The customer has requested "a" sheet cake with an edible image to feed 400 people. She says it may be a little more but at least 400 servings. I've never done an order this large so here's my dilemma. The sheet pan I am using is a 12 x 18. I have a board big enough to put 3 of those side by side. Then I was thinking that I would need 3 more of those to give her the proper amount. Any ideas how I can do this?
I also am concerned with pricing...I was thinking of $50 per sheet for the 6 totaling $300.00.
If you can help me at all with your advice on the number of sheets or pricing that would be GREATLY appreciated.
Thanks in Advance.
Can the edible image be cut into 6 pcs.? If so, Do like you said with 3 sheets per board. Assemble them when you deliver and match up all the cakes in correct spot. HTH.
$300 is a good price as far as I'm concerned. Veteran cake decorators will provide more info on this that I can.
Have you figured in your costs on this ? You aren't even charging a dollar per serving...... not enough in my book........
Are you saying you will be using 6 sheets all together? 3 double layers side by side?
I think your calculations are good, but where are you going to get edible image that big? Also, are you filling the cake or is it just a sheet with bc (charge more if filling, especially fresh fruit)? I would probably put wood board to go under cake board for supprt since in will be a large cake. Make sure you cut it to fit perfectly or might even buy it the size you need, beacuse the board itself won't do especially if your putting them side by side. Hope it works.
definitely get some ply wood to go under that massive cake! Personally my 12x18 would serve 54, if it's too layers than 108, so I would think you'd need 8 of these, not 6...I would get some plywood at home depot and have them cut it a few inches bigger all around than what you need, like 27x39" (since 4 of them together would be 24"x36") That gives you an inch and a half around on all sides, then just cover it with some wrapping paper and clear contact paper and you're all set, you could even run some matching ribbon around the side. I think your price sounds right, at least that's how I price out my sheet cakes...if it's 8 half sheets, I charge them for 8 half sheets........you could charge extra and tell them it's because of the difficulty of stacking such a large amount of cake I suppose. Maybe they'd just want 4 full sheet cakes, but then you run into a whole lot more work as far as icing and decorating them all!
According to Wilton's party cake guide, a 2-layer 12x18 cake serves 72. So you will need 6 two-layer cakes in order to get over 400 servings. The suggestion to cut the image into 6 pieces is a good one, and don't shortchange yourself on the price.....I would not charge less than a dollar a serving for something this large. Just because it is a sheetcake doesn't mean it's less work; you're talking about baking TWELVE 12x18 cakes; leveling, filling, icing, etc. It's not a small job! Good luck!
I would also charge extra for the edible images, those don't come cheap.
Seems too cheap to me, that's a lot of cake!
Holy smokes that's a big sheet cake. How are you going to transport? Do you have a van or something with a flat surface large enough to put the cake on to transport? I'd be leery of doing a cake that big because of several issues - getting an edible image big enough, cracking the cake while transporting, the weight of a cake that size, do THEY have a place big enough to put the board so the sides don't hang off a table and, again, promote cracking?
I think I'd be inclined to recommend doing 2 or 3 smaller sheet cakes with an edible image on each or an image on one sheet cake with the other two decorated to coordinate. That just sounds like a lot of headaches in the making.
Good luck - let us know how you fare!
Thank you so much for all your speedy replies. I do have a plywood board to put the cakes on. They were going to be on the regular cake boards attached to the board. As far as the size, it will be single layer sheets without torting and filling. My home machine edible image is only 8 1/2 by 11?? As I said I have never done anything this large and I wanted to make sure I was thinking along the right price range. The customer will pick the cake up in her van.....I would suppose. Very good point, I will look into that to make sure!
Keep the replies coming. I have some time to think this one through and not jump in to fast.
Again, Thanks for all your help.
That's sure to be one massive cake! I think your best bet is the plywood base, as khalsted and some others stated. I would say at least $50 per and don't forget about all your incidentals, ie. the plywood board and the edible images. Have fun!!!
Something else to consider using under your cakes instead of just the regular cake boards is that thick foam core board. It can be used in conjunction with the plywood for added stability under the cakes. HL and Michaels sells the thick foam core board back in the art department.
They have pretty big sheets of the foam core board - like 4' sheets in various colors.
