How To Cut Perfect Slices (9 simple tips and tricks)

Learn how to cut perfect slices in 9 simple steps! No more breaking chocolate, messy and jagged edges… just perfectly neat slices every single time!

How to cut perfect slices

Do you know what the most common baking question I get asked is? It’s how do I cut slices that are nice and neat!? I think the most important thing is that you need to be a perfectionist with slightly OCD tendencies. It also helps if you don’t like odd numbers and can’t stand when things aren’t in a nice straight line. Just joking (but that is totally me!)! You don’t really need those ‘quality’ traits to cut nice and neat slices – although it can’t hurt right?

How To Cut Perfect Slices

So for todays Baking 101 post, I thought I’d tell you what I do to get those nice neat pieces of slice. First of all, I have to start with a confession. When you see the slice photos on my website, you are NOT seeing the edge pieces. I don’t use them in my photos because they’re not nice and neat… see I told you I was weird. Dave has learnt the hard way that he’s only allowed to eat the edge pieces of the slice – until the photos have been taken, that is! Ahh… the downfalls of being married to a food blogger.

 

Ok, let’s get straight into my tips for ‘How To Cut Perfect Slices’

1. Line the baking tin with baking paper

First things first. Make sure you line your tin with baking paper. If you can’t even get your slice out of the tin, then there’s buckleys chance you’re going to be able to slice it. Trust me on this one… once I didn’t bother to line the baking tray and we ended up eating slice with a spoon straight from the tin!

How To Cut Perfect Slices

Recipe: Pecan Pie Bars

 

2. Remove the slice or leave it?

To decide whether or not to cut a slice in the baking tin or out of it, you need to have a think about what kind of slice it is. 90% of the time, I will take the slice out of the tin, place it onto my chopping board and cut it on there. Sometimes though (particularly when you’re making a really soft, custardy type slice that may squish out when you cut it), it’s better to leave it in the tin when slicing.

How To Cut Perfect Slices

Recipe: Lemon Coconut Slice

 

3. Leave it for a few hours (overnight is always best!)

If I’m making a slice for us to eat at home and it’s not going on the blog, I’ll make sure I leave it in the fridge for at least a few hours before cutting it. Any less time and you’re going to end up with crumbly bits, parts breaking off… and it’s going to drive you insane. If I’m making a slice for the blog, I always, ALWAYS leave it overnight in the fridge and cut it while it’s very cold. If you want to cut perfectly neat slices, leaving it overnight is definitely the way to go. But hey, if it’s calling your name earlier… what can you do!? A girls gotta have some sugar in her life. The exception to this rule is rocky road – you only need to wait until it’s set to cut it up!

How To Cut Perfect Slices

Recipe: Salted Caramel Crunch Brownie

4. Choose the right knife

This is probably the most important part of cutting neat slices (hehe this is becoming such a serious post!). The knife you use will be determined by the type of slice you’re cutting. I have two main knives I like to use:

Small serrated knife: I cut about 80% of the slices I make with a teeny tiny Victorinox serrated knife. It’s my ‘go-to knife’! It’s the smallest thing ever and yet, gosh it’s powerful! The serrated edge means that it cuts through chocolate topped slices really easily without any cracking.

Large flat edged knife: This knife works well on slices where you want a very sharp edge (like fudge). The slice needs to be quite firm and without a hard chocolate topping. Something like a lemon coconut slice or ANZAC slice works well with this kind of knife.

How To Cut Perfect Slices

 

5. Slice this way or that way?

So you’ve chosen your knife… but how do you start cutting the slice? When I use my small serrated knife, I start at one end and drag/pull the knife towards me slowly in one straight line. I repeat that until I have 6 or so long bars. I then carefully cut each bar into 3-4 smaller pieces. If the knife gets ‘stuck’ halfway through, I gently slide it up and down until it cuts through and then I continue gently pulling the knife towards me. There’s no ‘hacking’ involved – just one nice straight, slow movement.

If I’m using my large flat knife, I don’t pull it towards me, but instead I hold it above the slice in a nice straight line and press down gently (but firmly). When the knife hits the chopping board, I pull it out towards me. Repeat until you have long bars and then carefully cut into smaller pieces.

How To Cut Perfect Slices

Recipe: Mars Bar Slice

 

6. Wipe your knife clean

In between each step, wipe your knife clean. Seriously. If you don’t, you’ll end up with little crumbly bits on the top or the edge of your slice. And no-one likes crumbly bits! I usually keep a clean, damp cloth next to me, so that it’s easy to wipe.

How To Cut Perfect Slices

Recipe: Creamy Lemon Crumble Bars

 

7. Hot or cold knife?

Generally, cutting a slice with a cold knife is going to work perfectly fine. Sometimes however, a hot knife is going to give you a much cleaner cut. For example: if you’re cutting a cheesecake slice or a chocolate topped slice, then run your blade under the hottest water you can and then dry it completely before slicing.

