How to level & split a cake

How to level & split a cake

By
From
Decorated
Photographer
Danielle Wood

I love that moment when you cut into a cake to take out the first slice and see that all of your hard work has paid off – even stripes created by layers of tender sponge and rich buttercream. Baked cakes will inevitably have a slight dome to them (if they are very domed it’s a sign that your oven might be too hot), so it’s a good idea to level your cake before you start to decorate. If you can, bake your cake the day before decorating, let it cool completely, wrap it in cling film (plastic wrap) and level and split it the following day when it will be less fragile to handle.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 cakes

Equipment

Quantity Ingredient
cake leveller or serrated knife

Method

  1. Start by levelling off the domed tops. Adjust the height of your cake leveller so that it will slice off the domed top while keeping as much of the cake as possible.
  2. Cut 1–2 cm into the crust of the cake with a sawing motion. Make sure that the cake leveller stays upright with the feet on the work surface. Cakes can be quite fragile and cutting through the crust first will stop your cake from crumbling too much.
  3. Turn the cake to cut through the crust all the way around before you cut through the middle.
  4. Remove the domed top and repeat with your cake leveller at the same height for the second cake.
  5. Next, adjust your cake leveller to split your levelled cakes in half cutting through the crust first as above.
  6. Now you have 4 level cake layers of equal height, ready to fill and cover. Place the bottom of one cake, crust side down, onto the bottom of your stack and the bottom of the other cake, crust side up, on the top so that you have a nice smooth surface to work with. If you’re baking your cake in advance, now is a good time to wrap the whole thing in 2 layers of cling film (plastic wrap), freeze for up to 3 months or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Tip

  • If you don’t have a cake leveller, hold a serrated knife against the side of the cake and turn the cake on your work surface to cut through the crust. This will make sure that your initial cut stays at the same height all of the way round. Then cut all the way through, keeping one hand on top of the cake for support.
Tags:
cake
cakes
baking
decorating
party
special
occasion
birthday
april
carter
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