Please Help Me Decide Tier Sizes To Feed Over 300?

Decorating By JodieF Updated 16 Aug 2008 , 12:06am by JodieF

JodieF Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 9:06pm
post #1 of 36

I am doing a 50th anniversary cake for a couple I just love, for the cost of ingredients. Their daughter is throwing them a surprise party. She's even flying in family from Italy. How cool is that? The number of people attending has ballooned to 300-350 people, so the cake I'd planned for 250 needs to be expanded.

I've been pouring over Earlene's chart, the Wilton chart and everything else I can find. At this point I have totally confused myself! I had planned on a 4 tier cake, but now I'm sure I'll also need satellites. I had thought a square bottom tier, then 3 rounds. I own 6, 9, 10, 12 inch round pans. I also have the 1/2 sheet pan. I can rent any other size pans from my local cake decorating shop.

Also, can I put a 10 inch plate under the 12 inch tier (for example)? I don't want the plates to show.

It's going to be a photo cake, with edible image photos around the tiers, decorated with fresh roses. I personally prefer a 3 inch difference between tiers.

Please help my addled brain plan this cake! OH....I'm going to be cutting it, and I've NEVER cut a cake like this so I'm not counting on cutting as many servings as the charts say I should get! icon_cry.gif

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. thumbs_up.gif

35 replies
Doug Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 10:06pm
post #2 of 36

pick a chart, stick it and ignore all the other charts.

sooooo....using Earlene's (slightly larger portions)

size = servings (total servings)
6"= 8 ( 8 )
9" =22 (30)
12" = 45 (75)
15" = 80 (155)
18" = 115 (270)

now that's a five tier beauty of cake.

then satellite cakes, say 5 - 9" (110) more servings.

that would be 380 servings -- a whole ton of cake.

(tho' since this is an Italian family -- is cake the ONLY dessert thing that will be there? What about cannoli, etc.??? should you be taking that into account and downsizing a bit?)

you'd have to rent the 15" and the 18"half round (bake 2 to make full 18" round) or a 18" square if they have it (or trim two 1/2 sheets to size shape)

have you considered doing a Lady Windermere style?
http://family.webshots.com/photo/1194936010060067529ZnPYPb
http://www.wilton.com/wedding/makecake/building/centercolumn.cfm
http://www.miniasbakeshop.com/gallery.htm (see pic 73 in her gallery)
this style would require renting the center column cake stand.

as for 10" plate under a 12" cake -- yes so long as the 12" is on a 12" cake circle -- tho' some (but not "chicken" yours truly) will risk a 10 under a 12 direct.)

have you considered have the tiers stand apart for the rose tower effect (roses stuffed into spaces between tiers)? http://bp2.blogger.com/_wAdGkhxrDzE/RodIXGkxwRI/AAAAAAAAAPY/TQxWbZUB45A/s1600-h/IMG_0880-1.JPG as an example

as for cutting -- just do what IndyDebi shows here:
http://cateritsimple.com/_wsn/page10.html
and you'll be fine

JodieF Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 12:05am
post #3 of 36

Thanks Doug.....ya probably saved my ample backside once again. icon_cool.gif

I was looking at Earlene's chart. I think I'd just come up with so many combos I had confused myself. It's summer and my brain function came to a halt when summer school ended last week! Maybe it'll start up again August 13th?

I think I may do the 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 tiered, and then do 2, 12 inch chocolate cakes. She had asked for some chocolate. That would still give me 360 servings.

As to the plates, yep, I would use the cardboard rounds on top of the plates for sure. That would be TOO scary have cake just hanging off the edges like that!

Now I have to figure up how much it's all going to cost. Ick! I would love to do the roses between all the tiers, but that cost would be on me and I'm not sure I can swing that. Just getting the edible images printed will be about $40. My thought was to do the roses between the 18 and 15, then roses on top, with the occasional rose on the sides of the tiers. My Sams club is now selling the rose heads for $9 a box, about 24 roses.

