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Food and Cakes

So many dessert questions

Good morning, everyone.

FH and I have met with one baker who makes amazing 4-layer cakes with 3 layers of filling. She would make a single tier, 8 inch cake for us to cut, a 1/4 sheet cake of the same cake (still 4 layers with the exact same fillings and frosting as the one we are cutting) and a 1/4 sheet of chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting to serve the guests. She said each 1/4 sheet is 55 servings and plus the single tier it is 136 total servings. All of this is built around our estimate of about 100 guests and is flexible. Is this okay or do we need to have 100 slices of each flavor?

I have also been emailing a lady who would do less impressive cake and other dessert options, like chocolate espresso cheesecake and mini pies or other fruit based dessert.

My questions are about portions. I think we will definitely go with the first "4layer" lady but if it is in budget to have the other lady just do the non-cake desserts. Would you use the 2.5 bites per person that caterers use for apps? Is that total or per dessert (do we need 250 total bites or 250 of each option)? Would you include the cake in the 2.5? My FMIL and best girlfriend both said they are pretty Meh on cake but are excited at the idea of cheesecake. (Though best girlfriend said she appreciates the fruit option and would probably go with that since she is fairly health conscious)

I know nobody will bitch if there is only cake but if we can swing the extra I would like to.

So please, Questions/Comments/Concerns?

Re: So many dessert questions

  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I assume the first cake is a vanilla base? You didn't say.

    I think it's fine to do a half/half chocolate/vanilla, and have total slices match your guest list. With 136 slices I think you will have enough variety for your 100 guests. For example, my grandpa won't eat chocolate cake (I know, weird :P), but with 136 total slices, there is enough extra that him getting a piece of vanilla shouldn't be an issue.

    I think the separate desserts are nice, if you have the budget, but not required. I would do these as an extra to your cake. I don't really understand the 2.5 bites thing. I would assume these second desserts are mini, thus one per person.  I would look at each guest having a piece of cake, plus 1-2 desserts each. I don't think you necessarily need 100 cheesecakes, 100 mini pies, 100 fruit cups, but should include extras so that guests can pick 1-2 of each.

    Myself, I would eat the cake, definitely a mini-pie and cheesecake. Ok, I might have one of everything, but only if the reception was several hours, and I'd eat one at a time throughout the night, if there were leftovers ;).

    I do like the idea of having options, such as the fruit cup, for those who are diabetic or have dairy or gluten allergies.

    At our wedding, dessert was included with the meal. There was a option of a fruit cup for those with dietary issues. Then we served cupcakes later in the evening. We ordered 100 cupcakes (half chocolate, half vanilla) for 72 guests. Lots left over.


  • Thanks @SP29. I had heard the 2.5 bites/pieces thing about passed appetizers and I wasn't sure if the same applied to buffet tables. 

    You are correct on all assumptions. It is a vanilla cake and the other desserts would be minis. We would cut the cake after dinner and have everything layed out on a table so guests could self-serve throughout the night. Our flowers are coming in under budget so I am hoping we slurge a little here. 

    Do you think 65 of each additional dessert would be sufficient or should I get a quote for 80 each?
    OurWildKingdom
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I agree with going with at least one cake slice per person. I wouldn't necessarily go with 2.5 bites of the others per person. If you decide not to do the extra desserts, get extra cake since some people would want to taste both flavors.
    OurWildKingdom
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Thanks @SP29. I had heard the 2.5 bites/pieces thing about passed appetizers and I wasn't sure if the same applied to buffet tables. 

    You are correct on all assumptions. It is a vanilla cake and the other desserts would be minis. We would cut the cake after dinner and have everything layed out on a table so guests could self-serve throughout the night. Our flowers are coming in under budget so I am hoping we slurge a little here. 

    Do you think 65 of each additional dessert would be sufficient or should I get a quote for 80 each?
    65 of each is probably fine, perhaps up it to 70 if you can. That would allow each guest to pick 2 of the mini desserts, if they wanted.
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 2016

    First - most bakers out there WILL NOT allow you to use a second baker without prior approval. It's cheap, it's a liability risk, and can potentially damage their business reputation.  That said - always ask! You never know when they're willing to work with you - both of our bakers did because our wedding was 400 guests it was too much for them to do all of the table cakes and the centerpiece - which wasn't getting served to the masses - this is the reason they approved eachother but otherwise it was both their policy to never deliver a cake to an event where another baker's product was present. (ETA: This was in the contract of every baker we met with and posted clearly on their websites - having many baker friends - this is very common in the industry!)

