Piece of Cake: DIY Cake Sizes & Slices
For many brides, a caterer will take the guesswork out of determining how much cake will feed your guests. But what if a friend or family member is baking your cake? Or you’ve even decided to tackle the cake yourself? How do you know how much cake to bake?
Take a look at your guest list. While it’s recommended to have one serving of cake per guest, some couples will assume that not everyone will want cake and underestimate how much is needed. However, if everyone does want cake, you’ll risk running out. It’s always better to have a few slices leftover (who doesn't like extra cake?). If you’re having 250 guests, aim for 255-260 servings of cake.
A traditional wedding cake slice is 1-inch x 2-inches x 4-inches. This is smaller than a piece of cake you might get at an office or birthday party, but is appropriate for weddings, especially if there are other desserts offered.
After you’ve decided how many servings you’ll need, you then need to decide on the shape of your cake and the pans you want to use. Remember, a square tier will typically yield more than a round or other shaped tier. A 12-inch x 12-inch square tier will give you approximately 72 “standard” servings, and a 12-inch round tier will give you approximately 54.
For example, if want 255-260 servings, you could use the following combination of pans:
1 16-inch round tier = approx. 96 servings
1 14-inch round tier = approx. 74 servings
1 12-inch round tier = approx. 54 servings
1 10-inch round tier = approx. 36 servings
Total servings = 260
1 16-inch square tier = approx. 128 servings
1 14-inch square tier = approx. 98 servings
1 8-inch square tier = approx. 32 servings
Total servings = 258
There are many online guides to see how to cut different shaped wedding cakes, but I like Wilton’s online Wedding Cake Cutting Guide because it gives you more than just round and square tier examples.
If you have other desserts at the wedding, the standard size slice is appropriate. If the cake is your only dessert, you may want to cut the slices a little bigger. Remember to make sure the person cutting the cake knows exactly what you want. If you plan to have standard cake slices and the person in charge cuts them twice as big, you will only end up with half as many slices as you planned for!
Having someone handle the baking, presenting and cutting of your cake can be a great relief on your wedding day, but if you’re determined to DIY, ask a friend or family member to help out on the day of so you can truly be the guest of honor at your wedding.