How To Cut Perfect Slices

Recipe: Thermomix Fudge – 3 Ways 

 

8. Chocolate topped slices

Slices that have a layer of melted chocolate over the top can pose all kinds of problems when you go to cut it. Often the chocolate will crack or you’ll end up with jagged edges. Using a hot, dry knife (see above) will certainly help to stop cracking as it will ‘glide’ through. I also like to add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil to my chocolate before I melt it, as I find it helps with spreading and slicing (copha does the same trick).

How To Cut Perfect Slices

Recipe: Licorice Allsort Slice 

 

9. Finish it off (aka the ‘perfectionist’ step)

If you’ve cut your slices and you notice a few ‘not-so-perfect’ bits – just grab out your small serrated knife and carefully cut that side again. This is not really necessary… unless you’re a bit of a perfectionist, in which case it is ESSENTIAL!!

How To Cut Perfect Slices

Recipe: Coconut Ice

 

Please remember, I am in no way a qualified chef or baker. I’m just a gal that loves to cook and has made (and eaten!) an embarrassingly huge number of slices over the years. These are the tips for how to cut perfect slices that work for me! Do you have any others that I’ve forgotten about!?

 

70 thoughts on “How To Cut Perfect Slices (9 simple tips and tricks)”

  1. This is great! I often have cracked chocolate tops on my slices, I will have to try your neat tricks next time. Your perfect slicing really is quite amazing!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thank you so much Jess!

  2. I am officially the worlds worst slice cutter. I end up with crumbled edges and some huge pieces and some tiny pieces!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Hehe well not anymore Jodi!

  3. All great tips for those of us who get frustrated cutting perfect slices to photograph 🙂
    Thanks Lucy! Plus, all those pictures of slices are making me hungry! Hand me my 8 x 8 square pan and let’s party!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Hehehe yes thats exactly right! A slice party sounds fab!

  4. Thank you Lucy! These tips are perfect! And i have got to say your Creamy Lemon crumble bars look devine!! ( i know i’ll be making them this weekend x)

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thank you so much Kat!

  5. I think you’ve covered everything just perfectly!
    I need one of those little serrated knives you speak of, adding it to my list of wants.
    Curious when you add the coconut oil to chocolate do you add it to the chocolate as you melt or once the melting process has started?
    Have a gorgeous day xx

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Hehehe thanks lovely. I add the coconut oil before melting.

    2. Linda says:

      You mentioned many good tips but not the one I was looking for, so here is my question re the perfect cut. When you remove the slice from the pan and get ready to cut it how do you ensure that you cut along a straight line and your slices are an even size and shape?

      1. Bake Play Smile says:

        Hi Linda, I know a lot of people use a ruler to help with this!

  6. They are beautifully OCD neat slices Lucy. I’m always impressed by your slice photos 🙂 Great advice about leaving the slice in the fridge. Might have to make sure I hide it behind several other items though. Oh and I LOVE my Victorinox serrated knives too. They are my go to knives for everything! ex

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh thanks so much Ellen!

  7. Hahaha – I am so with you on the perfectionism. Except I don’t view it as perfectionism. That’s just how you SHOULD do it! Everyone else who is happy with manky looking slices is weird. My husband loves it when I cook slices because he knows, that even when it’s for someone else, he is going to be allowed to eat all the edges. I want those ugly edges gone!! You wrote this post so well. Step by step easy to follow I had to share it on my facebook page!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      I could not agree more! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. These are great tips. I’m not a neat slicer so these are invaluable. I always intend to wipe my knife inbetween slices but never do so I think I will start with that step.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh thats great! Thanks for the feedback Malinda.

  9. Danielle says:

    I like the tip about a small serrated knife, I haven’t tried that before.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      It’s perfect for cutting!

  10. I’m always filled with awe and wonder at your clever cutting – I think you might have missed your vocation in life as a surgeon! I’m going to follow all your top tips and try to get my slices looking really nice!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh thats hilarious! Except for the fact that I don’t handle blood very well lol!

  11. I have one of those little knives but I have never used it for cutting up slices! Now if I only had a can of condensed milk in the pantry I would be whipping up a lemon slice right now!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh yes you soooo need to! It’s perfect!

  12. It never really occurred to me how perfect your slices are until i read this 🙂 That tip abut wiping the knife is gold.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Hahaha thanks Nicole!

  13. This is fantastic, Lucy. Very comprehensive. I would never have thought to use a serrated edge knife. I’m the type of girl who can never wait for the slice to cool down before slicing. I will have to learn some more patience 🙂

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      I know Renee – it’s so hard to wait, isn’t it!

  14. Great tips! I find holding your breath and daring to breath is generally part of my slicing. I like your methods better!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Hahahaha I love that!

  15. I always get crumbly bits and now I know why. You truly love your slices don’t you. My OCD shows up in the kitchen when I weigh burgers, cupcakes etc to make sure everything is the same size 🙂

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Anytime!

  16. Chantel says:

    Great tips – Im a perfectionist too – and that usually means cutting off the edges first – you know, to make it even and stuff (not at all for me to stuff my mouth before I cut it!!! 😉 ) I can’t get that Licorice Allsort slice out of my head – looks divine!!!

