Choose Your Tier Size

I recently had a bride come to a consultation who had been to a couple other bakers before she came to me. She had a photo of a cake that she wanted, and she was very specific about wanting to keep the cake to three tiers.

The problem was, she had about 130 guests coming, and the cake that she liked was very upright. It had two 6" tiers top and bottom, and the middle tier was only 2" tall. The original cake was about 6",7" and 8" tiers, so it was small.

She had already been to one baker who did a sketch of a similar design, but on larger tiers. The problem was that she hadn't told the bride that the tiers would be much wider than the original cake was. In fact, there was no mention of the tier sizes at all, from either of the bakers she had spoken to.

They're both three square tiers, but they don't look the same!
I used cake dummies in the appropriate sizes to show her how wide the tiers would need to be to serve 130 guests. If I remember correctly it was going to be a 6", 10" 14" combination with the different tier heights thrown in. The difference in the profile of that cake and the original was drastic, and you lost the upright look entirely.

She wasn't happy about that, and she was surprised because the other bakers hadn't said anything to her about how wide the tiers would be. Seeing the actual dimensions of the dummies was an eye-opener.

What I was surprised about was the fact the neither of the bakers she had talked to had said anything about tier sizes. Isn't that a basic detail? Am I crazy to think that it's something that should be mentioned?

Changing the size difference between tiers can alter the design drastically. A tall cake becomes squat, an upright cake becomes more like a pyramid. It can change the look of the final design completely.

So make sure that you point out to brides who come to you with a photo they want to replicate that changing the tier sizes will change the design. It seems obvious, but the brides might not realize it.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and