Cake Sizes and Servings Chart: All You Should Know

Sarah Owens

By Sarah Owens

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Most people focus solely on the recipes and ingredients during cake baking. However, some basic calculations should also be factored in during this process, especially if your cake is to be served at large gatherings or during significant events. 

Having handled numerous bulk orders for diverse party sizes at BK17 Bakery, I understand the complexities of calculating cake servings. That’s why I am glad to share my two cents and offer you an accurate cake serving size chart. Let’s get into it!

What Is A Cake Serving? How Does Cake Height Affect The Number of Servings?

A cake serving is a portion to service one person

“Cake serving” refers to the portion of a cake that is cut and served to one person. There are no fixed rules regarding the size of one serving. But from my observation, a slice 2 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 4 inches tall has been considered the standard.

Most people assume the cake height does not affect how many servings they can make, as the standard serving size is usually more dependent on the depth and width of the slice rather than its height. Still, I’ve encountered many occasions where taller cakes actually yield more portions than expected due to the increased cake volume available for cutting!

Let’s say you have a 7-inch-tall vanilla cake, almost double the 4-inch height of a typical serving. In that case, you can cut the cake into thinner slices (each with the standard 1-inch width), then divide each slice horizontally to get 2 servings.

Of course, to each their own, so a tall cake does not necessarily produce more servings than a standard one; sometimes, the extra inches simply result in thicker slices! Back to the previous example, if you kept the slices exactly as they were instead of splitting each into halves horizontally, the serving count would remain the same. 

How Many Cake Servings Can You Get? Types of Cake Servings

While standard layer cakes (usually square or round) serve 16 to 160 people, tier cakes should be enough for 20 to over 210 people, depending on the tier counts and heights. Sheet cakes equal 54 to 192 servings for parties; meanwhile, less conventional options like hexagon/heart-shaped cakes are suitable for guest counts of 36 to 78. 

Standard Layer Cakes

It’s easy to divide a standard layer cake

Since they are not tiered cakes, the process should be fairly straightforward – although the number of servings also varies depending on the cake shape. For instance, a 6-inch round cake does not serve as many slices as a 6-inch square one.

Check out my square and round cake serving chart for more information. Note that the cake height must be at least 7 inches to be classified as a “tall cake.” 

Cake shapeDiameter(inch)Servings (Party)Servings (Wedding)Servings (Tall Cake)

Tiered Cake Servings

Tiered cakes are built with multiple layers stacked atop one another, each ranging between 4 and 6 inches tall. Their heights barely affect your serving size but still impact the cake’s overall appearance. That’s why I prefer to keep the tiers at similar heights to ensure an aesthetically pleasing result. 

You can use a regular round pan (about 2 inches thick) to pile two cake layers into one tier. Another great alternative is a tier baking pan (4 inches thick, doubling standard round pans), meaning each tier only needs one single cake!

Other personal/aesthetic preferences also matter. For instance, I usually love to add flowers to my cake or create a small ledge between its tiers for more visual appeal.

Have a look at my cake servings guide below. Of course, numerous rarer options are not included here; there is no need to limit yourself to this chart.  

Number of tiersTier 1 (base)Tier 2Tier 3Tier 4Tier 5Servings

Sheet Cakes

You can slice a sheet cake into 1″ x 2″ servings

Sheet cakes are available in 3 sizes: full sheet, ½  sheet, and ¼ quarter sheet. Due to their single-layer design, I usually slice them into 1″ x 2″ portions for my wedding cake orders. Of course, you can consider 2×2 or 2×3 for larger parties or corporate events.

Let’s have a look at my sheet cake chart serving size:

Sheet SizeSize(inches)Party(2 x 3)Party (2 x 2)Wedding(1 x 2)
¼ sheet cake9 x 13 x 218 Servings24 servings54 servings
½ sheet cake12 x 18 x 236 Servings54 servings108 servings
Full sheet16 x 24 x 264 Servings96 servings192 servings

Other Shaped Cakes

Sheet, square, and round cake servings remain the most popular choices. But recently, hexagon and heart-shaped cakes are starting to catch up, as I noticed more customers at my bakery are asking for these shapes for their occasions. For those seeking a fun, unique-shaped dish for special occasions, let me give you some hints: 

Cake ShapeTier 1 (base)Tier 2Tier 3Servings

Cake Pans

Aside from the regular types, such as round, sheet, and square pans, we also have:

  • Bundt pans: Thanks to their hollow center and round figuration, Bundt pans can be quite flexible regarding serving sizes. You should expect 12 to 16 cake slices of standard size!
  • Angel food pans: This tube pan usually comes with a fluted edge to promote air circulation and aeration during baking, ensuring your angel food cake has a light, airy feel. With straight sides and a round bottom, this pan is suitable for serving 12 to 14 people.

Should You Pay Attention To The Baking Time and Temperature As Well?

Though not a common case, baking time and temperature might still indirectly affect the number of servings. 

For instance, let’s say your cake is overbaked; the shrinking size will inevitably result in fewer servings. Meanwhile, underbaking issues or too-high temperatures create a dense, gummy texture that makes it very difficult to cut the cake into clean slices. 

Long story short, it is important to stick closely to recipes from reliable sources!


My decade-long experience with various cake sizes hopefully can be of help; refer to my serving size chart for cakes if you are unsure where to start! And for those who have gained more confidence and expertise through practice, feel free to adjust the serving size or cake design where suitable.

See more: Cupcake Sizes Chart: Mini, Standard, Jumbo Or Oversized?

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Sarah Owens
Sarah Owens
Baker & Owner At BK17 Bakery

Sarah Owens is a professional baker with an insatiable curiosity for global food traditions. As the owner of BK17 Bakery, an artisan microbakery specializing in sourdough that serves both NYC and Louisville, Sarah believes strongly in the power of baking to foster community, social change, and stone milling can bring good bread back to the table.

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