As a baker, it’s so easy to be entirely focused on the design, taste, and texture of a cake. How will it look? Will the flavours complement each other? Will my cake turn out fluffy enough? These questions are all too common.
One thing that people sometimes leave as an afterthought, is getting the size of the cake just right. Obviously, you want every guest to get a nice piece of the cake. Another thing to think about is the cake presentation… In other words, the best way to cut and serve, in order to distribute your masterpiece easily.
After all, you don’t want to put in all that effort, present a beautiful, mouth-watering cake, only to run out of slices for guests at the event.
That’s why we’ve put together this Ultimate Cake Portion Guide (+ Infographic below). It contains all you need to know to get those cake portions just right. Read on, and you’ll have everything you need to bake the right size cake for the perfect number of portions, whether it’s for a wedding cake, a birthday cake or any other type of cake – no matter the size.
Wedding Cake Portions
A serving of a cake simply refers to the slice of cake you present to guests. A wedding cake slice tends to be of two standard sizes. Generally, the dimensions of a wedding cake slice are as follows: 4/5 inches tall (the height of the cake), 1 inch wide, and 1 inch deep. You may also see portions referred to as either ‘wedding’ or ‘finger’ portions for the smaller size and ‘party portions’ which are slightly larger at 2 inches deep.
Other Variations of Cake Portions
The number of cake servings the cake can be cut into will depend on several factors, and one of these is the height of the cake. For example, let’s say we have a 7-inch-tall layer cake – a lot taller than a standard wedding cake at around 4 inches tall. Thanks to their wow-factor aesthetic, tall, layered cakes have become increasingly popular. And cutting and serving this type of cake can be a bit more of a challenge. The right serving style here will depend on the number of cake layers used, the height of the cake layers, and the amount of buttercream between each layer.
Generally, if a cake is taller than 7 inches, it’s recommended to cut rectangular cake slices in either of the sizes mentioned above. Slices can then be cut in half horizontally. This doubles the cake portions so that every single slice creates two servings.
Standard layer cakes
Once you have an idea of the number of servings you need, you can figure out what size cake you should make. Unsurprisingly, non-tiered cakes are a lot easier to plan cake portions for. A single-tiered cake is generally ordered in smaller sizes, between 6” to 8” for example, and has a fairly standard number of servings, which varies depending on the shape of the cake. For instance, a square cake at 8 inches wide will have more servings than a round cake that’s 8 inches wide.
Multiple tiered cakes are ideal for feeding a larger number of people, as they give you much more variety and flexibility in the number of servings. Tiers that vary in size will produce different portions, which you will need to factor in when creating your cake design. For instance, a 4 tiered cake in a standard shape and size, for example, 10-inch, 8-inch, 6-inch, and 4-inch tiers, can generally feed around 75 people. However, a 4 tiered cake in a less standard size with tall tiers could feed a lot more.
Whilst choosing the right size for the tiered cake often depends mainly on the number of servings you need, other factors may come into play, too. Your decision can be influenced by the design. For instance, if you want to add extra decorations to your cake, you may need to leave extra space between each tier. Or the customer may want a cake that is much larger than the number of portions needed, in which case you could offer ‘dummy’ tiers so as not to have wasted cake.
All in all, the main things to keep in mind when designing the right size cake are planning and precision. Consider the number of guests when working out the tier sizes, and find out ahead of time how and when you or your customer wants to serve the cake and what size portions are needed, ensuring you’ve planned enough cake to provide for everyone. Precision when cutting also helps in slicing even cake portions, so that everyone at the party gets a taste of your delectable masterpiece.
For more information on what size cake to pick, check out our cake serving guide below: