Cake Tiers: A Guide on How Many Cake Tiers to Get

Cake Tiers: A Guide on How Many Cake Tiers to Get

Tiered cakes are gorgeous centerpieces, sculptures in pastry and icing. The traditional tier wedding cake in the movies always have at least three tiers, sometimes as many as five or six. The tradition of tiered wedding cakes comes from an old nuptial tradition where the bride and groom are challenged to kiss over the tallest cake their baker can make. If they successfully smooch without toppling the cake, their marriage is blessed with good luck.

These days, we don't kiss over the cakes but we do love a good show. The question is how much cake should you get? How many tiers is enough cake for your guests or too much for leftovers? How many tiers can your budget cover? How many tiers do you absolutely need to make your special day complete? Don't forget you can have a single tier too!

Today's spotlight is a complete guide on how many cake tiers to order.


Cake Tiers and Serving Sizes

  • 12-inch Cake Tier: 40-60 Servings
  • 10-inch Cake Tier: 30-40 Servings
  • 8-inch Cake Tier: 20-25 Servings
  • 6-inch Cake Tier: 10 Servings

Calculate the number of cake servings created by the size of each tier (cake layer) of your cake. The average 12" wedding cake serves 40-60 people. The 10" cake on top of that serves 30-40 people and the 8" cake on top of that serves 20-25 people. So a classic 3-tier cake with 12, 10, and 8 inch layers serves about 100 people. Narrower cakes will be smaller, more affordable, and serve fewer people. Pillar cake tiers can be the exact same height as long as they have structured supports. Depending on the bakery, you can ask for different sizes as well, such as the 9-inch cake.

Choosing Your Tiered Cake Cost

Pick your cake budget and plan to stay within it. When it comes to tiered cakes, this can be surprisingly challenging. Nothing racks up the price of your cake like extra tiers. Why? That's a whole lot of extra cake to bake, stack, and decorate! Every tier takes more time to decorate, more support to build, and more cake-mass to complete. A tall tiered cake can stack your costs along with your layers of cake, but there are also a ton of tricks to make your cake tall and beautiful without an oversized price.


The Cake of Your Dreams

How many tiers do you need for your cake to feel "right"? For many, a wedding wouldn't be complete without an elaborate tiered cake as the centerpiece of your reception dinner. If you need a tall cake with a lot of cake layers, but have a small guest list, consider a thinner cake on platform tiers. If what you want is surface decorations, consider a broader two-tiered cake with a cascade design. Do you want a flowing wrap of flowers or multiple levels of miniature scenery in icing? Your cake vision will also help you decide how many tiers to order.

Tiered Cake Tricks

So what can you do if your guest list or your budget doesn't quite fit your vision for a dramatic multi-tiered cake? We know the tricks! There are three fun ways to make your cake taller and more elegant without all that extra cake.

Dummy Cake Tiers

We love dummy cake tiers, also known as tiers on cake boards, because they give a smart-sized cake a celebrity-sized presentation. When you want a big tiered cake for your wedding or special event but don't need all that cake, dummy tiers allow your vision to be realized on as large a cake as you need to make your celebration complete.

Cake Platforms

Platforms or cake dowels help lift your tires up off each other, giving your cake height without extra layers of cake. These platformed tiers make your cake feel light and airy, and invite a fresh decoration to the top of each lifted cake. Platforms boost your cake and also give you more space to wrap flowers, have a candy display, garlands, and cascading decorations now.

Empty Platform Tiers

You can even create empty tiers using cake platforms. These give you space for flower arrangements, scenery, and other elaborate decorations between your layers of cake. Empty tiers are perfect when you want height and beauty without five or six actual layers of cake.


Sunflower Baking Company would be honored to craft your tiered cake for your wedding or other special event. We'll help you sort out the servings, pick your price, and make the petite or towering tiered cake of your dreams. Contact us today to design your cake.

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