How Many Servings?

Decorating By peacenique Updated 15 Jan 2009 , 7:51pm by indydebi

peacenique Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 4:17pm
post #1 of 16

I know that experience is what will help me out here.
I'm hoping that eventually figuring out cake sizes needed, and how to price cakes will become easier.
However, these things make me dread being asked to make cakes.

Right now I have a basketball cake to make for Sunday.

My thoughts are running towards a cake that's 14" X 20" - 4" tall...
with a basketball on top that is approximately 8" to 9" in diameter

How many servings would you say that'll give?

I've told them I will do it for $65.
Thoughts?

Thank you so much. (once again)

Maija

15 replies
pinklesley1 Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 4:38pm
post #2 of 16

without even counting the basketball i did the math and for the standard size cake slice you are looking at atleast 140 slices just out of the 14 x 20

hth and if i am wrong... hope someone corrects me

pinkbox Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 4:43pm
post #3 of 16

This is the serving chart I use is this

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

I'd charge for the sheet cake 4" $2.00 a serving... the the basket ball another $20-$30 at least if its 3-D... if it is just 1/2 of the ball, then I'd charge $10 for the ball.

Hope that helps....

icon_smile.gif

peacenique Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 5:21pm
post #4 of 16

I thought the 14" X 20" cake would serve maybe 30 people. These are teenage girls at a party. 140 servings sounds rather shocking to me.

The ball will be completely round - 3D - like a real ball. It's not going to be half a ball on the cake.
I thought that ball might give 10 or so servings.

I'm SO unsure of my thoughts on servings amounts though.

Yes, I know servings sizes make a difference in what the final count would be.
I'm thinking for a teenager's birthday cake the servings would be generous.

Because the round ball would be unusual... I mean, where else would they get someone who'd make them a ball that is a big round ball... the price would reflect the uniqueness. I know they cannot get anything like it in this town. I thought you were supposed to take skill/ability/uniqueness into consideration when pricing.
Anyway, it's a moot point on this particular one, because the woman didn't hesitate when I told her I'd want $50 just to do the ball by itself.

__Jamie__ Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 5:26pm
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by peacenique

I thought the 14" X 20" cake would serve maybe 30 people. These are teenage girls at a party.




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Teenage girls? If they are like the teenage girls I know...they'll nibble on lettuce and gulp water!

__Jamie__ Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 5:30pm
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by peacenique

I know they cannot get anything like it in this town. I thought you were supposed to take skill/ability/uniqueness into consideration when pricing.




Abso-freaking-lutely baby! I mean, otherwise....why wouldn't they just go to Walmart?

aligotmatt Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 5:42pm
post #7 of 16

Even if you did 2"x2" x4" servings at that size, and that's a lot of cake per person, that's 70 servings in the sheet and another 10 in the ball... But I think more people would cut it skinnier, making it comfortably over 100 servings...

peacenique Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 6:41pm
post #8 of 16

Holy Smokes!
Are you kidding?

I keep wondering if I am saying the wrong size here.

This is a rectangle: fourteen inches by twenty inches. It'll end up being approximately four inches deep.

Seventy servings???!!!

Sorry, I'm not trying to be a smart.. alec, but seriously I'm floored here!

I thought thirty servings was pushing it.

LOL lettuce and water, eh? Heck, these are healthy farm girls for the most part! Somehow I cannot imagine nibbling! LOL
Am I sooooo wrong?!

__Jamie__ Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 6:48pm
post #9 of 16

Innnnnndddyyyyydeb! Help us! I suck at math, but dang, 30 servings from a cake that size, what....like 4x4x4" pieces of cake???

aligotmatt Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 6:49pm
post #10 of 16

If you cut a 20" cake every 2 inches you have 10 rows. If you were looking at 30 servings then each girl would get a 2 inch by 2.3 inch cake that is 4 inches high! That's really HUGE. Not lettuce and water. That's a big freakin hunk of cake. I don't know a large adult that would eat a piece that big. seriously.

It's the 4 inches high that makes the cake so massive. If you did 2" high cake, it would be more reasonable for servings.

__Jamie__ Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 6:55pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by aligotmatt

If you cut a 20" cake every 2 inches you have 10 rows. If you were looking at 30 servings then each girl would get a 2 inch by 2.3 inch cake that is 4 inches high! That's really HUGE. Not lettuce and water. That's a big freakin hunk of cake. I don't know a large adult that would eat a piece that big. seriously.

It's the 4 inches high that makes the cake so massive. If you did 2" high cake, it would be more reasonable for servings.




See....I suck at math. One of these days, it's gonna get me...yikes! Still, yes, humongous pieces of cake.

I think some folks think of how their mom's and grammas served cake at the kitchen table. My mom would cut up a pretty tall 9" round into 6 or 8 pieces.....no wonder I'm overweight now!

mrswendel Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 7:18pm
post #12 of 16

The Wilton party serving chart shows a 12x18 sheet (smaller than what you are planning) as serving 72. The ball would probably serve 20 on its own.

