Cutting a cake can be confusing because people refer to “wedding” vs. “party” serving sizes, and there are multiple ways to cut cakes efficiently.
Because of that, cake serving charts can give very different counts as far as how many servings you get per tier.
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How big is a cake serving supposed to be?
The standard cake serving is supposed to be 1″x2″x the height of the cake (usually 4″) so that one serving is 8 cubic inches of cake. This serving size is the same whether you’re cutting the cake for a wedding or a party.
(As an aside, if you’re eating bigger pieces than that you’re having more than one serving, sorry.)
The problem with cake serving charts, though, is that different charts give you different serving counts.
The classic is the Wilton chart, but that doesn’t really give you 8 cubic inches of cake per serving. The most-used alternative is Earlene Moore’s chart, which does give you 8 cubic inches.
However…Most people cut wedding cakes smaller than Earlene’s chart dictates, and I’ve seen wedding cakes cut so thin the pieces about 1/2″ thick, not 1″.
Human error will play a part in the cake serving sizes!
I asked one guy at a venue where I was delivering how they cut the cake, and he said that they start on the smaller side, then wait to see how many people are coming to get a piece. If it isn’t many, they cut the pieces larger. If it’s a lot, they scale it down and cut them smaller.
Well, there goes any consistency. A lot of it is going to depend on who’s cutting the cake!
When I sold wedding cakes and did tasting appointments, I didn’t tell brides how many servings a cake would sell specifically, I gave a serving range.
Depending on how the venue cuts the cake, I tell the brides, this is how many servings you can expect to get out of it.
They can then decide if they want to go smaller or larger based on whether they’ll have other desserts, whether their guests are big cake eaters, etc., etc.
Wedding cake serving chart.
I put together a chart that has the high and the low end of the servings for different tier combinations.
I don’t know where the original chart came from, but I altered it to include some odd pan sizes and different tier combinations so that brides had a choice of sizes.
The low end is based on marking off 1″x2″ spaces on an actual cake pan, and the high end is based on Wilton.
You can see that the range is pretty wide for some tier combinations, so that’s why I give a range and let the bride decide. I apologize in advance for any math errors…If you find any let me know.
Keep in mind that this chart includes serving the top tier, so if the bride wants to save that you should subtract that from the guest servings.