Hey Fellow Decorators!
I was asked to make a cake later this Fall in October for a friends wedding and she requested it be enough to serve about 400 people.
The design is very simple (I’ll attach pics) but my main concern is figuring out how much cake and what sizes to do. The pictures below only show the cake as a 3-tier cake which makes me concerned because I’ve never done a cake this big before. She didn’t mention me making sheet cakes or even cupcakes for the back so I’m going with just the main cake here.
Any advice? I’d really appreciate it! Also, what would y’all say I charge for something like this? This will be made from home and from scratch so I’ll obviously incorporate materials and utilities from home into the cost but I want more opinions.
Also please note I’m not a beginner if I come across that way! I have done many cakes before and by “size” I mean for the serving amount! I’ve made dozens of cakes before but never for 400 people!
The cost of the two cakes will be quite different as one's just a semi-naked and the other has the fondant work involved.
Will the 400 guests be having dessert size portions or coffee size portions? This will determine how big your tier sizes need to be. I just posted a pic of the table I use to work out how big a cake I need to make in another thread... I'll find that....
I know there are other charts out there (Wilton/Earlene/etc) but this is the one I tend to use - works for me!
If your friend wants the look of a 3-tier cake then I would probably make tiers of 8", 10" and 12", and then have a separate kitchen cake to make up the other portions. Hope that helps! :)
So does she want the naked cake or the wrapped cake - or a mixture of the two? It would be a pretty major difference in price. Fondant cakes usually run about $.25 to $.75 more per slice than buttercream (or more) so you're looking at a significant difference.
You'll almost certainly have to do sheet cakes for that many people. A 16" base would only have 100 sevings and that's a very large tier. At least you have time to work this out with the bride, but I would do it as soon as possible and get it locked in before the wedding details get her too frazzled.
I know you said that the bride didn't say anything about having cupcakes or a sheet cake to supplement servings but that doesn't mean that can't be an option.
Or if this needs to be the only cake you could also suggest having multiple tiered cakes. Such as a main 5 tiered cake (14, 12, 10, 8, 6) and then two, two tiered cakes (12, 10, 8) on either side. Or you could do a double barrel with a tier on top to change up the shape/size a bit to give the whole set up a bit more interest (see pics below to get an idea of the set up I am talking about). Because in my opinion, if you are having a wedding with 400 guests you want a cake to match the size of your wedding. I personally think it would be odd to have a small 3 tiered cake when you are having such a large wedding.
@me_me1 She hasn’t chosen which design she officially wants but those were her ideas on the overall concept. Flowers would be provided by her florist so that part I’m not worrying about.
However, to answer your question about size slices that part is always hard because what I may consider a big slice or coffee slice may not be the same to them as I won’t be the one cutting and serving the end result. However, do you have an idea on what you may charge for let’s just say coffee slice portions for the 3-tiered (8, 10, 12) and extra back up cake?
@cakefan92 Again as mentioned above the bride hasn’t chosen an official idea for the design those were just her theme ideas. I’d obviously expect a chosen design before ever starting. Would you have an opinion on pricing for let’s just say a 3-tiered cake (8, 10, 12) and then an extra sheet cake or two as the extra servings?
@Freckles0829 Thanks for the pictures! That really helps. So let’s say I went with a similar design to the pink picture and did the main cake and two smaller tiered cakes on the sides...how much would you charge? Let’s say the 3-tiered is (8, 10, 12) and the 2-tiered are (10 & 12)?
Thanks all all for the replies! Let’s keep the discussion going as I’m assuming we all may have more questions and opinions to help! :D
So let’s say I went with a similar design to the pink picture and did the main cake and two smaller tiered cakes on the sides...how much would you charge? Let’s say the 3-tiered is (8, 10, 12) and the 2-tiered are (10 & 12)?
Stuck in box!
I would charge per serving. So if (and I am just throwing out random numbers here) you charge $4/slice and you are providing 400 servings you would charge $1600. Of course you would need to adjust your price per serving depending on the final design the bride chooses and if you are using buttercream vs fondant, etc.
Just an idea...depending how big you are wanting to go...we did a wedding for 500. Not everyone will eat cake, so remember that. You still want enough. We had 7 tiers and we did the base of 7 - 8'' rounds, sat the 18'' on top of the 8'' to have more stability, then 14, 12, 10, 8 and 6 . Make sure your support systems are spot on! We moved the cakes to venue 2 tiers at a time and constructed on site. We had to make a cake stand 36'' x 36'' case there were no cake stands to find that big and also had a table on locked wheels to move it when time came to cut.
For pricing we charged 6.50 a slice, we are custom and all scratch baking. It is a lot of work, stress (for me anyway) to construct something so large and get it somewhere in one piece! LOL. We found that making the 7 - 8'' gave us the slices we needed and helped with the support. Hope that may help a little