Cut the cake.

It’s summer, the world outside is lovely and we all want to step away from our computers more, but sometimes you have to work, and you have a down moment or three, and maybe you found yourself watching this, a short video on how you’re cutting your cakes wrong:

If you don’t have time to watch the thing, here’s the gist: There’s a right way and a wrong way to cut cake. Allegedly. The wrong way is the “pie” way, whereby you cut triangular slices from the center. This is wrong — allegedly — because the exposed cake gets dry. Um, OK. And so this guy, drawing on some supposedly ancient text of cake-cutting written by a mathematician, proposes a system that requires some fairly fancy knife work and — I shit you not — rubber bands.

Only a mathematician could come up with something that dumb, or find dry cake — a phenomenon I’ve never noticed with cakes, maybe because they don’t last that long in our house — a problem that needs to be solved.

That said, my mother had her own method.

She took the cake and isolated a quadrant, then cut four slices or so out of it, parallel to one another. I’d make a diagram, but lack the graphic-design skills. I hated this method because the outside piece got tons of icing, and the rest, not so much. As the young person, I rarely got the icing piece, which was reserved for the guest. Yes, it’s my own version of “Take an Old Cold Tater and Wait.” Seen here:

When I got older, I vowed that every cake I made would be cut in an egalitarian style, where everyone got an equal amount of icing, except for special cases — like getting the buttercream rose. And dammit, I have stood by this.

Since we’re on an eating theme and a video theme, here you go, one more, the gluten-free duck:

And just to snap us out of our video-cake reverie, how about that Indiana? Wedding cakes for all, cut however you damn well please.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

44 responses to “Cut the cake.”

  1. Sherri said on June 26, 2014 at 1:24 am

    My mom used to cut cakes the same way, and I didn’t like it either. As for drying out, what’s the point of having cake if you eat it so slowly it has time to dry out?

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  2. Dexter said on June 26, 2014 at 1:42 am

    How not to serve a cake. httpv://

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  3. Dexter said on June 26, 2014 at 1:42 am

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  4. Dexter said on June 26, 2014 at 1:45 am

    And… a cake “as light as a feather.”

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  5. Dexter said on June 26, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Oh just one more…a birthday cake!

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  6. Pam (the sister) said on June 26, 2014 at 2:53 am

    I also did not like the way Mom cut cakes. I always got a rectangle (not the end piece) and the only icing was on the top and the side which were very slim. She also was very frugal when icing the sides, cake showed through. She was much much better with pies.

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  7. Wim said on June 26, 2014 at 6:01 am

    I could maybe see using a rubber band to secure a firmly iced cake. I can see a hella mess if you try that with a frosted cake. I suppose that a hundred years ago you couldn’t get an air-tight cake keeper. Or a frosting printer.

    Yay, Indiana. Hoosier Daddy? Hoosier other Daddy?

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  8. Deborah said on June 26, 2014 at 8:10 am

    As a designer I say that way of cutting a cake is not elegant, at all, especially the rubber band part. The wedge way is much more aesthetically pleasing. And like Wim said, we have a perfectly fine airtight cake keeper.

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  9. Heather said on June 26, 2014 at 8:40 am

    In theory that is a decent method, but the rubber band is downright gross. And how are you going to push together a soft cake covered in frosting? Nope nope nope.

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  10. Dorothy said on June 26, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I have a big green Rubbermaid brand bowl with a flat, white lid that I bought the year I got married, 1979. For a while I think Rubbermaid was trying to copy Tupperware and had those hostess parties. I remember buying this bowl (and an orange cutting board which I still have and use all the time, and an orange 6 cup pancake mixing container) at my friend Toni’s house. Anywho, if you turn the lid upside down, it holds a bundt cake beautifully. Put the bowl over it, press down to seal it, and no more dry cakes. Problem solved! Of course this means you have to make all cakes in a bundt pan but that’s fine with me. Said bowl is also great for picnic salads of all varieties. I just checked eBay and didn’t see any.

    I applaud Sherri for her sensible comment at #1. My favorite cake-eating scene on television? When Raymond, Robert and their dad shared and wolfed down a chocolate cake that Marie had made.

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  11. 4dbirds said on June 26, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Ummmmm…. Cake!

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  12. LAMary said on June 26, 2014 at 9:41 am

    We had a very nice cake here last night. It was oldest son’s 24th birthday, celebrated with extra thick boneless pork chops, sautéed greens with lots of garlic and chilies and sourdough bread. The cake was no homemade. It was from Porto’s, the elegant Cuban bakery here. Very pre-Castro European for cakes. We had a mango mousse cake dragon fruit and strawberries on top. Not much left over and I am not even a little concerned about leftover deterioration issues. I would not be surprised if I looked in the cake box in the fridge and found it empty.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on June 26, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Way off topic, but I need some advice from smart, tech savvy people.

    I am not a technophobe, per se, but I prefer simple devices, which is why I have kept using a beat-up but indestructible flip phone. This baby has been dropped in Lake Michigan at least three times, fallen from high places, etc. but it keeps working.

