A Better, More Mathematically-Accurate Method For Cutting A Cake

Illustration for article titled A Better, More Mathematically-Accurate Method For Cutting A Cake

You've been cutting your cakes wrong, says Math. Here's a better, more mathematically accurate method for slicing up a cake.


In this video from Numberphile, Alex Bellos digs up a more than 100-year-old edition of Nature and reads a letter to the editor from Francis Galton detailing Galton's method for cutting a Christmas cake (though mathematically, birthday cakes and everyday cakes can also be substituted) so as to keep it fresh over days.

The traditional method of cutting the cake into wedges Galton regards with particular horror, as likely to result in a dry, disappointing mess. So what does Galton suggest instead? Cutting into chords, then tying the cake's edges together, as you can see demonstrated in the video below.

Bellos describes Galton's method as perfect "for the mathematical loners who don't want to share their cakes." Of course, there's also a pretty good mathematical (and social) argument for slicing a cake up in the classic wedge formation, and then just finishing up the cake in one go, too.

Top image: Robert W. Howington.


My other method for preventing cake-dryness: Just serve pie in the first place, as one should. The end.