How to Measure Vertical Lines on Irregular Cakes

Hi Folks,

Recently in the Q & A, member Lissy posted an interesting question…

How did Rose calculate the distance between the lines for her basket weave in the catch of the day tutorial?

As an extreme example, I baked an Indian drum cake ( bayan) for my hubby’s 65th birthday. From the picture of the drum, you can see the big difference between top and bottom and the complex vertical lines.


If you’re anything like me you’d probably eyeball and go for it! However, if you’re not very good at eyeing up lines, you can do a simple calculation which will give you the mark off points.

To work out the vertical lines, first measure the whole circle (the circumference) of the base. Decide how much apart you want your lines to be. For example, if the circle measures 40cm and you want 10 upright lines, make 4cm marks all the way round. To work out where the top marks should be, make a starter line from any of your marks at the base, as shown in the diagram.


To calculate where the points around the top should be, divide the distance between 2 points (in our example, 4cm) by the diameter of the base. Then multiply this figure by the diameter across the top. This will give you the distances to mark off at the top, starting from the vertical line you made and
working round. This type of calculation can be used for all approximately circular cakes, where the base is a different size from the top.
Thanks to my hubby this has helped me enormously to understand how easily a more geometrically accurate structure can be achieved. I hope it helps you too.

Cheers, happy baking and decorating. Be safe!

madeitwithlove xx

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