Please Explain Cake Servings

Decorating By kparks2 Updated 4 Apr 2014 , 4:08am by howsweet

kparks2 Posted 3 Apr 2014 , 3:08am
post #1 of 18

AI looked at other threads and did not my find what I wanted or maybe I did the wrong search. I started a baking business on the side and I am working on cake pricing. I have looked at many serving charts and I do not get when they say an 8" feeds 20. Also, are that figures based on a single layer cake, 2 layer or 3 layer? How are cake servings determined exactly?

17 replies
thecakewitch Posted 3 Apr 2014 , 3:37am
post #2 of 18

AGoogle Indydebi's blog about How To Cut A Wedding Cake and Wilton's cake serving guide.

howsweet Posted 3 Apr 2014 , 3:43am
post #3 of 18

Generally for pricing most people use the Wilton wedding chart. The cake should be at least four inches high for the servings to be right. You can make a four inch high cake with 2 layers, three layers or four. It doesn't really matter because the the serving size is still 1x2x4.

 

When people are not having their cake cut professionally (and most aren't), you need to cover the issue that they may not be able to cut that many slices or that they might plan on having larger slices. In which case, they want to order more servings, but there's no need for you to change the serving sizes for the purpose of your quote.

 

There are a lot of charts out there that are just plain wrong. I clicked on someone's profile the other day when to her website and after stating that her servings are 1x2x4, she said an 8 inch round cake serves 26. That;s not even possible which is easy enough to determine by doing the math. Mathematically one can get 25.12 servings out of an 8 inch. Wilton calls it 24 because you can't practically cut 25 servings.

 

If the customer wants serving that are twice as big, just divide by 2 and call a 24 serving cake 12 servings, but you should still charge foe 24 servings.

kparks2 Posted 3 Apr 2014 , 4:07am
post #4 of 18

AAnd are they basing these figures on pie cuts? I looked at publix e's cake serving chart earlier and for round cakes they sounded more logical. If I am cutting an 8 inch in triangles I do not see how you get 24. Thanks for the help.

pastrypet Posted 3 Apr 2014 , 4:54pm
post #5 of 18

There are lots of different ways to cut a cake, and if you don't want rectangular pieces, perhaps you should search Google Images for "party size cake servings." I think there are some pictures of cakes cut in wedges. I cut wedges when it's a cake just for my family.

kparks2 Posted 3 Apr 2014 , 5:10pm
post #6 of 18

Ahhhh ok so the average cake service size she are basing their numbers on cutting the cakes, even round cakes, in a square shape?

Nic Fury Posted 3 Apr 2014 , 5:16pm
post #7 of 18

this is how i base my servings. i give this diagram to all new orders. http://cakecentral.com/g/i/3192071/8-round-cake-cutting-guide/

howsweet Posted 3 Apr 2014 , 10:39pm
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kparks2 

And are they basing these figures on pie cuts? I looked at publix e's cake serving chart earlier and for round cakes they sounded more logical. If I am cutting an 8 inch in triangles I do not see how you get 24. Thanks for the help.

Just google wilton serving chart and wilton slicing chart - they will show you. Or check out what cake with suggested.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nic Fury 
 

this is how i base my servings. i give this diagram to all new orders. http://cakecentral.com/g/i/3192071/8-round-cake-cutting-guide/

There's a perfect example of what I was talking about in my post above. In the universe we live in, it's still impossible to get 28, 1x2 slices out of an 8 inch cake.  24 is the maximum realistic amount, but mathematically you can get 25.12. Why would anyone try to eek out 4 more servings when it's challenging enough to cut it into 24 slices?

 

When I tell my customers the servings are based on a slice with an area of 2 square inches, I'm going to be very embarrassed if someone answers back with, but it's not possible. Obviously the pieces aren't all going to be exactly 2 square inches, but I just don't understand trying claim 4 non existent servings. If you cut it into 28 slices you're shorting more guests a reasonable sized piece of cake. Isn't 1x2x4 small enough?

