It’s a situation all too familiar to a lot of us: we’ve hosted an event that required cake, the cake was sliced, dispersed among guests, and enjoyed by all. Fast-forward to a few hours later when after all of the dishes have been washed and your house is no longer chaotic, when you think, I could go for another slice of cake. Unfortunately, when you go to slice the cake you realize that no matter how you slice it, you’re going to have a dry side of the slice because two parts of the cake have been exposed. Luckily a scientist by the name of Sir Francis Galton figured out the perfect way to cut a cake. In 1906. Let’s not waste a second more.
“CHRISTMAS suggests cakes, and these the wish on my part to describe a method of cutting them that I have recently devised to my own amusement and satisfaction. The problem to be solved was, “given a round tea-cake of some 5 inches across, and two persons of moderate appetite to eat it, in what way should it be cut so as to leave a minimum of exposed surface to become dry?” The ordinary method of cutting out a wedge is very faulty in this respect. The results to be aimed at are so to cut the cake that the remaining portions shall fit together. Consequently the chords (or the arcs) of the circumferences of these portions must be equal. The direction of the first two vertical planes of section is unimportant; they may be parallel, as in the first figure, or they may enclose a wedge. The cuts shown on the figures represent those made with the intention of letting the cake last for three days, each successive operation having removed about one-third of the area of the original disc. A common india-rubber band embraces the whole and keeps its segments together.” (source)
So, all in all, is this an effective method? Ehh, the jury is still out on that one because this method works best when expecting a lot of leftovers. The fault doesn’t lie in the way the cake is cut, but in how you plan to keep it together. We just can’t imagine that a cake with a lot of frosting or decoration on the side would fare well using this method with the rubber band cutting into it. The moral of the story? Don’t be a quitter, just eat a whole cake by yourself! Or you could invite some friends over, we suppose. Either way, go ahead and have your cake and eat it too.