Wedding Cake - Servings/stability/advice?

Decorating By megsense Updated 17 Jun 2014 , 7:33pm by -K8memphis

megsense Posted 12 Jun 2014 , 3:38pm
post #1 of 9

I tried to post this yesterday but it looks like it never posted... or I missed it.


I am new to making cakes for certain amounts of people.  But it looks like this Oct. I will be making a wedding cake for 200. I have found the pan sizes for 4 tier weddings cakes to feed 200. I’m looking for a 3 tier to feed the 200. I plan on doing 3 layers per tier. I saw wilton’s chart of 186 people, but I feel a bit uncomfortable with that. I’d feel a bit better if someone who has done it could tell me what pan sizes they used? I think it’ll be rounds.


Also, for stability; I plan to use 4-5 poly-dowel rods cut to size for each tier, cake board under each one (?). Should I go the extra mile of shooting a wooden dowel down the whole thing? I will be transporting the tiers unassembled (unless something changes). It’ll be full butter cream.


Any extra advice would be awesome.

8 replies
cai0311 Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 2:16pm
post #2 of 9

AThere are a couple of options for using Wilton servings to get 200 servings out of a round wedding cake: 1. 6", 8", 10", 12" and 14" = 208 servings 2. 6", 10", 12" and 16" = 206 servings 3. 6", 8", 12" and 16" = 192 servings

I make cakes that size regularly. All my cakes are 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of filling for a tier around 4.5" tall. Using 3 layers of cake and 2 layers of filling will work too, just make sure you get the tiers around 4" tall or the tiers look short and squaty.

This is what I do: Bottom tier has a card board cake board glued to decorative cake drum (I purchase my cake drums from global sugar art). The remaining tiers have 2 card board cake boards glued together for a little more support. This helps prevent the icing from cracking (assuming you are using a crusting buttercream) each time the cake is moved. I use bubble tea straws for support in the tiers. The number of bubble tea straws is based off the size of the tier being supported. I use 2 less straws than the diameter. So, if I had a 14" round with a 12" round on top of it I would insert 10 straws into the 14". For a 12" round with a 10" round tier sitting on it I would insert 8 straws into the 12"...

Since the cake is being transported unassembled I would not worry about putting a wooden dowel through the cake. But if that changes and you will be transporting assembled cake then I hammer 2 offset wooden dowels through the cake. There are several people on here that do not use wooden dowel at all, that is too scary for me. One time I forgot the dowel on a small 3 tier cake. The top tier shifted during delivery. It didn't fall off, but it was close.

Several people use SPS to support cakes (you can read about those in a sticky at the top of the cake decorating forum). I have tried them and I don't like them but a lot of people swear by them. So that is another support option.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Jun 2014 , 3:00pm
post #3 of 9

sq = square 

r = round


you could do a 16sq x 12r x 8r for 216--i'd feel comfy with about 16 'additional' servings to allow for one maybe getting dropped--a few disappearing into dowel spaces--stuff like that--


the 12r will look much smaller than the 16sq because of the corners on the 16 jutting out--i'm just saying that so you can prepare the correct decor to minimize that--same thing for the 8" top--it also needs enough decor to minimize the expanse on top but with the huge bottom tier it will look balanced --


for example plant flowers on the corners and top -- no problem


that's why a 4-5 tier cake would be more proportionate--but the 3-tier can be beautiful in the hands of a good decorator

-K8memphis Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 1:28am
post #4 of 9

another thing is about the height on the 16, the bottom tier--for example if you do 4" tall tiers--the 16 will be one quarter as tall as it is across -- right?--but the top tier will be half as tall as it is wide-- and this creates a visual  imbalance that you can avoid if you want to--


so to me, i like to cheat on the height of the bottom tier--add a layer of foam to boost the height and ice it all as if it were part of the cake--it's all about creating an illusion to me anyhow --


random thought--no extra charge :-D

AZCouture Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 2:04am
post #5 of 9

AI wouldn't try to shove two hundred servings into a three tiered cake, that's at least five tiers, sometimes six if I do it. If this opens for you and is big enough, you can come up with configurations of your own, or pick one from the work I've already done.[IMG][/IMG]

-K8memphis Posted 14 Jun 2014 , 2:53pm
post #6 of 9

also i would recommend placing the cake on a nice plateau if you can get one large enough -- or take an upside down milk crate or an upside down cake pan or some big #10 cans and cover with a tablecloth and scrunch up the excess in a fashionable way and place the cake on that for a little height --some lace on top of the tablecloth or whatever cloth might matchy matchy the decor is always a nice touch --


and this would be a great time for a nice tall heart or monogram for the topper surrounded by some flowers or scrolls graduating in height --


best to you

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jun 2014 , 9:18pm
post #7 of 9

and icedcubed83, cake buddy extraordinaire has a fresh stunning 16x12x8 right out of the oven *=D> applause it's all rounds but you can get a visual of what a fabulous cake can be made in the hands of a capable to super awesome decorator -- it's elevated off the table top -- it's got beautiful floral work that elongates the silhouette -- it's perfectly balanced -- ta da -- just visualize your bottom tier having corners--placing a couple flowers on there-- a sprig of leaves and tendrils anything like that to break/enhance the view -- her cake is wonderful, drop dead gorgeous -- and almost the same size as a 3-tier 200 serving cake --


Originally Posted by lcubed83 

Done!  I even got an hour of sleep!  Finished icing the groom's cake as we were starting to load the car.


Here's an iPhone picture;  hubby spent the entire time I was finishing the details taking pictures with his good camera (he's an accomplished amateur photographer), so I can't wait to see those!



Those fondant/gumpaste ruffles were a bear!!  I started with the 16", and finally got my stride about 2 strips into the 12"!  Thank goodness I had gotten my KA pasta roller back from my daughter- don't think I could have done it otherwise.  As it is, I spent about six hours frilling and pasting.


I have the utmost respect for you professionals that do this routinely!  My two wedding cakes for family this spring have truly convinced me that this is NOT something I want to do full time!!  I appreciate all the support and education you share so I can create gifts of love.


megsense Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 2:59pm
post #8 of 9

Thank you so-so much for all the advice, chart (love it) and visuals!! It's of great help to me. I've settled myself into 4 tier idea as well as the doubled support. Probably something I should have realized, better to have LOTS of support for all that weight.


Thank you again!

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jun 2014 , 7:33pm
post #9 of 9

4 tiers is definitely easier decor wise -- you don't have to concentrate on transforming the silhouette--


you can just do your thing plain or fancy -- (or should i say 'simple' ;)


good choice though easier all around


best to you

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