Please Explain Serving Guides

Decorating By auntbeesbaking Updated 15 Jun 2009 , 8:29pm by Mindy1006

auntbeesbaking Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 1:14am
post #1 of 10

I would like to have clarification on serving guides for a full sheet cake please.

When someone orders a full sheet cake, I bake 2 (12 x 18") cakes and put them together.

If I frosted it as is, would that be considered a half sheet cake since it would only be 1-layer? Then, would it only serve 36 since according to Wilton's party guide suggestion a 2" deep pan 2 layers would serve 72.?

IF I did the same thing 2 (12 x 18") put together, frosted, and added a SECOND layer to go on the top (so 4 12 x 18" cakes) would that be considered a 2-layer sheet cake that would serve 72?

If anyone does just a 1-layer sheet cake, do you torte it and then frost it or just frost it?

Thank you for clearing up my confusion. Sometimes I am more blonde than I pay to be! icon_wink.gif I have subbed so much this past month that I truly feel devoid of any logical thinking. God help teachers those last few weeks of school! icon_lol.gif

9 replies
costumeczar Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 2:31am
post #2 of 10

(I apologize in advance if any of my multiplication is off, I'm brain-dead tonight and I'm doing this math in my head!)

Standard size of a serving of one-layered cake is 2"X2". Size of a two-layered cake serving is 1"x2". (this is "wedding cake" servings, not "party" servings, but I calculate everything the same)

If one serving of a one-layer cake is 2"x2", then ONE 12x18 cake has 54 servings. Two put together would be 108 servings. Four, layered like a two-layer cake, would be 216, using 1" x 2" servings.

I estimate that a 2-layered 9x13 serves 48, so I think you're way low on your estimates.

A 12x18 is a half-sheet, and two would be a whole sheet. Some people refer to the 12x18 as a full sheet, though, since that tends to be the largest size that a lot of places sell. Always make sure that the customer understands what you mean when you're saying "whole" or "half," since they might have a totally different idea of what you mean.

auntbeesbaking Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 10:51am
post #3 of 10

Thank you for helpiing me with my math (my weakest subject, don't you know!) icon_wink.gif

I guess I what I wanted to clear up is if a half sheet cake (12 x 1icon_cool.gif is 2 layers, would it still be considered a half sheet cake or a full sheet cake? In terms of amount of servings. I know it would still be a half sheet cake size (dimensioins),

When cake decorators talk about a "full sheet cake" do they mean technically speaking, 2 (12 x 18") cakes side by side that is 1 layer? If someone wants a filling, do they then torte this OR do they make 2 MORE 12 x 18 cakes and STACK that on the original two (for a total of 4 (12 x 1icon_cool.gifcakes? IF someone did do this, would that be considered still 1 full sheet cake or does that now become 2 sheet cakes, technically speaking?

I'm sorry for being so "blonde" today (and please, no offense meant for true blondes!), but I've been up through the night being sick and I guess my brain is truly a flat line this am. icon_redface.gif

THANK YOU for any help!!

indydebi Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 12:35pm
post #4 of 10

There's an easy answer to your question and I've shared it a number of times.

STOP USING THE TERMS 'HALF' AND 'WHOLE' WHEN DESCRIBING A CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cake civilians have no idea how big these cakes are. Even cakers have no idea what these sizes are. Stop confusing the issue by trying to de-confuse the issue.

What I do:
Someone asks for a full sheet sheet cake. I ask "How big is that?" They say, "I don't know." I let out a big sigh of exasperation. I ask, "How many people do you need to serve?" They say "20". I let out another big sigh since this is nowhere NEAR a 'full' sheet cake. I then tell them my smallest sheet serves 35. They say fine. I collect their check.

costumeczar Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 1:40am
post #5 of 10

That's so right, people don't know what they mean by half or whole sheets.

Technically, a half sheet pan is 12x18, and the full sheet is 18x24 or 25? I can't remember exactly. People tend to call a 12x18 a full sheet, though, because they don't know that there's anything bigger.

If you have a half sheet on top of a half sheet (two layers) it's still a half sheet, I guess. But Indy's right, don't even bother thinking of it that way, just go by the serving count.

GeminiRJ Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 3:11pm
post #6 of 10

I pretty much do what indydebi does. Ever since I made a friend a half sheet (per her instructions), when all she had really wanted was a quarter (boy, did her eyes get big when she saw the size of the cake), I ONLY go by how many servings they want. I figure about 3 servings per cup of cake batter, and then determine how many total cups of batter I need. This gives me an idea what size pan I need. (Hope that doesn't cause more confusion!)

As for torting a single layer cake, I only do this when they request a filling. Otherwise, no torting, just frost and go.

indydebi Posted 5 Jun 2009 , 1:47am
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiRJ

I figure about 3 servings per cup of cake batter, and then determine how many total cups of batter I need. This gives me an idea what size pan I need.




Another way is to pre-determine how many servings you get from a sheet and you can do that by "doing the math", depending on the serving size. For example....

11x15 sheet, single layer: If pieces are cut in 2x3", then the cake will be cut in approx 5 columns by 5 rows (25 servings). If pieces are cut in the industry standard of 2x2" pieces, the cake will be cut in approx 5 columns by 7 rows (35 servings). YOu can tell the customer, "this cake will serve 25-35, depending on how you cut it." (But you CHARGE them for 35!)

I go by 35 servings in an 11x15 and 54 servings in a 12x18, based on single layer.

Mindy1006 Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:49pm
post #8 of 10

Indydebi~

You ROCK! I'm a newbie, and have been trying for weeks to wrap my head around the dimensions of a quarter, half, and full sheet cakes. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but come on... In math, 1/4 + 1/4= 1/2, so a 9" x 13" + 9" x 13" should = 1/2 sheet... But wait... two 9" x 13" cakes would equal 18" x 26" in dimension. Weren't the dimensions of a half sheet 11" x 15"? SOOOOO confusing to me...

I'm taking your approach from now on. Who cares what they're called? UGGH!

indydebi Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 8:11pm
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindy1006

In math, 1/4 + 1/4= 1/2, so a 9" x 13" + 9" x 13" should = 1/2 sheet... But wait... two 9" x 13" cakes would equal 18" x 26" in dimension. Weren't the dimensions of a half sheet 11" x 15"? SOOOOO confusing to me...




no, no. YOu're making a very common mistake. you're multiplying BOTH sides by 2 and you dont' do that.

Draw two rectangles, side by side on a sheet of paper. Label the sides "9" and "13" on both rectangles. You end up with one side that is STILL 13" but when you put two cakes together, now the 9" side is 18" ..... approx the 12x18 pan.

Do it the other way. Start with a full size 18x26. Cut it in half. You now have two pieces that are 18" x 13". Now cut those in half the other way. You get 4 pieces that are 9" x 13.

As you can see, the 11x15 is a new dimension that wilton just seems to have made up.

Mindy1006 Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 8:29pm
post #10 of 10

Oh my... If I wasn't so excited to finally get it, I would be REALLY embarrassed right now. DUH!!! icon_redface.gif

The scary thing is... I've explained to MANY people that same thing, hoping to gain some fraction of understanding, and no one could help me figure it out! Thanks for your help!

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