!" "I am going to ask them where they get this cake." Wedding cakes can sometime make guys uneasy because they usually lead to the girlfriends say something like "We are going to have this cake in our wedding, right honey?"

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          FYI (for you and ipse and Caroline1), this is a grownup wedding (not the bride's first). The bride is making an effort to find a cake actually worth eating (I've been hearing the commentary: tonight we are going to try the raspberry mousse cake; tomorrow we are trying the vanilla almond cake!). Nobody is going to be smashing cake in anyone's face. The celebrant is a friend of the groom's who got ordained online (after you give your credit card number, just click the box that says "Ordain Me!"), which tells me that this will be a fun, unstuffy affair. The bride is a woman in her 40s with a science Ph.D., not some bridezilla twenty-something (not that all twenty-somethings are b-zillas). The groom is in his 30s. These are not twits. The ceremony will be in their backyard, followed by a reception at a local ballroom (they are competitive ballroom dancers). I have been appointed the official cake cutter, because of my foodie-ness. I have also been appointed Reception Hall Sheriff (which is great, since I dislike dancing).

                          I've had some pretty ordinary wedding cakes in my life (so I fully understand your comments!), but I have also had one that was actually very good. I'm sure this one will be very good, too.
                          And if not, so what.

                          Of course, there may be some guests who overindulge. If one of them jumps out half-naked, I'll be sure to report back!

                          1. re: nofunlatte

                            I said the young female guests get excited about wedding cake. I didn't say anything about your friend.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Oh, I understand that. I just wanted to clarify that my friend is NOT one of those kinds of brides.

                              1. re: nofunlatte

                                I wish you have fun at the wedding. Don't stress out. Best wishes.

                            2. re: nofunlatte

                              Here's to a wondeerful wedding! But I will say that out of the dozen or so Phuddy Duddies (Ph.D.s) I know, I'm hard pressed to think of one of them who can't behave in a very UN-grown up way when the spirit moves them. It comes with the doctorate. Have fun and here's hoping that as the reception hall sherrif, you are standing idly by all night. Good cheer!

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        Surprisingly, yes. However, the portions are MUCH smaller for wedding cake than for birthday cake. Your average 9-inch birthday cake will serve 8 to 12 people. a 3-tier wedding cake with 6-, 9-, and 12-inch 2-layer tiers is about 3.2 times bigger than this, theoretically serving 25 to 40 guests. At a wedding, it will be enough cake for 150 people. I've baked cakes for weddings, I've seen it with my own two eyes, and I STILL don't believe it.