How Much Cake Do We Need? | Custom Wedding Cakes

January 22, 2018

Are you thinking, "How much cake do we really need?" It's such a common question that I thought it deserved it's own blog post.

There are many variations on this thought that range from "Do we need enough cake for everyone?" to "We're having about 150 guests, but want cake for only 50 guests" to "We just want something that we can cut and eat with our family. The guests will just have ________ (fill in the blank) for dessert provided by the venue." The reasoning behind these thoughts vary, too. Perhaps a couple attended a wedding or their friends/family/planner/venue/wedding forum told them that "no one" eats the cake or there was "tons" of cake leftover. It could also be a budgeting concern.

Whatever the source, let's discuss it.

Ultimately, the decision of the quantity of cake that you order is yours, as a couple, alone. However, after creating wedding cakes for the past 10 years, I can share with you what works and what needs rethinking. Incorporated into this article is a great deal of feedback from our clients and their wedding planners. This information is also offered with the idea that no one really wants to - or should - spend any more than necessary on any wedding item/vendor. So feel comfortable that this is article is unbiased.

If you're reading this and you who want to go all out and rock your cake flavors and servings or decide on a large-scale or luxury wedding cake, you may not need this information.

Are you having any other desserts?

This is the first question I respond with when asked about the quantity of cake. And by 'other desserts', I mean something more than chocolate-covered strawberries or cookies on the table.

No, we are not having any other desserts:

If you are not having other desserts, then the honest answer is that you should order cake for your guest count or at least 85-90% of your guest count. Why? Because the majority of guests will eat dessert on special occasions and do especially eat delicious cake. People eat food (including desserts) that taste good. And I have to assume that you're going to order a great-tasting wedding cake, whichever bakery you decided to use. So if you're ordering a significantly less number of servings than your guest count, think about this: "How do you decide who can have a slice of cake and who can't" Your guests put in a great deal of time and effort to share in your wedding day with you. Give them a piece of cake. Even if they're smaller slices. Don't leave your guests out of a delicious experience.

For those of you who are thinking about a small cake to cut and eat with your family and wedding party while the venue serves your guests ________ (fill in the blank, cheesecake is a popular offering) because it comes with your package: here again, try to think of your guests.

Wedding cake as we know it has been around since before the 18th century. The experience of partaking in the wedding cake is something that many guests look forward to. It is the one item in a decorated room that identifies the space as a wedding. Serving your guests something different or not having enough cake to go around can leave your guests with unintended feelings of disappointment. This I happen to know firsthand being the guest of several weddings and engagement parties where there wasn't enough cake to go around (not ours!) - or no cake at all.

One last thought: if you're having a cake that has multiple flavors, some of the guests will sneak a piece(s) of the other flavors. And if your cake tastes amazing, they should.

No, we are not having any other desserts and we have budget concerns:

Where there are budget concerns, the good news is that there are several options:

(1) Do ask your wedding cake baker for a smaller decorated cake, plus kitchen cakes (undecorated cakes that the venue's kitchen slices and serves to your guests). Kitchen cakes are quite less costly than a decorated tiered cake).

(2) Where there are extreme budget concerns, a 2-tier cake can be very beautiful. Otherwise, go for a single tier, which can be an equally gorgeous look, especially on a tall cake stand and artfully decorated cake table, along with kitchen cakes.

(3) Opt for a simply, decorated tiered cake, which is often less costly and add kitchen cakes, if necessary.

(4) Discuss with your wedding cake baker how small or thin the cake can be sliced. For instance, if you discuss a cake for 85, is it possible to cut the slices thinner to make 95 or 100 servings? Some bakeries may slightly oversize their cakes, so this could be very beneficial for your serving count. If you decide on this option, it is vital to convey this to your venue.

(5) Discuss with your fiance(e) whether there is a non-essential wedding something that you can forego and put that towards your cake. For example, my husband and I decided to forego the sushi station upgrade during the cocktail hour. The cost of the upgrade more than covered our wedding cake.

But "no one" eats the cake and/or there is always "a ton" of cake leftover:

For guests not to eat the cake and/or there is a ton of leftover cake, a few things may have happened: (1) the cake just didn't taste good. People don't eat things that taste bad; (2) the cake was cut/served too late in the evening and guests were leaving or had left; (3) cake was not cut correctly; (4) cake slices were located in an area where the guests are not (such as, placed on the guest tables when there is a dessert buffet or Venetian Hour (see below); (5) the cake was oversized (not necessarily a bad thing when the cake tastes delicious; you can purchase small slice boxes for your guests to take home or have it at the family brunch the next day).

Yes, we are having other desserts:

Many New Jersey wedding venues offer a Venetian hour, during which there are a multitude of dessert offerings (think an entire room full!) from pastries to S'mores stations to waffle bars to donut and ice cream stations, and beyond. Some engaged couples decide to have a smaller, dessert buffet table with several dessert options. If you're having either at your wedding, then likely you do not need to order a cake that will serve all of your guests, unless, of course, you want to or your cake design lends itself to the full quantity.

A fun option is to have several cake flavors to go along with the variety of dessert offerings.

In instances where there is a Venetian hour or dessert table, cake slices should be placed on the dessert tables and not on the guest tables. Why? Because the guests will then see the cake slices offered with the other desserts and make their choices from there.

In the end, I leave you with this one thought: if you are opting for a beautiful, custom wedding, be sure to have enough for your guests, even if it's a small slice. Again, I assume you've chosen the best tasting wedding cake. We all eat with our eyes. When something is beautiful, we want to be a part of it. This includes your cake and it's wonderful to share it.

Are you ready to rock your wedding cake? Contact us here!