Is there an apprropriate size for tall tiers? Would a 12" round tier loose the "tall" effect due to the width of the cake? I can imagine that a 8" round would look like a 'tall tier' if it is 6-8" tall. However a 12" tier that is 6"-8" tall, seems that visually it would loose the tall look that you're trying to get.
I.e. 2 tiered cake...12" tall tier (6-8" tall) w/7" top tier (4" standard height)
as opposed to a 3 tiered cake...11" round (standard height 4" tall) middle tier 8" (tall tier height 6-8") top tier...5" (4"tall) yield about the same # of servings.
Just think the 3 tiered cake would be more aesthetic & visually proportional. What say the cake world?
You get the customer in and stack pans up so that they can see what the tiers look like.
You can ask if there will be a caterer to do the cutting. A high cake needs to be cut differently than a regular bunch of cake tiers.
I personally think that 4" deep tiers will cut into pieces that look more or less the same. A "high" cake with 3 layers makes some pieces look twice as deep as others...that may not be the customer's wish. A "high" cake with 3x1" layers-cardboard-3x1" layers will look right when sliced...but is more work and more icing.
It's really up to the customer, right?
Main concern is that the 12" tier (on the bottom) will look 'squatty' instead of elegant & tall. She wants a RED! ombre ruffle cake. The 12" tier to get the ombre ruffles, top tier to be white fondant covered. She clearly knew what she wanted down to last detail. (Love that she was not wishy-washy, but knew what she wanted.) I would definitely be having a cardboard between middle of tall tier at the 3 or 4"" division to make cutting easier (& yield more servings) It is of course about what she wants, just dont think it'll have the effect she's wanting. (visualize a tall, thin cake or a tall(ish) 'fat' cake. No offense to fat cake, just dont know if i'm getting point across. i did send her pics of a 3 tiered cake with what i think the shape of the cake might look like with the changes, and i did stack pans up to look at myself. Was just hoping someone knew a possible rule of thumb for the size round pan that will look proportionally nice to achieve that 'true' tall tier. Thank you. The wedding is in Nov. She is a stewardess & is not always easy to just come in to see the pans stacked. (i had thought of that too.)
If you have the time and feel motivated, use a combination of pans and dummies to model the exact heights. Then take pictures...because you may be asked the same question again. The bride needs to see how her specifications pan out before you start baking.
In looking through my books, I see that a 12" tier looks "tall" at 8" high. For 10" tiers, both 7" and 8" look "tall". When the other tiers are in proportion, the 12" does not look "squatty" (not to my eyes...)
I would make the 7" tier 5" high just to carry the eye upwards.
thank you. just don't want her to be dissapointed. her expectations are set pretty high, but think she brought me a pic of a cake that was much smaller. (probably a 8" (tall) bottom tier & a 5" top tier.) I will stack everything possible to get the visual. thanks for your help. circumference of a 12" cake is 38"!!! imagine putting ruffles on 8" tall and 38" around. ugh.
that will be a LOT of work.
OK so you can explain to her that there is a limit to the ruffle part when you make a cake design bigger. Quote her the proper price for labour for very long ruffles, and then try to steer her towards 10" x8" high and 6" x4.5" high that will be much more doable.