I highly suggest this excellent post by Debi Brim, experienced cake decorator and caterer, on How to Cut a Wedding Cake, including step-by-step photographs and instructions. I couldn’t have explained it better!
This “grid” technique also works great for how to cut a 3-D cake. Here I was below was using the same method. To summarize:
Remove accents or items that might in the way
Cut a strip of cake (in this case, it was about 2 inches wide). I cut downward until it hit the board. This was about 4 inches.
Then cut that strip into pieces (it can be 1″ wide pieces – I cut mine a little big here). If you want even smaller pieces, you can cut this in half again.
Remove the dowels/supports before cutting the layer below. (I use scissors to remove slippery dowels.)
If you want to learn more about cake decorating, you have to watch the new show Fabulous Cakes on TLC! I think this is one of my favourite cake shows I have seen so far!
Fabulous Cakes is about educating the viewer on how fabulous cakes are created. They explain, in detail, the technical aspects of making cakes.
Each show goes to a different city and follows different professional cake decorators though the entire process. They definitely share some great cake secrets and innovative cake techniques.
They follow the professional cake decorators – in depth – through every step of the cake:
the customer consultation
planning and structure
carving and crumb-coating
covering in fondant
They even sometimes catch the painful “cake disasters,” and what the decorators do to fix them! I love carefully watching the expressions on the decorator’s faces – you can almost read their minds when they know something is wrong.
And this is one of the few cake shows that reveals the prices of the cakes! I really appreciate this as it gives a greater understanding of what people are paying for these amazing works-of-art.
This show is definitely not nearly as scripted as some of the others. It really is more about explaining and education people about what a cake goes through from start to finish.
For anyone that is interested in learning how amazing cakes are made, I highly suggest checking it out.
Update: I just saw the New York episode and it was awesome… It featured one of my favourite cake designers, Kate Sullivan. There are some really great cakes that come out of that city! And the guys from City Cakes NY??? – they’re ripped! I am sure they have no problems lifting cakes around!