Slicing Cheesecakes and Layer Cakes Article -
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How to Slice Cheesecakes and Layer Cakes

With this step-by-step guide, you'll cut clean, professional-looking slices every time.

1. We used a plain cheesecake to demonstrate. The best tip for cutting a cake cleanly is to use a hot knife for each cut. To do this, fill a tall container--a pitcher or vase works well--with hot tap water deep enough to cover the entire blade of your knife. Dip the knife into the hot water, and wipe it dry on a clean towel before making a cut. The constant dipping and cleaning will keep pieces of cake or smears of frosting from the previous slice from marring the next slice. Some people cut cheesecakes using cheese wire or dental floss; these cutting tools also work very well.

2. Depending on the size of your cake, you might choose to cut it into 12 or 16 slices. If cutting the cake into 12 even slices, begin by cutting the cake into quarters, then cut each quarter into thirds. Pull the knife out from the side of the cake, rather than lifting it through the top, for a smooth cut.

    3. To yield 16 slices, cut the cake into quarters, cut each quarter in half, and cut each half in half again. For twelve slices, use the numbers on a clock as your guide. For odd-numbered servings or to cut the cake in 10 slices, lightly score the surface of the cake before slicing to gauge the size of the pieces. If your knife isn't long enough to reach across the cake, start from the center and work outwards.

      4. The first slice is the hardest to remove. Run a knife or spatula along the bottom of the cake between the crust and the pan before lifting the first slice upward, outward, and onto a serving plate.

        5. If you're serving a plain cheesecake, you might want to garnish the slices individually. Chocolate sauces or berry purees are always popular. We placed a small amount of sour cream underneath the cake, and a dollop of good-quality strawberry preserves on top. The sweet jam and the sour cream make a delicious blend with the creamy cheesecake.

        More Recipes and Advice:

