What Should I Do?

Decorating By gingersnapp Updated 11 Nov 2011 , 1:44am by BlakesCakes

gingersnapp Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 4:46am
post #1 of 14

Hello,

I just did a cake this past weekend and thought i used the right cake pan for 20 servings but now i am wondering if i made a mistake.

9" pan, 3" deep 3 layers of cake, 2 layers of filling

did i make a mistake? should i give her some money back, how should i handle things with her?

Thanks ( Moo cow cake in my photos)

She never contacted me, i sent her a follow up email to see how things went with the cake.

quote from client:

("In our estimation, the cake seemed more like 12-15 servings than 20. Since I ordered slightly less servings than the actual number of guest, expecting generous serving size, I had to cut the cake into very small pieces to accommodate all the guests").

13 replies
CWR41 Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 5:20am
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gingersnapp

9" pan, 3" deep 3 layers of cake, 2 layers of filling

did i make a mistake?




It doesn't look like three 3" deep layers for a 9" tall cake, but it looks like a 3" deep layer torted/split to total 4" tall which is a typical height for a layer cake.

You provided plenty of cake. The industry standard Wilton chart says the 9" serves 32 (3"-6" tall):
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

BlakesCakes Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 5:32am
post #3 of 14

Using any of the Wilton serving charts--wedding, party, 3", 4"--you definitely gave her enough cake-----but that doesn't mean that she ordered enough cake icon_wink.gif

If she expected to cut wedge slices, rather than the rectangular cuts that are specified in the cutting guides, then she would definitely feel that the cake was too small.

I use the Wilton party slices guide for 1.5x2x4" slices, so 12 cubic inches of cake, so I'd offer a 9" round as serving 24. Yours would be 24, 9 cubic inch slices or 18 servings of 12 cubic inches.

No, I wouldn't give her any money back. I'd respond with the info I provided above and a link to the Wilton page showing that an 8x3 round serves 20 and an 10x3 round serves 28, so she was received exactly what she was sold. The Wilton serving/cutting guidelines are not perfect, but are widely used and accepted accepted.

If she was ONLY serving cake--and she didn't explain that and/or that she wanted "large" servings--then she needed to clarify that when she ordered so that you could have suggested other options-----a larger cake for more $.

HTH
Rae

Apti Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 5:49am
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

It doesn't look like three 3" deep layers for a 9" tall cake, but it looks like a 3" deep layer torted/split to total 4" tall which is a typical height for a layer cake.

You provided plenty of cake. The industry standard Wilton chart says the 9" serves 32 (3"-6" tall):
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm




I agree with CWR41, but think you probably would have used the Wilton "Party Serving" size chart which says you would get 24 servings from your cake (vs. 32 with wedding sized servings). However, the customer didn't KNOW anything about the "Wilton Serving Sizes" that are the industry standard. Most people would cut that cake into pie-shaped wedge pieces and get 8-16 slices, MAX. She was probably thinking of pieces that are the size you get when you go to a restaurant and order a slice of cake.

Nearly ALL custom bakeries in the USA use the Wilton Wedding or Party serving charts to determine the pricing per serving. Individual custom bakers may choose whatever they want to use to price their cakes. Keep in mind that NOBODY out there in the general public has any idea how to get 24 party cake slices out of an 9" round, 4" high cake tier. [They'll think you're NUTS!] Nearly all wedding cakes are cut and served by a professional caterer or staff person at the venue.

The assumption with wedding cakes is that there will be other food served at the event, and the cake will be a symbolic, small slice.

Party (or Earlene) slices are generally used when there is no other food at the party/celebration.

Wedding: 1 wide x 2 in. deep x 4" high slice
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm
Party: 1.5 wide x 2 in deep x 4" high slice
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-party-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm
Earlene's Serving Chart (for slightly larger slices, probably 2x2x4"):
http://www.earlenescakes.com/ckserchart.htm

I think it is up to you, the professional custom baker, to educate the client about HOW to cut the cake to get wedding- or party-sized slices out of a cake. Give them a paper piece of cake from the template below AND a copy of Indydebi's "how to cut a wedding cake".

Here's a couple of very helpful links:
"how to cut a wedding cake:
http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/cake%20comb

and

Sample Cake Serving Sizes -- made of Paper or Cardstock
http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=142470&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

jason_kraft Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 5:51am
post #5 of 14

This situation is exactly why we sell party cakes by size and not by number of servings. When you're talking about a round cake being cut into wedges (as opposed to a professional cutting the cake at a venue) many customers will expect a more generous slice than 12 cubic inches.

The comment from the customer is right on target with our estimates for round cake servings: 10-14 for an 8" round and 16-20 for a 10" round (both 2 layers, 4" high).

If the cake size and serving size was not specified in the contract then IMO you owe the customer a partial refund.

Tails Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 7:31am
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

It doesn't look like three 3" deep layers for a 9" tall cake, but it looks like a 3" deep layer torted/split to total 4" tall which is a typical height for a layer cake.

