portioning wedding cake

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by chameleonchef, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. chameleonchef


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    Hi everyone!

    I've been baking for a few years now, and have done a number of wedding cakes. I use the 'standard cutting rule' 1 inch wide by 2 inch deep by the height of the cake, to judge the size of cake that I need to make. I also include a cutting guide (as well as an ingredients list) for the staff at the reception location. I have heard from past clients that the cake had beencut in "see-through" slices, and that they had taken home over half of the cake the next day, even though most guests had been served cake.

    Yesterday I delivered a lovely two flavour cake sized to serve 115. ( Bottom was white/lemon mousse top two were triple chocolate mouse) Along with my standard cutting guide. The manager assured me the chef would recieve it blah...blah..blah....

    I arrived at midnight to pick up the cake stand ( prearranged with both the bride and the hall) to find the cake cut in teeny tiny slivers. only about a third of the bottom two layers were cut ( the bride was not keeping the top layer,opting for a fresh cake for her 1st anniversary) I counted 60 plates on the buffet, plus ones that guests had already taken. the pieces were 1/3 or 1/4 of an inch. absolutely pathetic. The bride was taking it all is stride ( as I mention this problem to all by brides....) and joked that this way her guests could have 4 or 5 pieces with out feeling guilty. I gave her a few quick tips on wrapping and freezing the cake ( small usable portions, no more than a couple of months (real butter in the cake and buttercream))

    I also had a cake for 175 at a large chain hotel barely even be touched, as the staff never informed anyone ( DJ, MC, Bride...) that the cake had been cut and ready to serve at midnight, many guests had already left, but the rest were all on the dance floor at the far end of the ballroom, and the room closed at 1am.
    I arrived at their home the next day to serve a brunch to find 15 cake boxes ( 15!!!) with sliced cake in each. For a brunch with 50 guests everyone had dessert and were delighted them with tin foil swans ( and some ducks) with slices to take home.

    So, does anyone else have these problems?

    and how do I tell staff at reception site how to do "their job"?

    I can't wait until next week....its a cup cake wedding! no portioning required!!!

  2. lotuscakestudio


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    I'm sure this happens more than I'm aware. Only once did I do a cake where I was also a guest at the reception and got to see how the cake was cut. I saw the caterer give out "slivers" of cake so there was a TON left over: a 1/2 sheet kitchen cake as well as one of the tiers. I tried to find a nice way to bring it up to the owner. I said, "Wow, there is so much cake left! I guess most of the guests didn't show?" He said, "No, she booked for 150. I counted 146 tonight. You just made a lot of cake!" Granted I didn't give him a cake cutting guide, but that just showed me that that's how they normally cut the cake!

    I think the only thing we can really do is offer cake cutting charts and explain, "[name of bride] and I discussed the portion size that she wants and it's all right here on this chart". If you want to play it safe, have them sign that they received the cake and initial that they received the cake cutting guide. So if you get any brides who complain that "there wasn't enough cake and it was cut so small", you can provide proof that you took care of things on your end.