How Does Your Cake Measure Up?

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In a recent post, I highlighted some amazing court-of-honor cakes. The reality is, however, that most troops probably serve more ordinary sheet cakes at their courts of honor. And that leads to the question of how much is enough.

Except perhaps for newspapers and pop-music heartthrobs, nothing gets old as fast as a fancy sheet cake. A lot of people save huge chunks of cake from weddings or courts of honor, but I doubt many ever touch them again except to toss them in the trash.

It makes little sense (and costs many dollars!) to buy more cake than you need for a courts of honor. So how much is too much? That depends on how big a cake you buy but also on the serving size you choose.

Bakeries typically describe three portion sizes: dessert size (2″ x 4″), receiving-line size (2″ x 3″), and buffet size (2″ x 2″). For a full sheet cake (16″ x 24″) those numbers translate into 48, 64, and 96 servings, respectively. Half a sheet cake (12″ x 16″) would, of course, yield half as many servings.

A good rule of thumb on serving sizes is to use 2″ x 3″ pieces if the cake is the main food item and 2″ x 2″ pieces if other food is offered. Now, a 2″ x 3″ piece of cake may seem small, but don’t worry. Each piece packs in roughly 350 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 50 grams of carbohydrates!

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