I need to make a sheet cake to serve 60. According to the Wilton yearbook, an 11 x 15" pan should yield 60 party servings (90 wedding). A chart I found here on CC says 90 party servings for an 11 x 15. But the pan looks small to feed thay many.
What size cake would you make for 60 party servings?
Thanks in advance,
I can give you my opinion...
If your doing a sheet cake that is 2" high, my calculations are an 11x15 will serve 41. My next size I do is put 2 9x13's together side by side and it will serve 58. That's a little closer to what you want to serve.
These serving sizes are 2x2" pieces.
I have problems with those serving sizes because where I live when people get a piece of cake, they want a PIECE OF CAKE, not a sliver.
Sheet cakes are generally one 2" layer. Those figures are probably for 2-layer, 4" high cakes.
It will serve different amounts depending on the size of your serving AND whether it is a 1 or 2 layer cake.
If you bake one layer only, then the serving pieces will be larger in surface area to accommodate for the lower height of the cake. If you bake 2 layers, then the surface area of the pieces will be smaller because the height of the pieces will be taller.
Note: the height is listed last in all AxBxC dimensions below.
If you use 1"x2"x4" as your standard serving for 2-layer cakes, that comes to 8 cubic inches of cake volume per piece, which can be modified to 2"x2"x2" for a single layer cake and still retain the same volume of cake per serving.
An 11x15x2 one layer cake would have a total cake volume of 330 cubic inches, yielding 41.25 servings (cut 2"x2"x2").
An 11x15x4 two layer cake would have a total cake volume of 660 cubic inches, yielding 82.5 servings (cut 1"x2"x4").
The charts that say 90 servings are using a smaller serving of cake (only 7.333 cubic inches), 1"x1.75"x4" for a 2-layer cake (that .25" difference in size is yielding 7.5 extra servings).
I'm guessing that the 60 servings are coming from a 2" high single-layer cake (Wilton party servings are generally for a single layer cake), which would give the servings only 5.5 cubic inches of cake (cut 1"x2.75"x2").
For me, a 2 layer (4 inch high) 11x15 would be cut to serve 60 and a single layer (2 inch high) 11x15 would be cut to serve 42. That's how I would present the options to someone ordering a cake and how I would base my pricing.
That said, obviously, either size cake can be be cut to yield more or less by the recipient. For the 2 layer cake, if it were a kitchen cake for a wedding, it would most likely be cut into more than 60 pieces--more like 72, but those are, indeed, pretty small.
From a one layer 2inch 11x15 I get 35 2x2x2's. From a two layer cake the same size I get 75 1x2x4's. Get the same (75) number of servings from a tort and filled one layer, just shorter servings.
A 2x2x2" or a 1x2x4" is not a "sliver". People hear "one inch" and they think "paper thin". It's not. A 1x2x4 is about the size of a folded over peanut butter sandwich. I've never heard anyone refer to this sandwich as a "sliver" of a sandwich.
The industry standard is 1x2x4 or 2x2x2. If the family knows they eat like jethro bodine, then they need to order a bigger cake. It is NOT the cake decorator's job to give them more cake for free just because they think a piece of cake the size of a brick is "enough".
I'd love to hear how these same people address Pizza Hut. "Hey! This pizza is cut in 12 pieces, and we need to feed 6 people! Those pieces are too small for us! So Pizza Hut, YOU need to provide us with more pizza!"
Yeah .... THAT'LL work!
To add my numbers to the 11x15 issue: when cut in approx 5 rows by 7 columns (approx 2x2) and it's 2" tall, you'll get 35 pieces. A 2-layer, when cut in 1x2x4, will serve 70.
Cake mixes make between 5 and 7 cups of cake batter. A 2 layer 8" round cake uses 6 to 7 cups of batter.
A cake mix is 12 "at home" size servings and 24 party and 32 wedding servings.
What I do is tell my customers that "such and such" a size cake uses aprox. so many cake mixes and then tell them the above serving info. I let them decide how many cake mixes they want. I don't always use cake mixes to make my cakes but this gives the customer a reference for how big a serving size they want. Usually they choose an amount some where in between the "at home" size and party size servings.
Unless the customer already has a specific size of cake in mind, (such as, I want a 16" layer for the base tier), then I can guide them to a size of cake that is appropriate for the # and size of servings they want. Admittedly, I only do a small number cakes for hire but I have never had a customer who wanted something so specific.
Now imagine you make one cake mix in a 9x13 pan or even a 2 layer 8" round, and then cut it into 32 servings, that is, in my opinion, a "sliver" of cake.
According to Wilton a 1 layer 11x15 sheet takes 11 cups of batter, that's about 2 cake mixes. So a 2 layer cake would use 4 cake mixes and be about 4" high. That would make 48 "at home" servings; 60 party servings and 74 wedding size.
If it were up to me to chose the amount and size of a sheet cake for 60 people I would probably do the 2 - 2 layer 9x13's side by side. That gives 4 cake mixes, and either 48, 90 or 100 servings. If for some reason I felt that that was too much cake, I might make 3 cake mixes and make the layers thinner so the cake wouldn't be 4" high.
I have always felt that it is better to have lots of leftover cake than to run short because they cut the pieces too big. I have been at several weddings where the friends of the bride, not familiar with how to cut large cakes, hand out slabs of cake that are so big they hang over the edge of the 7" dessert plate!
I am almost never at the weddings I make cakes for so I don't cut the cake myself. Very seldom do people ask about how to cut the cake. They don't think of that until they are actually doing it.
I have never had anyone complain about too much cake and the usual comment (relating to servings) is "We only had a few pieces left!"
I always price my cakes not on the # of servings, because that can vary, but by the size of the cake. I know this is not the way it is "done" but I'm just a little tiny business (if you can even call it that) and this is what works for me.
An 8" round, 2-layer cake, serves 24 1x2x4 servings.
An 8" square, 2-layer cake, serves 32 1x2x4 servings.
I know it may depend on what a person is used to, so here's a visual of what a 1x2x4 industry standard piece of cake looks like:
These were cut for a wedding: http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1156785
These were cut for an event for the Governor's office: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55969028@N00/3856884667/ (One person said this was a good comparison because you could use the fork as a size comparison.)
Here's how to cut a cake to achieve these servings: http://www.cateritsimple.com/id10.html
If you try to cut an 8" round into 24 'wedges', then yes, those would be slivers. But when it's cut properly, they are nice dessert size pieces.
For the record, I come from a family who wants, as has been described as , a PIECE of cake, too. But like my KFC example, if they want to eat 4 pcs of chicken each, then they have to buy more chicken.
"I have been at several weddings where the friends of the bride, not familiar with how to cut large cakes, hand out slabs of cake that are so big they hang over the edge of the 7" dessert plate!
I am almost never at the weddings I make cakes for so I don't cut the cake myself. Very seldom do people ask about how to cut the cake. They don't think of that until they are actually doing it."
Surely you provide some sort of guide for the cake cutter so that the cake doesn't wind up being cut into big slabs as you described. I helped out at a wedding once where sorority sisters on the bride were to cut and serve the cake. I showed them how to do it and they did a fine job. Taking the stacked cake apart to serve was what scared them. Heck, sometimes that scares me!! I feel it is a must to inquire about who will be cutting the cake to know whether they'll know how to do it. I have provided a sketch as guidence and gone over it with the customer so they'll the number of servings they need. I know this doesn't 100% ensure that it'll be done right, but I feel that I have done what I can/should do towards that end.
Indydebi- you are so resourceful and full of wit- thanks so much for your links and your guidelines on cake servings- you saved my day!