Here's How to Calculate Cake Size For a Party So You Never, Ever Run Out of Slices

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Figuring out how much cake you need for a party is not as complicated as learning calculus was in high school. (Remember how much fun that was?). Still, it can be tricky.

For one thing, there’s no predicting how hungry for cake your guests will be. Plus, “serving size” is a highly subjective term: One person’s “slice” is another person’s “sliver.” The type of cake is also a factor — flourless chocolate will go a lot farther than angel food .

Still, you really don't want to run the risk of not having enough cake to go around (the horror!). Here are some good estimates that will help you figure out how to size your cake, based on average portions per pan.

Bundt Pan

Servings: 12 to 16

A bundt pan is a tube pan that's rounded on the bottom (thus yielding a cake with a rounded top); it’s typically used for sturdier cakes that won't lose their shape when flipped upside down. Most bundt pans are about 10 inches in diameter and hold about 12 cups of batter.

Cupcake Pans

Photo via CakeSpy
Servings: as many as you make!

But bear in mind that all cupcake tins are not the same size. A recipe for a two-layer cake can make 24 standard-size cupcakes, 12 jumbo (or “Texas-sized") cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes . You'll need to estimate how many of each you expect guests to gobble up.

Loaf Cake Pan

Servings: 9

Typically used for quick breads and pound cakes, loaf pans are super easy to convert into servings. The rule of thumb is 1 inch per person, so a 9-inch loaf (measured inside of the pan) will serve about ... you do the math.

Round Cake Pans

  • 4 inch: 8 servings
  • 6 inch: 12 servings
  • 8 inch: 20 servings
  • 9 inch: 24 servings
  • 10 inch: 28 servings
  • 12 inch: 40 servings

Round cake pans — especially the 8- and 9-inch sizes —are the building blocks of layer or birthday cakes. When you're making a cake with lots of tiers, use the numbers above to tally up the servings per tier. 

Square cake pans

  • 4 inch: 8 servings
  • 6 inch: 10 servings
  • 8 inch: 20 servings
  • 10 inch: 30 servings
  • 12 inch: 48 servings

Though people typically use square pans to bake brownies (the 8- and 9-inch sizes are the most popular), you can use them to make all kinds of cakes. As with round cake pans, use the info above to calculate servings per tier.

Rectangular Cake Pan

Servings: 12 to 16 (potentially more for richer cakes or brownies/bars)

The trusty 9-by-13-inch Pyrex pan (with approximately 2-inch sides) is a go-to for small sheet cakes and poke cakes, as well as brownies or bars.

Springform Cake Pan

Servings: 12 to 16 for a 9- or 10-inch springform cake pan

A springform cake pan has sides that can be “sprung” open and a removable bottom. It’s typically used for cakes that aren’t likely to make a clean exit from a standard cake pan, such as cheesecakes or flourless chocolate cakes. 

Tube Pan

Servings: 8

Also known as an angel food cake pan, a tube pan is circular and typically 9 or 10 inches in diameter, with a hole cut out in the center and high walls that let the cake rise.

Now that you've got this handy tip sheet, you can rest a a little easier knowing that no matter what else happens at your party, at least there will be cake for everyone. And that is something to celebrate!

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Here's How to Calculate Cake Size For a Party So You Never, Ever Run Out of Slices