June 28, 2022

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You Really Will not Want a Knife to Cut Cake

This tale is element of Attempt This, CNET’s collection of simple suggestions to enhance your existence, rapid.

When you have a gorgeous cake sitting down in entrance of you, no 1 would like to minimize the initially slice and in the end smear the delicate piping with a knife. But there is a remarkably powerful way you can cut the cake though preserving its splendor. Just put down the mess-triggering knife and get some dental floss instead.

A spool of dental floss tucks simply into a kitchen or desk drawer, or a get the job done bag, and is often at the completely ready. I a short while ago analyzed 5 varieties of dental floss to slash 3 forms of cake. The final result: some of the cleanest slices that would make any expert bakery proud. I’m not kidding. This process works fantastically perfectly, and it is incredibly straightforward to do. 

The only downside: Making use of floss may not be the most exquisite way to cut cake slices and you may well get icing on your fingers. But the success are worth it. This is how to minimize your cake with floss, which kind of floss is effective finest and some pitfalls you ought to absolutely steer clear of. For a lot more great tricks, here’s how to make distilled water for free and how to end junk mail for superior.

@cnetdotcom Your #cake could taste a little bit #minty based on the floss you pick. #lifehack#dentalfloss#trythis#didyouknow#cookinghacks#baking#howtotok♬ son first – SHIMMYA

Why use dental floss to cut a cake?

There may well be a range of reasons you get to for the dental floss instead of a knife for cutting cake. Possibly you might be in the business or at a birthday party in the park and the only accessible chopping utensil is a 6-inch compostable knife. Potentially you might be worn out of buttercream buildup and want to test something new. One colleague saved the day at a celebration when a huge cube cake appeared at a bar that did not have utensils for friends to use. The good news is, the container of floss she experienced on hand did the position.

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This is why it will work: A strand of floss is normally thinner than the regular kitchen area knife blade, and it can be created to slide very easily by means of tight spaces (that is, concerning your enamel). If you’ve got at any time flossed also aggressively, sore gums are all the proof you require that the floss “edge” can be sharp. 

Add them together and you have a very best instrument that can get you neat, clear slices immediately after slicing. Even though slicing by means of a single cake, I could scarcely see the place the floss sliced as a result of the frosting for the reason that the cuts had been so neat. 

In my encounter, utilizing dental floss to cut cake also did a superior position of preserving the fragile decorations. For instance, the carrot cake I used for this take a look at experienced a piped carrot style on top rated of the cake. Slicing through it with the floss stored that layout intact. In my practical experience, applying a butcher knife to lower by means of decorations normally spoils the seem, leaving a smeared design — but it relies upon on the sharpness, width and length of the knife blade.

And that difficulty of gathered frosting on the edge of the knife? Mostly absent — with the exception of buildup on your fingers.

cake cut with floss

Professional tip: Slide the floss by means of the bottom of the cake for a cleaner cut.


Katie Teague/CNET

How to reduce any cake using dental floss

Initial, make positive your cake is on a flat surface so you have space to pull the floss all the way to the cake’s bottom. You could put it on a cake stand to give you a lot more area as you slice down. Next, spool out a size of floss more substantial than the widest part of the cake. I remaining various inches on every finish to wrap the floss all over my fingers comfortably. When you wrap the floss all around your fingers, do not make it super restricted: You might be seeking to minimize cake, not your fingers. 

If you are making an attempt to make each slice the similar dimension, you may possibly want to use the floss to evenly mark information strains ahead of reducing as a result of the cake. 

Completely ready? This is what to do.

Sq. or rectangular cake: If the cake is shaped like a square or rectangle, it might be easier to lower due to the fact all those cakes are generally shorter than round cakes. Working with your floss, make your cuts across the cake lengthwise, urgent firmly into the cake to cut all the way by means of. Now make your cuts widthwise, slicing to the base of the cake. 

Spherical cake: If your cake is formed like a circle, it is really maybe a layer cake so you may perhaps need to have to apply a bit much more stress to make it all the way to the base of the cake. Employing your floss, firmly cut as a result of the middle of the cake to create two halves — you may perhaps need to move the floss in a sawing movement to entirely slice it. 

Then, make a perpendicular slice to the one you just manufactured — you really should now have four triangles. Proceed building cuts, shifting about the cake, till you have the number of slices you need to have. Note that the thinner you want your slices, the more durable it will be to reduce because the slices start falling apart.

cake cut with floss

Floss is improved for reducing thinner slices of cake.


Katie Teague/CNET

Can you also use dental floss to provide cake slices?

To see if it was feasible, I attempted to choose up a slice of cake with floss. It was challenging and variety of labored, but the floss slowly but surely slice by way of the spongy texture as I attempted to clear away the slice. I counsel utilizing a fork or serving knife to provide slices to a plate, as a substitute.

My pro suggestion for slicing cake with floss

When you happen to be producing cuts, as soon as you have sliced to the bottom, do not pull the floss again up. Initially, performing that will make your floss messier, which indicates you’ll need to have to get a new strand each time you make a cut. But far more critical, pulling the slice back up provides crumbs to the leading of your cake and pulls up a bit of the frosting much too, so you you should not get the clean, tidy glimpse you might be immediately after. 

Alternatively, the moment you’ve got sliced all the way as a result of to the bottom of the cake, allow go of one close and pull the floss out. Most of the icing and crumbs on the floss will be swept off as you slip the floss out, and you are going to be still left with a clean up strand that you can reuse to minimize the next slice. 

Here is exactly where the floss failed to do its job

When slicing the larger cakes, I noticed the floss often failed to very easily minimize all the way to the base, possibly due to the fact of the greater resistance. If this takes place to you, I suggest chopping the cake in 50 % 1st and then doing the job with each fifty percent so there is certainly a lot less cake — and resistance — to lower by. It may possibly also assistance to set the cake on a stand to help you slice all the way through.

A further notice: If you are baking a cake at residence, this technique will not perform unless of course you take out the cake from the baking dish or cake pan initially. 

Nice even slices of carrot cake

Nice even slices of cake.


Katie Teague/CNET

Which sort of floss labored finest

For my exams, I utilized waxed floss from Kroger, two kinds from Oral-B Glide (a single mint flavored, the other unflavored), and two types from CVS’ retail store brand: a thicker, waxed dental tape and a typical, unwaxed floss. I attempted the floss forms on three cakes: A layer carrot cake made up of bits of grated carrot, just one taller and lighter texture sheet cake, and a single shorter and denser sheet cake (pretty much like brownies).

All the floss worked good and designed neat cuts, even with the bits of carrot from the much more textured sample cake. The Glide original floss sliced via the cakes a little bit a lot easier than the Kroger waxed floss. I imagine it is really because the Glide floss felt smoother to the touch and in fact did glide by means of the cake. 

In spite of my becoming fearful that it would snag, the unwaxed floss worked remarkably nicely and created neat slices.

The only one particular that smeared a little bit when generating a minimize was the dental tape — which appears to be far more like a ribbon than a thread of nylon floss. It made a clear slice, while, and I’d use it in a pinch. 

Flavored vs. unflavored floss: Will it modify the style of your cake?

I was nervous about regardless of whether applying flavored floss would also transfer flavor to the cake slices, but we lower parts of a chocolate sheet cake utilizing mint-flavored floss and none of the four style-testers could detect a minty taste. To be harmless, I’d adhere with basic, unflavored floss if you can, and steer away from cinnamon or coconut or bubblegum flavors. 

So the up coming time you are chopping cake, reach for the dental floss or one thing similar — like fishing line, stitching string or a skinny wire.