Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Can Sheet Cake Help Cut Time and Costs of Traditional Cake?


I'm looking for some suggestions on how to trim the cost of cake at our wedding as well as time to cut it and serve it.

I'm having several kinds of sweets at my wedding reception, but we will also have a cake. We didn't initially budget a ton on cake because we wanted to spend more on some of the other sweets we're offering that are more important to us... We had actually only planned on a small cake that would only serve a few, but have decided to have enough cake for all in addition to other desserts. That being said, we now think we need to get a bigger cake than we planned on, but trying to think of ways to make it fit into the budget a little better. Additionally, the catering team is small, so I don't want them spending a ton of time during the reception cutting cake when they need to be manning food, etc. (We are planning to cut the cake shortly after the meal is served rather than waiting until the end of the reception to do that.)

My mom suggested that we have a small, beautiful cake made to put on display with our other desserts and for cutting (and would serve several), but then order large sheet cakes for serving the masses that can be cut before the reception even starts and are plated and ready to serve right after we do the cake cutting. We had planned on a rather simple, traditional wedding cake flavor anyway, so ordering a sheet cake wouldn't be an issue in that regard. 

Has anyone done something similar to this, been to a wedding where they did something similar, or have some other suggestions for us to consider? Not sure that I want to do cupcakes because our dessert table will already be pretty full, but I'm open to suggestions!

Re: Can Sheet Cake Help Cut Time and Costs of Traditional Cake?

  • Yup I did this. He cakes were from the same baker (so same quality) but just a different size/shape. I doubt anyone knew the difference. 
  • The sheet cake idea totally makes sense!  As long as it's the same quality/flavor you're good. The variety of desserts sound amazing- enjoy! 
  • My daughter did this at her wedding.  It was fine.
  • I'm a little nervous about the idea of cutting it before your reception even starts? Does this involve plating it too? That might make for some stale cake. Otherwise, as long as what you're cutting is also what you're serving, you are good.
  • Yes, it's fine to have a small cake to cut and sheet cake in the back - as long as it's the same kind of cake. 

    In terms of when the catering team cuts the cake, I would leave that up to them. Just give them a timeline of when you want to serve dinner and when you want to cut the cake - their profession is managing and staffing that, so let them do their job. 

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Serving cut sheet cakes to the guests is fine, as long as the quality is the same or better than the cake you cut.

    I'd just tell the caterers when you would like to have dinner served and do the cake cutting, and let them work around that.
  • Sheet cakes are totally fine (and sometimes better than fancy cake), as long as they're the same quality as the cake you cut.

    I don't know if cutting the cake before dinner starts is a good idea, it might dry out. What kind of meal are you having? (Buffet, plated, etc) They should be able to work around your time frame as long as you tell them while you're in the planning stages. 

    Also, some guests see cake cutting as the sign that it's okay to leave. Just something to keep in mind if you were wanting everyone to dance & hang out for a while after dinner.
  • Having cut a number of wedding cakes...  Yes to the "Kitchen Cakes" (i.e. cake of identical quality layers and filling as the cake out front that all guests are served the same portion of cake)..  Make sure to go over this detail with your baker because some define "Sheet Cake" differently!  Some make a more squat filled layer of cake for their "sheet cakes", some it's just one layer of cake with icing,  and some use disposable aluminum pans as their "sheet cake", some it's just a rectangle or square cake exactly the same as the display cake.  You HAVE to ask and clarify so what shows up treats all guests equally on their portion/quality of cake.  (and yes, I've got a horror story from DH's cousin's wedding to match WHY..)

    In theory it saves time because if you forget or as you're doing your cutting/pictures, they're hauling sliced cakes out of the kitchen and placing in front of your guests.  Even if the slices were placed immediately out before your guests sit down to eat dinner, there wouldn't be enough time for the cake to really dry out.  It takes the same amount of time to cut that number of portions of cake this just lets them get started sooner than they otherwise would.  

    Whatever you do, ALL portions of cake MUST be of the same portion/quality level.  It's rude to serve some guests filled multi-layer cake and others less than a half-portion piece of cake.  "All guests treated equal, no better no worse"...  
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  • We're actually having a brunch! So the reception won't be quite as long as a regular dinner reception. As soon as everyone has been served brunch (buffet style) we're doing toasts, cutting the cake and starting dancing!
  • I still vote you cut a big cinnamon roll. I think it would be adorable
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Sheet cake is fine. Also, cupcakes would eliminate the need for cutting. They could be put out with the other desserts and guests could help themselves.
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I still vote you cut a big cinnamon roll. I think it would be adorable
    I actually know someone who did this! They had cinnamon rolls instead of cake. The MOG and MOB both made some. One of them made some of them in three or four different sized round pans so they could be stacked like a layer cake! Very neat and different. 

    You can find pictures if you google "cinnamon roll wedding cake."

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