There’s nothing more recognizable than a slice of birthday cake. Cutting wedges of cake has long been standard practice when it comes to the circular dessert, but there’s actually a better way. It promises to make the cake taste even better — even though it goes against everything we thought we knew from past birthday parties.
Popsugar reports that mathematician Alex Bellos, of the YouTube channel Numberphile, stumbled upon the method in a 1906 edition of Nature magazine. Thanks to his viral video, the internet was re-introduced to the more efficient cake-cutting approach, forever solving the problem of dryness.
“The ordinary method of cutting out a wedge is very faulty in this respect,” the magazine reads, referring to the part of the cake that is left exposed after cutting out a wedge. As the cake continues to sit out, the next slice becomes dry.
“The results to be aimed at are so to cut the cake that the remaining portions shall fit together,” the magazine continues, and that’s exactly what happens. As Bellos demonstrates, by cutting a round cake lengthwise down the middle and removing a rectangular slice, you can then push the remaining semi-circles of the cake together so the exposed surfaces protect each other from drying out. To ensure optimal freshness, secure them with a rubber band.
The next time you want a slice, cut the cake down the middle again, this time perpendicular to the original cut. From there, alternate the cuts and continue to push the remaining pieces together so they sit flush with one another, allowing for maximum enjoyment. It sounds complicated, it’s worth it; you’ll never have another dry leftover cake on your hands again. Watch the magic below!