  17. Those are awesome tips! I only ever knew about the one with the hot knife, but then again I don’t make that very many slices. Love these tips, especially the one about large knife/small knife!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thanks Tammi! Haha now you’ll have to get into slice making 🙂

  18. Thanks for all the tips! I just don’t know how I’m going to hide a slice in its tin in the fridge overnight in our house without anyone sampling it before I manage to slice it the next day.

  19. Wow! Your slices are pretty amazing and now we know some of your secrets. Thanks for sharing. This is awesome. I always get disappointed when I finally bake something and then screw up the presentation.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thanks Karin – I hope they help!

  20. Love these tips. Your slices are all sooo pretty!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thanks so much Kaz!

  21. What wonderful tips. I Will be putting these into place. That remind me…. I must cook a slice this week. Jx

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh I’m so glad they’ve been helpful. Enjoy your slice!

  22. Kate Lloyd says:

    Oh my goodness, this post has made me SO hungry! Thank you for the great tip.

  23. You really make the most perfect “cuts”. Thanks for the awesome tips! Will need to get a serrated knife!

  24. Nelle says:

    LOL. This is actually the question I was going to ask, when I saw your link to no-bake slices! I liked the look of your website so decided to spy on you a little more and found this helpful page! 🙂

    Thank you, and I look forward to trying this method as well as check out your website more (I’ve already printed off most of the slices and am going attempt each one!).

    Nelle

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh thank you for checking it out! I am a total perfectionist when it comes to this lol!

      1. Nelle says:

        I’m a bit of a perfectionist too, so this is perfect for me! xxx

  25. Fiona says:

    I always used to end up with different sizes of slices so now I keep a clean ruler in my utensil drawer and set it on top & run the knife along it for even sized slices.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      That is the most brilliant idea!! Love it!!

  26. Zahli says:

    +Bake Play Smile
    have you ever considered making a youtube channel? it could really boost your career and you are SO talented!!! please make one it would be amazing

  27. Chelsey says:

    I love trying your recipes! I follow a lot of your tips at work. I make the cakes and desserts in the school kitchen I work in, cooking for 250+ a day, and when you have to cut huge tray bakes etc into equal portions, you have to get it right. It doesn’t help I also have straight line ocd hehehe. Thanks for a fab website. Keep up the great work.

  28. Helene Mckay says:

    i just made fudge, tried a cold knife ,a hot knive, segregated knive and my fudge DOES Not have very nice slices but hubby said it certainly taste good and he has million crumbs to eat

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Hahaha I must admit I don’t mind a few loose crumbs or two either!

  29. Corinne Colman says:

    I use a pizza slicer and a ruler to make all the pieces of fudge and coconut ice the same size I lay the ruler on the fudge and use a long bladed pizza cutter to cut

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      That;s such a great idea!

  30. Joyce says:

    Not sure if it has been mentioned but another way with the chocolate layer is to let it cool in the fridge pull it out when it has started setting and ‘cut’ the lines in the chocolate then (but not the slice) then put it in the fridge to set and then once set you have a chocolate layer they will be ready to be cut to cut the whole slice.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Fab tip!!! Thanks Joyce xx

  31. Bill says:

    Thanks for the tips, usually when I try to cut through the chocolate on my slices it looks like I took a hammer to them (not that my friends worry about the looks since they dont last long anyway). And Joyce’s idea sounds good too as I have pulled the slices out prior to the chocolate concrete mode to cut the slices before the chocolate solidifies into a rock.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Hehehe at least it’s all about the taste, isnt it!! And sometimes no matter what you do, it’s going to be messy!!! xx

  32. Nashwa says:

    I just discovered your blog…I’m in foodie heaven! Your tips and tricks are great, I just wish I could get everything here in Canada. I miss my Darrell Lee licorice alsorts!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh thank you so much!!! Yes but you guys have so many yummy things that we can’t get here either!!!

  33. Postman Pat's Cat says:

    Does melted coconut fat work in the same way as coconut oil? I have heaps in the fridge left to use up 😉

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Hmm I have no idea!!!! Sorry! I’m guessing it’s the same thing??

      1. Postman Pat's Cat says:

        Ok thanks! I’ll try it 😀

  34. Kath says:

    I wish I’d read this before making a mess of my millionaire’s shortbread! I’ll know for next time to use a serrated knife. Do you heat the serrated knife, or just the straight one?

    1. Lucy Mathieson says:

      Hehehe! That is a hard slice to cut!!! I generally just heat the straight one. xx

  35. Soko Baravilala says:

    Hello!
    Please tell me how do you take out the slice (with custard, or other filling) from the pan.. I line pan with baking paper with extra on both sides n use it to lift out tjhe slice .. but the slice broke when I was trying to lift it out.. so does that mean the pastry mix is not good?? Thanks for your help n time.

    1. Lucy Mathieson says:

      Hi there, you need to do it slowly and dont lift it too high. Use a flat spatula underneath to support it if that helps. xx

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