New Cake Serving Calculator, Need Feedback

Decorating By metria Updated 24 Oct 2011 , 2:58pm by metria

metria Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 4:48pm
post #1 of 20

I'm learning how to program Flash applications at my day-job, and I've attempted to update by original cake serving/volume calculator. If you like calculate your servings by volume, I could use some feedback for what I've made.

Again, this was made in Flash ... apologies if your browser or platform can't run Flash movies.

Here's my original calculator:
http://shinymetalobjects.net/cake/calculator/cakulator.cgi

New version:
http://shinymetalobjects.net/cake/calculator/test/cakulator.html

Is the app appearing and functioning correctly in your browser?
Is the interface straightforward?
I have presets for wedding vs party serving sizes ... do you disagree with the proportions? Are there more presets you'd prefer?
I haven't made a sheet cake before, so I'm not familiar with their dimensions and what's considered full vs half vs quarter. Any more sheet sizes I should add? Which is what?

I'd appreciate any comments you have. Hopefully all my calculations are accurate!

19 replies
jason_kraft Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 5:14pm
post #2 of 20

Nice app! It works fine in Firefox 7.0.1.

If I might make an interface suggestion, you may want to have the "choose your shapes" section take up the entire middle of the screen, with the results at the bottom. This would allow for multiple columns of checkboxes and would present a clearer flow to the user.

Party-size portions are usually 1.5"x2"x4" (based on two 2" deep pans) and when I tried to modify the serving size height, the number of servings did not change -- it looks like the serving size height is automatically set to be equal to the height of each tier, which may not always be the case.

An added variable for price per serving would be nice. If you really wanted to be ambitious, you could add an integrated price calculator with inputs for ingredient costs, estimated labor time, hourly wage, annual overhead, estimated number of orders per year, and desired profit margin.

crushed Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 5:46pm
post #3 of 20

Metria, You are awesome! I love the new interface.

step0nmi Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 6:05pm
post #4 of 20

WOW! This is so awesome! how come i've never seen this before...wait, doesn't matter! bookmarking it NOW icon_biggrin.gif

snowboarder Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 6:08pm
post #5 of 20

Great app! Works fine for me in FF & Safari

CWR41 Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 6:41pm
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by metria

Any more sheet sizes I should add?




You could add full sheet sizes.
Commercial Bun full sheet pans are 18" x 26" x 1"...
some bake this size either 1" deep or with extenders,
some bake with 16" x 24" bakeable cardboard trays inserted in the pan.
HTH.

Tea42 Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 6:44pm
post #7 of 20

Works fine with IE; very nice tool to have. I'm a hobby baker so what you have is great for me. Some that do a lot of cakes might like the heart shape and hex added.

AnotherCreation Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 6:44pm
post #8 of 20

I LOVE your calculator.......saves my brain! Ha I've used it ever since I saw your first post about it. I haven't had any problems with the new version. Any way to add the wilton pillow pans? Just an idea. Thanks soooo much for a great application!!!

metria Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 1:46am
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Party-size portions are usually 1.5"x2"x4" (based on two 2" deep pans) and when I tried to modify the serving size height, the number of servings did not change -- it looks like the serving size height is automatically set to be equal to the height of each tier, which may not always be the case.




Thanks! I'll make the party size adjustments.

I do make the assumption that the serving height is also the height of the cake. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to make it flexible to change this without compromising the interface simplicity. I'll continue to think on this!

jason_kraft Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 1:55am
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by metria

I do make the assumption that the serving height is also the height of the cake. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to make it flexible to change this without compromising the interface simplicity. I'll continue to think on this!



A separate "tier height" control just under the shape selection section would probably work.

You might even be able to get rid of the shape selection entirely and integrate it with the results area, using linked context-sensitive dropdown boxes (select shape first, then measurement) with an "add" button to add additional tiers to the results table. In this case, you would still be able to use one "tier height" input for the entire cake.

A graphical output would be cool too, but it's been a long time since I've worked with Flash so I don't know how easy that would be.

metria Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 1:56am
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tea42

Works fine with IE; very nice tool to have. I'm a hobby baker so what you have is great for me. Some that do a lot of cakes might like the heart shape and hex added.




I could add some more as long as the volume formula is available, such as hex. If someone could tell me the length/width ratio for oval pans, I could do those as well. Can't do hearts or pillows though! Unless I slept through that particular math class!

metria Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:08am
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

Quote:
Originally Posted by metria

Any more sheet sizes I should add?



