Kitchen Cake Question

Business By AmberDSouthard Updated 17 Jul 2015 , 2:27am by AmberDSouthard

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AmberDSouthard Posted 15 Jul 2015 , 8:03pm
post #1 of 14

I apologize if this is not the proper forum for this question but I am making my first wedding cake in September. It will be a three tier white cake (12" 9" 6") with a thin buttercream icing covered in white fondant and real flowers. Is it absolutely necessary to make a kitchen cake for serving or is the wedding cake itself all I need. There will be a small grooms cake as well and about 100 guests. Thanks!

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craftybanana2 Posted 15 Jul 2015 , 8:26pm
post #2 of 14
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AmberDSouthard Posted 15 Jul 2015 , 8:28pm
post #3 of 14

Thank you :)

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-K8memphis Posted 15 Jul 2015 , 8:45pm
post #4 of 14

the person cutting/serving the cake will control the amount of servings so as long as they go with the industry standard listed in those charts you will be fine --

but you also want to determine if the bride wants to serve both bride's and groom's cakes to their guests or if the groom's is just for the lucky few to get seconds because if cut according to the chart crafty posted (and it's a great chart) your bride cake will serve 100 so..

best to you

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AmberDSouthard Posted 15 Jul 2015 , 10:49pm
post #5 of 14

Thank you so much :)

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Apti Posted 16 Jul 2015 , 2:46pm
post #6 of 14

Although the excellent chart referenced above by Craftybanana is used as the standard in the USA baking industry for servings per cake, it takes knowledge and practice to actually GET the number of recommended servings. 

Will you be cutting and plating the cake slices?   Will a professional at the venue with cake/cutting/plating experience be cutting the cake and charging for the service?   Will an aunt or cousin or mom of the bride be cutting and serving?   Depending on who will be cutting the cake, you could end up with 50 servings or 100 servings.   Additionally, I strongly suggest you make a 6"x4" round cake and try to get 12 servings out of the cake!

Here are two resources that can be utilized to help newbies to professionals get the recommended number of servings per cake.  The link on how to make a fake slice of cake is superb!  I suggest you copy these, assemble the fake cake slice, and provide them along with the cake for the wedding.  I also suggest that you practice cutting and serving (you will not be sorry!).  Good luck.

HOW TO CUT A WEDDING CAKE   (I tend to use a pancake type spatula and/or gloved hands instead of the cake comb)  

Sample Cake Serving Sizes -- made of Paper or Cardstock

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-K8memphis Posted 16 Jul 2015 , 3:16pm
post #7 of 14

and as apti so aptly :) points out -- cutting/serving is a whole 'nuther ball game which leads to another crucial element (just in general) wedding cake needs to slice and serve perfectly to get those servings and if it doesn't -- say for example you've got a carrot cake with gooey cream cheese filling, nuts and raisins -- you need to allow for the fact that that cake will not serve nice 1x2x4 inch servings know what i mean? you need to allow more servings --

and the cutter has to keep the cutting/serving utensils clean -- a build up will cause cake to crumble and many servings can be lost --

not to mention i usually provide about 10% more servings than they order -- i make them give me a number -- i help them determine it but they decide what they want to pay for then i add the 10% to the servings not to the price -- i don't even mention it -- it's just insurance for both of us --

so i rambled a bit...i'm not as apt as apti :)

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AmberDSouthard Posted 16 Jul 2015 , 3:22pm
post #8 of 14

LOL! Thank you both, super helpful! Cutting and serving is definitely not as easy as you would think. I have studied the charts yet when it came to cutting and serving a birthday cake last week it was a disaster! 

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Apti Posted 16 Jul 2015 , 9:38pm
post #9 of 14

K8--you never ramble!  I LOVE to hear the voice of talent and experience when you post.  If you were nearby, I'd beg to come over and help with the yucky stuff like clean-up just so I could see how quickly and efficiently you make and decorate cakes.    (I take forever.)

OK, now I'm going to ramble....    Amber--I've been hobby baking since 2010 and I wasn't able to get the exact number of recommended servings according to the Wilton chart until I made a 12x4 square buttercream cake, with a matching "kitchen cake", for a Pastor's retirement party.   I made the cake in February 2015.  Yup, 5 years.   Although square cakes are harder to make and decorate, they are way easier to cut and plate.

Nobody who decorates cakes has any idea of the skills and logistics involved in seamless, correct, cutting, plating and serving.   I'm always telling people:  Make practice cakes and cut and plate those cakes at home!  [You can give the cut pieces to neighbors/family//wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for future desserts.]  Time yourself when you do this on a small round cake, a large round cake, and a square cake.  You'll be amazed at the mess and how long it takes. 

Pretend there are 30-100 people impatiently standing in line for a piece of cake and watching you.  Many  times, cakes are cut where they are placed, instead of being removed to a kitchen when you can throw crumbs and frosting everywhere, including your eyes, hair, innocent by-standers, the floor, walls, .....).  Additionally, IF the cake is stacked, you have to allow time to unstack it, and make room for the tiers. 

I have a "war chest" when I'm cutting:

I always bring my own 8" or 10" scalloped, new, bread knife from the Dollar Store in case they don't have a knife.  

I bring a bag with small paper plates, Dollar Store plastic forks, pre-separated paper towels, 2 damp paper towels in a zip-lock bag, 3 pairs of food-safe gloves and a clean, nice apron.


Arrange ahead-of-time for 1 to 2 helpers to hand me the plates, put on the forks, and take the cake to the diners or ask young people to help (they love to help with this part!). 

Pre-separate the paper plates so that they are slightly offset in a stack and can easily and quickly be grabbed with one hand and are not going to stick together.   Same with forks, and napkins.

Have 2 cardboard boxes under the table, one for trash, and another one for cake pieces like dowels, plastic plates, etc. that you will want returned to you after the cake is cut.  

Have a container of super-hot (not  boiling) water to rinse cutting knife between cuts. 

Have a stack of pre-separated paper towels (with a roll on standby) that you can grab, swipe the knife, and throw away in the trash box mentioned above.

Have room to place at least 10 plates with the cake/fork until helper can take the pieces to diners and make more room.

I also bring 3 new bakery boxes as a courtesy.  One can be used for any fondant or plastic decorations that you give to the family.  If they don't want them, just pitch, no harm done.   The other two boxes are for leftover cake that can be taken home by the family or given out to friends. 

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AmberDSouthard Posted 16 Jul 2015 , 11:11pm
post #10 of 14

Wow, Apti you are a pro! I never would have thought of about 99% of what you listed! I definitely have a lot to learn, I have been doing this for less than a year. I am for sure going to practice, practice, practice. Thank you for all the great advice!!!

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Apti Posted 17 Jul 2015 , 12:05am
post #11 of 14

You are most welcome!  I love to pass on some help to other newbies since I received SO much help from other bakers like K8memphis and Indydebi when I was starting out.

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AmberDSouthard Posted 17 Jul 2015 , 12:53am
post #12 of 14

They have both helped me as well! I would be lost without you wonderful ladies :)

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Singerssoul Posted 17 Jul 2015 , 2:01am
post #13 of 14

I also use indydeby's cake cutting guide (I include it for the wedding party, especially when it is a non-venue wedding and a relative is cutting).  To see it in action, try this video:

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AmberDSouthard Posted 17 Jul 2015 , 2:27am
post #14 of 14

Awesome Singerssoul, very helpful!

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