The best cake knife
Cakes are one of the most traditional ways to mark a special occasion. Whether it’s a marriage, a birthday or another of life's celebrations, cutting into a beautiful cake is a classic celebratory gesture. The best cake knife makes it easy to serve clean slices without tearing the cake or messing up the decorations.
If you’re looking for a cake knife that acts as a keepsake too, the Hudson Essentials Cake Knife & Cake Server Set has a simple, classic design that fits any occasion.
What to know before you buy a cake knife
Cake knives are used when you want to preserve the structure of the cake as you slice. They are capable of tackling even the tallest, most elaborate cakes, cutting clean lines and straight slices. But there are a few things to consider when you’re buying a cake knife.
Blade size refers to the actual length of the blade that will cut the cake. It's important to have a balance between long enough to reach towards the center so you do not have to reposition the knife as you cut and short enough to handle easily. Look for cake knives with at least a 6-inch blade.
Blade weight and thickness
When cutting a cake, the best cake knife is heavy enough to drop through the tender layers. A heavier cake knife is also substantial in the hand and easier to work with.
The blade thickness also matters. If the blade is too thick, it will rip chunks of cake out as it slices. Cake knife blades are thinner than regular knives to ensure that the cake is not compressed or torn as you cut.
Material of the knife and handle
The material of the knife itself can be one of three things: Steel or stainless steel, ceramic or silver.
Steel or stainless steel is generally the most affordable and durable choice. This material won't rust with use, and the knives can be sharpened.
Ceramic cake knives are a lovely alternative for people who are allergic to any kind of metal. The major downside to ceramic cake knives is that they cannot be sharpened. Once they become dull, they will need to be replaced.
Finally, silver cake knives are a classic choice for keepsake gift cake knife sets. But whether solid silver or silver-plated, they are the most expensive of all cake knives. They also require special care and polishing.
The handle of your cake knife may be the same material as the blade, but some cake knives mix and match materials. You might have a wooden- or a plastic-handled cake knife. As the best cake knives are made from a single piece of material, if you plan to use your knife regularly, you might want to skip a special handle.
Cake knife features
The best cake knife will be made from a single piece of material. This means that your stainless steel cake knife will be one piece, with no separation between the handle and the blade. This eliminates the chance of a blade coming loose from the handle.
Able to be personalized
If you are giving a cake knife as a gift or keepsake, make sure that it can be engraved. This marks the occasion on which it is used and makes it more special.
Although you can buy a cake knife on its own, a matched set with cake knife and cake server is most common. These matched sets provide an elegant touch to any celebration.
Cake knife cost
A cake knife can be purchased from $15 to $60. The difference in price depends on materials and whether or not it is part of a set.
Cake knife FAQ
How do you sharpen a cake knife?
A. Sharpening a cake knife may be a job best left to professionals, but if you'd like to give it a go at home, you'll need a whetstone, water and some patience.
- Place your whetstone on a towel to keep it from slipping.
- If it has both a coarse and a fine side, start with the coarse side.
- Wet the stone with water.
- Moving at a 20-degree angle, slide the length of the blade from the top of the whetstone towards you.
- Repeat this move 30 times, then flip the blade and repeat 30 times on the other side.
- Repeat this sharpening on both sides as needed.
- Once you begin to have a sharp edge, flip to the finer side of your whetstone and repeat.
- When your knife is sharp, wash and dry it completely before storing.
How do you care for a cake knife?
A. Although some cake knives are dishwasher safe, you will protect and preserve its longevity by hand-washing after each use. Use hot, soapy water and carefully scrub the blade before rinsing and drying.
Which cake knife should I get?
Best of the best cake knife
Hudson Essentials Cake Knife & Cake Server Set: available at Amazon
Our take: This cake knife has a timeless design and is durable and beautiful.
What we like: The 18/10 stainless steel is rust-proof and heavy-duty. The blade of the cake knife is 12 inches and can handle even the largest cakes easily. It’s comfortable and well-balanced to hold and use.
What we dislike: The flat handle of the server offers less leverage when serving.
Best bang for your buck cake knife
Chef Owl Professional Cake Server Set: available at Amazon
Our take: For fun and festive occasions, this unique cake knife is a great choice.
What we like: The bright teal accents scream “party time.” The knife is serrated, and it cuts easily through even the densest cakes. Wash this durable stainless steel set in the dishwasher.
What we dislike: The sharp teeth cut through disposable plates, and some people don’t like the bright color.
Honorable mention cake knife
Gold Hammered Handle Knife and Server Set: available at Amazon
Our take: Choose this beautiful set for a durable keepsake that will last.
What we like: The hammered gold-colored metal handle on this stainless steel blade is engravable, which makes it a prime wedding or other special-occasion gift. It features a 12-inch blade.
What we dislike: This keepsake set is the most expensive on the list, but it makes a great gift.
Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.