Difference Between Tiers

Decorating By jjandhope Updated 29 Jun 2009 , 7:21am by WeddingCakeEnchantress

jjandhope Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 9:46pm
post #1 of 16

What should the difference in diameter be between tiers of a stacked cake?

15 replies
1234me Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 11:08pm
post #2 of 16

I prefer 4 inches, 3 at the least. That is just my personal preference though!

pattycakesnj Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 11:18pm
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyintx

I prefer 4 inches, 3 at the least. That is just my personal preference though!


i agree, at least 3 inch difference

aligotmatt Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 11:20pm
post #4 of 16

I think 2 is fine. Almost all of my cakes are 2. like 12/10/8/6 is my most typical cake sizes.

pattiverde Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 11:23pm
post #5 of 16

Good question! I have that same question, so I'm eager to see the responses. My thinking, though, is this: it depends on the decorations you'll be adding. If there will be a top and bottom border on each tier, for example, I would say you definitely need a 4" pan difference (so there is essentially a 2" ledge under each tier). I would say the same thing if you will be cascading any flowers or resting any seashells or whatever on the ledge. On the other hand, if the cakes are covered in fondant (no need for a top border), and the decorations don't take up space on the ledge (like, say, scrollwork), you only need a 2" pan difference (so there is a 1" ledge).

But let's see what the experts say!
icon_smile.gif patti

Brownie1954 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 11:23pm
post #6 of 16

I've always worked with 2"......

jammjenks Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 11:29pm
post #7 of 16

I agree with everybody above. I prefer a 3", but my brides tend to do 2". Either way will work, just some designs work better with a larger ledge as pattiverde said.

JenniferMI Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 11:36pm
post #8 of 16

I prefer 3 or 4" between pan sizes, this allows you a ledge to place flowers on eaisly. If you do two " between pan sizes, that only allows a 1" ledge and gives the cake a more towered look instead of tapered look. But, it really depends on what look the bride likes best. It's very helpful to build the "look" out of dummies so they can really see what they are getting. Pans works well if you don't have dummies.

Jennifer icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 11:49pm
post #9 of 16

I dont' think there's a right or wrong answer. As already mentioned, it may depend on the design. Most of the time, I select the size of the cakes based on the number of servings needed. 6/8/10/12 works most of the time for my brides.

Rylan Posted 28 Jun 2009 , 6:46am
post #10 of 16

I agree. There isn't a right or wrong answer. It all depends on what you are going for.

Unlimited Posted 28 Jun 2009 , 1:53pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniferMI

If you do two " between pan sizes, that only allows a 1" ledge and gives the cake a more towered look instead of tapered look.
Jennifer icon_smile.gif




Exactly. For stacked cakes, it doesn't much matter which sizes you choose. For separated cakes to look proportionate instead of too tall and towering, it's best to use 4" size difference pans (i.e. 14 X 10 X 6 with 12" and 8" plates in between). When you use 2" size difference pans, you're stuck using the odd size separator plates and it just doesn't have that gradually tapered look but instead it goes too tall too soon while making the base appear insignificant in comparison for all the "weight" or tiers above.

WeddingCakeEnchantress Posted 28 Jun 2009 , 4:21pm
post #12 of 16

I am using cake tins manufactured in Australia so this may or may not apply universally across the board...
Q. Have you ever noticed that when you get a full set of cake tins that they neatly fit inside each other so that the final tin that sits in the middle ends up level with the outer ring even though there is a lot of layered bases under it?
A. That is by design not coincidence. Visually as you build a cake, the higher it gets by tiers, the shorter the tiers get as you get to the top.
My tins are 3 inches which appears to be the standard but I do have some 4 inch tins for particular designs.
Therefore, the 3 inch rule works but the smaller the cakes get they are slightly shorter which is visually appealing and balanced. You don't want to end up with a top heavy looking cake unless you designed it to look that way.
If you don't believe me turn your entire cake tin set up side down on a bench, stack them on top of each other to form a pyramid and check them with a ruler. Interesting ha?

