Minds officially blown.
We don’t tend to question our cake-cutting technique with the wedge format universally considered as custom.
A new YouTube video, however, suggests that we’ve got it all wrong and it’s blowing our minds.
Mathematician Alex Bellos uploaded a video tutorial to the YouTube channel, Numberphile, on how cakes should really be cut, or as he calls it ‘the scientific way to cut a cake’ – and we have to admit it makes a lot of sense.
The method, sourced by the mathematician in a 1906 edition of Nature magazine, promises to be more efficient than the wedge system that we all know and love – and could actually make the cake taste better. Yes, really.
The video (which went viral BTW) puts the mathematically perfect theory to the test, breaking all the rules of cake etiquette but ‘maximising the amount of gastronomic pleasure.’
Bellos explains in his video that our standard way of cutting up a cake into triangular wedges has a fundamental flaw: letting the exposed sides of the sponge (from where we’ve taken a slice) dry out overnight, thereby making the cake less enjoyable. We’ve all been there.
This is a problem that the new proposed cake-cutting technique claims to have solved, with Bellos insisting: ‘There is a better way, a way that is more than a hundred years old and was invented, or discovered, by one of Britain’s most famous and brilliant mathematical scientists.’
The scientific technique involves cutting rectangular slices lengthwise across the middle of the cake, cutting it entirely in half, so that both remaining portions can be fitted together afterwards and fastened with an elastic band to make a complete smaller cake, ensuring that no sponge is left exposed and guaranteeing optimum freshness.
Bellos also recommends alternating the cuts, making the slices perpendicular to each other, to ensure maximum enjoyment.
Well that has just blown our minds. If you’ll excuse us, we’re off to cut some cake now (and then eat it).