You could add full sheet sizes.
Commercial Bun full sheet pans are 18" x 26" x 1"...
some bake this size either 1" deep or with extenders,
some bake with 16" x 24" bakeable cardboard trays inserted in the pan.
HTH.




Thanks! I've added those but it may now show right away. The app somehow gets cached on my computer, so I don't always see my changes uploaded to my website.

southerncross Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:09am
post #13 of 20

I stand in awe of your skills. This is really great I have one question however. When we make tiered cakes and stack them using SPS system, I've found that the SPS posts take a noticeable chunk out of each lower tier. (each post take between 3/4 to 1 inch core) The dowel or bubble straw method doesn't take out seemingly any cake but I need the SPS because of the added stability. How do you think that impacts on your calculations?

SweetDelites Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:12am
post #14 of 20

OMG!! I LOVE THIS APP. I can across this while looking for a serving chart.

metria Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:19am
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

A separate "tier height" control just under the shape selection section would probably work.




it'd be neat if the height were adjustable per tier, like if someone had just their middle tier tall. i'm thinking of putting an adjustable height in the result section for every entry, but defaulting to the serving height.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

You might even be able to get rid of the shape selection entirely and integrate it with the results area, using linked context-sensitive dropdown boxes (select shape first, then measurement) with an "add" button to add additional tiers to the results table. In this case, you would still be able to use one "tier height" input for the entire cake.




Heh, I already argued with hubby about an "add" button. I really wanted checkboxes instead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

A graphical output would be cool too, but it's been a long time since I've worked with Flash so I don't know how easy that would be.




if i were a better artist, i'd give it a shot! i don't think i can dynamically draw shapes, but there might be a way to scale a basic cake shape.

thanks for the ideas!

metria Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:31am
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerncross

I stand in awe of your skills. This is really great I have one question however. When we make tiered cakes and stack them using SPS system, I've found that the SPS posts take a noticeable chunk out of each lower tier. (each post take between 3/4 to 1 inch core) The dowel or bubble straw method doesn't take out seemingly any cake but I need the SPS because of the added stability. How do you think that impacts on your calculations?




Great question! Since I'm just a hobbyist, I've only used bubble tea straws. We'd have to subtract the posts' volume if you want to be exact. But again, these calculations will have to be taken as a loose guideline. Serving count can decrease in practice for many reasons.

Sweetmaddy Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 1:16pm
post #17 of 20

Oh, this is fantastic. I am preparing my self to sell to the public and gathering all pertinent information. I spent 1 day trying to decide on pricing. This system works for me, no more headaches!

Just one silly question...if I am baking a 4" height cake, when choosing size of baking pan, do I click 2 pans?

Madeline

caymancake Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 2:23pm
post #18 of 20

Hi Metria,

It works fine from a PC but I wasn't able to view it on my ipad, which is where I access it the most. I totally LOVE your site with cakulator - I use it all of the time so big huge kudos to you! Will you be adding the other shaped pans into the new one? Thanks for creating such an awesome site!

metria Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 2:51pm
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddyhoneyboo

Oh, this is fantastic. I am preparing my self to sell to the public and gathering all pertinent information. I spent 1 day trying to decide on pricing. This system works for me, no more headaches!

Just one silly question...if I am baking a 4" height cake, when choosing size of baking pan, do I click 2 pans?

Madeline




the height you choose for your serving size is the assumed height for the rest of the cakes. right now it defaults to 4" high, so only select one pan.

i'll continue working on an interface that will allow the serving height and the cake height to be different.

metria Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 2:58pm
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by caymancake

Hi Metria,

It works fine from a PC but I wasn't able to view it on my ipad, which is where I access it the most. I totally LOVE your site with cakulator - I use it all of the time so big huge kudos to you! Will you be adding the other shaped pans into the new one? Thanks for creating such an awesome site!




It's unfortunate that Apple stuff can't run Flash, but my coworkers know of some alternative solutions. Hopefully I'll have some free time to develop an iPad/Phone friendly version. I'll continue supporting the original calculator. Glad to hear people use it!

I can only add pans that consist of a shape that has an appropriate mathematical volume formula (e.g. oval). I only own squares and rounds, so I'm not familiar with the dimensions of any other shaped pans.

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