It’s hip to be rectangle — at least when it comes to cutting cakes.
Although you probably spent your formative years watching your parents slice your birthday cake into triangles, mathematician and writer Alex Bellos is here to tell you that’s not the way to do it.
Bellos is featured in a YouTube video produced by Numberphile (Brady Haran) demonstrating why cake should be cut into rectangles.
Bellos cites a letter to the editor in a December 1906 issue of scientific magazine Nature as the source of this revolutionary idea.
This “scientific” method is supposed to keep the cake fresher for longer.
Here’s how it works:
1. Cut the cake in half.
2. Make another cut next to the first one, also straight down the middle, to create a rectangle.
3. Remove the rectangle you just created.
4. Push the remaining two halves of the cake back together.
5. Place a rubber band around the cake and make another cut down the middle, cutting the cake into fourths.
6. Make another cut next to the one you just made to create a rectangle again. The resulting rectangle slice will have two pieces.
7. Repeat this process until you end up with a plate full of rectangle slices.
The best part about this method, however, is that pushing the remaining halves together means that the leftover cake stays fresh for longer, as it wont dry out from the middle.