How To Make A Cake Look Bigger Without More Servings?

Decorating By mrswendel Updated 9 Apr 2014 , 12:18pm by bakingk8

mrswendel Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 9:08pm
post #1 of 19

Hi all,

I have a client that has ordered a number of cakes and always has the same issue "We had the perfect number of servings, with a little bit of left over...but I thought it would be bigger." She is one of those people that really want to "wow" their guests, but don't necessarily need a large cake. She wants a graduation cake for next week, but only needs 50 servings. I sent her a few ideas and her response was "I really like this cake...but I want it to look bigger, but I only need it to serve about 50. Can you make it look bigger?" icon_eek.gif

Just wondering if anyone else has these clients and how you handle it. Any tips on how to make a cake look bigger without adding servings?

18 replies
doofusmongerbeep Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 9:23pm
post #2 of 19

Depending on the style of the cake, you could use cake dummies to add height and make it look larger. Or use them to add "extras" - like a styrofoam ball covered in fondant to look like a basketball for a sports cake or somesuch. HTH! icon_smile.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 9:30pm
post #3 of 19

"Sure, I make make it look a lot bigger. I'll add a dummy to it--AxB inches. The added cost is the same as my doing it in cake, $Y/serving. Great idea, huh? You get to throw out a block of styrofoam (not very "green") rather than freeze leftover cake for another event!"

Sorry, it's sarcastic, I know, but "larger=more $$", so why not have it be more cake?

I use the Wilton party servings chart. A 50 serving book with some left over is an 11x15x4 (60 servings). Decorated, that's a BIG book. Next size up without having to dowel it or throw cake away (they still pay for it) is a 12x18x4 (72 servings) and it makes an absurdly large looking "book".


LisaR64 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 9:31pm
post #4 of 19

To make a taller cake, I often use 1/2 to 3/4 foam core as my cake board and just bring my icing or fondant down over it, as if it were part of the cake.

Another idea is to use a graduated triple cake base like in the picture below, as it kind of gives of the illusion of an additional tier.

tastyart Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 9:45pm
post #5 of 19

You could also place it on a tall cake stand.

mrswendel Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 10:02pm
post #6 of 19

Thanks everyone! I have used the multiple boards before and like the look.
Rae - that was my first thought too icon_smile.gif The dummy thing is a great solution, but seems absurd why anyone would do that?!?

BlakesCakes Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 10:06pm
post #7 of 19
Originally Posted by mrswendel

Thanks everyone!

The dummy thing is a great solution, but seems absurd why anyone would do that?!?

Yeah, I don't get it either. I'd rather make up a bunch of indidvidually frozen slices and be able to raid the freezer for the next few weeks icon_lol.gif
Heck, they should have to buy "carbon credits", too, if they throw it out!!!!


7yyrt Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 11:24pm
post #8 of 19

You could :
use a cake plateau,
put space between tiers,
separate the layers on different stands,
use a tall-footed cake stand,
use Styrofoam wedges...

catlharper Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 4:18am
post #9 of 19

LOL..yup, dummies! I've used them twice in the last month...once for a TV cake (it needed to be 8 inches tall but who needs all that cake!) so I stacked a 8x8x4 on top of a 8x8x4 dummy...perfect! I also did a recreation of a wedding cake for an anniversary party...the orginal wedding was for 40 but the party was for bottom tier was real cake, top tier was a dummy. It looked JUST like the real wedding cake but no cake was wasted!

Next month I'm doing this for a 5 tier...using dummies as seperators for tiers 2 and 4...tiers 1, 3, 5 will be real cake. Gives a grand presentation without wasting cake!

HTH. Cat

indydebi Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 4:54am
post #10 of 19

Guys, this is a no brainer!

She wants a cake that looks bigger? She buys a BIGGER CAKE!!! icon_surprised.gif

"Gosh, honey, I want a car that LOOKS like a Cadillac Escalade but I don't want to pay $70,000 for one, so get me a KIA ..... but make sure it LOOKS like an Escalade."

No brainer.

Rebealuvsweets Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 5:12am
post #11 of 19

Indydebi, u r too funny!!!!u always seem to come out with the greatest comebacks...thank u....luv it!!!!

Mikel79 Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 12:36pm
post #12 of 19

My vote is with the 1/2" foam core board. 1/2" does not seem a lot, but when you place it on the base of your cake it does add a lot more height to any cake...



Kitagrl Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 12:48pm
post #13 of 19

Yeah I vote for spacers as can take small styro dummies 2" tall and then wrap in ribbon to match the cake theme (charge for them of course) and then it does spread the cake tiers out some.

Whatever you do she'll have to pay for can't just snap your fingers and make a cake look like it serves 100 but with only 50 servings in it. haha.

I did do a wedding once where she mixed dummies and real cake to give the appearance of a 7 tier cake but to only feed like 150.

tastyart Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:41pm
post #14 of 19

I have to agree with indydebi. If you want a bigger cake, you buy a bigger cake.

KathysCC Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 2:54pm
post #15 of 19
Originally Posted by indydebi

Guys, this is a no brainer!

She wants a cake that looks bigger? She buys a BIGGER CAKE!!! icon_surprised.gif

No brainer.

This was my exact thought when I read the title of this thread. I'm so glad you voice my keeps me out of trouble. icon_lol.gif

catlharper Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 3:53pm
post #16 of 19

Oh yeah...I didn't mean to imply that the partly dummy 5 tier was priced at the 3 tier price...I charge 80% of what the real cake would cost for me to make...after all, the same amount of work goes into decorating the dummy as it does the real cake. But with dummies she won't have the actual cake to deal with at the end of the night. In fact, I give a refund (determined by how many dummies there are in the cake) for return of the dummy tiers! So far I've gotten them all back.


indydebi Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 4:48pm
post #18 of 19
Originally Posted by KathysCC

I'm so glad you voice my keeps me out of trouble. icon_lol.gif

I'm a mom ..... it's my job! icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

bakingk8 Posted 9 Apr 2014 , 12:18pm
post #19 of 19



I'm a bit late here but if people are having the same issues I use a variety of tricks. A cake topper makes a cake look taller, on a tiered cake add in a fake dummy layer, a tall cake stand also has a good effect sometimes.

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