I still remember the first time I was faced with slicing a layer cake in half horizontally. It was a bit of a disaster.
Okay, I was nine years old, but I haven't gotten all that much better despite having better knives and trying all sorts of tricks that are supposed to make it easier.
The Zenker Layer Cake Slicing Kit ($58.50) has turned me into a cake slicing expert. Heck, it could turn my nine-year-old self into an expert. There's nothing to set up or adjust. Just slice between the guides, and you can slice a cake into multiple layers.
But wait, there's more! ...I mean, it's a kit, so you get some extras. It comes with a large cake lifter, which you'll need if you're going to be lifting and moving thin layers of cake. The 11-inch wide lifter would also be handy for shuffling small pizzas around.
There's also a knife. Okay, everyone's got a knife or two, but you might not have one that's long enough to slice a cake in half horizontally, such as the nearly 12-inch long serrated knife that comes in the kit. It's plenty long, and the serrations make it fine for slicing bread as well as cake.
The slicing guide is said to adjust to fit 10- and 11-inch cakes, but I recently used it for a 9-inch cake and an 8-inch cake with success. The 8-inch was a very loose fit, but it didn't matter since you don't actually need a snug fit for this to work.
Overall, I'm really pleased with this and foresee a lot more multi-layered cakes in my future.
About the author: Resident yeast whisperer and bread baking columnist Donna Currie also has a serious gadget habit. When her father-in-law heard about this column, he upgraded the nickname for her kitchen from "gadget world" to "gadget heaven." You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie.
Disclaimer: Testing samples were provided to Serious Eats.