Today I want to answer a question that people often ask me: how big should my cake be?
I usually answer candidly: it depends on the number of guests and on the size of the portions.
But in reality there are other things to consider.
Keep in mind that each tier of cake is usually made up of two sponges, so if we order a 8 inches three tier round cake, we will have a total of 6 sponges. This means that the cake will be tall and the portions will be much bigger than a cake of the same size, but in a single tier.
Another aspect to consider is that the cake is always a little bigger than the original measure when filled. Moreover, unless it is a naked cake, glazing will add more on its size - I usually put two layers of buttercream around the cake.
Many times I receive orders for cakes that are much bigger than needed, base on the number of guests, but the best way to stay on the budget you have is ordering the correct size.
So, what's the easiest way to calculate how big your cake should be? Here's the table I use:
4 inch (10 cm) = 4 servings
6 inch (15 cm) = 10-12 servings
8 inch ( 20 cm) = 20-24 servings
10 inch= 30 servings
These figures are based on a double sponge - usually 4 layers - cake. If you request a taller one, e.g. three sponges for a rainbow cake, the total number of servings will increase by around 50%.
So don't rely just on the circumference, height makes a big difference too!
Obviously at the end of the day, all depends on how big you want your servings to be: if you are planning to serve 2 portions to each guest, or you want to make bigger portions, then adjust the sizes accordingly.
That's all. I hope these suggestions will help you on choosing the perfect size for your needs.