As far as I know, the only dessert is going to be the cake. Oh wow...just hit me that the DH will be out of town that weekend. I'm gonna have to wrangle this monster all by myself! icon_eek.gif

JodieF Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 12:05am
post #4 of 36

I had to laugh...I talked to the daughter who's throwing the party. I did a whole bunch of figuring of costs and wrote everything up for her. I figured $200 for the cost of ingredients and another $45 to have all the edible images printed. That's for 360 servings.

Guess what????

That's WAY TOO MUCH!!!

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

I know, I know...folks don't get it, but holy cow! She's going to call some bakeries. I wonder what they're going to quote per serving???
icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 12:38am
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JodieF

I had to laugh...I talked to the daughter who's throwing the party. I did a whole bunch of figuring of costs and wrote everything up for her. I figured $200 for the cost of ingredients and another $45 to have all the edible images printed. That's for 360 servings.

Guess what????

That's WAY TOO MUCH!!!

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

I know, I know...folks don't get it, but holy cow! She's going to call some bakeries. I wonder what they're going to quote per serving???
icon_rolleyes.gif





ROFLMAO! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Oh PLEASE be sure to tell us what she said when they quote her $1300+ ... a mere $4/serving!!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Give her the shopping list and tell her, "Ok ... if YOU buy the stuff, I'll make it." That's usually an eye opener! icon_lol.gif

JodieF Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 1:30am
post #6 of 36

Debi....I even broke it down by ingredients! Twenty one cake mixes, 12 pounds of butter, 10 dozen eggs, etc..... I was going to pay for the flowers and the fondant for decorations. I love these folks and my time would be my pleasure to give. Plus it would be great experience.

Anyway, who knows what she's going to end up asking for? Whatever sizes it ends up, I'm going to give it my best and make it lovely for them.

I knew folks here would get a laugh...... icon_lol.gif

sari66 Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 1:50am
post #7 of 36

LOL she has no idea what a deal she passed up!
A cake that size from the bakery where i used to work would run $1900
Shaking head...jeeze some ppl icon_smile.gif

JodieF Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 2:09am
post #8 of 36

I have a feeling I'm not going to hear what the bakeries quote her. I'm sure I'm going to get the phone call to "just go ahead with the cake, even though it's more than I can afford to spend"! icon_lol.gif

I may just have to call around out of curiosity..... icon_rolleyes.gif

HerBoudoir Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 12:51am
post #9 of 36

If you can't afford less than $1 a serving for dessert, then you can't afford to invite 350 people....simple enough, eh? icon_smile.gif

mc Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 4:25pm
post #10 of 36

Hello All,

How big are Earlene's portions? I have looked in her website, but I can't find the size?

JodieF Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 12:52am
post #11 of 36

I'm not sure it says exactly what size her portions here. Here is her serving chart:

http://www.earlenescakes.com/ckserchart.htm

mc Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 3:46pm
post #12 of 36

Thanks JodieF,

I have looked at her chart, but she doesn't mention the size of the individual servings. I am actually following her chart for a wedding cake for 200, but everyone seems to say that her portions are more generous than Wilton's. I just don't know how much bigger...

JodieF Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 4:59pm
post #13 of 36

I went back and looked and she doesn't say her sizes are bigger. The servings are still 1 x 2 x 4.
http://www.earlenescakes.com/cakeservinst.htm

She says that you can't get the number of servings that Wilton says you can from any given pan size. So, Earlene's serving chart is unrealistic. In other words, you tell people you can get 38 servings from a 10 inch cake which is what Wilton says, but Earlene says you can really only get 30.

I think a lot of folks here adjust their prices up a bit and go by Earlene's chart.

I hope that makes sense!

Jodie

indydebi Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 8:24pm
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JodieF

I went back and looked and she doesn't say her sizes are bigger. The servings are still 1 x 2 x 4.
http://www.earlenescakes.com/cakeservinst.htm

She says that you can't get the number of servings that Wilton says you can from any given pan size. So, Earlene's serving chart is unrealistic. In other words, you tell people you can get 38 servings from a 10 inch cake which is what Wilton says, but Earlene says you can really only get 30.

I think a lot of folks here adjust their prices up a bit and go by Earlene's chart.

I hope that makes sense!