    IMO - go with the baker who has the yummiest product for everything.  People can be "meh" for an option - until they get a dessert that they bite into and it's mouth-watering food-gasm in their mouth.  Good tasting food gets eaten!  With dessert you're better off to order more than enough than not enough so 135 servings sounds good for 100 guests - No one ever complains about getting a second piece or larger portion of dessert but I've been the guest at least four times where the couple didn't order nearly enough dessert and I've gotten nothing and guess what detail I remember most about their weddings... 

    One last thing - before you talk to vendors you NEED to do your IN REAL LIFE guest list - write it out with names/SO/add-ons.  You don't want to be talking to vendors with estimates for 100 people when your IRL list is closer to two or even 120.   

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    OurWildKingdom
  • MesmrEwe said:

    First - most bakers out there WILL NOT allow you to use a second baker without prior approval. It's cheap, it's a liability risk, and can potentially damage their business reputation.  That said - always ask! You never know when they're willing to work with you - both of our bakers did because our wedding was 400 guests it was too much for them to do all of the table cakes and the centerpiece - which wasn't getting served to the masses - this is the reason they approved eachother but otherwise it was both their policy to never deliver a cake to an event where another baker's product was present.

    IMO - go with the baker who has the yummiest product for everything.  People can be "meh" for an option - until they get a dessert that they bite into and it's mouth-watering food-gasm in their mouth.  Good tasting food gets eaten!  With dessert you're better off to order more than enough than not enough so 135 servings sounds good for 100 guests - No one ever complains about getting a second piece or larger portion of dessert but I've been the guest at least four times where the couple didn't order nearly enough dessert and I've gotten nothing and guess what detail I remember most about their weddings... 

    One last thing - before you talk to vendors you NEED to do your IN REAL LIFE guest list - write it out with names/SO/add-ons.  You don't want to be talking to vendors with estimates for 100 people when your IRL list is closer to two or even 120.   

    Don't worry, we have an IRL list. It includes all SOs, children, and +1s for all guests not currently in relationships. Our wedding is out of town for everyone. The closest guest is a hour away, then 5 hours, everyone else requires air travel. We are very upfront with vendors about how many people we are inviting and we make sure they know the numbers could vary greatly, but most likely be lower. They give us a per person price but I used 100 for easy math. She said if more people come we can add a tier or move up to 1/2 a sheet cake. 

    Good call on her not wanting another baker though, I will inquire about that before moving forward. 
  • everything sounds good to me, I just had one question. Is the serving size on the cake the same regardless of if it comes from the sheet cake or the cutting cake?
  • kvruns said:
    everything sounds good to me, I just had one question. Is the serving size on the cake the same regardless of if it comes from the sheet cake or the cutting cake?
    Odd as it sounds - this is a VITAL question to ask!!!  DH's cousin didn't and thought they were "saving" $.25/guest on cake by going with the baker's "sheet cakes" only the portion difference for that $.25 was going from a 4-layer filled 1x2x5 slice to a 1.5x1.5x1.5" slice of "kiddie cake" from an aluminum pan...  For $25 they could have served everyone a real slice of cake instead of POing those of us chosen to get the kiddie cake portion...
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  • MesmrEwe said:
    kvruns said:
    everything sounds good to me, I just had one question. Is the serving size on the cake the same regardless of if it comes from the sheet cake or the cutting cake?
    Odd as it sounds - this is a VITAL question to ask!!!  DH's cousin didn't and thought they were "saving" $.25/guest on cake by going with the baker's "sheet cakes" only the portion difference for that $.25 was going from a 4-layer filled 1x2x5 slice to a 1.5x1.5x1.5" slice of "kiddie cake" from an aluminum pan...  For $25 they could have served everyone a real slice of cake instead of POing those of us chosen to get the kiddie cake portion...
    @kvruns while I am not 100% about the size of wedge vs. the size of square, I imagine the baker is pretty good at making each serving equal. 

    @MesmrEwe the sheet cake will be exactly the same as the cutting cake except in shape. Same amount of layers, same fillings and frosting. We aren't doing it to save money, it is for the convenience of cutting the cake and having it immediately available for people to eat.
    MesmrEwe
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