Half Sheets Or 9X13's??

Decorating By Wildgirl Updated 29 Oct 2011 , 3:35am by Wildgirl

Wildgirl Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 5:50pm
post #1 of 17

I'm getting myself crazy with all the details. Thankfully the wedding isn't until the end of January, but I want this all figured out now.

I'm doing a small "show" cake and a bunch of larger cakes to be cut in the back for serving. There will be about 200 people, but it's a cake only reception, so extra cake would be good if people want more (there will be at least 3 different kinds of cake to serve) Initially I was just going to make half sheets. Then it just dawned on me that the easy 2 layer cake will be too short. So I'd have to make 3 layers. And then wrestle that many more times with layering a large thin slab of cake, plus have to deal with the weight.
So, now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be easier to just make tons of 9x13's with just the two layers.

I know the 3 tiers would look better... but we are giving all of this to them as a wedding present. I'm just getting more and more nervous about the expense and the work involved.

What do you think would be more practical/better? More 2-layer 9x13's or less half-sheets w/3 layers?

16 replies
CWR41 Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 6:59pm
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl

Then it just dawned on me that the easy 2 layer cake will be too short.




Too short for what? Do you mean too few servings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl

So I'd have to make 3 layers. And then wrestle that many more times with layering a large thin slab of cake, plus have to deal with the weight.




Why? A typical "layer" is 2" tall... three layers would total 6" tall. You mentioned thin slabs... are you talking about thinly sliced/torted layers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl

So, now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be easier to just make tons of 9x13's with just the two layers.




I don't see how handling eight 9x13s (to feed 200) would be much easier than handling four 12x18s (to feed 200).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl

I know the 3 tiers would look better...




I think you mean 3 layers, not a 3-tier sheet cake, unless you're talking about another cake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl

What do you think would be more practical/better? More 2-layer 9x13's or less half-sheets w/3 layers?




Three 2" tall layers won't fit on dessert-sized plates. It's not typical to see 6" tall rectangle cakes. I think it's more practical to make two 2-layer 12x18 half sheets.

TexasSugar Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 7:05pm
post #3 of 17

What size cake is the small cake? How many servings do you need in the kitchen cakes? How much cake are they willing to pay for?

Wildgirl Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 7:15pm
post #4 of 17

I haven't been able to access this for a while - finally went through internet explorer and it will work. Not too good through Mozilla though!! Just enough to make me crazy.

Ok, I'm sorry I wasn't clearer. The half sheet pans I have are 1". So if I only did two layers (not tiers, sorry) then it wouldn't be tall enough. I'd have to do 3 1" layers to make it tall enough (the idea is to cut 1" by 3.5 to 4" slices - it's a cake-only reception for about 200) And if I made the 9x13's then I would only be carrying a two layer 9x13 - not 4 put together. I guess it's just that the 1" half-sheet cakes would look nicer being 3 layers, but it would be easier just doing a 2 layer 9x13. I think. I have too much jumbled in my mind and am so anxious to get these details figured out. Can you tell I'm not professional?! Please don't answer that. lol!

And they are good friends of ours so this is a labor of love for them. As long as there is enough cake for everyone, and the "show" cake is my chocolate w/peanutbutter filling, they will be happy. And the show cake might be 5"-7"-9". (This is for the bride that said just an 8" round would be fine for the show cake!)

TexasSugar Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 7:27pm
post #5 of 17

Personally no matter what the size was I would double up on the layers. I think they are visually prettier, and I like the filling and stuff in the middle.

So I would do two two inch tall cakes and torte them. Then you would have pieces of cake that are 1x2x4-5ins tall. Each 4in tall 13x9 would give you 50 servings. If you do single layers, you would have to do 8 of them to get the 200 servings. Typically a single layer is cut 2x2x2. To me I'd rather carry 4 cakes instead of 8.

If your sheet pan is only an inch tall, then I would actually bake 4 of each layer, giving you a 4in tall cake. You'd get about 98 1x2x4in servings from a 12x18 size pan, so you would only need 2 of those.

CWR41 Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 7:48pm
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl

I'd have to do 3 1" layers to make it tall enough (the idea is to cut 1" by 3.5 to 4" slices - it's a cake-only reception for about 200)




If you cut 1" wide by 3.5-4" long slices, you won't have enough cake because the slices are also 3" tall... those would be 12 cubic inch slices. Industry standard serving sizes are 8 cubic inches. (I'd stick with 4" tall cake cut 1" wide by 2" long.)

Wildgirl Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 8:01pm
post #7 of 17

I can't figure very well - I picture a 9x13 being cut in 3rds longwise (each "log" being just over 4" wide) and then 1" pieces cut along each long log of cake, so about 27ish per 9x13.... Maybe I need to look something up about how to cut....
Anyway, I think the 9x13's might just be easier to handle. And if I need to recruit other's refrigerators, it would be easer to ask for space for a smaller cake. Plus I'm doing at least 3 different cakes so smaller would allow for more variety if I get more ambitious.

So you think I should torte the 9x13 and have 4 layers? That would be more fun to eat. And less difficult to handle than layering a half sheet. More work, but I can start baking way ahead and freeze at least just the cake part. And these won't need much for decoration - I was thinking just an icing squiggle along the lengths of "logs" to make that cut a little easier and quicker....

