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Topic: First wedding Cake - height of each tier???
Nataliexo 03/15/2010 1:52 PM
Here we are. My first wedding cake order! It's for a friend as well
It's for the end of July.

She showed me a picture of how she wants it to look like
She also showed me the colour she wants it in.
(I'll attach it)
With the flowers, she will supply real live flowers which we will put on at the hall.

she needs about (she said as of now, 275 people have confirmed)
300 slices! (so much for an EASY first wedding cake..)
Since she wants it in hexagon shape, I'm buying the wilton pan set.
The problem is, those are 6, 9, 12, 15 in. pans.
And that only makes 147 servings, according to the wilton website.
SO, I am making that 6,9,12,15 cake as the main one, with two smaller 6,9,12 inch cakes (same design, maybe a few less flowers so it is visible that they are not the main cake)


Does anyone know how tall each tier should be? For other cakes, I make them 2-3" high, depending on the size of the pan.
I'm guessing around 4"? Or is that too tall? The pans are 2 inches tall so I'll just bake double layers to make one tier.

Does anyone know how many cake mixes / cups of cake batter I will require for each size tier? (I know the wilton website has approximate numbers but they seem not too good, considering mine will be multiple layers (buttercream, peaches, and buttercream again)

any suggestions on flowers? They are supplying fresh orchids which I will place on the cake when I assemble it, on site.

Next, does anyone know how long this will take me? The weddings on Saturday, I was thinking of starting it Wednesday. It'll be the summer so I won't have to do anything since I have no school.
PLAN: (wedsneday bake them all, and if have time, level, fill, and possible make all the icings or whatnot) (thursday: Crumb coat, fondant as many as I can do in the whole day)
(Friday: fondant them (if not yet done) as well as decorate the cake (put dots on)

**I will assemble it ON SITE, on saturday, so don't need to worry about flowers until then**

Does that leave me with enough time?

With pricing, I'm guessing the cake materials/ingredients will cost me close to or over 100 dollars
She asked me how much I charge,
but since I only do this because I enjoy it, I told her materials only. She then told me to get her a list of how much it cost me/a list of what to buy (I'm just giivng her costs, I'd rather buy the stuff myself). She said she would "pay for my work too". It doesn't matter for me how much I get I just hope it all turns out!

tortnaya 03/16/2010 10:33 AM
I can not answer all of your questions. But I can start ;-)

* Usually the height of a wedding cake tier is 4" (a little bit higher when finished with icing on it). Each tier is usually made up of two layers with filling or just icing inbetween. So you will need to bake two of 2" high layers for each tier. If using a filling, remember to build a damn with a thick icing ring along the edge of bottom layer. It will contain your filling and not let it sip into the sides of your cake.
* Since you have figured out taht you will not have enough servings out of the cake you have pans for, I would still just go on with it to simplify your life and make what you can with your pans allowing. The rest of the servings you can make up for by making a large sheet cake (they call it kitchen cake <--- for cutting only, not for display) or you could make up a couple-few of 8" double layer satellite cakes matching the main wedding cake in design. Since she is getting her cake from you for "a song and a dance" -- if I were you -- I would make it an enjoyable and stress-free experince for YOU. So make the cake taht you are set up for to make, and make simple additions for the remaining servings to be accomodated.
* Be careful with fresh flowers on cake! Some flowers are toxic or they may have toxins on them taht could make people sick when they come in contact with food. Use the freshest flowers possible. Make sure your fresh flowers have been in water with flower food (with stems cut off by at least 1 inch before submerging into water) for at least 24 hrs before you use them. This will keep them lasting through the event. AND your stems need to be isolated from the food before inserting them into cake. E.g.: insert stems into drinking staws first and then squirt some icing into the bottom of the straws to make a plug so that flowers and cake do not touch. It would be nice to lift the petals off the cake with something as well.

Well, that's a start. Good luck! ;-) I am sure someone else will help you with further suggestions shortly.
Cheers! ;-)
cakes06 03/16/2010 1:39 PM
I would suggest doing a 16" square bottom tier for 128 servings, then build up with the hexes, 12,9 and 6 for another 68 servings (not including the top tier). So far, this will give you 198 servings. You could then make two 12" hex satellite cakes for each side of the main cake for another 96 servings and now you're at 294 servings which would be close enough. Not everyone eats cake anyway. I've attached a pic of a three tiered with a round bottom tier and two hex satellites to help give you a visual. The other idea of having kitchen cakes is good too. You would need two half sheets. When you decide on sizes, then I can tell you how many cake mixes you will need. I'm in agreement with what tortnaya said in her reply.

On your timeline, if you can possible bake and freeze the cakes, that's the way to go. If you try to bake on the Wed. before, plus make frosting, fill and crumbcoat and do fondant, all before Sat., plan to not sleep much. I bake a week ahead, sometimes two and double wrap the cakes for in the freezer. That's a huge time saver. Then, on Thurs. before the wedding, they come out, get filled and crumbcoated, loosely wrapped in plastic wrap and are put in the frig. to thaw gradually. Then on Friday, the final coat of frosting goes on and side decorations, dowelling etc. gets done. Then, they're kept in the frig as separate tiers until delivery and assembled at the venue, finishing up the borders etc. I'm fortunate to have the freezer/frig room for all this and realize that alot of people don't. In that case, I would probably follow the timeline you suggested. More questions, please feel free to email me. Dana
cakes06 03/16/2010 8:42 PM
OOPS! I forgot to attach that picture. Here it is.
tortnaya 03/16/2010 9:09 PM
Dana, that cake is so beautiful!!! I Love seeing your work. ;-) And I love gerbera daisies, and fall colors are my favorite. And I am still struggling with icing anything taht is not round. So basically that cake stole my heart!
cakes06 03/16/2010 11:45 PM
Thankyou so much for the nice comment. It isn't exactly what Natalie was talking about but hope it can give her a little perspective.
katebaking 04/14/2014 1:15 PM
I know this discussion was started a while ago but even now for future reference I think this will be helpful. Go to and use their "cake tier combinations" calculator. You can play around with cake shapes, depths against portion sizes to get the best cake for the job. I find this a great tool to use with customers so they can actually visualize and see how their cake will look and how many servings it will produce. Often brides/grooms have a wedding cake in mind but haven't consider how to portion the cake so they have enough or aren't left with too much. Hope this helps :-)
cakes06 04/14/2014 7:31 PM
This is a great site. Thanks for sharing it. I would suggest that you post it new in the wedding section and even in the general section. There's alot of valuable information in there.
katebaking 04/15/2014 8:49 AM
I'm so glad I came across it and i think every baker needs to know about it. I use it all the time now. Their apps are brilliant to take out and about with you :-)