Realistic Cake Serving Sizes?

Decorating By imartsy Updated 10 Apr 2008 , 1:23am by imartsy

imartsy Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 3:47am
post #1 of 18

I know about Wilton's cake serving chart, and about Earlene's, but I still wonder about them being realistic. When someone cuts a cake, do they have any clue? I could send them a diagram, but I just worry that people don't get the amount of cake they thought they would....maybe that's just silly b/c I haven't had any complaints yet, but I'm just curious if anyone has a cake chart out there with serving sizes that the average person would understand.... does that make sense? anyone know of one?

(Right now I'm trying to figure out a cake for 25 people and a cake for 35 people - serving sizes and then the amount of fondant I need)

17 replies
beachcakes Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 12:53pm
post #2 of 18

I think it's a good idea! Most non-cake people (or cake civilians as indydebi calls them) have no clue how to cut a cake!

I know Earlene's chart gives more generous sizes, but Wilton's seems to be the industry standard. Most caterers, etc. are trained to cut with the Wilton standard.

pastrylady Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 2:27pm
post #3 of 18

I use Earlene's chart because I think the Wilton portions are a little on the small side and I'd always rather give too much cake than not enough. The little bit of extra ingredients don't cost me that much and to me it's worth the peace of mind.

Most of the wedding cakes I do go to venues with a professional catering staff. In that case I don't worry about a cake cutting chart because any caterer worth their salt should know how to cut a wedding cake.

On the occasion that I sell a cake that will be served at an event that will not have a professional caterer, I do send a cutting chart, and explain to them in person, how the cake should be dis-assembled and cut.

plbennett_8 Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 2:29pm
post #4 of 18

Maybe you could direct them to IndyDebi's Web site... She has a Great "How to Cut a Cake" tutorial! icon_biggrin.gif

http://cateritsimple.com/_wsn/page19.html

imartsy Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 4:27pm
post #5 of 18

Ah I have been to Indydebi's site - it's fabulous! However, I'm wondering if people would cut a cake for a children's party or something like that.....

Usually the cakes I do are for birthday parties or baby showers... I really don't do weddings. That's why I'm always so thrown off by the cake charts... b/c they really are looking at wedding cake slices. And, the events I'm doing cakes for aren't catered - so you're right, the people don't know how to cut the cake.

I do always tell them about dowel rods or non-edible parts.... but not specifically how to cut the cake....

I also don't know how many people have that lovely cake comb thing that indydebi has on her site... and I don't have one.... so I don't know - maybe I could tell them to use a butter knife or something?

But do you think Earlene's chart is accurate for "party serving size"? And her charts are for two layers right? (not tiers) - So if it says it feeds 10 - it means two layers with maybe some filling between, right?

lecrn Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 4:41pm
post #6 of 18

I've started going by Indydebi's chart. I usually go by the party size since I mainly make party cakes. After the person tells me a serving size, I look at the chart & see which size(s) of cake are close to that number & give them a choice. Usually the serving size cannot match up exactly. I also tell them how big ea. serving is. It's up to them to divide up the cake so everyone has a piece.

tiggy2 Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 5:15pm
post #7 of 18

Tell them the normal size of a serving and if they want bigger servings they need to order more cake which = more $ for you. They don't have to use a cake comb to cut the cake (just makes it easier), they can use their hand (gloved). I think Earleen's chart is accurate and I'm pretty sure it is for a 2-layer cake with filling. I haven't looked at it lately but I thought it was 4" tall just like the wilton site.

indydebi Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 6:44pm
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

Tell them the normal size of a serving and if they want bigger servings they need to order more cake which = more $ for you.




Bingo!

When you ask about "realistic" .... I would ask if your clients are cutting them the size of bricks, in which case I would suggest THE CLIENT needs to be a little more "realistic".

Cake is a dessert .... not a meal. As the cake experts, it is our job to inform them that when we say a cake serves 25-35, we mean 25-35 NORMAL servings ... not Jethro servings.

If they are used to taking a 10" cake and cutting it into 8 or 12 pie-shaped wedges, then they are not being realistic.

We just need to educate them on what we are determining a serving to be.

KFC determines a serving to be 2 pieces of chicken. Just because someone actually eats 4 pieces doesn't mean KFC has to throw in more chicken, or that the customer has any right to complain how KFC "cheated" them because the 16 pc bucket didnt' feed 8 people like they said it would.

plbennett_8 Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 6:47pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lecrn

I've started going by Indydebi's chart. I usually go by the party size since I mainly make party cakes. After the person tells me a serving size, I look at the chart & see which size(s) of cake are close to that number & give them a choice. Usually the serving size cannot match up exactly. I also tell them how big ea. serving is. It's up to them to divide up the cake so everyone has a piece.




