countrymom Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 3:42pm
post #1 of

AI have been asked to make a 6 layered rainbow sheet cake! They want it to feed 30-40 people so I was thinking 11x15 or 12x17. I was wondering what would be the best way to make the different colored layers without having a rediculousely thick cake? How much mix I would need?

32 replies
denetteb Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 3:51pm
post #2 of

Not really up to speed on the rainbow cakes but a 4 inch high 9 by 13 serves 50 so that size should be more than enough for the 30-40 guests.

countrymom Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 4:08pm
post #3 of

AA rainbow cake is when there are 6 layers and each layer is a different color of the rainbow then stacked in order red,orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. This cake is for a 2nd birthday party.

denetteb Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 4:16pm
post #4 of

I know the concept but can't help with the amount of batter, etc for a rainbow cake.  They would have to be as thin as possible because when you add the 6 layers plus 7 layers of icing it will be really tall. 

tracyaem Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 4:42pm
post #5 of

Doing a sheet cake, I'd be scared to make it too thin. Handling those cakes without them cracking is going to be a nightmare. I hate doing sheets even when they're 2 inches tall - I'm so nervous about breakage.

 

For 30-40 people could you steer them towards a 8 or 9" round? It would be easier to assemble and fit their servings much better. A sheet (even a 9x13) that's six layers is going to be a ton of cake! If you do the sheet, make sure you charge them for the actual servings - according to Wilton a 2-layer 9x13 serves 50. You'll be doing a 6-layer so even if you thin out the layers and filling, it'll be at least double the servings.

countrymom Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 4:56pm
post #6 of

AThat is what I am afraid of too! They are insistent on a sheet, I usually do round for this style of cake. I tried explaining that is a lot of cake, I don't think they understand but who am I to argue if they want to pay for it. According to the Wilton web page it takes about 11 cups of batter for for an 11x15 2 in. Cake, Am I reading that right?

denetteb Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 5:02pm
post #7 of

Then make them what they want but make sure you figure out the actual servings correctly and charge them appropriately.  Not only for the actual servings but  possibly additional for the extra mixing, baking, clean up required to make 6 separate cakes, 6 filling layers plus your usual icing and decorating.  11 by 15 is 74 servings even if you don't consider any extra servings for a higher cake.

tracyaem Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 5:12pm
post #8 of

Exactly - make whatever they want, just charge appropriately. If you give them your smallest sheet cake and tell them it serves x and your cost is $y/serving (including an up charge for the extra layers!!!)* they might change their mind. And if not, you'll take their money :)

 

*The more I think about this, the more I think I'd double my usual per serving charge. I usually do 3 layers of cake and 2 of filling, so a rainbow would be double the amount of cake. And then I'd tack on 20-30% for the sheer annoyance of 6 different colors of batter, having to bake the layers separately, the inevitable cracking and rebaking of 1 or 2 layers, etc.

 

May I ask what you quoted them for # of servings and total price?

countrymom Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 5:28pm
post #9 of

AYes, there will definitely be extra charges on this one. According to Wilton an 11x15 3 inch cake is 60 1.5x2 inch servings. If I can get each layer about 3/4 of an inch it would only be 4.5 inches high plus frosting.

countrymom Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 5:38pm

AI quoted them $1.50 per serving for 60 servings because of the size of cake that they want and a total $175 because they want not only the layers of the cake to be rainbow but the entire top of the cake to be frosted in a rainbow and I will have to pipe it all by hand.

Do you mind me asking how much you would of quoted? Just out of curiosity.

denetteb Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 5:43pm

5 layers of filling will add on another 1.25 inches if each filling is a quarter inch thick.  Plus your outside icing.  It seems like it will be at least 6 inches high. I think you should consider using the wedding size serving chart so you get some compensation for the extra height.  The extra height will  probably put you over the wedding serving volume anyway. 

countrymom Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 5:53pm

AI have never made a wedding cake, I am fairly new to this...what is the difference in serving sizes?

tracyaem Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 6:02pm

My normal buttercream frosting, plain run of the mill cakes are $3/serving. I would have charged at least $6/serving for this cake, assuming the extra layers are about double the servings. Then probably rounded up to ~$7.50 accounting for the PITA factor and the extra piping on top. And for an 11x15, I would assume 74 servings (from WIlton). So a total of $450-$550 (range dependant on how much I liked this person and how much I know I would loathe making this cake). That's why I'm shocked they agreed to so much extra cake. Clearly, it should cost much more! I don't care if they eat it or throw it out, if I have to make it, they have to pay for it.

