To serve a cake, you really only need a knife to cut the cake and a spatula to transfer the slice to the plate. Any knife and spatula will do, although you will get better slices when you use better equipment. For instance, a butter knife isn’t going to give you the neatest slice of a layer cake even though it will get the job done. The Small Talk Server Cake Set is a lovely set of matching cake server and spatula that definitely get the job done well. The knife is 13-inches long, so it can easily cut through any size cake, and the server is 2 1/2-inches wide, so it can balance even generously cut slices.
The real reason that this set caught my eye is not that it is functional, but because it is lovely to look at. The set is made of stainless steel and brass, and the pieces are engraved with the phrases “First Come First Served” and “Let Them Eat Cake.” It’s the kind of set that makes a beautiful gift and as we’re coming into late spring/summer when there seem to be more weddings than other times of the year, I’ve been keeping my eyes out for suitable (and baker-friendly) gifts. The set is a little bit pricey, considering that you can slice up your layer cakes with cheaper knives, but as a gift for a cake lover, this one will be right on the money – and will definitely “let them eat cake.”
Pie servers are triangular spatulas that are supposed to make it easy to lift a slice of pie easily from a pie plate by offering more support than simply trying to balance a heavy slice of pie on the blade of a thin knife. Most pie servers are made of metal and are fairly stiff, but when it comes to pie servers, stiffness is not necessarily a good thing. A very stiff server can be difficult to wedge underneath a slice of pie and can easily crack a delicate crust, making your beautiful pie look less than presentable when you are plating it. This Oxo Flexible Nylon Pie Server is a great example of a server that is sturdy and flexible. A flexible pie server that has a some give to it will slide down the side of your pie plate and bend to fit smoothly underneath that slice without cracking the crust, and the OXO version is strong enough to lift any slice easily
The sides of this particular server are serrated and can help you cut through a bit of crust if necessary, but you’re far better off going with a knife for cutting and then using this server as just a server (which is true of most pie servers). If you do need to cut through something with this server, serrations are better for cutting through a stubborn graham cracker crust than a real pastry crust.
Layer cakes are notoriously difficult to slice and serve if you want to keep the slices looking their best. After the cake has been sliced, you typically need to slide a small spatula or even a pie server underneath the wedge of cake and try to transfer it to a waiting dessert plate. The multi-layer slices of cake often shift around, needing to be held in place with a steadying finger or two, or land on their sides when they tip over after being pushed off the spatula. Unless a cooking show is being filmed in your home (or you’re a food blogger who takes a lot of photos!), it’s not critical to ensure that every slice of that cake looks perfect – but I know that when I spend a lot of time and effort decorating a cake, I want every piece to look as good as possible. This is where The Cake Knife might come in handy.
This knife is made of an unusual type of resin (Ultem, which is often used in making medical instruments and is actually used to make some guitar picks, as well), which is nonstick, as well as heat and stain resistant. It has a wide, flat blade that is just 4.75 inches long and 3 inches high- an ideal size for cutting into 8 and 9-inch round layer cakes. In short, the knife can slice through a two l or three ayer cake without getting cake stuck all over the blade, then you can use the large, flat blade of the knife to lift that slice easily onto a waiting plate.
Having difficulty getting that slice of pie or cake to slide off the pie server? The reason for using a pie server, as opposed to trying to scoot the thin blade of a knife under the slice, is that it is the perfect size and shape to pick up a piece of pie or a slice of cake. I usually just use my finger (or sometimes the blade of a knife) to push the piece off of the server and onto a waiting plate. The pie slice ejector fills this same function, eliminating the need to get your finger sticky from the pie.
It reminds me of a self-releasing ice cream scoop, where a blade detaches the ice cream from the back of the spoon. When you squeeze the handle, a lever slides forward and releases the pie.
Certainly not the the must-have gadget of the year or anything, but the slice ejector not necessarily a bad idea for someone who entertains a lot and (a) doesn’t want their fingers to get dirty during service or (b) doesn’t want guests to see them poking at the pie/cake with a finger to release it from the server.