-K8memphis Posted 28 Jun 2009 , 4:41pm
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeddingCakeEnchantress

I am using cake tins manufactured in Australia so this may or may not apply universally across the board...
Q. Have you ever noticed that when you get a full set of cake tins that they neatly fit inside each other so that the final tin that sits in the middle ends up level with the outer ring even though there is a lot of layered bases under it?
A. That is by design not coincidence. Visually as you build a cake, the higher it gets by tiers, the shorter the tiers get as you get to the top.
My tins are 3 inches which appears to be the standard but I do have some 4 inch tins for particular designs.
Therefore, the 3 inch rule works but the smaller the cakes get they are slightly shorter which is visually appealing and balanced. You don't want to end up with a top heavy looking cake unless you designed it to look that way.
If you don't believe me turn your entire cake tin set up side down on a bench, stack them on top of each other to form a pyramid and check them with a ruler. Interesting ha?




Well that's interesting and I've never seen that here in the states--mine are either 2" or 3" deep. so I have had to make the tiers balance by design.

However Margaret Braun does not graduate the depth of her tiers--she has the top tier as tall as can be and some come out spindly looking but geez she can do anything she wants huh??!!!

But using the odd sized pans or cutting out the odd sized tiers are important to me when figuring out the servings and what size cake to make. I'd go crazy if I did not use the odd sized pan.

WeddingCakeEnchantress Posted 29 Jun 2009 , 1:39am
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Quote:

But using the odd sized pans or cutting out the odd sized tiers are important to me when figuring out the servings and what size cake to make. I'd go crazy if I did not use the odd sized pan




I am not sure what this means? Are you using the off-cut dome from your tin to figure out how many serves the cake can be cut into?

I have a 1 inch grid pattern done on art paper and the tins have been placed on top of that and I drew around the base of the entire tin set in texta. From there I can count the squares and estimate the serves depending upon how many squares fit into the grid of the tin I am baking. For example 2 inch by 1 inch or 3 inch by 1 inch by the height of the slice?

-K8memphis Posted 29 Jun 2009 , 3:41am
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeddingCakeEnchantress

Quote:
Quote:

But using the odd sized pans or cutting out the odd sized tiers are important to me when figuring out the servings and what size cake to make. I'd go crazy if I did not use the odd sized pan



I am not sure what this means? Are you using the off-cut dome from your tin to figure out how many serves the cake can be cut into?

I have a 1 inch grid pattern done on art paper and the tins have been placed on top of that and I drew around the base of the entire tin set in texta. From there I can count the squares and estimate the serves depending upon how many squares fit into the grid of the tin I am baking. For example 2 inch by 1 inch or 3 inch by 1 inch by the height of the slice?




Yes what I wrote did not make sense there did it.

I meant that I use the odd sized cake tiers, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 whether I bake it in a cake pan that size or whether I cut it out of a larger cake.

WeddingCakeEnchantress Posted 29 Jun 2009 , 7:21am
post #16 of 16

I was talking about the height of a cake baked in the tin as that is the only thing I could imagine having to cut the dome off the top (which I don't do). Now I get it that the issue is about which tins to use for a pleasing arrangement because you need a good shelf on which to decorate.

I could not imagine that a cake was being baked and then being cut down to another size. That means that you need a full set of tins! If you cut the cake it destabilizes the crumb and makes it so much harder to cover.

For a regular cake I do 5/8/11 or 6/9/12 or or 7/10/13 for tiered cakes that are joined as it makes a pleasing triangle line from the top to the bottom. And like I said before the top cake is slightly shorter than the bottom cake. I use 3 inch (high) tins most of the time.

If I am doing a tower cake I do 6.6/9.9 or 7.7/10.10 for a 4 tier double double.
With these sizes there is enough shelf to decorate but if you want to increase the decorating space you can use a bigger base board or put pillars in between the cakes to allow for the larger flowers.

I have examples of all of these in my blog but I didn't put the tin sizes used. I hope this helps answer the original question as well the the ones that came up along the way.

I almost forgot to mention. To test a design turn the cake tins you plan to use up side down and put some of the flowers/ornaments you intend to use on the tin to get a feel for how it looks.

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