## Earlene's Chart

By servingzero Updated 16 Oct 2009 , 10:44pm by -K8memphis

servingzero Posted 20 Jan 2009 , 6:40pm
post #1 of 16

Okay, so first of all, I admit that I've gone blindly along, accepting Earlene's chart for the past year without actually *thinking* about it. I found it mentioned here, and decided everyone knew better than I did, so I'd use that.

Today, I find that I just can't figure it out. What is "Her serving" size anyway? I just did a price for an 8" square (\$2.25 at 24 servings) and then realized, well that just doesn't make sense to me. As I recall a "wedding" serving is 1"x2", a "party serving" is 2"x2".... well what magical number is her her serving size??
An 8" square, with generally accepted wedding servings would be 8x4=32 servings, and if you were to go with the general party servings, it would be 4x4=16 servings, right?
So here's my question, where the heck does 24 come from?? 6x4=24...which would be possible from an 8" square only in decimal form, and not even a nice, *almost* understandable 1.5"x2"... but 1.3"x2".
Am I on the right track?? It just doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps I've got the math all wrong (it was never my strong suit, but it seems pretty basic here... though the baby horror-mones may be interferring with basic thought processes!)

I think with my time off for the next little while, I'll be attacking all my cake pans, and figuring out my own chart to go by! I'm just curious if I've lost my marbles...

15 replies
dynee Posted 20 Jan 2009 , 8:17pm
post #2 of 16

As far as I can tell, your marbles are still intact. If you figure mathmatically, even the Wilton larger sizes lose touch with reality. I did my own charts at 1.5x2. Thats larger than a "party" size and smaller than a "wedding" size.

indydebi Posted 20 Jan 2009 , 8:27pm
post #3 of 16

I've never been able to make any sense out of that chart anyway .... I use Wilton's chart since (1) it's the industry standard (2) most wedding cakes are cut that size anyway (3) I make more money when going by this chart.

deliciously_decadent Posted 20 Jan 2009 , 9:12pm
post #4 of 16

hi guys, i use erlenes chart like my bible although i have tweaked it slightly, her serving sizes are basicall 1"x2.5" slices which i think is the perfect slice but i also have 3.5" height tiers instead of the 4" most of the american bakers do (i'm an aussie) i bake 3" high tiers and once they are torted and filled are about 3.5" but i also noticed some discrepancy so i had a bit of a play and changed:
8" round from 15 to 16 serves then mostly the square pans i adjusted
created a few that were missung:
4"= 4 serves
5"= 10
7"=19
11"=48
13"=67
then i adjusted the listed square tins to:
6"=14
8"=25
9"=32
14"=80
16"=102
18"=130
but these are just my adjustments and you may find these as unusefull as earlene's chart, but i hop i helped

Earlene Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 5:29pm
post #5 of 16

I orginally just made that chart for me to use for my customers. I used Wilton's chart and did a cake for a customer and found that cake was going to be way short on servings. So I baked the customer an extra cake so she would have enough servings.

Then I got the pans out and using a marker on the pan bottom began trying to figure out just how many servings would be reasonable and closer to accurate for the customer. I felt like I had been cheating all my customers. THinking the cakes shrink about 1/2 inch in diameter I also did not go to the edges of the pan. I did the marker thing on probably a dozen or so pans and then I decided to just average in between for the ones I hadn't marked. Therefore the numbers are not exact to a formula.

I also did not want to count the outside icing as a serving. So I only figured the cake inside.

Serving sizes I worked with were 1" X 2" on a two layer cake and 2" X 2" on a one layer cake. But, if you go strictly by those number and don't allow a little for the knife cuts then the customer comes up short again. So I allowed a little over the measurements to again make sure the customer gets what they paid for. I just think a customer should get everything they pay for and I would never want anyone to think I took advantage of them. I cringe when I see bakeries going by Wilton's chart - you just can't get the number of servings that they show out of those cakes. It isn't fair to the customer - the bakeries prices are inexpensive but the customers are only getting 3/4 of the cake they are paying for. Customers don't know - they assume we are being honest with them.

Hope this makes sense to you. You can always email me at [email protected] if you have more questions.

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 7:36pm
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earlene

I orginally just made that chart for me to use for my customers. I used Wilton's chart and did a cake for a customer and found that cake was going to be way short on servings. So I baked the customer an extra cake so she would have enough servings.

Then I got the pans out and using a marker on the pan bottom began trying to figure out just how many servings would be reasonable and closer to accurate for the customer. I felt like I had been cheating all my customers. THinking the cakes shrink about 1/2 inch in diameter I also did not go to the edges of the pan. I did the marker thing on probably a dozen or so pans and then I decided to just average in between for the ones I hadn't marked. Therefore the numbers are not exact to a formula.

I also did not want to count the outside icing as a serving. So I only figured the cake inside.

