If something is a piece of cake that means it is easy or simple; an activity that requires little effort to finish.
When a task is easier to complete than previously expected, people might use this phrase to express those thoughts.
Example: Cleaning up my messy room was a piece of cake. (In other words, cleaning the room was simple.)
Synonyms / Similar Phrases: a breeze, a cakewalk, as easy as pie, a walk in the park
The Origin of ‘A Piece of Cake’
The origin of the phrase ‘a piece of cake’ is unclear. However, here is how it might have developed into the idiom it is today:
It’s worth noting that a similar expression exists that goes ‘as easy as pie.’ Both sayings have identical meanings—they express simplicity, but why is that? Indeed, what is so simple about cake and pie?
It probably doesn’t have to do with the cooking aspect. Why not? Because baking a cake requires a fair bit of work. For instance, you first have to buy all of the necessary ingredients for it. Then you have to do some measuring, pouring, and mixing together of everything in a bowl. After, the cake needs to be put into a preheated oven to start baking. Okay, so it’s not exactly the most difficult task, but I wouldn’t say it’s easy either. In short, I don’t think the origin of this idiom comes from making a cake.
However, what about the eating aspect? Yes, eating a piece of cake is very easy to do because, well, it’s delicious! So then, could it be the origin of this idiom comes from how easy it is to eat a piece of cake? That would be my guess.
Anyway, this phrase (with its figurative meaning) goes back to at least the 1930s. The term was used at that time by an American poet named Ogden Nash. He wrote a book called Primrose Path in 1936 and there is a part from the book that reads:
“Her picture’s in the papers now, And life’s a piece of cake.”
Here are examples of this idiom in sentences.
- This upcoming bike race will be a piece of cake because I’ve been training hard in preparation for it.
- My cat didn’t put up much of a fuss when I gave him medication; the whole process was a piece of cake.
- An electric washer and dryer makes washing clothes a walk in the park.
- My friend is so tall that slam dunks are as easy as pie for him.
- Solving that puzzle was a breeze, I prefer them when they’re slightly more challenging.
See Also: You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
Do you like cake? Well, this phrase says you can’t have cake and eat it too. What does that mean? Find out more about this phrase and see examples of it.