Usually, this issue surfaces when you have two or more children, all of whom want cake. Well, really, they want all the cake, and don't really want to share it. So it's up to you to make them share, and share evenly enough that neither one is crying at the end.

Important Note: This should only be done with children who are old enough to be trusted with knives but not old enough that they might kill the other child with the knife.

  1. Have the cake, children, and knife present.
  2. Hand the knife to the first child, and say, "You get to cut the cake in half."
  3. The child will squeal in anticipation of leaving a tiny piece for the second child.
  4. Then say, "But <insert second child's name here> will get to pick their piece first."
  5. The first child will then have to cut the cake in such a way that they will be satisfied with whichever piece they get.
  6. Both children are, if not happy, at least not crying.
To extrapolate this to more than two children, make it more complicated versions of the above whose recursive cases have the above as a base case. (I couldn't remember the algorithm offhand, but m_turner, above, did.)