How many pieces of dessert?

Joined Jun 28, 2017
Hi, this is my first time posting on cheftalk.

I have been asked by a friend to cater for her upcoming birthday party in a "high tea" manner, except with only sweets. She will be making the appetizers where I'm less capable while I will be making all the desserts (my specialty).

She's expecting around 30~ or more people to be present with a mixture of children and adults.

I have a lot of ideas as to what to make, like mini tarts, macarons, small cakes, mousse cups, choux pastry etc. but don't know how many of each to make. 

In total, I'm thinking that each person will have 7-10 individual pieces of food on average, but don't know if that's correct. In your experience, how much food should I make in preparation fora group of 30~ people?

Joined May 5, 2010
Welcome to ChefTalk.....

A little more information would help direct you in the right direction.

What time of day?

Inside or outside

3-5 pieces is about right and with that you'll have leftovers.
Joined Jun 27, 2012
As chefross chefross mentioned more info equals better advice.

A room full of 8-10 tops with each table having a tiered pastry stand or a more informal buffet set up with some seating around the perimeter of the room?
Will the savory bites come before your sweets or will everything be done at one time?
How large will the plates be?
Is it a big deal if she runs out of food?

These fiddly events drive me nuts.....


Speaking of nuts..... if it is an informal stand up and wander the room buffet, some pretty bowls filled with nuts and pastel party mints scattered around the room is a nice well as a buffer just in case you do run low on your count lol.

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Joined Jun 27, 2012
An 8 inch cake with simple but pretty decos (piped pastel flowers comes to mind) is a nice touch and handy to have around for extras just in case.
No need for candles ( in my case the flames would trip the overhead shower lol ;-)
If portioned using the standard Wilton chart for an 8 inch round you should get 26-30 servings....altho IMO more like 20.

Joined Jun 28, 2017

Thanks for the quick replies.

It's being held both inside and outside where people will be able to go out and about into her backyard (which is huge btw) while also walk inside. There will be seats both inside and outside.

It's going to start at noon.

We're thinking of putting out the savories first, then taking out the plates of dessert.

She wants to make sure that there is enough food. She would rather there be extra than not enough (if theres left over they can take it home).

Joined Jun 27, 2012
I know you did not ask but as you have thrown yourself upon the mercy of the pro catering forum members.....
You did not say but it would be helpful to know what her savories will be especially since this affair is to include time generally allotted to an actual meal.
So more of a luncheon than a tea unless maybe it is an open house?

Traditional high tea includes substantial dishes like a casserole or even a roast carved ala minute with a few sides then cleared from the buffet and the table(s) then redressed for the cakes and other sweet delicacies and tea.

If you would rather I kept my opinions to myself...
Unknown number of apps for lunch?
I would increase the pieces of sweets to 5-7 (more of a wild guess than professional answer).

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