j-pal Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 7:20pm
post #13 of 16

Wow - 14 x 20 x 4... definitely will feed more than 30! How many mixes/batches are you using in the pan? And you're doing 2-layers, right... not just one layer, torted and filled? Either way, it's still tons of cake. I'm not even familiar with that size pan. I have 8x11, 9x13, 11x15, 12x18, 14x22... A lot of people can't even fit the 12x18 in their ovens, let alone a 14x20 or 14x22. Even with party size servings, a single layer 14x20 should serve a minimum of 70 (this is based on a 2x2 size piece of cake) or even 48 servings (based on 12 servings per mix or about a 2x3 sized serving). Double layer that and you're looking at 100 - 140 servings without counting the basketball. That being said, I know I wouldn't charge less than $150 for just the base of the cake and then I'd tack on another $75 for the ball. I'd probably charge more depending on what I ended up doing with the base. I realize you've already given your price... but have you definitely told her what size you were doing? Or did you just tell her you'd do enough cake for 30 girls? I'd definitely scale back to maybe doing a single layer 12" or 14" round under the 3D ball. That should give them plenty of cake. Good luck!

indydebi Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 7:24pm
post #14 of 16

I think all or most of us grew up seeing cakes cut in pie-shaped wedges that were more of a sit-in-front-of-the-TV size, instead of the industry standard dessert size.

My 16 year old and I wiped out a single layer 10" round once night. Just the two of us.

But ......

30 pieces from a 14x20 is .... sorry, but here comes my mom-finger .... utterly ridiculous. Especially since the cake is double layered, 4" tall. To get 30 pieces, you'd be cutting that cake in 5 rows by 6 columns. That would be about 2.3" x 4" square by 4" tall! That is 36.8 cubic inches!!! Industry standard of 1x2x4 is only 8 cubic inches. That's more than 4 times the standard size. icon_surprised.gif

Most people hear "one inch" and they think "paper thin" .... it's not.

Here's my website on how to cut a 2-layer cake in 1x2x4" pieces. Notice the pieces of cut cake on the plates and how they are NOT teeny tiny: http://cateritsimple.com/_wsn/page10.html

Here are pieces of cake that I cut at weddings. A number of people will approach me and ask for a smaller piece: http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1156785 Now picture taking FOUR of these pieces of cake and stacking them on top of each other and you'd STILL have a smaller piece of cake than what you were planning from the 14x20 cake.

I have/had teenage girls. Been a teenage girl, and a farm-teenage-girl at that. Unless the cake is the only food, they are NOT going to pull up chairs around the cake table and take fork in hand like a pitchfork and dive in like a food eating contest.

I sell 11x15 sheets all the time, single layer, to serve 35 people and NO ONE has ever come back and said they ran out of cake.

If you're going to sell a cake that has 4 times the size of industry standard, be sure you charge 4 times the rate ... for example if your normal price-per-serving is $3.00, then for this cake you need to charge $12.00 per serving for the 30 servings. If they're going to eat like Jethro Bodine, then they have to pay the Jethro price.

If I was making this cake ... 14x22 (which is the size of my pan), double layer, I'd figure 150 (round number) servings x $3.50/serving = a $525 cake.

$65??? icon_eek.gif Heck, I have more than that in ingredients and supplies!! icon_surprised.gif

peacenique Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 7:42pm
post #15 of 16

LOLOLOL

Okay, let's not get into how beautifully Rubenesque we are!!

LOLOLOL

I don't think there was anything wrong with Grandma's cake "slices"!

But okay, I get your point(s).

I feel like a total goof here.
I just went to re-measure my cake pan.
It's 10" X 7". I'm putting two, side by each. So I'll end up with a cake that's 10" X 14". (not 14x20)
Dufus.
However, I'm getting a bit clearer on this serving size picture. If the pieces were 2"X 2" I would get 35 servings from the cake. I'm getting the idea though that you would not calculate the number of servings by figuring 2X2 pieces. Would you then say that this size cake (if it was 4" tall) should be stated as having 35 servings, or 45 (1.5"X 2")???

If I was to charge $2 per serving, the cake should be $70 or $80?
That's not even talking about the basketball I'm making for the top.

The basketball part will be the one that takes the most "skill". Good heavens, no wonder the lady didn't hesitate when I told her $65 for the cake.

Okay, now back to serving sizes:
If the basketball is completely round ~ approximately 8"...
how would one figure out servings, or even cut such a thing?

I'm using a large angel food pan and I'll make two and "glue" them together and carve to make it smoothly round. I'll stuff/fill the angel food hole with maybe a mixture of cake shavings and icing, much like a cake ball method. Therefore the pieces of cake will be solid.

Also, I am going to try crushing berries and folding them into the filling. I've not tried that before. I've been using Jeanne's Swiss Meringue buttercream exclusively since I discovered her recipe. See any difficulty with folding in crushed berries?

Man, I wish my decorating talent/skill matched my imagination!

Ohhhh... I just read the replies since I started writing this and am truly feeling like a goofball.

Thank you for that, indyDeb. I think I too could eat half that cake iffin it was "to die for" cake. But you're right, I am completely out of order on the servings I can see.

No, I've not told the woman the cake size, only that it'll feed 40 and will be $65. So maybe I have to reconsider the base cake size. With the basketball being the 8" diameter, what size/shape then would you recommend? I'd like the pieces to be generous, but not pitchfork sized! (Tee hee, I love that!)

You guys are great.

Any advice on the other question I posted about a ball smooshed cake idea?

indydebi Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 7:51pm
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by peacenique

I don't think there was anything wrong with Grandma's cake "slices"!



Me neither! icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by peacenique

It's 10" X 7". I'm putting two, side by each. So I'll end up with a cake that's 10" X 14". (not 14x20)


I think we've all done that at least once..... we're figuring 2 pans so we double BOTH of the dimensions when we really only need to double one of them. icon_redface.gif

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