Nic Fury Posted 3 Apr 2014 , 11:17pm
post #10 of 18
howsweet I almost always get 28 slices out of an 8", & I've never had a customer say they have trouble cutting it that way either. (I'm sure there are some that cut them into party pieces or however they'd like though) 90% of the slices are 1x2x4, with a few that aren't, so those go to the people asking for smaller pieces of cake, which happens literally every time I am cutting. It's just how I base my servings, & it works for me. 
howsweet Posted 3 Apr 2014 , 11:37pm
post #11 of 18

It looks more like 70% to me. If you show the customer the chart and explain that many servings will be smaller that's one thing. 

 

If I quote a cake based on 28 servings rather 24, I'm charging them at least $20 more for the cake.  Usually my cakes are cut by the venue or by the customer.  I'm not hanging around the party slicing cake. How does that even happen? If you're just estimating how much cake you need for a party you're attending, then that's different, of course. But I cannot in good conscience tell the customer they can get 28 servings that are based on 2 sq inches without explaining that not all of them will be.

feuerrader24 Posted 4 Apr 2014 , 12:02am
post #12 of 18

AI use the Wilton chart and tell my customers the measurements of each serving size. I also tell them that, depending on how they cut their cake, their actual number of servings may differ. For round cakes, I like to emphasize that cake is not pie, and you shouldn't be cutting a 8" into 8 slices (unless you really really like cake and a sugar high). I know this sound excessive, but I've witnessed half a sheet cake serve only 20 people. Ick.

Best thing to do is set reasonable expectations. Let the customer know you charge pe serving and follow an accepted industry standard, and if they wish to cut larger slices, they may need to order a larger cake, but you will still charge based upon whatever serving guide you ar using. Otherwise, you'll be giving away cake.

Finally, I tell people cake is a treat, not a meal. A cupcake only provides 2-3 bites at the most but are very satisfying. If a slice of cake takes more than 4 bites to eat, your serving is too big.

Nic Fury Posted 4 Apr 2014 , 12:09am
post #13 of 18

yes, they know before hand that is how my servings are based. again, it's just what has worked for me. i was referring to cutting wedding cakes, not hanging around someones home during their child's birthday party. lol. creepy.....

howsweet Posted 4 Apr 2014 , 12:15am
post #14 of 18

I don't care what kind of party it is, the customer is either cutting it themselves or having the venue cut it. They would have to pay me a bundle to stick around and cut their cake, whether it's a wedding or birthday. I've never heard of doing that.

feuerrader24 Posted 4 Apr 2014 , 12:28am
post #15 of 18

AI don't cut their cakes....I just mean that I have been to other parties and watched someone cut unnecessarily huge servings. Now do family and friends ask me to cut the birthday cake? Sure. But I don't cut for customers.

A lot of people follow the same seving guideline for all cakes, including wedding cakes, only because you don't have the customer who wants a birthday cake decorated like a wedding cake because it is cheaper.

Nic Fury Posted 4 Apr 2014 , 1:45am
post #16 of 18

oh really? it seems like the norm here. a lot of venues won't do it. i've only had a handful of people have someone else do it

feuerrader24 Posted 4 Apr 2014 , 2:54am
post #17 of 18

AOther than the sake of educating one's self, I find it interesting that people would need to know how, on a practical I-need-to-do-this-this-weekend-for-real level, to cut cake. I have diagrams mostly to show customers if someone asks if you can really get that many servings out of a cake (for birthday parties as an example, why yes you can! Look here!) but other than that, for weddings especially, a bride and groom is paying a caterer good money to cut the cake, and to cut it to a standard grid. Most venues charge a per person cake cutting fee, so I am assuming if I am paying them to cut it, they will be cutting according to industry standard.

Of course, and this is something to keep in mind, if there is no professonal caterer involved and family/friends are doing the food and cake cutting for a wedding, it would probably be best to make (and charge) for extra servings, since an untrained person might cut bigger slices. Just a thought.

howsweet Posted 4 Apr 2014 , 4:08am
post #18 of 18

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nic Fury 
 

oh really? it seems like the norm here. a lot of venues won't do it. i've only had a handful of people have someone else do it


Seriously? So you stay until like 10 pm and then cut the cake? Even if they cut it at 8, that's a long time to be waiting. For me to stay until 10, I'd charge about $500. But if that were the situation, I guess I'd have to hire someone to show up and cut the cake? Since it would absolutely, positively be someone I know I can count on, I'd probably have to pay them $100-200.

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