How Much Cake for a Wedding – Finding the Perfect Portion Balance

When it comes to planning your wedding cake, one of the most common hurdles is determining the right size. Many assume that they need a slice of cake for every guest attending, but the truth is, you don’t. Believe it or not, there are people who don’t like cake or any desserts at all. But that’s not the only reason why you won’t need a slice for every guest. Let’s delve into why you don’t need as much cake as you might think and how to realistically plan for the size of your wedding cake.

Do I Need a Slice of Cake for Each Guest?

In 99.9% of cases, the answer is no. Most weddings today feature catered affairs that include a separate dessert course in the menu. This means that the wedding cake is often served as part of an evening buffet, alongside other sweet and savory items. By the time the cake is served, some guests with young children may have left, while others might feel full from the dinner. There are also those who will be too busy enjoying the festivities on the dance floor to notice the buffet. Not to mention the guests who prefer savory options over sweet treats. In light of this, I always suggest that couples plan for the cake to serve approximately 60-70% of the guests. And if you’re incorporating other sweet items into your buffet, you may even need fewer portions. However, if you plan to serve the cake as the dessert course itself, then it’s advisable to have a slice for each guest.

Wanting a Large Cake without Excessive Portions

It’s quite common for couples to desire a large, impressive cake even if they don’t need that many portions. If you’ve always dreamt of having a grand wedding cake but only require a small number of servings, there’s no need to worry. You can still have your magnificent cake and eat it too! Perhaps you want the cake to serve as a centerpiece or focal point, or maybe you’ve chosen a grand venue with high ceilings where a small cake might look out of place. Whatever the reason, you can incorporate false tiers into the cake to add height without increasing the number of portions. Polystyrene dummies are used as substitutes for actual cake tiers and are decorated to match the rest of the cake. To the naked eye, the cake looks completely real, and your guests will be none the wiser. Just be sure to inform the caterers about which tiers are real, so they don’t attempt to cut into a dummy tier.

Preventing Food Waste

Food waste is a saddening issue, and it’s essential to minimize it whenever possible. I always encourage couples to plan to serve 60-70% of their guests and to carefully consider the other food items they’re offering. If you’re providing more than the standard three-course meal, such as four or five courses, along with an evening buffet, the likelihood of each guest indulging in everything offered is relatively low. Some couples enjoy having leftover cake, as they plan to offer it as a tea time treat to family members the next day, extending the celebratory vibes beyond the wedding day. You can also encourage your guests to take home leftover items by providing lovely takeaway boxes at the buffet. If you find yourself with completely uncut tiers remaining, consider donating those cakes to local homeless shelters. Additionally, instruct your catering staff to cut the cake slowly and only replenish slices when they appear to be running out. This way, any leftover cake remains fresh and can be easily gifted.

Final Thoughts

Though it may seem counterintuitive, I always strive to be honest with my couples about their cake needs. It’s crucial not to sell anyone more cake than they actually need or want. No one wants to hear that an entire tier of cake was thrown away because it was cut and left uneaten. Therefore, I work closely with my couples to ensure they end up with the perfect amount of cake for their specific requirements.

Remember, your wedding cake should not only be visually stunning but also a delightful treat for your guests. By carefully considering the number of portions needed and planning accordingly, you can strike the perfect balance between having a beautiful cake and preventing unnecessary food waste.

Wishing you a wonderful wedding filled with love and delicious cake!

Cake Baker