Wildgirl Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 8:06pm
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41


If you cut 1" wide by 3.5-4" long slices, you won't have enough cake because the slices are also 3" tall... those would be 12 cubic inch slices. Industry standard serving sizes are 8 cubic inches. (I'd stick with 4" tall cake cut 1" wide by 2" long.)




Ok, this is why I wasn't figuring the same amount. Since it's a cake only reception we talked about making the pieces bigger - 1"W x 4" L and about 4" H.

Boy, this is going to be a lot of cake!

CWR41 Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 8:18pm
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl

I can't figure very well - I picture a 9x13 being cut in 3rds longwise (each "log" being just over 4" wide) and then 1" pieces cut along each long log of cake, so about 27ish per 9x13.... Maybe I need to look something up about how to cut....




Yes, for single-layer (2" tall) quarter sheet cakes... but you were talking about double-layer (kitchen cakes)--those feed more because they're taller than 2 inches. You'd get 50 servings or more for true two-layer cakes:
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

CWR41 Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 8:25pm
post #10 of 17

I didn't know you were hoping to serve 16 cu. in. servings (I think 8 cu. in. is more than enough).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl

And if I need to recruit other's refrigerators, it would be easer to ask for space for a smaller cake.




If you aren't using perishable fillings, no refrigeration is required... room temperature is fine.

CWR41 Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 8:35pm
post #11 of 17

....You do realize that you'll need the equivalent of 400 servings now.

TexasSugar Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 8:50pm
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl


Ok, this is why I wasn't figuring the same amount. Since it's a cake only reception we talked about making the pieces bigger - 1"W x 4" L and about 4" H.

Boy, this is going to be a lot of cake!




Even if it is just a cake reception, I don't think people should expect to eat cake until they are full. You have a slice of cake, enjoy the company of other people, then you go home and eat or go out to eat.

Wildgirl Posted 29 Oct 2011 , 1:02am
post #13 of 17

Maybe I'm just a pig.... 2" seems so tiny. I'll have to see if I can refigure it at about 3" - I think that would be about 36 servings per cake.... so only 6 cakes. That doesn't seem as crazy. The the "show" tier can provide some additional for those that do want extra or to try a different flavor. Does this sound ok? A compromise in size.

cabecakes Posted 29 Oct 2011 , 1:40am
post #14 of 17

When I first started baking, I thought that 1x2x4" slices sounded small too, but it really is a sufficient size. It really is bigger then it sounds. You would be able to stretch your cakes a lot further with this size as well. It would also allow those that want to try a different flavor more tummy room.

jules5000 Posted 29 Oct 2011 , 1:59am
post #15 of 17

Wild girl: I don't think you are a pig at all for wanting bigger pieces of cake than the traditional size. They are so small that, that is why I think most people will go back for more. and you also have to figure that there are going to be some there that can't eat cake at all-diabetic or celiac or other diatary restrictions. Maybe not a very big percentage, but I would sat that if you are going to figure for bigger pieces that you won't have to figure for extra for those who will want more because they will be happy with the pieces you are serving. Now if you are also making different flavors of cakes then the consideration that some might want more than one flavor so might not need as big a piece of one flavor will also stretch some of the cake. I personally think that the traditional piece of cake is way, way too small. If a cake is 4" thick than I think that a 2"x2" is a fair size. I have been to weddings that had more than one scrumptious flavor and I did want to try them all, but I asked for really thin pieces because I wanted to try more. Is there going to be anything, but cake and punch? Like mints or nuts too? Sometimes when it is a cake only reception they have those items too. I know that there are those that believe you are not going to fill up on cake at the reception, but I think that to be realistic that you have to figure when the reception is going to be going on. Late afternnoon near dinner time? or somewhere between the middle of two meal times? If people have had to travel a ways for the wedding then they might not have had the chance to eat a meal and will be vey hungry. When you are hungry than sometimes it is easy to eat more than you might normally have eaten when you finally get the chance to eat. Sometimes people might have to wait longer for the cake to be served than what they had thought would happen and this affects things too. What should be or happen and what does happen are often two very different things.But I think that you need to figure out what is going to be easeir for you to put together. You have already established that you are doing this for a gift so what is going to be easeir economically without being cheap would be the way to go. I personally would do more 9x13's than the half-sheet size as they would be easier to handle.

Wildgirl Posted 29 Oct 2011 , 2:25am
post #16 of 17

You guys have no idea how great this has been to get all of your feedback! I just don't have enough experience to get it all settled in my brain alone. I so appreciate this!

They will be having some outlet store cookies and sherbet punch and nuts. I hadn't thought of the timing though - I'll have to ask. It must be an after-dinner reception though - they are having music and dancing after the cake, so I sure hope it's after dinner!

Wildgirl Posted 29 Oct 2011 , 3:35am
post #17 of 17

I actually have a piece of paper folded up to visually see the size of cake it would be and I think it will be great. Only one more question --- if I torte and layer two 2" cakes, with 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of filling plus the frosting on top, wouldn't that be more like a 5" tall slice of cake? Would just using 3 of the layers be better?

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