Pardon My Ignorance

Decorating By dololly Updated 15 Sep 2009 , 2:53pm by 7yyrt

dololly Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 1:53am
post #1 of 15

Hi. I have been looking at this site for months, and I have a couple of questions. What is the average height per tier for stacked cakes? Looking at the ones on here my guess would be 5-6 inches. They all look so large. If they are that big, how may layers of cake in each? I have made several cakes, but they dont look half as large as some of these cakes. It amazes me the size of the cakes for 1st birthdays. I know that is special but some of these cakes look like they would serve 175 people...I don't even know 75 people to invite to a birthday party lol. This web site must be like a adds 10 servings.

Some of the cakes on here are superb and all of them are precious. Just wondering if I am the only one who wonders about the size of the layers and such. Thanks for any and all answers.

14 replies
cylstrial Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 1:59am
post #2 of 15

Don't worry - it's normal to wonder. The norm is for each tier to be 4 inches tall. Some people like to make them taller and some people like to make them shorter - but 4" is the standard height. The Wilton wedding slices are based on it. They are 1x2x4.

Some people just do two layers of cake in each tier, some do three, and some do four layers of cake. If it's a birthday cake, I do three layers of cake. If it's a wedding cake, I do 4 layers of cake. They are all 4" tall though.

Hope that helps!

madgeowens Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 2:07am
post #3 of 15

I make two layers per tier....I use 2 inch tiers are aprox 4.5 -5.5 I would guess....also some people have practice cakes and they are dummies(styrofoam) and they would appear quite large too. I think anything over 5 and a half is too big

madgeowens Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 2:10am
post #4 of 15 princess cake....I used single layer tiers for a smaller cake lol

dololly Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 2:10am
post #5 of 15

WOW. Those layers are only 4 inches tall icon_surprised.gif . They look so much larger. So for your wedding cakes, you torte / fill 4 layers? Cool. It must be an optical illusion. Thank you. I sure thought they were much taller.

sadsmile Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 2:16am
post #6 of 15

It's a ratio thing. If the teir is 4" tall and only 5" or 6" wide it is going to look really tall compaired to it's pan size(diameter). Sometimes scale can really fool the eye. And sometime really huge cakes like 16" and 14" look like the teirs are thin and the whole cake looks kind of flat. That is why many post the teir sizes so we can get a better idea of the cakes actual size. Some cakes have extra tall teirs called double barrels-tall is a new chic trend right now. Do you have an example you could post a link to that shows what you are talking about, so we can explain?

dololly Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 2:17am
post #7 of 15

Madgeowens, thank you. I feel a little better knowing that I am not completey dimensionally deprived. Ha Ha. I admit to being extremely new to this, but at least my wide eyed awe and wonder is for good reason. I think 4 inches would be a nice height. (If ever I should try to make a tiered cake). Thanks again icon_biggrin.gif

madgeowens Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 6:03am
post #8 of 15

glad too help

dololly Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 2:30pm
post #9 of 15

Sadsmile: I don't have any specific cake in mind....just looking thru the wedding cakes on here. Some of them look so large in the photos. When I say "large" mostly I am talking about height. The 3 tier cakes for example seem to be several feet tall...from the bottom of the bottom tier to the top of the top tier. My origingal question should have been how tall are the cakes I guess rather than a question of layer size. I really appreciate all the responses and the "help". I do now understand that the smaller diameter tiers will look taller than the larger diameter tiers. Because of this, do they (professionals) sometimes make the larger bottom tiers more layers to make the cake tiers "look" all the same size?

Thanks for taking time out to answer what must be silly questions to you pros...I do appreciate it. icon_smile.gif

sadsmile Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 3:21pm
post #10 of 15

If the design calls for it sure they do but not as a general rule at all.
If the difference between teirs are only 1 or 2 inches then you are only seeing a reveal of 1/2 inch or 1 inch and that adds to the tall "feeling" of a cake. if there is not room for your eye to rest on the horizontal( a shelf or bold boarder) your vision drifts up and down making it seem really tall. Also taking picturs at slightly different angles can make a huge difference in the visual appeal of any cake. Vertical stripes aslo make things look taller.

Stop being silly! I am no pro and chatting on here is fun. And I wouldn't call you ignorent at all! Back in my highschool art class my teacher spent a lot of time teaching us perspective and understanding perspective can make a huge diference in deciphering scale.

minicuppie Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 12:34pm
post #11 of 15

I like my tiers a little tall so I "overfill" my pans. I like for the layer to rise over the edge of the pan...then lop the cake off to pan height. This means I have to make extra batter. It is something that is built in to the cake price. It also gives me a little bit of cake to taste for flavor and moisture.

msulli10 Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 12:51pm
post #12 of 15

I also use the 2in cake pans and fill 3/4 with batter. I trim a little off to make them letter. My cakes are usually 4 in high.

dololly Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 1:55pm
post #13 of 15

I do love the "feel" of the tall cakes. I am going to apply the 3/4 full pan to the cakes that I do. minniecuppie and msulli10 both say to do this and level it at pan height. Do you leave the cake in the pan to level or do you set your leveler to the height using the pan?

Sadsmile: I do fell kind of silly about some of the elementary questions, but I want to get better and asking is the "HOW" is the first step.

Thanks to all of you for walking a newbie thru this stuff.

minicuppie Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 2:49pm
post #14 of 15

I leave the cake in pan until almost cold, then level, place cake circle on cake and flip. The cardboard makes the wrapping for freezing a bit easier...for me. OP's may have problems with wet cake bottom if left in pan so long...not a problem for me. Maybe the parchment or homemade pan grease or maybe I am just blessed.

7yyrt Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 2:53pm
post #15 of 15


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