Jodie



I cut my wedding cakes in the 1x2x4 and when you cut it my way, I can get about 10% more pieces than what Wilton says ... and 1x2x4 is NOT a teeny piece ... many guests ask me for ".... a smaller piece please".

Here's my website page on how to cut a wedding cake: Notice the cut pieces of cake on the plates .... a nice dessert size. http://cateritsimple.com/_wsn/page10.html

Here's another pic of cut pieces of cake from one of my weddings ... 1x2x4 ... not teeny tiny: http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1156785

poshcakedesigns Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 8:42pm
post #16 of 36

Oh please keep us updated. I'd love to know that you got to do the cake.

mc Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 9:22pm
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JodieF

I went back and looked and she doesn't say her sizes are bigger. The servings are still 1 x 2 x 4.
http://www.earlenescakes.com/cakeservinst.htm

She says that you can't get the number of servings that Wilton says you can from any given pan size. So, Earlene's serving chart is unrealistic. In other words, you tell people you can get 38 servings from a 10 inch cake which is what Wilton says, but Earlene says you can really only get 30.

I think a lot of folks here adjust their prices up a bit and go by Earlene's chart.

I hope that makes sense!

Jodie




You are right, there is no mention of a bigger serving. I think Earlene's calculations are to be on the safe side since all numbers are approximate. I did a test with a piece of parchment paper 14" round and got 74 pieces 1x2x4. I just want to make sure I have enough cake. I have never done a cake that big and it is going to be my first wedding cake!!!!

Thanks Indydebi, I will definitely use your cutting advice, it seems much simpler than the round chart. icon_smile.gif

mc Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 9:23pm
post #18 of 36

Oh, sorry JodieF, I meant to wish you luck with your order, I hope you get to do it. Let us know.

misha35 Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 9:39pm
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerBoudoir

If you can't afford less than $1 a serving for dessert, then you can't afford to invite 350 people....simple enough, eh? icon_smile.gif




I agree! And I hope you included the cost of the boards & dowels, supports, etc. How kind of you to gift your time to make the cake.

I LOVE indydebi's cutting chart. so simple to understand and follow.

JodieF Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 9:54pm
post #20 of 36

I think this is just another situation of someone thinking "but, it's JUST cake!". I'm also guessing this party is costing her far more than she had dreamed it would. We've been good friends for 10 years, so I'm not holding it against her. She's pretty stressed.

This is one of those situations where I'll just bite my tongue, find out how much she's able to spend and base the cake on that. I want to make it.

I love her folks and am very happy to make a special cake for them, if for no other reason than that. thumbs_up.gif

JodieF Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 2:23am
post #21 of 36

The party was today....the cake turned out better than I'd even hoped. I will get it posted in my photos but I'm whipped and wanted to share with those of you who followed this thread.

I'm happy but tired!

Jodie
LL

indydebi Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 2:25am
post #22 of 36

WOW! THAT IS AWESOME!!! icon_surprised.gif

JodieF Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 2:36am
post #23 of 36

Wow Debi.....that means a LOT coming from someone as talented as you!

Dixiegal01 Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 2:51am
post #24 of 36

Jodie, your cake is fabulous! I bet the family was totally blown away thumbs_up.gif Very, very special...I'm sure they were all so touched.

indydebi Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 3:23am
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JodieF

Wow Debi.....that means a LOT coming from someone as talented as you!




I've never made anything as incredible as this cake. Sorry, but in this instance, I bow to the master!!

PiccoloChellie Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 4:57am
post #26 of 36

Holy cow, Jodie - that cake is AMAZING! icon_eek.gif

GenGen Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 5:21am
post #27 of 36

wow thats breathtaking. looks like it was alot of hard work and very Very well done!! my hats off to you!!

JodieF Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 2:27pm
post #28 of 36

wow do I ever have bad timing....posted the cake this morning...stayed on the main page for a couple minutes, got 1 comment.....

Shoot...*toeing ground*...I was thinking this one might really get some attention. Sorry for whining. icon_redface.gif

joylee8 Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 3:19pm
post #29 of 36

all I can say is AWESOME!! great job

JodieF Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 3:24pm
post #30 of 36

Thank Joylee....go make it a favorite! I'll beg! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

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