        Sep. 22, 2009 8:52 pm
        How do you remove bottom portion of pan from cheesecake?
        Nov. 24, 2009 10:32 pm
        I like to us unflavored dental floss to slice my cheese cake and all other cakes that don't contain nuts or fruit. You just cut a piece of floss long enough to wrap ends around your 1st finger on both hands, pull tight over cake and press floss down with your thumbs, release you side of the floss and pull through cake and repeat until you have the cake fully sliced. This makes for very clean slices with no mess.
        Dec. 10, 2009 1:49 am
        Thanks to you both for the advice on both of these issues. Very helpful!
        Apr. 27, 2010 9:22 am
        does the floss cut the crust too?
        May 30, 2010 11:14 am
        I use dental floss too. Yes, the dental floss will cut the crust too. I usually set the cheesecake on something a little elevated so that I can pull down hard to make sure the crust is cut. I have been using dental floss for years.
        Dec. 5, 2010 7:45 am
        The best technique for cutting cheesecake and/or lots of other dense desserts is a piece of 'fish-hook,' fishing line filiment. My daughter's a pastry chef, and I picked this one up from her. And then I found that my favorite bakery (Stockbridge's in Shelton, CT........OMG!!! DEElicious!!)uses it. Works sooooo much better than any kind of knife, and mangles the slices much less. Try it!
        Jan. 1, 2011 8:55 pm
        I've also used a pizza cutter to cut cheese cake, always cleaning it for each cut...
        Jan. 24, 2011 5:27 pm
        i always use a flat knife to cut my cakes and they usually work..well unless the cake is not cooperating and wants to fall apart....
        Feb. 25, 2011 9:39 pm
        The dental floss posts reminded me that my mom always used and approximately 12 Inch piece of sewing thread to cut her cinnamon rolls perfectly and without flattening them at all, by sliding it under then bringing each side up and crossing it over the other at the top. Perfectly cut cinnamon buns every time.
        Mar. 13, 2011 8:34 am
        Apr. 2, 2011 4:53 pm
        I used the fishing line and it worked awesome! Thanks
        Jun. 23, 2011 7:02 am
        I made a Turtle cheesecake, however I don,t know if the instructions are wrong or if I did something wrong. In the picture it looks like the caramel and nuts are on top. There is no metionion as to how to go about getting this.
        Oct. 26, 2011 4:50 pm
        If I use a square pan, should I line the sides with parchment paper as well?
        Dec. 21, 2011 2:34 am
        No matter what kind of pan you use, parchment paper is only used on the bottom of the pan. However, for cheesecake, springform pans are the best. I have been baking cheesecakes for over 50 years.
        Feb. 22, 2012 9:16 am
        I just use a long flat narrow spatula and slip it between the crust and the pan bottom loosening it completely and then sliding it onto my serving plate. I checked out the link provided by Tonyw (and thanks for the info, BTW)for the parchment liners because I love that idea, but the shipping was almost as much as the liners which is ridiculous since parchment doesn't really weigh THAT much. They even charge you $2 if you go to them and pick your order up! That's nuts! Until I find a better source I'll continue to loosen with a spatula and slide my cakes off the bottom of the springform.
        Feb. 28, 2012 7:34 pm
        I just buy a roll of parchment paper at the grocery store, and trace around the bottom of my pans, then cut them out. I've probably made 350 cheesecakes in the last year, and it works every time.
        Mar. 26, 2012 4:08 am
        Thanks for all of you, very helpful advices :)
        Apr. 1, 2012 7:57 am
        I have a question and a comment. When baking a cheesecake that is going to be layered with a cake or brownie, do you bake them together (on top of one and other) or separate and put one on top of the other after they have been baked? I find another easy way to slide the cheesecake of the bottom of a spring form pan is to flip the bottom over before adding the filling and using a cake lifter to lift and slide onto my cake circle.
        Apr. 26, 2012 6:46 pm
        can cheesecakes be frozen? I am making several desserts for a wedding, then traveling 5 hours to the site. I would like to prebake and freeze as many things ahead as possible. Thanks for any ideas.
        May 7, 2012 9:52 am
        I bake my cheesecake and brownies together - brownie on the bottom, cheesecake on top. Works well together and presents nicely too. Expecially if you swirl a little cocoa in the cheesecake to marble it.
        Jul. 26, 2012 7:02 pm
        Cheesecakes freeze very well. I use fishing line to cut and it works great! When I make turtle cheesecakes I melt caramels and mix into my batter then after I cut my slices I sprinkle chopped pecans on each and then drizzle with melted caramel and chocolate they are always a big hit and highly requested. I also use vanilla wafer cookies instead of graham crackers for the crust for my turtle cheesecake.
        Aug. 5, 2012 11:46 pm
        In the directions for most (if not all) cheesecakes, it says to run a knife or off set spatula around the edges to loosen 10 minutes after the cheesecake is removed from the oven. I have made more cheesecakes than I can count and I've never done this! If you grease the sides of the spring form pan, it should release perfectly. After I put it in the refrigerator over night, I take the ring off without any trouble and there's no damage to my crust. Before I remove the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan, I put it in the freezer for 45 minutes, then use a cake lifter. Once I have just loosened it from the bottom, I can handle it because it's partially frozen. I can easily pick it right up and set where I wish. I hope this helps :)
        Sep. 16, 2012 8:01 am
        In regard to the parchment paper, I use a square piece and wrap it around the flat side of the springform bottom then put then put the ring over it, close it and tear (cut) off excess. It isn't as neat as tracing it but a few wrinkles in fhe paper don't make any difference! Btw what is a "cake lifter"? I usually serve my cheesecake on the bottom of the pan because I didn't want to risk moving it! Thanks...
        Meek Princess 
        Sep. 16, 2012 7:08 pm
        I'm trying to become a better cheesecake maker they always taste great but they never seem thick or as I like to say stiff. It always looks professional but the moment its cut it can never stand and look like a thick slice of cake like these pictures does anyone have any tips to get it to not be so creamy where as it just falls on the plate thanks.
        Sep. 21, 2012 7:37 am
        it sounds like the center of your cheesecake isn't setting properly. read the "perfect cheesecakes" article. I always do a water bath to help it bake even (especially if you don't have a very even oven) and then I turn the oven off and leave it in for an hour to cool in the oven. should make your cheesecakes stay together and still be creamy
        May 21, 2014 12:12 pm
        someone can tell me by email any supply that sale the cheesecake slicer cut machine professional one because I want cut lots cheesecakes in 14 slices, please email me if someone known and tanks lots.
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