How Do You Determine Cake Servings For A 5' High Cake?

Decorating By Kandykin Updated 15 Feb 2010 , 6:32pm by Kandykin

Kandykin Posted 12 Feb 2010 , 5:14pm
post #1 of 10

How do you calculate serving sizes for cakes of different heights? I generally refer to Earlene's cake serving sizes to figure out 3" high cakes. and am stumped as to how you guys know what the perfect serving size is when the cake height changes.

I would also like to know if theres a 'rule' to figure out the height of the tiers based on the width of the bottom tier. For example if my bottom tier is 15" should the height of the whole cake be 22 1/2" (1 1/2 times the width)?

When you make an "extra sheet cake" besides the main wedding cake, is it filled or a plain layer cake? I ask this because I read somewhere that this lady discourages the sheet cake because it doesn't taste as good as the main cake.
I would think it should be the same as the wedding cake and maybe charged a little less($1.00 less) than the wedding cake because it is not decorated as much. What is your opinion?

9 replies
KHalstead Posted 12 Feb 2010 , 11:52pm
post #2 of 10

I offer "kitchen cakes" which are sheetcakes that are 2 layers w/ the filling and everything.......they're exactlly like the main cake only the icing isn't as "perfect" because it's just getting cut up. Once cut though it looks identical to the main cake! it also tastes the same!

As for calculating servings: If you want to go mathematical, here's how you do it.

a normal serving is 1"x2"x4" that's 1x2=2x4=8 cubic inches of cake

let's say I want to figure out an 8"x5" tall square cake I would do 8" (length) X 8" (width) X 5" (height)....8 x8=64 x 5=320 cubic inches of cake DIVIDEd by 8 cubic inch slice =40 servings.

Now for a round cake you just subtract 1" from the height to account for the loss of the corners on the cake so an 8" round cake that's 5" tall would be
8x8x4=256 divided by 8=32 servings.

hope that makes sense and hope it helps

if your servings are bigger.......say 1-1/2 x 2" x 5" then alot for that it would be 15 cubic inches of cake.......1x2x5 is 10 cubic inches and so on.

The_Lil_Cakehouse Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 12:15am
post #3 of 10

Wow, you must be great at math icon_smile.gif or I'm just horrible at it icon_smile.gif This was very very helpful!!

Kandykin Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 4:19am
post #4 of 10

That definitely helps - takes the guesswork out of it. I'm constantly second guessing my serving sizes and make my servings larger and larger till the whole cake is one serving... icon_biggrin.gif

since you seem to be a whiz with numbers, any thoughts on the height and width of a tiered cake????

How do you price a kitchen cake? a little less than the main one?

indydebi Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 5:41am
post #5 of 10

I figure the same number of servings if the cake is 4", 5" or 6" tall because you have the same surface space.....the piece of cake will just be taller.

An 8" square, when cut in 1x2x4" pieces means the cake will be cut in 4 rows (8" side cut in 2" widths) by 8 rows (8" side cut in 1" widths) = 32 servings.

An 8" square that is 6" tall will be cut in 1x2x6" pieces. Or a 5" tall cake will be cut in 1x2x5" pieces. The cake will STILL be cut in 4 rows by 8 columns = 32 servings .... but the pieces will just be taller.

If you try to cut thinner pieces to accommodate extra servings, the cut pieces really WILL be "paper thin". Guests wont' notice the cake is 2" taller than normal, but they WILL notice how "chintzy" thin it is.

BTW, if you provide larger (by being taller) servings, then you need to adjust your price accordingly. To keep the math easy, if your price per serving is $3 for a 1x2x4, then your 1x2x5 should be 25% more, or $3.75/serving.

1x2x4 = 8 cubic inches.
1x2x5 = 10 cubic inches.
8 cubic inches times 1.25 = 10.
$3 x 1.25 = $3.75

A 1x2x6 is 50% bigger (12 cubic inches) so the price per serving should be $4.50. ($3 x 1.5)

Sagebrush Posted 13 Feb 2010 , 6:57am
post #6 of 10

Okay, this relates to something I've been thinking about lately...