 

At $175, I cannot see how you are not losing money. Have you added up the cost of your ingredients and how much time this will take you? Those people are getting a steal. You are quoting less servings (60 is low even for a normal 2 layer cake!). And $1.50/serving is ridiculously inexpensive. I don't know your market, but around here $3/serving is on the low-end.

 

The cake you have described will serve about 125-150 people depending on the final height. You are basically charging slightly more than $1/serving. I don't know you, but I will assume you are worth much more than that :)

Aurora42196 Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 6:50pm

Is it possible to make your rainbow cake marble style? make enough batter to fit in one pan and separate the batter 6 ways and color them the colors of the rainbow. like this cake I made. it was a 9 inch round though :)

cakeyouverymuch Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 6:55pm

This cake was made using my white white cake recipe which normally makes three 9 inch round layers.  I baked the layers in 8 inch square pans using 12 ounces of batter per pan.  Because I only have two pans in that size I had to bake three times.  With the minimal amount of filling (they wanted more cake than filling and would have been happy with a smear of jam between layers) it was still 7.5 inches tall with the fondant.  I don't know what I would have charged for it.  It was a gift in exchange for the loan of a complete set of baby furniture and toys when my daughter came for Christmas with the littlest one.

 

http://cakecentral.com/g/i/2925633/a/3305183/a-rainbow-cake-for-the-same-little-girl-that-got-the-thomas-the-train-cake-for-her-birthday-last-year-the-cake-started-as-a-white-white-cake-that-would-have-made-three-9-inch-layers-it-was-colored-with-liquid-grocery-store-colors-except-for-the-red/

 

If you're going to do a 9x13 with a similar sized recipe it could turn out about right as far as height goes, but I'd turn out my layers on one of those pebble surface cutting mats.  That way you can slide the layers on without breaking them, because they're going to be quite thin.  hth

countrymom Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 6:57pm

AIn this case it is my sister in law and the cake it for my niece. She requested that it be made with box cake (yuck) and is going to buy the mix in addition to my cost so I did give her big discount. I would probably have charged more if it not been family.

In my area thought 1.50-3.00 a serving is a pretty average price. I am pretty new at this and I am still figuring out all this.

countrymom Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 10:00pm

AThanks for all the good advise and tips. I will post pictures.

denetteb Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 11:09pm

This is the industry standard for serving sizes.  http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm  You can find it on the wilton website or in any of the yearbooks.  If you are going to be selling cakes you really need to actually figure out all of your costs and time before you give any prices to a paying customer.  If you want to discount for a relative is a whole separate consideration.  There are a huge number of pricing threads, starting a business, and all kinds of other cake and business considerations in this forum.  I find that the best way to search CC is to use google.   Just type in what topic interests you followed by cake central and hit search.  Her giving you a couple of boxes of cake mix is just a drop in the bucket of your expenses in materials and time.

tracyaem Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 12:58pm

SInce this is for family, it is a slightly different situation. I would not charge my sister $450 for a cake for my niece :)

 

I thought you were talking about a random stranger. If she is paying though, you may want to note on her invoice a regular price and your discount that gets it down to the $175. And I would use the traditional serving amount (74) in the quote as well. This way if she passes along info to friends, you don't get a rep as the cheap cake lady giving it away. Show it costing $400 or whatever and you taking off 50% for the family discount. It'll make your sister appreciate the cake that much more and make sure others know it's worth.

