This is one of the questions I get asked the most! How much wedding cake do we need to feed our guests? Here’s a little guide to help you out.
A good rule of thumb is to estimate about one slice per guest. However, this depends on how big or small you want your slices to be and how many other dessert options you’ll have at your wedding. If you’re planning on having a lot of other sweets or will be cutting and serving the cake later in the evening, I usually advise catering for around 75% of your guest numbers, or if it will be served as the dessert course as part of the wedding breakfast you will need a slice for each guest.
My standard “finger slice” is 1″ by 1″ by at least 5″ tall, so ideal as a small sweet treat. If you want your guests to have a more substantial pudding, then you can up this to a “dessert slice” which is double the size (please let your cake maker know you are serving it as dessert so they can recommend the correct size for you!).
Some couples also choose to have a tier to take home, which may mean having a slightly larger cake. Traditionally the top tier was kept for a future baby’s christening, which back when wedding cakes used to be all rich fruit cake could be kept for several months after the wedding. These days most cakes are sponge based and don’t have a long shelf life, but couples can share that tier with friends and family who didn’t attend the wedding or can be frozen and then defrosted to enjoy with a glass of something sparkling once the wedding photos are received.
In terms of the number of tiers needed this is actually quite flexible as you could opt for tall double barrel tiers in your design. Personally, I recommend the following for my couples…
Under 30 guests – a single tier
30-45 – a small 2 tier
50-65 – a small 3 tier
70-100 – a standard size 3 tier
110-130 – a standard size 4 tier
140 – 170– a large 4 tier
200 plus – a 5 tier plus kitchen cakes if more portions are needed
If you are still unsure, most cake makers will be more than happy to chat through your options with you and help you figure out exactly what you need. And remember, it’s always better to have too much cake than not enough!