This Secret Trick Lets You Cut Cake Layers Like a Charm

Updated: Mar. 20, 2019

Here's how to cut cake layers like a boss...with no knives or expensive gadgets required!

The perfect layer cake starts with flat, even tiers. We’ve got a genius tip here that will help you achieve that straight out of the oven. But sometimes, despite your best efforts, your layers can still turn out lopsided, in which case there’s no choice but to even them out.

Other times, a recipe calls for cutting your existing layers into thinner layers. For example, this chocolate pecan torte‘s four layers start out as two baked layers. So the question becomes: How to cut cake layers horizontally?

The classic way to cut cake layers

To cut your cake layers horizontally, you can use a long, flat, serrated knife—such as a bread knife—and follow the directions here. You can also use a gadget called a “cake leveler” (Wilton makes a really nifty one you can purchase here).

But wouldn’t you know it? We have a new way!

The dental floss way

The dental floss way? That’s right. Dental floss. Without further ado, this is how to cut cake layers using dental floss:

  • Start by prepping your cake the same way you would if you were using a knife or other cake leveling gadget.
  • Measure and cut your dental floss, making sure you cut a piece that is long enough to go completely around the perimeter of the cake, plus a few inches extra on each side. You may also want to insert four to six toothpicks into the side of the cake as a guideline for where you’ll want to cut.
  • Holding one end of the floss in each hand, wrap the floss around the far edge of the cake, crossing the ends in front of you.
  • Pull the two ends of the floss together until you’ve sliced through the entire cake.

A note about which dental floss to use

Waxed dental floss slices cake more smoothly than unwaxed. To avoid interfering with your cake’s flavor, you’ll want to steer away from the flavored dental floss, like mint.

Now you’re ready to tackle these layer cake recipes we know you’re going to love!

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