How to Split Cake Layers

chocolate cake for matt's birthday, how to split cake layers

Want to know an easy way to split cake layers? This is how my mother taught me)))

Our grandson, Matt, celebrated his birthday this week, and he requested a chocolate cake this year. Chocolate layers with chocolate icing. So, I got to work! 🎂 So this post isn’t about the recipe, just a quick tip on how to split cake layers.

Cake Layers

I wanted to make a four-layer cake, so I split the two layers. The cake was just a milk chocolate cake mix from Duncan Hines and baked according to package directions.

After the two cake layers had cooled a bit in the pans, and then on cooling racks I proceeded to get them ready to split. It’s easy and you don’t need special tools that use a lot of space in your kitchen. All you need are toothpicks and a long thin knife.

While there are tools like cake levelers and slicing rings for splitting cake layers, I don’t bake cakes often enough to justify having them. And there’s that problem with storing items that you rarely use!

What My Mother Did….

My mother liked to bake and she made pretty cakes that tasted great. She never had any formal cake-decorating training, she always made do with what she had on hand. Frostings were always homemade from scratch, though she did use cake mixes from time to time. She showed me how to split cake layers the easy way.

How To Split Cake Layers

After the cake layers have cooled completely and while still on the cooling rack, insert toothpicks halfway to the height of the cake layer. Leave only about an inch of the toothpick sticking out. Space the toothpicks 3″ or so around the cake layer.

To split the cake layer, use a long thin knife and rest it on top of the toothpicks. Slice slowly through the cake turning the cake as you slice.

how to split cake layers evenly

Gently lift off the split layer and set aside. Remove the toothpicks. No fancy tools and it gets the job done! This wasn’t a special recipe cake or anything, just a cake mix and bought frosting. I did use two cans of frosting since I split the cake layers. You can “doctor” up the frosting a bit though with some cream cheese or extra flavorings. I used cream cheese and added some coconut syrup too. Here are a few tips.

frosting tips

Canned Frosting is OKAY to use!

  • Whip frosting with a mixer to make it fluffier.
  • Thin with a bit of cream if desired.
  • Add a little butter to cut some of the sweetness.
  • Add flavorings like almond, lemon, etc.
  • Use flavored coffee syrups.
  • Boost texture with crushed cookies or chopped nuts.
  • Heat in the microwave for a frosting you can drizzle over a pound cake.
  • Add whipped cream or cream cheese for a lighter, fluffier, frosting.
  • A pinch of salt helps to balance the sweetness.
  • Dry Jello can tint frostings.
  • Store leftover frosting in the refrigerator, but allow it to come to room temperature before using.

Birthday Cakes

Speaking of birthday cakes….last year I made Matt a fresh coconut cake. I was happy when all he wanted this year was a chocolate cake))))

slice of chocolate cake with crumbled Hershey's cookies and cream candy bar on top

Our granddaughter, Maggie, will be twenty-one next week! Her request just came in for a Milk Way Cake….I have a recipe for that in my mom’s recipes so I’ll be cake-making again this weekend)))

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