Did anyone remind you to make sure you can get it out of your door and into you vehicle...Big old cake!
wow that is a ton of sheet cakes, for that many people. First off if I was doing a cake that big, it would be delivery only. That is just too big, with too many things that could happen to it. I guess if the customer is fine taking the risk of transporting it herself, then let her. Although I would make her sign a waiver that she is fully responsible for the cake. Why is it that she wants sheet cakes, did you find that out, and was there an idea given to her about a tiered cake? I would be concerned about the edible image too, just too big, I think it would run the risk of not holding up. Also if she chooses a filling that needs to be in the fridge...where will you store it? I sometimes forget that. I agree with the others WAY TOO cheap! By the time you get your ingredients, edible image, and all your extra supports you aren't going to be making anything. I would charge $2.00 per person, that would be just for cake no filling and icing. Any other details would be extra including the edible image. They are very costly and you should get back the money for it. Also where in the heck is she going to have an event to get dessert for people under about $4.00? That is the way I always think of it. It is a huge order...please make sure it is worth your time and effort to do it! Hope this helps!
Yah, be sure they not only can get it into a van or? make sure it will go thru the door! I have heard of people having to take out windows just to get a big board out of the house!
I don't see how any frosting sheet pic can be made big enough for 3 or 4 sheets (side by side).
About all I can suggest is to make an icing 'frame' (could be as simple as shells) about 2-3" inside the edge of the cake(s) then put the fs inside that.
between the edge & 'frame" fill in w/jimmies, cornelli or something like that.
Wow, thanks for all this great thought provoking advice. It made me realize I really hadn't thought this one through enough.
Barbarajean---thanks for the one about the door. I am at a new location and I haven't even brought the plywood through this door yet!
Apetricek--I had not even thought about a tiered cake. I went automatically to a sheet. She asked me my thoughts about how to present it and I went straight to thinking of a sheet.
If I were to do a tiered cake (properly doweled).....what sizes of pan do you recommend and how many tiers?
Thanks so much for all your help.
Here is how I would suggest making that cake. I would bake a 12x18 cake 8 times, (thats 16 recipes of cake mix). I think you have underestimated your servings. Make them in a shape that you know will fit into your or her van (24X36 plus I would add 4" to each side) and ice them as one on PLYWOOD covered in butcher paper. Then stack the other 4 on top of them and you can ice them as one cake. Logistically think of all the work you will do. I wouldn't touch this cake for less than $800.00. I charge $110.00 for a 12x18 sheetcake that feeds 90. I would strongly suggest to your customer that you make a nice size beautiful cake and have kitchen cakes (I charge $1.50 a serving) ready to be cut in the back. It could take the kitchen over an hour to cut and distribute a cake that big. The wait staff will thank you for making their job so much easier. Contact me if you want more advice but I think you will get plenty from others. DON'T FORGET to measure the door widths so you know if you can get it in/out of house and in/out of party place...
It would be almost as hard to come up w/enough servings from a tiered as is it to do the sheets
Can your oven hold an 18"?
It almost would need to be a couple of tiered cakes tied together somehow.....
Wilton had one or two huge cakes in one of their books....it has a blue cover...lots of side cakes all around the 'main' part attached w/plastic arches...I can still picture it in my head
I would suggest a tiered to serve maybe 150 or so (16, 12, 9,6) then add some sheets....maybe only one of those 3 side-by-sides you were considering.
That cvake is just to large to assemble at home.... you would have to take it to the venue and assemble it there..... a sheet of plywood is 4X8, and even tilting it, you would not get it through a normal door......How many people would you need to lift it .etc.etc.....
Wow..................I'm really thinking how I am going to be able to pull this one off. As far as an 18" fitting in my oven, I am not even for sure....I've never tried at this location. Nor Have I stacked anything that large.
I'm just trying to figure it out....how I can respectfully complete this order. This order was my coming out of sorts in my new location and I wanted to use this opportunity to get a lot of "advertising".
ok here is what I would do. I would make a large tiered cake. To go with the theme of the party. Then have the sheet cakes (plain) in the back just for serving. That would be what I would do. Depending on what type of event this is... just a thought!
I had a friend who made a cake the length of an 8' table. She folded up the legs on an 8' banquet table and set that on top of another 8' banquet table. Made the entire cake on the tabletop. To deliver it, the top table (with the folded up legs) was picked up and put in the van. When they arrvied at the location, the legs were unfolded and the table was set up, cake in place. An 8' banquet table fits thru all doors and in most vans.
A double layer made up of eight 12x18's (so you have 18x48x4), when cut in the standard 1x2x4 pieces ... which means the cake will be cut in 18 rows x 24 columns = 432 servings. With the extra work involved for support and decorating (STRETCH to reach those far sides of that cake!), I agree that I wouldn't do this for less than $800 or $1000.
COngrats on getting such a big order!