    Now, I am required to get a smartphone because this editing gig for the German company Handelsblatt requires a newly generated password every time I file, and that means a new phone to receive the password.

    I’m not an Apple head. If the iPhone is the best, I’ll go for it, but I’ve heard good things about the Samsung Android phones, too. What say all you smart people? What would you do for your first smartphone?

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  14. Basset said on June 26, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I am a staunch Mac guy, iPhone 5c does everything I need it to.

    Now, back to food – this looks like it’d be worth a road trip:

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  15. Sue said on June 26, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I’m hitting the like button for Wim @7. And stealing that line.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on June 26, 2014 at 10:42 am

    The injustice of getting the insufficently-frosted slice still rankles after all these years, I can tell. No offense to your mom, but her method seems like asking for sibling discord. How did you tell which slice was biggest, a slide rule?

    Jeff, both iPhone and Androids are good, but stay away from Windows phones. We’ve had all three in this family and the person with Windows is unhappy. Since you say you’re not an Apple head, I’d get a Samsung Galaxy 4. The newest ones are the 5’s and you’ll pay much more, whereas a 4 will probably be cheap or even free. You don’t have to buy from the phone company and may get a better deal by watching the ads in Sunday’s paper from Best Buy, Target, or other big boxes.

    We just got a family member a new phone and ended up switching from iPhone to Samsung. A major reason was that iPhones don’t have expansion slots. With most Androids you can put a microSD card in and load it up with pictures, music, or videos. I listen to music at work and don’t want to have to stream it all the time, so I have all my favs on the card.

    The other thing is, don’t buy the accessories at the store. The favored case was $35 at the store, and for that on Amazon we found the same case, screen protector, and microSD card. Plus, Nance’s Kickback Lounge benefits the Proprietess!

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  17. coozledad said on June 26, 2014 at 10:46 am

    It’s really not enough that these people are staring to feel wronged that they can’t dispense their bullshit with impunity. What’s needed is for them to spend every waking hour worried that karma will visit them with the merest fraction of the misery they’ve caused for so many people, and for their sleep to be riven with the howling of the dead.

    But that requires conscience, and not a goddamn one of them have it. From Bush and Cheney and that poncey New Age fuckhole Tony Blair on down through
    the Joe Scars and the mudmouths at NPR and this stillborn piece of pasty white ejaculate:

    I was reading about Von Rundstedt the other day. War criminal, Hitler enabler, pretty much a sack of Prussian militarist shit any way you cared to look at him. In 1944, when the Germans were busy losing their war of opportunity, he took a call from the OKW asking him what he thought the Germans should do next.

    “Stop the goddamn war. Stop it. Stop. It.” he said, and hung up the phone.

    The difference between the German Nazis and the Republican Nazis is the Republican Nazis didn’t have anything vaguely like a Von Rundstedt to tell them it was time to curl into a ball and eat shit and die because the Republican Nazis were politicized beyond anything Hitler could realistically have hoped for -purblind vengeful criminals with few historical peers.

    It isn’t enough that they shut the fuck up forever. It would be a start, but not nearly enough.

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  18. brian stouder said on June 26, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Cooz – 10-4. Let me just add that for all the talk about ‘patriotism’ and ‘real America’ that wafts across the countryside from the hard-right CAFOs of the radio and TV airwaves, not to mention murmurs and shouts of words like “treason” hurled against the president, those lunks seem to idolize real-live traitors and genuine emblems of treason, such as Bobby Lee and the Confederate battle flag.

    Talk about people who don’t understand what real America is… Ay yi yi!

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  19. Judybusy said on June 26, 2014 at 11:50 am

    On the cake-related theme, one of my favorite Hyperbole and a Half pieces:

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  20. alex said on June 26, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Jeff, I have an iPhone and consider myself less than satisfied with it. The touch screen is unresponsive much of the time, like when I need to make an important phone call, and can be downright unwieldy at other times, making reading of news articles, etc., more trouble than it’s worth most days. When I’m out of contract this fall I think I may go with a Droid and perhaps even a different carrier. Verizon, for all of its supposedly great coverage, barely has a signal where I live even though I live right between two ginormous cell towers.

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  21. Jeff Borden said on June 26, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Thanks all. I’m still confused, but you all helped me consider the options.

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  22. LAMary said on June 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    bakery porn

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  23. Heather said on June 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I have an iPhone but have heard good things about the Samsung Galaxy as well. The one thing I would say is get more storage than you need. You will be amazed at how quickly it can fill up. I didn’t think I needed a lot since I am not one of those people who keeps 6,000 albums on their phone, but now I am kicking myself for not getting one with more space. Of course you can upload it to the Cloud on the iPhone but I don’t like to do that.

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  24. Heather said on June 26, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Get more storage than you THINK you need, I mean.

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  25. Scout said on June 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Love my iPhone. I have the 4, and will probably skip the 5 and wait for the 6.

    Yay, Indiana! Are we past the halfway point yet? It won’t be long before this whole marriage equality “debate” is considered very old news and opponents to it considered hopelessly antiquated. Actually, regarding the latter, they probably already are.

