How to Arrange Sliced Cake on a Plate

A dinner party wouldn't be complete without cake for dessert. Serving cake family-style is fine for a casual party, but if you're hosting a formal dinner party in your home, you'll want to plate individual slices of cake just as elegantly as you did the main course. When you bring the plates to the table, your guests will have a feast for their eyes as well as their stomachs.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Garnishes
  • Squeeze bottle (optional)
  • Vegetable peeler (optional)
  • Pastry bag (optional)


    • 1

      Slice the cake with a sharp knife. (If your knife is dull, it will not cut cleanly and will make crumbs or even break the slices.) Make sure all the slices look uniform and are not too small. (If the slices are too narrow, they will fall over when you transfer them to the plates.)

    • 2

      Transfer each slice to a clean plate. Use the flat of the knife to scoop the cake up from underneath, and hold it steady gently with your fingers. Slide it onto the plate upright.

    • 3

      Choose your garnishes. Some common options are mint leaves, cinnamon or cocoa powder, berries, chocolate shavings and raspberry sauce. The best choice will depend on what type of cake you are serving. For instance, if you are serving a flourless chocolate cake, raspberry sauce will add a fruity touch, and a sprig of mint will add color. For warm apple pie, use a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to add a cold element. Accent a slice of cheesecake with fresh berries and chocolate sauce for flavor and color.

    • 4

      Place the garnishes on each slice of cake. Work carefully to make each plate look the same. If you are using berries, count out the same number for each plate. If you are drizzling a sauce from a squeeze bottle, make the same design on each plate. (Moving the bottle from side to side in a Z shape across the plate results in an attractive presentation. If there is a spot on the plates that looks too empty, add a few dots of the same sauce.) If you are using whipped cream, pipe a swirl onto the cake using a wide-tip pastry bag.

    • 5

      Wipe away errant crumbs or drips using the corner of a clean towel. When the plates of cake are all crumb-free, you're ready to serve them.

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