Standard Number Of Layers?

Decorating By TheSugarLab Updated 23 Sep 2012 , 12:57pm by niccicola

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TheSugarLab Posted 22 Sep 2012 , 6:38am
post #1 of 9

This came up in my last post about my customer who said the cake fell apart because I had too much icing and not enough cake (it was most likely due to the heat but whatever).

I was wondering: Do you have a standard number of layers of cake that you do? I've been doing four 1 in layers but I just saw a cake that was three 2 in layers. I'm wondering if there is an "industry standard" or just a personal preference.

If you vary, do you tell your customer the options?



8 replies
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CWR41 Posted 22 Sep 2012 , 8:26am
post #2 of 9

Personal preference if you decide to split "industry standard" two 2" deep layers.

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SaltCakeCity Posted 22 Sep 2012 , 5:34pm
post #3 of 9

It's totally up to you on how many layers of cake and filling/frosting you want to do. I always do 3 layers of cake, 2 layers of filling and frosting. I've found that they hold up nicely because the cake isn't too thin and it's not too sweet from too many layers of frosting. I have a virtual cake tasting on my website if you want to see what I mean. ( Just go to the Menu tab on the top and scroll down after the list of flavors to see the inside of the cakes. I hope that helps icon_smile.gif

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kakeladi Posted 22 Sep 2012 , 10:05pm
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In my mind a 'tier' is made up of two 2" layers with filling between them, then iced as one cake/tier.

As has been said, it is entirely up to you. Some of the recent designs show tiers that are extra tall - maybe 6" or 8" so they may be made up of 3, 4 maybe even up to 8 layers depending on how 'tall' each layer is.

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Apti Posted 22 Sep 2012 , 11:16pm
post #5 of 9

Here's another recent thread on the same topic:

SaltLakeCity~~GREAT photos of your cake slices and flavor combinations!
I'm 59 and grew up thinking the only time you ordered a custom cake was for a wedding. That cake would be white, buttercream, two 2" layers, with a thin smear of filling in the center. Those were the only cakes I'd ever seen or heard about from 1960 to 2010.

Indydebi has a photo of a very classic, traditional style cake on her tutorial, How to Cut a Wedding Cake:

My amazing and talented cousin in rural Kansas has made the classic/traditional style cake shown above for 30+ years and still makes them today. She does not tort her layers, use fondant, make any gum paste figures/flowers, or offer a variety of flavors. Her cakes are simple, traditional, affordable, tasty cakes.

In 2006 Ace of Cakes hit TV, followed by Cake Boss in 2009, and the caking world will never be the same.

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BakingIrene Posted 22 Sep 2012 , 11:53pm
post #6 of 9

The "standard" is a total of four inches high for all tiers except the top which is usually 3-3.5" high. So that means 3 cakes just over an inch deep, and I use 1/4" icing or ganache between layers. People have no trouble slicing these cakes. They look a little nicer in slices than the 2 layer version.

"Tall" cakes are the 3 (or more) 2" layers plus filling. I think these should be separated with cardboard supports in the middle of the height so that all slices are the same depth.

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TheSugarLab Posted 23 Sep 2012 , 3:28am
post #7 of 9

Thank you Apti for the great link! I tried searching for another thread on this topic but couldn't find one. That website in the other thread is fantastic for inspiration!

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Apti Posted 23 Sep 2012 , 4:15am
post #8 of 9

You are very welcome!

Recently I made a 10" x 4" round tier with Pastry Pride & lemon pudding mix "mousse". I torted it using my Agbay.

When I cut it at the BBQ party that afternoon, the slices were P....E....R...F...E..C..T.... (Of course, I did not have my camera...) icon_cry.gif

But the good news is that I have my Agbay and can do it again!

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niccicola Posted 23 Sep 2012 , 12:57pm
post #9 of 9


That's how my cakes look before putting any crumb coat, icing, fondant on the outside. They usually end up being about 5" tall. I bake 2 cakes in 3" tall pans. I trim them down which takes about 1/2" off (save it for cake pops) and then add 1/4" to 1/2" filling in between.

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