I've been baking 2 2" layers and torting them to get 4 layers of cake and 3 of filling. If each torted layer of cake is 1", and the filling in between and the frosting on top are, say, 1/4" thick, then I end up with a cake that is closer to 5" tall than to 4" tall.

So, I'm wondering if I really ought to be baking in 3" pans and torting to 3/4" tall layers, so that with the filling and the and frosting I have 4" tall cakes.

The taller cakes on top of a cake drum (even undecorated) don't fit into the cake boxes I bought (they're 5" tall), and I don't think they sell them taller in the size of cake drum I've been using... and if I had my druthers, I'd put feet on the bottom of the cake drums, too, but I don't see how I could get a decorated cake in the box with a drum and feet, even if I did do the shorter tortes.

KHalstead Posted 15 Feb 2010 , 1:04pm
post #7 of 10

I generally go with the 4" tall measurement even though mine come out a little taller (5"+) because I don't want to monkey around. I always tell my customers, you're guaranteed at least 4" in height but generally they run taller, which means you get more cake! They love feeling like they're getting a "free bonus"

I just gave you the technical figures in case you wanted to know precisely,, although I , like indydebi tend to just say it's a 4" tall measurement even when it runs tall.......otherwise you'll have to figure out how to tell the customers to cut it to guarantee they get what you say they'll get out of the cake! lol

KHalstead Posted 15 Feb 2010 , 1:09pm
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by naziam

That definitely helps - takes the guesswork out of it. I'm constantly second guessing my serving sizes and make my servings larger and larger till the whole cake is one serving... icon_biggrin.gif

since you seem to be a whiz with numbers, any thoughts on the height and width of a tiered cake????

How do you price a kitchen cake? a little less than the main one?

My kitchen cakes are priced MUCH lower than the main tiered cakes, only because you have to order a tiered cake to get the "kitchen cakes" I charge $2.25/serv. for tiered bc cakes, and $1.00/serv. for kitchen cakes (they take hardly any time to ice and decorate, because they don't have to be perfectly smooth since nobody will see them, they're just cut up for extra servings)

However, if there is no tiered cake being purchased...then it falls under the category of a 2 layered sheet cake and that's more per serving.

I offer the kitchen cakes in addition to the tiered cakes at a reduced rate to avoid the whole "wal-mart sheet cakes in addition to MY tiered cake" syndrome! I don't want to have to walk out with someone's wedding cake because they ordered sheet cakes from wal-mart (although it is stated in my contract that I can do just that)

ThreeDGirlie Posted 15 Feb 2010 , 1:35pm
post #9 of 10

To OP:

I agree with Indydebi - trying to cut cake thinner because it's taller isn't going to work. Plus, if you're dealing with a venue, theyre going to cut the standard wedding sized serving, regardless of how tall you make the tier...

As far as how tall to make each tier, I don't think that has anything to do with base size... The standard in the US is 4" tall cakes (I think it's 3" in the UK, but I could be wrong since I don't live there). That's 4" once you've torted, filled and iced your cake. You CAN make your tiers taller, but I wouldn't suggest going over 5" tall, period. Why? because standard dessert plates are only 5-6" in diameter, an you don't want cake hanging off the edge! I think that regardless of which height you end up with for your tiers, the most important thing with tiered cakes is to keep all of your tiers the SAME height. It drives me batty when you see a cake that obviously has a 3" tier, ad 4" tier, a 4.5" tier, and it doesn't look "intentional" - just sloppy!

If you DO decide to go with different tier heights for drama, I think a double tier, or a half tier looks stunning when there is a distinct difference between the tier heights. But that difference should be at least 2", and all of the tiers that are supposed to e similar in size should be as close as you can get them!

Kandykin Posted 15 Feb 2010 , 6:32pm
post #10 of 10

Thank you - that makes sense. I'm new at this and just learning as I go. Thank God for this site - you guys are wonderful.

And indydebi, my husband couldn't stop laughing because I was so excited about indydebi stopping by MY post!

Quote by @%username% on %date%