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What Size Cake Do I Need For My Party?

Most of us don't buy a celebration cake everyday. So we start regretting saying : "Don't worry I'll sort the cake", especially when it comes to deciding how big a cake to get. Too small, and god forbid Granny-Booth didn't get a slice of cake. Too much and huge junks of stale sponge get thrown in to the bin at the end of the evening to cries of: " What a waste I knew she'd ordered too big a cake".

Two things to remember when deciding on the size; there has to be enough for people to have a taste and secondly the cake has to 'look' right and create the desired visual impression. If the event warrants it you may want a huge cake knowing that it won't all get eaten. Or you may want a cake as a token gesture as you are eating a three course meal including desserts and the cake is more for show.

Getting the right sized cake is not an exact science but there are a few simple guidelines that will help you. If you are planning the cake to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of your local rugby club with 50 strapping rugby players, the likelihood is that you can double the 'usual' portion size; they will need something to soak up all that beer!

If you are planning a cake for 20 hyperactive 4 year olds, then halve the 'usual' portion size, anyway it will be less to clean up when one of the little darlings is sick overyour best party dress.

So what is a 'usual' portion? Very good question, ask 5 different cake companies and you will get 5 different answers. At Londoncakes.com we have been using 2 inches square per person (5cm by 5cm) for over a decade and this seems to give people what they want.

These guidelines are based on a light sponge cake, for a heavy fruit cake you will need significantly less cake.

Follow the table below and you won't go far wrong:

Cake Size
10 inch square 25cmx25cm 25 big eaters 40 small eaters
12 inch square 30cmx30cm 36 big eaters 60 small eaters
14 inch square 35cmx35cm 50 big eaters 80 small eaters
16 inch square 40cmx40cm 65 big eaters 100 small eaters
18 inch square 45cmx40cm 90 big eaters 140 small eaters
For round cakes reduce the "eaters" figures by 25%.
Unless you have a protractor and laser cutting equipment, round cakes are notoriously difficult to divide up, stick to square cakes if possible.

If maths was never your best subject and a year or two has passed since you didalgebra, don't panic most bakers and cake decorators have these figures to hand, so help is only a call or an e-mail away.

Now you have decided on the size of cake all you have to sort is :
  • The flavours
  • The design
  • The colours
  • The message
  • Storage
  • How to get it to the party
Perhaps next time you won't be as quick to say, "I will sort the cake"!

Alternatively........cheat! Call someone like Londoncakes.com who do this every minute of the day and can guide you in seconds. If you really want to make life easy, we offer a cake delivery service and you can have the cake sent directly to the party....

Though we would rather you tell everyone that you ordered the birthday cake from Londoncakes.com, you could try the: "I have always liked cake-making and I had a few hours spare " routine....

Just make sure you keep a straight face and don't get future orders.