If I had it my way, we would've had endless flavors of cake at my wedding, enough varieties to cover a table with creative confections. But as that would have been a bit extreme and unnecessary, my sweet tooth settled for a smaller, yet still tasty, treat. One cake or 100, we still had to figure out just how much was needed for our guests, and for this simple yet super important question, we have Lisa of Delicious Desserts. From slicing to serving, tips on flavors to counting the tiers, we have all the essentials below!
DO I NEED A SLICE OF CAKE FOR EACH GUEST?
Not everyone eats cake! I hear it all the time and it's so true! So when figuring out your quantity, the first thing to consider is...
HOW IS YOUR CAKE BEING SERVED?
Most venues offer two options: by the slice, as they would serve any other course, or at a dessert table, usually served along with coffee, and guests are able to help themselves at their leisure.
If you are going the slice route, and “serving and plating” the cake, then yes, you need a piece of cake for each and every guest, whether they eat it or not. Just like any other course. If you are “stationing” your cake, great news! You do not need a slice for each guest, since not everyone will eat the cake.
HOW MUCH CAKE IF DOING A CAKE STATION?
Spend some time thinking about your guests - you know them best. Are they big dessert eaters? Generally speaking though, serving for 20% less of your actual count works well.
HOW MANY TIERS SHOULD MY CAKE BE?
Every baker is a little different, but there are charts that help us determine how many slices per tier: 100 servings = 3 tiers, 150 servings = 4 tiers, 200 servings = a bigger 4-tiered cake!
WHAT ABOUT SHEET CAKES?
Sheet cakes for larger guest amounts are a great option, for a few important reasons. You want your cake to at least look like it will serve the total amount of guests at your reception. If you need 200 servings, doing a 4-tiered cake with an extra “back up” cake works great! Your cake looks like it will serve 200 people, but the venue or caterer can get a jump start on cake cutting, AND it could save you money.
Depending upon the total number of servings you need, and of course, the cost of your cake, doing a smaller cake and a back up cake does not always save a huge amount of money. Your decorated cake will cost more than the “back up cakes.” Have your baker “run” the numbers, and in the scope of wedding cost, sometimes the extra money to do a larger cake is money well spent. Trust your baker!
HOW MANY DIFFERENT FLAVORS CAN I CHOSE?
If doing a cake station, it’s great to offer choices. Guests can pick, and couples will take one of each flavor and share most of the time. Keep in mind though, each tier of the cake serves a different amount of cake, so choosing a different flavor for each tier doesn’t always serve the purpose, since you’ll get 15 slices of one flavor from one of the smaller tiers, and potentially 50 slices of another flavor from the bottom tier. It’s best to choose two different flavors for the most part, since it’s easier for your baker to provide equal servings of each flavor.
If serving and plating the cake to each one of your guests, it’s best to keep the same flavor of cake throughout, so everyone gets the same piece of cake. My advice is to keep it simple.
WILL I HAVE ENOUGH TO SAVE THE TOP TIER FOR MY FIRST ANNIVERSARY?
You should! Make sure your baker knows you intend to save the top tier!
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