You provided plenty of cake. The industry standard Wilton chart says the 9" serves 32 (3"-6" tall):
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm



I agree with CWR41, but think you probably would have used the Wilton "Party Serving" size chart which says you would get 24 servings from your cake (vs. 32 with wedding sized servings). However, the customer didn't KNOW anything about the "Wilton Serving Sizes" that are the industry standard. Most people would cut that cake into pie-shaped wedge pieces and get 8-16 slices, MAX. She was probably thinking of pieces that are the size you get when you go to a restaurant and order a slice of cake.

Nearly ALL custom bakeries in the USA use the Wilton Wedding or Party serving charts to determine the pricing per serving. Individual custom bakers may choose whatever they want to use to price their cakes. Keep in mind that NOBODY out there in the general public has any idea how to get 24 party cake slices out of an 9" round, 4" high cake tier. [They'll think you're NUTS!] Nearly all wedding cakes are cut and served by a professional caterer or staff person at the venue.

The assumption with wedding cakes is that there will be other food served at the event, and the cake will be a symbolic, small slice.

Party (or Earlene) slices are generally used when there is no other food at the party/celebration.

Wedding: 1 wide x 2 in. deep x 4" high slice
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm
Party: 1.5 wide x 2 in deep x 4" high slice
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-party-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm
Earlene's Serving Chart (for slightly larger slices, probably 2x2x4"):
http://www.earlenescakes.com/ckserchart.htm

I think it is up to you, the professional custom baker, to educate the client about HOW to cut the cake to get wedding- or party-sized slices out of a cake. Give them a paper piece of cake from the template below AND a copy of Indydebi's "how to cut a wedding cake".

Here's a couple of very helpful links:
"how to cut a wedding cake:
http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/cake%20comb

and

Sample Cake Serving Sizes -- made of Paper or Cardstock
http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=142470&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=




+1. Before I started researching baking and stuff on the internet, I didnt know there were different servings. I would have also suggested educating the client before they placed their order. Plus, it would have resulted in a bigger order for you icon_razz.gif

Nazarine Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 11:43pm
post #7 of 14

I just ran into this same problem! I was delivering 8 inch cakes going by Wilton party charts and everyone was coming back saying that it really only fed 10-15 people! I find that everyone was going by the serving charts at local supermarkets, Walmart, etc. They also cut them like pie pieces.

sillywabbitz Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 12:08am
post #8 of 14

Here is a great site for understanding the different serving portion sizes.
http://larkcakeshop.com/CakeServeGuide2.pdf
I think I'm going to start using this as a way to communicate servings. It may also change how I present my pricing for party cakes. I haven't finalized the pricing on my website yet.

costumeczar Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 12:16am
post #9 of 14

I use one serving size, which is 1"x2"xheight of the cake. That's plenty of cake for one serving, regardless of whether it's for a party or a wedding. People tend to cut wedding cake servings smaller than that, as far as what I've seen done in this area. If the cake really is 4" tall, then the 1"x2" is an ample serving unless someone is a real pig, and in that case they should probably eat less cake anyway. icon_razz.gif

I also give the client a cutting chart when they take the cake, so that they know how to serve it. I generally tell them not to let a teenage boy cut it, or they'll only get three pieces out of it. That seems to get the point across.

Just because someone wants to cut huge pieces doesn't mean that you need to provide them servings based on what they think one serving is. You should provide a standard serving and if they want bigger pieces they should order more cake.

The party serving vs. wedding serving inevitably ends up as the question of how much to charge for a cake if you price by the serving. Just go with one serving count and be consistent, but tell your clients how to cut the cake.

JSKConfections Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 12:16am
post #10 of 14

Wow...I love this Lark Chart. Saving this one. Thanks

costumeczar Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 12:18am
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazarine

I just ran into this same problem! I was delivering 8 inch cakes going by Wilton party charts and everyone was coming back saying that it really only fed 10-15 people! .




My 16 yr old would say that a large pizza is one serving, but that doesn't mean he's right! icon_rolleyes.gif

pj22 Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 12:27am
post #12 of 14

It would be nice if you post the serving guides on your website or give a print out with your order so customers know how to cut the cake to get the servings necessary... that way you won't be liable if they don't cut it as you directed.

pj22 Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 12:28am
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazarine

I just ran into this same problem! I was delivering 8 inch cakes going by Wilton party charts and everyone was coming back saying that it really only fed 10-15 people! .



My 16 yr old would say that a large pizza is one serving, but that doesn't mean he's right! icon_rolleyes.gif




icon_lol.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 1:44am
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSKConfections

Wow...I love this Lark Chart. Saving this one. Thanks




Looks very much like the "old" Wilton serving charts.

I find that most people who don't cut cakes often really can't do it that way very well.

I tell them to cut the cake--no matter the shape--down the center, move over an inch, or so, and cut a big slice, then divy it up into 1.5", or so, wide pieces.

And I tell them that if they cut wedges, they won't have enough cake.......

Rae

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