What size wedding cake do I need?

It’s a seemingly straightforward question: what size should my wedding cake be? Yet, there are so many factors to consider before making a final decision, everything from what size portions you will be serving to how many guests will be attending your wedding.

“There is no right or wrong answer to that question,” says Maria Mendonca from Sydney-based cake makers Casa Del who, during their 17 years in business, have created more than 5000 wedding cakes. “There are just too many variables on the couple’s side, including whether you’ll be serving guests seconds or not – and, then, so many size and tier options and combinations on your wedding cake maker’s side.”

Though Maria suggests the only way to ensure you’re 100 per cent certain of your options – and what the final result will look (and taste) like – is to visit your cake maker in person, there are some basic guidelines you can follow.

Maria says that “every cake maker has different standard tier sizes but, generally, they’re measures in inches and described in tiers.”

So, a 6 X 9 X 12 (pronounced 6 by 9 by 12) refers to a three tiered cake (as there are three numbers), the top tier measuring 6 inches wide, the second tier measuring 9 inches wide and the third one measuring 12 inches wide.

“Our standard tier height is 3 inches high, but for some vendors it may be 4 inches high, so be sure to ask your cake maker what their standard cake height is,” adds Maria who says the 6 X 9 X 12 cake is Casa Del’s most ordered three-tier wedding cake and serves about 200 finger-size slices.

For other vendors, a basic three-tier cake could be, for example, 8 X 8 X 12.

Another option is to stick with three tiers, but vary the width and height of the tiers because, says Maria “many couples want a cake that looks tall and slim rather than short and fat.

As such, Maria suggests a 5 X 7 X 10 cake at a height of four inches per tier.

“The trend, at the moment is to make the tiers higher and more narrow. That way, the cake looks a lot taller, it will have more impact in the venue and it will also have a lot more ‘wow’ factor.

“It will cost about the same and serves about the same number of people, but the slices are longer and the cake, as a whole, looks a a lot bigger.”

what size wedding cake should I have

Maria says Casa Del’s most popular two-tier cake is a 7 X 10, two-tier cake with tiers 4 inches in height.  It serves about 140 pieces.

So, taking all that into consideration, here are Maria’s suggestions for what size wedding cake you should order according to how many guests you have – and what portion size you will be serving them.

Most wedding cakes are served in sizes of one or two fingers.


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What size wedding cake should I have for:

14 – 25 guests

Tiers: 1
Width: 10 inches
Height: 3 inches
Portion size: 2 fingers

25 – 30 guests

Tiers: 1
Width: 10 inches
Height: 3 inches
Portion size: 1 finger

30 – 60 guests

Tiers: 2
Width: (7 X 10)
Height: 3 inches
Portion size: 1 finger

60 – 120 guests

Tiers: 2
Width: (9 X 12)
Height: 3 inches
Portion size: 1 finger

120 – 190 guests

Tiers: 3
Width: (6 X 9 X 12)
Height: 3 inches
Portion size: 2 fingers

180 – 250 guests

Tiers: 3
Width: (6 X 9 X 12)
Height: 3 inches
Portion size: 1- 2 fingers (depending on whether your wedding cake is square rather than round)

“Remember,” says Maria, “your servings figures will vary markedly depending on how your wedding venue cuts the cake – and their definition of a one or two-finger slice – as well as whether your cake is round or square.

“You’ll get more pieces out of a square cake as there are no rounded corners that are difficult to serve neatly.”

Still looking for a wedding cake? Start here… 

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