How Big Should My Wedding Cake Be?

Is this one of those questions that has woken you up in the middle of the night during your wedding planning nightmares? Well fear not, my top tips and table will help you calculate how big your wedding cake should be so you’ll know exactly what to ask your wedding cake designer for and ensure everyone has their cake and eats it!

Here are my top tips to getting your perfectly sized wedding cake.

Photo by Stephen Walker Photography

Standard wedding cakes quotes are based on round cakes.

Round wedding cakes are the most common choice, often set as default a wedding cake designer will calculate and price up a round wedding cake when you enquire about yours. So, if you want a square wedding cake or any other shaped cake you’ll need to check with your wedding cake designer on how this effects the portion numbers and price.

Expect to cater for 75-100% of your evening guest numbers.

It’s true, not everyone likes cake, so my general advice is not to over cater on cake quantities. Sure, some people will avoid indulging no matter how good it looks, but don’t forget, we all know there’ll be a guest or two that will eat more than one slice of wedding cake! However, there are two exceptions for this rule:

  1. If you are boxing your wedding cake up to hand out at the end of the night you will need to ensure you have at least enough for your guests so that no one goes home empty handed.

  2. If you are keeping your top tier (as per the old wedding tradition), and still want to cater for the majority of your guests you may need to increase the sizes of the tiers you want to serve.

Photo by Maya Kemp Photography

Each tier is measured in inches.

When you receive your wedding cake quote you’ll likely start seeing measurements on it. Round tiers are measured in inches across the diameter of the cake. It is simply because this is how cake tins are measured so your wedding cake baker knows how big to bake your sponge. If you know what size you want each tier before you contact your wedding cake designer then let them know so they can provide your quote even quicker.

Check the size of your wedding cake stand.

You might not have a cake stand sorted yet, or you might be using one at your venue (it’s often part of the wedding package or open for negotiation). If you are having a bigger wedding and the bottom tier of your cake is bigger than 12” it might be worth checking the size of the wedding cake stand you intend to use. Most cakes will be on a board 2” bigger than the size of the bottom tier. So for a cake where the bottom tier is 12”, the stand will need to be at least 14” across in diameter.

Know the portion sizes.

Wedding cakes aren’t cut into triangles or wedges like we might cut a Victoria sponge on a Saturday afternoon, they are calculated and cut into ‘fingers’. All Ella Rose Cakes are delivered with cutting guides for your caterers and event managers, they provide instructions to cut the required number of portions, each approx. 2cm x 2cm. The height of each slice will vary depending on how many layers are in each tier. Ella Rose Cakes are always baked with three layers of sponge in each tier, but some wedding cake makers may opt for two or four layers.

Wedding Cake Hack #1: You want a small cake on display but need to feed a lot of people? Have a large plain iced cake kept safely in the kitchen at your venue to be served to all your guests -they'll never work out how you fed so many people with such a small cake!

When it comes to your dream wedding cake, here is the only guide you need. Based on some standard size wedding guest numbers I’ve calculated the actual portions you’d get based on a wedding cake with 1-5 tiers! Go ahead and save it to Pinterest, print and stick it in your wedding planner or screen shot it and save it on your phone!

Photo by Luna Weddings Photography
Wedding Cake Hack #2: You want a dramatic cake but your wedding isn’t that big? Consider a dummy cake tier or two, they are made of polystyrene but can be iced in fondant to look like the real thing without anyone knowing the difference!

The good news is, no matter what your guest numbers, you have the option for 2, 3, 4 or more tiers – whatever your cake dreams desire. And more good news…you don’t have to do the maths! Your wedding cake designer should be able to advise on the right size tiers for your wedding size.

So don’t stress, keep calm and eat cake.

I love talking all things cake so if you have questions about sizes, shapes or samples please contact me today for a quote or to book a tasting!

- Ella