Chart? What Chart? Is there a Chart on her site? Where??? icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 6:52pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

Tell them the normal size of a serving and if they want bigger servings they need to order more cake




Bingo!!

I question the use of the term "realistic". If a client plans on cutting cake the size of bricks, then I say THEY are not being "realistic". Cake is a dessert ... not a meal. Not my problem if they eat like Jethro Bodine.

It is our job to educate them on the expectations ... when we tell them the 10" cake serves 25-35 WHEN CUT PROPERLY, but if they plan to cut it in 12 pie-shaped wedges, they THEY are being unrealistic and THEY need to order more cake. The number of servings we give them are based on a pre-determined size.

They are welcome to cut it any dang size they want, but if they cut it bigger than my allocated size, they need to order more cake. It is NOT my fault or problem if they run out of cake.

KFC determines a serving is 2 pieces of chicken. If someone habitually eats 4 pieces, they can NOT go to KFC to complain that the 16pc bucket didn't feed 8 people as KFC said. KFC is also not going to throw in more free chicken because the client says "Oh but I eat more than that!"

So we are not going to throw in more cake just because the client says "Oh, but I cut them bigger than that!"

That's fascinating. But I dont' care. Order more cake, then.

lecrn Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 8:46pm
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by plbennett_8

Quote:
Originally Posted by lecrn

I've started going by Indydebi's chart. I usually go by the party size since I mainly make party cakes. After the person tells me a serving size, I look at the chart & see which size(s) of cake are close to that number & give them a choice. Usually the serving size cannot match up exactly. I also tell them how big ea. serving is. It's up to them to divide up the cake so everyone has a piece.



Chart? What Chart? Is there a Chart on her site? Where??? icon_smile.gif




Sorry, I should have bookmarked it! I just printed off a copy for myself. I did a CC search for it, but couldn't find it. She posted it some time ago & maybe she'll post it again if we ask her nicely icon_lol.gif .

pastrylady Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 8:47pm
post #12 of 18

I have a 1"x2"x4" block of wood that I use as a cake slice "demo". I always show this to potential clients at their first consultation. I think it helps them visualize what I mean when I say "100 wedding cake portions". It helps them understand that they will get 100 pieces of cake that are the size of that block.

I think sometimes brides want to order 100 portions to feed 125p because they are picturing a wedge of cake like they get in a diner.

I like to use this to avoid any future confusion over what I meant by a "wedding cake portion".

beachcakes Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 6:28pm
post #13 of 18

I do too - got the idea from someone in the galleries - she painted them just like cake. It's a great visual. People have no idea how big a slice of cake should be!

sweetcakes Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 6:45pm
post #14 of 18

every food item thing one buys has a serving size on it and how many that box contains. lets say a box of pastaroni has 6 servings of 1/2 a cup size. we all know that 1/2 a cup is not what we serve so we make 2 or 3 boxes up ( this is just an example i dont have a box to quote from).
So as long as you let your customers know what a serving size piece of cake is and how many this cake serves based on that then its up to them if they want to order a bigger cake. the visual of a cake slice or chunk 2x2x2 for a sheet cake is a great help. same principal as indydebi KFC story.

kakeladi Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 6:52pm
post #15 of 18

<...When someone cuts a cake, do they have any clue? I could send them a diagram, but I just worry that people don't get the amount of cake they thought they would....>
<...KFC determines a serving is 2 pieces of chicken. If someone habitually eats 4 pieces, they can NOT go to KFC to complain that the 16pc bucket didn't feed 8 people as KFC said. KFC is also not going to throw in more free chicken because the client says "Oh but I eat more than that!"...>

Yes! Indydebi is right on as usual! icon_smile.gif
Come on folks......we are not here to 'feed' the world cake. It IS suppose to be dessert - a sweet tidbit at the end of a full course meal.

<...have a 1"x2"x4" block of wood that I use as a cake slice...>
This is indeed very very helpful. I used styro instead of wood.

KoryAK Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 8:50pm
post #16 of 18

I always refer to them as the portion you are SUPPOSED to have when you eat cake, not the great American wedge. Always gets a laugh and get the point across.

indydebi Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 9:01pm
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK

I always refer to them as the portion you are SUPPOSED to have when you eat cake, not the great American wedge. Always gets a laugh and get the point across.




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif I'm using that one!!!!

imartsy Posted 10 Apr 2008 , 1:23am
post #18 of 18

You all are too funny icon_smile.gif Thanks for all of your help and suggestions!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%