Cakes come in many beautiful shapes, sizes, and flavors. While choosing the latter depends solely on your taste preference, the shape and size of the cake need to be well thought out, especially if you have guests to feed.
Imagine not having enough cake for all your guests or having too much that it becomes difficult to store. Either way, it is very important to know what cake size is appropriate for your expected number of guests.
Luckily, it is not as difficult as it sounds since you can get a general idea of how many portions you can get from standard-sized cakes, whether they are round, square, tiered, or heart-shaped.
So, how big is a 6, 8, 10, And 12-inch cake? “6-inch”, “8-inch”, “10-inch”, and “12-inch” refers to the diameter of the cake and is different not only in terms of its size but also in the number of servings it yields.
Read on to find out more about these standard cake sizes, how many people a 6-inch cake feeds, the differences between a 6-inch cake and an 8-inch cake, and much more.
Cake Shapes and Sizes
From the smallest cupcake to large 24 x 18 sheet cakes, you will find a variety of different shapes and sizes for this favorite celebratory dessert.
Often measured in inches, a few common cake sizes include 6, 8, 10, and 12 inches, with 6 being the smallest and 12 being the largest out of the lot.
Depending on the number of people you plan on serving and the size of the portions, you can serve anywhere between 5 and 72 people from a 6 to 12-inch cake.
Other than the size of a cake, its shape also plays a huge factor in how many portions it will yield. Round, square, and heart-shaped all have different servings and produce a different number of portions.
Square-shaped cakes generally produce more servings than round and heart-shaped cakes, which is why the largest cakes are also often square-shaped or rectangular.
Types of Servings
A serving of cake may mean different sizes for different people. Someone who loves eating cake would prefer a bigger slice compared to someone who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth.
Cake slices are generally cut in two ways: traditional wedge-shaped slices and event portions. Wedge-shaped slices are more generous while the latter are more sensible and ideal for large gatherings.
Smaller cakes can be cut both traditionally and event-style, while larger cakes are mostly served event-style.
The standard size of a slice of a 4-inch-tall wedding cake is generally 1 inch wide and 2 inches in length. A party serving is slightly bigger and is normally 1.5 inches wide.
While these sizes are mostly standard, the height of the cake will also play a factor in how big the slice will be.
A 7-inch-tall cake, for instance, will be much taller than a 4-inch-tall cake, making it a lot more challenging to cut and the servings, therefore, will be thinner than the standard size.
How Many People Does a 6-Inch Cake Feed?
A 6-inch cake is an ideal size for small get-togethers and can easily feed up to 11 people if the slices are 1-inch wide. If cut more generously, it can serve up to 5 people.
Since a square 6-inch cake is bigger than a round 6-inch cake, you can manage around 12 generous party slices and around 18 wedding slices.
There are other different cake shapes available as well, such as heart shape, hexagonal, and octagonal, which all serve a few slices less than square-shaped cakes because they have a few inches missing.
Tiered cakes, which are mostly seen at weddings, are also cut differently and require prior calculation about the number of guests and the generosity of the slices.
6-Inch vs. 8-Inch Cake
Compared to a 6-inch cake, an 8-inch cake can serve up to 20 people with a 1-inch-wide serving size. If you want to be more generous with the sizes, you will be able to feed around 14 people in that case.
For bigger slices that are 3-inches wide, an 8-inch cake can serve around 8 people. On the contrary, if you ration out the slices for unexpected guests, you may be able to serve a maximum of 24 people with an 8-inch cake.
Given that an 8-inch square cake has more inches than a round one, it can serve up to 32 people if cut in event style.
How Big Is a 10-Inch Cake?
An instant favorite for birthdays and relatively big events, a round 10-inch cake is big enough to feed a maximum of 38 people with a 1-inch-wide serving.
If you make the serving size slightly bigger to 1.5-inches wide, it can be distributed among 24 people. For more generous serving sizes of around 2.5-inches, a 10-inch cake can be enjoyed by around 12 people.
A square 10-inch cake, on the other hand, is much bigger than a round one and can accommodate around 50 people with a 1-inch-wide serving.
How Many Servings Are in a 12-Inch Cake?
A 12-inch cake is considerably big and can easily serve between 40 and 72 people. The huge difference between the total servings is due to the cut style, the size of the portions, and the shape of the cake.
As discussed earlier, party servings are much bigger than wedding servings, and the latter can feed a lot more people as compared to the former.
Similarly, square cakes have extra area which equates to more cake compared to round cakes. Therefore, you can easily take out quite a few extra servings in a square-shaped 12-inch cake.
Cake Servings and Sizes
The total number of people you can serve with a particular cake depends on certain factors such as:
- The size of the cake (e.g., 6, 8, 10, or 12-inches)
- The shape of the cake (e.g., round or square)
- The way it is cut (e.g., party style of wedding style)
- The size of the servings (e.g., 1, 1.5, 2, or 2.5-inches big)
That being said, here are the total number of servings for a 6, 8, 10, and 12-inch round cake:
|Size||Party Servings||Wedding Servings|
And for a square cake:
|Size||Party Servings||Wedding Servings|
How to Measure a Round Cake Pan
When we call a cake pan 6-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, or 12-inch, we are referring to the diameter of the inside of the pan.
The simplest way to measure it is with a ruler or measuring tape. All you have to do is measure the pan from the inside lips across the widest point.
This is important since measuring it from the outside will yield inaccurate results.
Since not all cake pans are the same, with some having different diameters at the top and base, there is no standard way to measure them. For cake pans that have an angled side, it is recommended to measure across the base, inside the pan.
How to Measure a Square Cake Pan
Square cake pans are a popular choice, especially for making brownies, and are categorized into different sizes based on the length of their sides. Therefore, an 8-inch x 8-inch square pan has sides that are 8 inches long.
The easiest way to measure them is by simply measuring the length of the pan, from the inside lip on one side of the pan to the inside lip on the other side.
Now that you know all about some of the most common shape sizes and how many servings they yield, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have:
How Many Does a Full Sheet Cake Serve?
Sheet cakes are generally quite large and come in three common sizes: quarter sheet (13 x 9 inches), half sheet (15 x 11 inches), and full sheet (24 x 18 inches).
Quarter sheet cakes are perfect for small to medium-sized events and can easily feed around 12-30 people. Half sheet cakes are much bigger and can serve around 18-40 people.
Full sheet cakes, on the other hand, are perfect for big events and can yield around 48-96 servings.
What Size Cake Will I Need for 40 People?
A 12-inch round cake can be used to serve fairly generous slices to around 40 people, with each slice measuring around 1-inch across the back.
You may even opt for a 10-inch square cake, that usually serves 30 party servings and 50 wedding servings.
What Is the Best Way to Cut a Cake Slice?
For clean slices, it is best to cut your cake with a chef’s knife. If your cake has fresh fruit or nut filling, you may use a long, serrated knife.
Make sure to keep your knife clean in between cutting the slices since it will start to pick up cream and frosting along the way.
If you want to make your own chocolate sheet cake from scratch, check out this handy video on the subject from America’s Test Kitchen!