Last Updated on August 7, 2022
Portioning cake can be challenging. So, here is how to cut a round cake into squares. This method has a ton of benefits and is super easy!
Why Would You Want To Cut A Square Piece From A Round Cake?
This may seem counterproductive. Baking a round cake just to cut square pieces from it. But, you would actually be surprised how many different reasons there are. So, upon numerous requests, we’ve decided to finally cover exactly how to cut a round cake into squares.
The main reason is that people don’t have a round cake pan. And we get it! If you buy a new pan for every single recipe you want to try, you’ll have a warehouse full of equipment! Not to mention that it costs money and takes up a bunch of kitchen space!
So, one day you just really need a square cake pan for a specific cake – whatever that may be!
Another reason is that square pieces tend to portion better. They are easier to cut and everyone is far more guaranteed to get a similar-sized piece. That may also sound silly, but remember, kids don’t like it when they don’t get the exact same piece as their friend. We’ve once seen a parent get out a ruler! But kids are kids!
And finally, you may want to create beautiful individual cakes. Cutting out round pieces just seems wasteful. So instead, you can cut squares and reserve the ends for crumble or cobbler.
These are only our most-received reasons, but there are much more. So, if you came here looking for answers, we’ve got you covered. Here is an in-depth tutorial on how to cut a round cake into squares!
Benefits of this method
You likely only have one or two chopping boards on hand, so you’ll have to work in batches. This is great because it prevents you from cutting up the entire cake pre-maturely. Unsliced cake keeps fresh longer. So always only cut what you need or as you need it.
When it comes to how to cut a round cake into squares, the best benefit is that your portions will be even. You don’t have to give giant wasteful sections of cake that don’t get finished. And, you don’t have to battle slicing thin pieces. You can cut everything the same size and people can keep taking until they are full.
And finally, this method is much easier than trying to get even triangles of cake. You can very easily and accurately divide the cake into the number of portions you need. It also makes it easy to calculate how much cake you should make for future events.
What You Will Need
- Round cake
- Ruler, optional
- Toothpicks, optional
- Large knife
- Chopping board, optional
- Bowl of clean lukewarm water
- Clean cloth or paper towel
Method 1: How to cut a round cake into squares
Step 1: Measure out your pieces
To start, set the cake on a flat surface. If it is a cake board or cake stand that is flat, that’s perfect.
Then, for perfectly accurate pieces, you can use your ruler. This also just generally helps get the correct amount of portions. And remember the rule; measure twice and cut once.
Mark out the measurements using a ruler. Make tiny indents into the cake using a toothpick. We recommend only measuring out uniformly thick slices first.
Step 2: Soak your knife and prepare your equipment
Place the blade of your sharp knife into a bowl or container of hot water. Wipe it dry before cutting into the cake.
You can also get all of your other equipment close by. Once you start cutting, it’s hard to stop to go grab or prepare something.
Step 3: Slice your cake
Now, starting at one end, cut even slices of cake with smooth strokes of the knife. Catch the large slice of cake onto a chopping board. Lift it away from the cake and set it aside.
Step 4: Cut the large slice into cubes
Once your large cake slice is on a cutting board, you can wipe off your knife to ensure it’s clean.
Then, you can eyeball it or use a ruler again, and measure out the square cuts you need to make. This measurement will be the same width as the slice you made.
Using a sharp, clean, but warm knife, cut your flat slice into pieces.
If you need cubed cake pieces, you will cut these rectangular slices into the correct cube size you need. Leave the cake on the board and keep working off of it.
Step 5: Move the cake and repeat the process
Once you have cut all the square or cubed pieces of cake you need, you can either serve them on the chopping board or transfer them to a serving tray.
Then, repeat the steps above to cut more square pieces from your round cake.
Tips And Tricks
- Between cuts, especially if your cake is covered in frosting, ganache, or fondant, wipe down your blade with a damp clean cloth.
- Once your knife cools down, reheat it in warm water before proceeding, A warm blade helps beautifully slice through the frosting or fondant. If you only cut plain cake, you don’t have to heat your blade.
- We always prefer using a large serrated knife (like a bread knife) for cutting frosted cakes. This is because they easily saw through the delicate crumb instead of smashing it. But, if you have fondant or glazed cake, rather use a smooth-edged sharp chef’s knife.
- If you’re trying to get beautiful cubes of clean cake, you may want to trim off the caramelized sides. Here’s how you can do that.
Coming To An End
This tutorial on how to cut a round cake into squares should cover everything you could possibly want to know. But, if you still have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!
How do you cut a square piece out of a round cake?
First, measure out the width of the square and cut slices off of the round cake. Place each slice on a chopping board. Then, cut the long slices into squares and serve them immediately.
What is the proper way to cut a round cake?
Technically there isn't a right and wrong way. It comes down to whatever works for you. But, most people cut 8-12 triangles from their round cake. The technique we've covered today however uses squares. Personally, we like squares better because you almost get more out. Not to mention all of the pieces are even in size!
How do you cut a round cake flat?
To level a cake, there are a couple of options. After years of training, we're able to do this without any tools. But if you're just starting, measure your height with a ruler. Go right around the cake and insert a toothpick at your mark. Then, start with your bread knife on the toothpicks and slice right through. Always make sure your knife is level with the toothpicks.
How do you cut the sides of a round cake?
To cut away the browned sides of your cake, the best way to do this is slowly. We're not kidding. It sounds simple, but all you have to do is trim the browned parts off. using a serrated paring knife or bread knife. Go slowly so that you can ensure you are taking off even pieces right around the cake.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.