 

And, to be honest- if it was my sister, I'd have no problem telling her that a sheet cake 6 layers high for 30-40 people is ridiculous!

gemmal Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 2:53pm

I don't know about batter but maybe do a test cake with a thicker batter (just the standard you would use for the sheet size) and divide into 6, colour each bowl of batter then do one colour spread across the bottom of the sheet pan, stick the pan in the freezer a few mins, then carefully spread or pipe the next colour over the top, stick in the freezer and so on for all the layers then bake all in one? they maybe very thin layers and no filling should keep it fairly short. I haven't tried this, just my brain running ahead of me... Hope it worked/works out either way =]

cakeyouverymuch Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 3:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemmal 

I don't know about batter but maybe do a test cake with a thicker batter (just the standard you would use for the sheet size) and divide into 6, colour each bowl of batter then do one colour spread across the bottom of the sheet pan, stick the pan in the freezer a few mins, then carefully spread or pipe the next colour over the top, stick in the freezer and so on for all the layers then bake all in one? they maybe very thin layers and no filling should keep it fairly short. I haven't tried this, just my brain running ahead of me... Hope it worked/works out either way =]

 

I am definitely going to try this the next time I do a rainbow cake.  I would certainly save on time for baking.  With the recipe I mentioned above I could do two colors to a pan and it would work perfectly with one set of pans in the oven all at once.  Now, who needs a cake. . . . ? 

gemmal Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 3:58pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeyouverymuch 

 

I am definitely going to try this the next time I do a rainbow cake.  I would certainly save on time for baking.  With the recipe I mentioned above I could do two colors to a pan and it would work perfectly with one set of pans in the oven all at once.  Now, who needs a cake. . . . ? 


You will have to let me know how it turns out! That cake looked awesome, the colours were ace! Bet it was demolished in no time :)

cakeyouverymuch Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 4:07pm

Thank you for the compliment.  It was way too much cake for their family gathering, but they shared with neighbors and friends and none went to waste.  I don't have cause to do a rainbow at this point, but when I do, I will post photos.  My next two cakes are in the freezer waiting for decoration.  Makes my fingers itch, but I can't decorate till Friday for the Sunday cake and the other is for a birthday two weeks out. 

Spooky_789 Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 6:26pm

Not sure if this is too late for the OP or not, but what about baking four thin layers of cake, then using three layers of colored buttercream filling, to get your seven layers of rainbow.  So based on ROYGBIV, your cake layers would be red, yellow, blue and violet (purple), and your buttercream layers would be orange, green, and indigo (a combination of blue/purple??).  Rainbow cake inside, without having a sheet cake that's 6" tall.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 6:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spooky_789 

Not sure if this is too late for the OP or not, but what about baking four thin layers of cake, then using three layers of colored buttercream filling, to get your seven layers of rainbow.  So based on ROYGBIV, your cake layers would be red, yellow, blue and violet (purple), and your buttercream layers would be orange, green, and indigo (a combination of blue/purple??).  Rainbow cake inside, without having a sheet cake that's 6" tall.

 

 

OR combining this concept with gemmal's above, do 2 two toned layers with a colored filling and a colored frosting.  That is (from the bottom) a red/orange layer, a yellow filling, a green/blue layer, and a violet frosting.  The possibilities . . . . .

countrymom Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 7:40pm

AThose are very good ideas, I would never have thought of freezing the batter and layering it like that. I like the idea of doing two colors per pan like that. You could cut the amount of individual cakes by half and only have three layers but still have all the colors. Thanks for the great idea.

Has anyone ever tried doing that before? I wonder how much thicker the batter would have to be for that to work.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 7:53pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrymom 

Those are very good ideas, I would never have thought of freezing the batter and layering it like that. I like the idea of doing two colors per pan like that. You could cut the amount of individual cakes by half and only have three layers but still have all the colors. Thanks for the great idea.

Has anyone ever tried doing that before? I wonder how much thicker the batter would have to be for that to work.

 

I'm reasonably sure the following batter (sans the cocoa) would be thick enough to do the trick.  I use a modified version of this recipe for my rainbow because it is white enough not to muddy the colors, it is a reverse creamed recipe so the extra handling to incorporate the color doesn't effect the outcome in terms of texture and flavor, and it is plenty thick.  It wouldn't require much time in the freezer to firm up enough to have a second layer of color applied, especially if it was piped.

 

http://theirishmother.blogspot.ca/2010/09/silver-white-cake-surprise.html

savannahquinn Posted 17 Apr 2013 , 12:45am

Just an aside, I saw a rainbow layered cake with corresponding colored icing between the layers...it was a nice touch!

countrymom Posted 18 Apr 2013 , 10:49pm

A[IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/2984322/width/200/height/400[/IMG][/IMG][/IMG]

Well this is how it turned out.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 19 Apr 2013 , 12:37am

Nice! Did you get any photos of the inside?

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