Today’s lovely guest post, brought to us by Lisa Raffael of Delicious Desserts,  will de-mystify wedding cakes and answer all of your wedding cake questions! Enjoy:

You can have your cake and eat it, too! The big question is, how much cake? Here are some things to consider before deciding how much cake to order.

How Much Cake Do I Need?

Such a great question! I have yet to meet with a client who doesn’t ask. The answer depends upon how you’re serving your cake, and if it’s the only dessert. The (sad) truth is, not everyone eats cake. Think about it, you have your guests that just don’t eat dessert, then keep in mind your guests have just finished a huge dinner, and now they’re more than likely drinking. But you may still need to have cake for each guest. There are two common ways cakes are served, and which you chose will help determine how much cake you need.

Read the full post after the cut!

What are the Most Common Ways to Serve the Cake?

  • Cake Station: A Cake Station is when the venue cuts your cake and puts it out on a table and guests help themselves. With a cake station, you can definitely get away with less cake, but how much less depends upon your total count. You don’t want to cut it too close. If your wedding is over 150 guests, I would plan cake for 20% less. If your wedding is under 150, you might want to consider 15%. The smaller the wedding, the less “margin of error”. Also, when you have a smaller cake, let the baker know whether you want to save the top – it might effect the total number of servings.
  • Plated: Plated is when the cake is served to the guest at the end of the meal, to their table. Just as the salad and entrée. When plating the cake, you need one serving per guest.

How Many Flavors Can I Pick?

With a cake station, chosing two flavors works great because it is easy for your cake designer to create your layers so you have an equal number of servings of each flavor. The more flavors you pick, the less equal the servings of each flavor, since the bottom tier of your cake serves so many more slices than the second tier or middle tier. In other words, if you chose three flavors, you’ll get maybe 20 servings of one flavor, 40 of another, and 60 – 70 of yet another. (The top being saved, so that’s not usually taken into consideration).

I recommend one uniform flavor for your cake when plating it. Many people will say, “we’ll just alternate”. Not always easy. Cakes are generally served as they are cut, to speed things along, so waiting for the next tier to be cut can be time consuming. And, I often wonder, would you alternate the entrée and let people swap? Keep it simple. Same principles apply when I hear people say, “table 2 can get one flavor and table 7 can get another:”. I say keep it simple. And, believe it or not, it’s much easier for the wait staff. You want things to flow as quickly and uncomplicated as possible. When your guests start seeing different flavors, they’re going to track down someone to find them a certain flavor, taking the staff member away from serving, and getting your guests up on the dance floor.

Can I Save the Top?

Yes! Most bakers assume the top will be saved, but please let them know. It may make a difference to the final count.

How Many Tiers will my Cake be?

Cake Designers should be able to create a cake based on the number of tiers you want. That being said, it is hard to make cakes under 100 servings 4 tiers, but it is possible.

What About Fake Cakes to Save Money?

Believe it or not, this is not the case. The cost of wedding cakes is in the time to decorate, delivery and set up. And, Styrofoam is costly and difficult to work with. When you want a cake much larger than the total number of servings you need, Styrofoam may be an option. A better way to save money is a smaller display cake, with sheet cakes in the kitchen for cutting. (also called kitchen cakes, back up cakes, extra cakes).

Your cake designer is there to help you – don’t hesitate to ask them for input – that’s what we’re here for!

Award winning pastry chef Lisa Raffael, is a nationally recognized leader in custom cake design, and is known for her stunning, unique wedding cakes and elaborate specialty cakes. For more information about Delicious Desserts, please visit their Wedding Lovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website. You can also find Lisa on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.