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  26. Charlotte said on June 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Now all I can think of is cake. Well, I’m having my Sophie and her bandmates for dinner in the next couple of days — that calls for cake. Cake!

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  27. Mindy said on June 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I may have linked to the Story of Amber once. But it’s worth another look since we’re talking about cake.

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  28. Connie said on June 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Jeff, I just replaced my ten year old flip phone (so old it said Cingular on it) with a Samsung Galaxy mini and I seem to be figuring it out ok.

    And Dorothy, I think you can identify we women of a certain age by the fact that our tupperware is orange. In my case canisters.

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  29. Sherri said on June 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    My advice is to go to a store and play with the various phones and see which one you find most comfortable. I have an iPhone, and there are things I like about it and things I hate about it. My husband has a Windows phone, and generally, he’s pretty happy with it. There are actually many things I like about his phone, but it doesn’t have some apps that I use regularly. I agree with everybody who says get more memory. The cloud is nice, but more memory will also improve performance. Remember, you’re carrying around a computer in your hand.

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  30. Jeff Borden said on June 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I will miss my flip phone. It has been subjected to absurd amounts of punishment including three dips into Lake Michigan while playing with the dog, but it has always worked.

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  31. Jolene said on June 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I’ve had a Samsung Galaxy 3 for a couple years and have been very pleased with it. Seems intuitive enough, has reasonable battery life, more available apps than you could ever figure out what to do with. It’s getting old by cellphone standards, but still works like new.

    I’m a T-Mobile customer and have always been very pleased with their customer service, including in earlier days when I had crankier phones.

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  32. Peter said on June 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    The cake video appeared earlier in the AV Club, and I thought one of the commenters had the right idea:

    “The correct way to cut a cake:

    1. Pick up the knife

    2. Announce to everyone that this cake is mine and if they come any closer they’ll be cut.

    3. Eat cake”

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  33. Peter said on June 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Cooz, I clicked on your link. Really, you are so right that these useless hermaphodites have no conscience. I guess my only consolation is that these wing nuts weren’t in charge in Vietnam – sure, there were wing nuts in charge then, and many innocent lives were lost, but I shudder to think what would have happened if Cheney was there from the beginning.

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  34. brian stouder said on June 26, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I remember, some years ago, arguing with an older guy who quite passionately insisted we should have used “tactical nuclear weapons” both in Korea and in Vietnam.

    When I realized he was serious, I borrowed (and mangled) George Carlin’s incisive line about the inherent contradiction in terms.

    Carlin joked about the oxymoron that is “military intelligence”, and noted that nuclear weapons are no more “tactical” than wholesale genocide (like Pol Pot)…and he didn’t disagree – and he didn’t back away from his “solution”.

    Whereupon, I backed away from him

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  35. coozledad said on June 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    From setting the Forrestal ablaze, to bombing Vietnamese peasant’s cattle, making anti-American propaganda for the Viet Cong in exchange for cigarettes and cookies, and getting a chubby for Gaddafi, this sack of guts has been on the wrong side of everything since his daddy’s splooge bumped into a egg.

    Old twitch-eye was almost President. He is not a Democrat.

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  36. coozledad said on June 26, 2014 at 4:22 pm


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  37. Sue said on June 26, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Off topic, but I have a feeling this is the kind of website that appeals to this bunch:

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  38. Jeff Borden said on June 26, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    I’ve never been more wrong about a politician than I was about John McCain. I actually paid serious attention to him in 2000 before he was ratfucked by Karl Rove and forced out of the race. He seemed somewhat admirable. . .able to work with others and on the right side of campaign finance reform. . .so I pondered for a time whether I might actually vote for him over Gore.

    Goddam, what was I thinking? He’s just a truly miserable, ugly man. He ought to retire. There’s a plethora of wing nuts in Arizona who’d love the chance to take his seat.

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  39. Scout said on June 26, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Sue @ 37. Well, that sure is an appropriately named website.

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  40. Dexter said on June 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Jeff Borden: Don’t give in! (Unless you absolutely have to). I too was out-teched, but I kept my Qualcomm/Sanyo flipper and was gifted a Samsung tablet, which suits my connectivity issues. Maybe you have to have a smart phone, but for me, the tablet up-graded my modern-day need to “be able to do more stuff”, and I can still answer and make phone calls the way God wants old geezers like us to do: the fabulous flip phone of yesteryear.

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 26, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Sue @ 37 — great link. I did about half a dozen, and was never correct, but was always the adjoining bar. Interesting exercise of assumptions.

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  42. Deborah said on June 26, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    My beef with the Android is how it feels in your hand. It’s clunkier than the iPhone.

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  43. Dexter said on June 27, 2014 at 5:07 am

    San Francisco Pride

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  44. Laurie said on June 28, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I too have an old flip phone–it’s biting the dust and I have put off and put off shopping for a new one. My head feels like it’s going to explode when faced with technology options in general, and I don’t WANT to play around with them in the store. Thanks for the helpful advice.

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