Food and Cakes

How Much Dessert Do We Really Need?

Quick question!  We are having a bunch of kinds of dessert. Like 4 flavours of cupcakes, and 5 flavours of mini pies, plus krumkake (cookies) and kransekake (Scandinavian wedding cake). Our wedding is going to be 50-60 people.  Do we really need enough of every single item that each guest can have one?  Because that is a lot of dessert. Like 200 cupcakes alone seems really excessive.  Right now we are planning 20-25 of each kind of item. More for popular flavours (apple pie, chocolate cupcakes). Is that ok?

Re: How Much Dessert Do We Really Need?

  • edited May 17




    Quick question!  We are having a bunch of kinds of dessert. Like 4 flavours of cupcakes, and 5 flavours of mini pies, plus krumkake (cookies) and kransekake (Scandinavian wedding cake). Our wedding is going to be 50-60 people.  Do we really need enough of every single item that each guest can have one?  Because that is a lot of dessert. Like 200 cupcakes alone seems really excessive.  Right now we are planning 20-25 of each kind of item. More for popular flavours (apple pie, chocolate cupcakes). Is that ok?




    Contrary to the recent thread in etiquette re. this issue, I do not agree that you need enough of each flavor for each guest (e.g. 4 cupcake flavors x 50 people = 200 cupcakes; 5 mini pie flavors x 50 = 250 mini pies; 50 cookies, 50 servings of cake). That's 550 servings of dessert for 50 people. Some of whom may not even eat dessert. 

    It's ok to have more of the popular flavors/dessert types and less of the unpopular flavors/dessert types. Keep in mind that many people prefer wedding cake at a wedding.
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    kwiksilverOurWildKingdom








  • Quick question!  We are having a bunch of kinds of dessert. Like 4 flavours of cupcakes, and 5 flavours of mini pies, plus krumkake (cookies) and kransekake (Scandinavian wedding cake). Our wedding is going to be 50-60 people.  Do we really need enough of every single item that each guest can have one?  Because that is a lot of dessert. Like 200 cupcakes alone seems really excessive.  Right now we are planning 20-25 of each kind of item. More for popular flavours (apple pie, chocolate cupcakes). Is that ok?






    Contrary to the recent thread in etiquette re. this issue, I do not agree that you need enough of each flavor for each guest (e.g. 4 cupcake flavors x 50 people = 200 cupcakes; 5 mini pie flavors x 50 = 250 mini pies; 50 cookies, 50 servings of cake). That's 550 servings of dessert for 50 people. Some of whom may not even eat dessert. 

    It's ok to have more of the popular flavors/dessert types and less of the unpopular flavors/dessert types. Keep in mind that many people prefer wedding cake at a wedding.


    That was the thread that got me thinking :)

    Thanks for the advice!  I don't know how many people will eat the cake, as it's really more of a chewy almond cookie type thing. But we will definitely have enough for most people to try it if they like.  That's why we went with cupcakes and pies as the primary desserts. 
    OurWildKingdom

  • geebee908 said:

    The difference between apps and desserts is portion size. If you're offering a full dessert portion (like one regular cupcake) you don't need one of each offering per person. But if your desserts were more of a tasting size, then you'd want to have closer to one per person as people will take more than one.


    Thank you!  I just wanted to make super sure I made the right call 
  • Definitely don't need one of everything and also you just don't need this much variety. IIRC you're self catering in a remote location? Cupcakes or pies. 1 or 2 flavors. 


  • Definitely don't need one of everything and also you just don't need this much variety. IIRC you're self catering in a remote location? Cupcakes or pies. 1 or 2 flavors. 


    Oh I know we don't *need* that many varieties, but dessert is my favourite thing LOL and I am an avid baker. Almost all of the things are already made and frozen, I just wanted to make sure I didn't need to make more. 
    OurWildKingdomSTARMOON44Australian_girl_in_Paris
  • I would also suggest maybe more of the items people don't normally have, like your Scandinavian cakes. People may want to sample them since it's something new, even if they don't usually have dessert! 
    OurWildKingdomsouthernbelle0915


  • I would also suggest maybe more of the items people don't normally have, like your Scandinavian cakes. People may want to sample them since it's something new, even if they don't usually have dessert! 


    Yes!  We made more than enough of the special cookies, because I want everyone to try them. And I'm planning to make 2 of the cakes because they are actually better if you freeze them for a while after baking, so that makes it easier. With 2 there should be more than enough to go around. Thanks for mentioning it :)
    ahoyweddingSP29
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited May 19
    Roughly three desserts per person is a good average to make for a dessert buffet.  200 cupcakes with additional desserts would be obsessive IMO.  OTOH, over the course of the evening to have options to snack by is a good idea.  I'd go for 120 cupcakes, then roughly 30 pieces of pie (small portion, not full slice), 50 of each of the rest...  These also wouldn't need to be large portioned, they can be smaller portions!!
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  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited May 20
    You don't need one of each flavor, but you do need to plan that everyone will probably try at least everything once - some might go for seconds, some won't.  That's generally where the 1.5 per person rule comes from (and that's by type, not flavor - so let's say you were doing JUST cupcakes.  You have 100 people, you should have 150 cupcakes and you can divide that between two or three flavors - so 50 vanilla, 50 chocolate, and 50 lemon.  You don't need 150 vanilla, 150 chocolate, and 150 lemon.  However, the more varieties you have, the odds are of people wanting to try more than one flavor and that's when you might up your counts to say 1.75 to 2.0 cupcakes per person).  Now, the general rule of thumb is if you're serving more than one type of item in the same category (i.e. cupcakes and pie) is that you can generally bring your counts down on say the cupcakes if they are your main dessert from 1.5 to 1.25 or 1.0 per person since you'll have additional desserts.  So for you, you would need 50-75 cupcakes total, not 200.


    So yeah, I guess I'm not sure where the one of each flavor thing came from since I don't read the threads here that often, but that's not correct.  It's one per person of an item, not necessarily a flavor.

    As for actual numbers for your situation, I think more detail is needed.  What is the main dessert?  Are you serving a full meal in addition to this or your reception a dessert buffet only?  Will the desserts be out and available for the full evening or put away at some point (i.e. if after dancing will they still be out and available for people to have a snack with a cup of coffee?).  Will you have to-go boxes and bags available for people to pack some up?

    I always err on the side of too much than not enough.  For sure 1 serving per person of the main dessert.  If you're not serving a main dessert with the meal and just letting people have at the table, then I'd for sure have 1 per person of whatever you think is likely to be the most popular eaten as the main dessert and expect that over the course of the night people will probably have 2-3 different desserts, whether that's an extra cupcake or trying a slice of cake, some pie, and a few cookies later with coffee.
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