Understanding cake serving slices. How your cake will be cut.

We receive calls and email all the time inquiring about cakes.  And most often the first question asked is:

“How much are your cakes?”  That question is a little hard to answer without asking quite a few more questions.  The price depends on a number of factors:  How many guests are you serving?  This is the main factor!  And the one we talk most about below. 

Most cakes are sized on the number of servings.  That determines the diameter of the tiers and how many tiers you will need.  Once the basic size and shape is in place, the second most important cost factor is how you want the cake to look.

The most common pricing you will receive is a price per serving.  The key here is…  how many servings is your cake designer telling you are in a specific tier.  And how large is that serving?  Serving charts are readily available on the internet.   You might want to verify which if any serving chart they are basing their price.  Most catering companies that have been in business for years tend to cut the cakes like the chart below.   So for a ten inch tier you may have 38 servings.  If you need more or less, you can always instruct them to cut the cake slices a little larger or smaller.

circular wedding cake cutting guide
Our favorite way to cut a wedding cake tier is the chart below.  Basically you are cutting slices 2″ x 1″ x 4″ (or 5 depending on the height of the tiers) .  This is the most user friendly way to slice a cake for DIY weddings.  Keep in mind, that cake slice sizes will vary depending on who is cutting the cake.   A cake that on paper says it will serve 38, may not, depending on how the cake is cut.  Even if a cake designer gives you the number of servings… ask about the size of the tiers… and keep in mind,  you might be serving the top tier, but it is included in the price. The sizes are actually quite large, the featured photo at the top is with us cutting one of our tasting cakes in this manner.  We love it because your slices look the same.  And they really showcase the layers of each piece.   We will sell a cake to you that we say serves 75 (plus the 8 servings from the top tier) that will be a 12-9-6 inch tiered cake. Those little “corner” pieces are just added to the piece beside it.   The top of course is not included in the servings.  The chart below will tell you that a 12-9-6 will serve 100.   So as you can see, there can be a fairly large gap in pricing if you price by the slice.

Here is a very popular cake cutting guide.   We’ve never actually got that many servings from the tiers… some of those slices are very small and mostly buttercream.  But they are there if you have small children or guests that “just want a bite”.  All of this factors into the true price of the cake.  We will tell you the size of the tiers we are quoting, and give  you a “cake price”.  You can convert that into the number of servings you need and figure out that cost per serving for comparison for all of your quotes.  This will give you a true cost. And again, remember the anniversary tier.  Those are still servings although you will not be serving it.  The chart below includes two options for sizes.  The larger slice might be for a party cake, or torte.  A cake that is not 4-5 inches tall.  So you need a large piece.

wilton cake cutting guideIn some circumstances you might buy servings you don’t need just to get the size of the cake that you want.   This happens quite frequently with smaller weddings.   We will sometimes offer a faux tier to help with the cost, so you get your three tier cake for 20 guests without breaking the bank. So you can have a wedding cake that actually looks like a wedding cake.

At …just simply delicious we offer a set price per cake.  Our quotes are complete with the cost of the cake, suggestions if applicable, delivery, stand rental and tax.  We treat each as a project.  I suppose you can back out a price per serving if that helps compare our work to other bakers. But since there are so many different ways to slice a cake, we just give you a total price.

We will be adding more information at time goes on to help with budgeting and cake costing.  Including ways to save.  So stay tuned.  I hope this helps!