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Author Topic: How many cakes will I need?  (Read 9425 times)

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How many cakes will I need?
« on: January 10, 2007, 03:31:19 AM »
My boyfriend and I are hosting his 50th birthday party and I'm making the sweets.  The only problem is I've never done anything like this before and have no idea how much I should make.  Is there a rule of thumb, say 1 cake for every 4 guests or something?  Thanks for the help.

OK, to clarify because I wasn't initially very clear...
We're starting off with a BBQ and salads.  I am baking everything for dessert - trifle, tiramasu, cheesecake, spongecake etc.  There will be no bakeries involved!  The Birthday Cake, by my BF's request, will be a sticky date pudding.  It will form part of the dessert buffet.  I'm trying to work out whether one of each will be adequate, or whether I need to make two.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 09:29:11 PM by Musicwoman »
Changing the Thank You note at a time.


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Re: How many cakes will I need?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007, 03:43:40 AM »
It would depend on the size of, and reason for, the cake/s.  Are you talking about the main birthday cake?  If so, and from someone who currently has a house full of half eaten birthday cakes, not everyone will want cake.  If the cake is going to be only one of the desserts then it doesn't need to be big enough for everyone to have a slice as some people will decline for whatever reason and others will be quite happy to have the other desserts.

If the cakes in question are to be part of a buffet of desserts then 2 or 3 of dinner plate size should suffice as long as there are other things too, eg. fruit salad, trifle, pavlova etc.  If you are also providing a main meal or finger food beforehand then people are likely to be filled up on that also.

Hope that helps!


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Re: How many cakes will I need?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2007, 03:59:46 AM »
There are 12-15 servings in a standard 9x13  1/4 sheet cake if you cut 3 along the 9 inch side and 4 or 5 along the 13 inch side.  A two-layer 8 or 9 inch round will also yield about the same number of servings.  I'm not sure where you live but cupcakes are very popular right now and easy to serve.  You'll get 18-24 cupcakes out of a standard cake mix.

Round cakes are easier to serve if you put the knife perpendicular to the cake, 2-3 inches in from the edge. Cut a quarter circle around the middle. Then slice in from the edge. After you remove 3 slices, cut another 1/4 of the inner circle, and slice in again.  Follow this procedure until you have a small circle of cake in the middle. The small circle can be quartered.  Now it might look easier to just cut the entire inner circle first, but don't do it.  Cutting the inner circle one quarter at a time gives the last slices something to hold on to so they don't fall away and leave you with messy hunks of cake.

Hope this helps.


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Re: How many cakes will I need?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 09:00:57 AM »
I"m not ready to debut the entire new section of Ehell but having just partially finished the "Cakes" section, I think you might find the information helpful.

The articles discuss how to cut cakes to get the proper number of servings, how to determine how many servings on cake pan size, etc.  Just be forewarned if you do purchase a cake from a bakery to ask what size the servings are.   A Wilton cake pan serving for a round cake is something like 1/2"x3X3 and for a rectangular cake, it's 1.5x2".   I've seen too many people buy a cake they are told serves xx number of people, they cut it in huge pieces and then can't figure out why they did not have enough cake. 


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Re: How many cakes will I need?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 09:18:41 AM »
And then you have bakeries like Charm City, where they claim it feeds 12 - 15, but 24 people later, you still have half a cake left!  ;D


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Re: How many cakes will I need?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2007, 01:54:28 AM »
If you use a 9 x 13 x 2 cake pan use 1 & 1/2 recipies of batter, either from scratch or a mix.  This amount of batter will ensure you get a better rectangle to frost.  If the cake rises above the rim it's easy to run a long blade knife across the top to flatten it.  You'll have a nice, generous piece to serve.

If you're using 8 x 2 rounds, such as Wilton makes, one recipe will adequately fill the 2 pans.  Add 1/2 recipe for every 2 inch increase in pan diameter eg: 10" pan one recipe per layer, 12" pan 1 1/2 recipes per layer etc.


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Re: How many cakes will I need?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2007, 10:53:21 AM »
It depends on the diameter of your cakes. Generally, an 8 inch round cake will feed about 12 to 15 people. For more information, see the cutting charts at
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