Serving sizes I worked with were 1" X 2" on a two layer cake and 2" X 2" on a one layer cake. But, if you go strictly by those number and don't allow a little for the knife cuts then the customer comes up short again. So I allowed a little over the measurements to again make sure the customer gets what they paid for. I just think a customer should get everything they pay for and I would never want anyone to think I took advantage of them. I cringe when I see bakeries going by Wilton's chart - you just can't get the number of servings that they show out of those cakes. It isn't fair to the customer - the bakeries prices are inexpensive but the customers are only getting 3/4 of the cake they are paying for. Customers don't know - they assume we are being honest with them.

Hope this makes sense to you. You can always email me at [email protected] if you have more questions.

Figured this was worth is revisiting, especially about the customer really only receiving 3/4 of the cake they paid for. I disagree. I have cut many cakes, by Wilton chart, and I don't get this problem. Ever. Anyone else, who like myself swear by Wilton?

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 7:38pm
post #7 of 16

And just to be very clear, I am NOT intending to start an argument with Earlene, OR insinuate she is wrong. I just notice there is a very strong camp either FOR Earlene's system, or for Wilton. And not really a happy medium. One or the other.

-K8memphis Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 7:53pm
post #8 of 16

I'm happy with Wilton's chart. It's a guide to me. I round up and err on the side of a few more servings. I figure out the servings needed and make sure I make the cake a tid bigger than that.

Also I make sure my tier cakes slice well and are not crumbly so no servings are lost there either.

I think it's fine for all of us to do things the way we want.

Earlene is one of my personal favorite cakers.
I got to meet her once. She's cool.
Hers was the first cake website I'd ever seen~~She totally knocked me out with her wonderful work!

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 8:06pm
post #9 of 16

I used to think Wilton's was short on servings as well. So the first thing I did was measured off all my cake pans to see if they were accurate to Wilton's 1x2x4. They were. So then I started cutting the cakes as if it were a sheet cake & not a circle & I actually do get the servings Wilton's says. I don't bother with the whole 2x2 party serving as all my cakes are 4" high

Deb_ Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 8:13pm
post #10 of 16

I sort of agree with both Earlene and Jamie on this one.....I too have never gotten the exact # of servings that Wilton suggests a tier will give, however
I'm not losing or cheating my client out of 1/4 of the cake either.

I definitely agree that you have to allow for shrinkage and don't forget the support system/dowels used. Those pieces are pretty much useless with a big old dowel stuck in the middle of them.

So the way I figure it is 4 less servings then the Wilton chart suggests and this has worked out for me. If there aren't any supports in the tier, i.e. the top tier or just a single tier cake, then I subtract 2 servings.

Earlene Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 9:33pm
post #11 of 16

I made the cake chart simply because I wanted to make sure my customers had what they had paid for. The chart was not made to sell and certainly not to put on the web site. Some of the differences in cake sizes are smll in numbers and yet others are a big difference. For instance a 6 inch two layer round cake - my chart says serves 8 people and Wilton's chart says it serves 14. To me that is a huge difference. the 16 inch round cake on my chart says it serves 90 and Wilton's says it serves 100 - that is a much smaller difference.

I just tried to figure out a way to make sure my customers had enough cake. Then I began having requests from other decorators for what I was using. That is when I put one page of it on the web site.

I wasn't looking to make Wilton's look bad. I had relied on their chart for years and years. I just found their numbers didn't feel right when I couldn't cut a cake and get the published number of servings. I had always rather be generous with the servings rather than hoping my customers would cut cake slices small enough to just get by.

That chart is something I used almost daily and I am certainly not going to tell anyone that it is the most accurate. It is just what I used for my customers. If you want to use Wilton's chart for your customers - that is your decision. Just make "your" customers happy - that is everyones goal.

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 9:43pm
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earlene

For instance a 6 inch two layer round cake - my chart says serves 8 people and Wilton's chart says it serves 14.

I see that a 6" serves 12. Now 14 would be pushing it for sure!

Deb_ Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 9:52pm
post #13 of 16

You're right Jamie Wilton says 12 servings for a 6", I get 10 out of mine which is how I price it 10 X \$.\$\$ = \$\$.\$\$

Earlene Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 10:39pm
post #14 of 16

I did make that chart years and years ago - you know when the children were grown after we came off of the Ark. The figures I have in the Wilton numbers is what they had in the chart at the time I made this chart to use. I think they have updated their numbers on their chart - and sorry but I haven't updated mine in a very long time.

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 10:44pm
post #15 of 16

Lol....too funny.

-K8memphis Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 10:44pm
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earlene

I did make that chart years and years ago - you know when the children were grown after we came off of the Ark. The figures I have in the Wilton numbers is what they had in the chart at the time I made this chart to use. I think they have updated their numbers on their chart - and sorry but I haven't updated mine in a very long time.

Dude, I'm looking at their chart--it says 14 servings--hmm the online one says 12--wow old dinosaurs die hard huh??

But I just took a 6" dummy half and I got 7 servings out of it. I was gonna take a picture but I'm tired.

Who knows where the camera is at etc.

What I really should get a shot of is this old cake chart!!!

Where's that camera?