2 Tier Cake Sizes: Best Guide

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Last Updated on March 18, 2023

When it comes to celebrations, 2 tier cake sizes can make an elegant dessert to serve. However, before you start baking, you want to know what two-tiered cake sizes you should use for your event.

The great thing about tiered cakes is that you can make them with any flavor combinations you want. You can let your imagination run wild and decorate them however you want; whether that’s with fondant or buttercream. Two-tiered cakes can also serve many people, which is great for any special event.

Tiers vs Layers

People often get tiers and layers confused when it comes to cake terminology. One cake will often have two or three layers, sometimes more. That one cake with the layers will make up one-tier.

So, there are multiple layers of cake inside of a tier. Layers are typically made by slicing a cake in half and filling it with frosting or filling. Layers can also be made by stacking several thin cakes together with filling or frosting between each layer.

With tiered cakes, the top tier is typically two inches smaller than the bottom tier. Each tier will typically have two to three layers. However, some larger tiers may have four layers or more.

Tiers vs Layers

2 Tier Cake Sizes

Before you get baking for your next celebration, you will want to figure out how many people you are planning to serve. You want to make sure you have plenty of cake to serve your guests. Depending on what sizes your tiers are, you may be able to serve up to 40-50 people, if you slice accordingly.

Small 2 Tier Cake Sizes

For a small two-tier cake, you will want to use a 6-inch cake pan for the top tier and an 8-inch cake pan for the bottom tier. This will serve around 12-16 people, as each tier will typically have two layers. This is a good size for birthday parties or summer BBQs with your friends or family.

Find out more delicious recipes here:


Medium Two-Tier Cake Pan

For a medium two-tier cake, you will use an 8-inch cake pan for the top and a 10-inch cake pan for the bottom. This will feed around 28-34 people, as each tier will often have two to three layers. This size is ideal for office parties or large family gatherings.

Springform Cake Pan Set Of 3 (4 7 9 Inch) – Round Nonstick Baking Pans for Tier Cakes


For a large two-tier cake, you will want to use a 10-inch cake pan for the top and a 12-inch cake pan for the bottom. This will serve around 46-54 people, as each tier will have between two to four layers. This size is great for small weddings or small banquets.

Stacking A Two-Tiered Cake

When stacking a two-tiered cake, you want to use support. Dowels or straws are used to prevent the bottom tier from collapsing due to the weight.

When preparing your tiers, you want to use a serrated knife to trim each layer before filling. Trimming the top of the cake will give it a flat surface, which is important when layering cakes. This will allow all the layers to lay flat and the two tiers will be balanced.

When assembling your tiers, it is also beneficial to use a cake board at the bottom as it will provide a stable, level surface. It also allows you to pick up your cake and move it around as needed.

Transporting Your Cake

If you need to transport your cake, find a tall box to put it in. Make sure you place it on a flat surface of your car where it won’t topple over or bump into something. Placing it on a non-slip mat gives added assurance that it will stay in place as you drive.

If you have the time, it is not a bad idea to wait to stack your cakes until you get to the venue. This will lessen the chance of the top tier falling off during transportation.

How Long Does it Take to Make a Two-Tiered Cake?

The time it takes to complete a two-tiered cake can vary massively depending on which design you have. You could choose a complex two-tiered cake with intricate decorations and lacing, for example. This would take considerably longer than a basic cake. However, even the most basic cake will take at least two hours from start to finish. This would include making the cake, chilling and stacking the cake, and a buttercream finish.

How Much Buttercream Do You Need for a Two-Tier Cake?

The amount of buttercream you need for a two-tier cake will all depend on the size of your cake layers. It goes without saying that the bigger the layer, the more buttercream you’ll need. There are plenty of buttercream calculators available online which enable you to enter the size of your cake and the number of layers you have; it will then estimate how much buttercream you’ll need.

For example, when it comes to two-tier cakes:

  • 6 inches in size will need around 2 1/2 cups of frosting
  • 8 inches in size will need around 4 cups of frosting
  • 9 inches in size will need around 4 3/4 cups of frosting
  • 10 inches in size will need around 5 3/4 cups of frosting
  • 12 inches in size will need around 7 3/4 cups of frosting
  • 14 inches in size will need around 10 cups of frosting

How Much is a Two-Tier Cake at Publix?

The price for a two-tier cake at Publix will vary depending on the size of the layers, the flavorings you choose, as well as the complexity of the design. However, two-tier cakes at Publix start at around $55. This can be for something like a simple graduation or baby shower cake.

Does Costco Make Two-Tier Cakes?

When I think of Costco, I instantly think of its delicious cakes and cheesecakes. And the best part is, they’re incredibly affordable. For a two-layer round cake at Costco, it costs around $28 (prices may vary slightly from state to state). Or if you’d prefer a one-layer round cake, it usually costs around $15.

How Much Cake Mix For a Two-Tier Cake?

The amount of cake mix you’ll need will all depend on the size of your two-tier cake. Before we look any further, it’s worth bearing in mind that a standard box of cake mix will allow for around 4 cups of batter. According to the Wilton cake serving chart, if you’re baking an 8″ cake, you’d need 4 cups of batter per layer.

So to make a two-tier 8″ round cake, you’d need around two boxes of cake mix. It’s always best to buy extra, just in case you need it. If you need other shapes or sizes, the cake serving chart from Wilton can be found online and is extremely helpful.

How Much Does a Two-Tier Cake Weigh?

Two-tier cakes are deceptively heavy! Of course, it all depends on the size and shape of your two-tier cake, as well as any additional decorations you may have. However, a standard two-tier wedding cake (with a 10″ bottom tier and a 6″ top tier) usually weighs around 6 pounds.

How to Decorate a Two-Tier Cake?

Once stacked (which can be the trickiest part), it’s time to decorate! Before you begin, you’ll need the following equipment to make the task much easier: an icing spatula, a bench scraper, and a cake turntable. Once you have your cakes prepared on the turntable, as well as your buttercream, prepared – you can begin.

Step 1: Stack

Add a dollop of buttercream into the center of one layer and spread out until evenly distributed on one layer. Once smooth, add your next layer so they’re in line with one another.

Step 2: Crumb

Add another dollop of buttercream on the top layer of your cake. Use your spatula to spread around the top of your cake and all around the sides. You want this layer to be extremely thin, but the idea is that there are no gaps.

Use your scraper at a 45-degree angle and spin, smoothing out the buttercream. Remove any excess from the scraper as you go. Once completed, your crumb coat is ready. If you see the cake coming through the buttercream, that’s not too much of a problem! Leave to chill for around 30 minutes.

Step 3: Coat #2

Remove from fridge and add another dollop of frosting on top. Again, spread it around the cake and down the sides. This time, there’s no need to use the buttercream sparingly. You’ll want it nice and thick. Use your spatula to smooth the cake as you go. Again, using the scraper at a 45-degree angle is the best way to achieve this. If there are any gaps, be sure to fill them with additional buttercream.

What is a Serving of Cake?

The serving of a cake depends on a variety of factors. It depends on the height of the cake, the size of the cake, whether the cake has buttercream, and many more factors. It’s important to bear all of this in mind when deciding how big your cake should be and how to serve it.

If you have a tall cake (over 4 inches in height), some people prefer to cut one thin piece and cut it into two servings; whereas when it’s under 4 inches in height, you can cut each individual slice as one serving.

Cake Tier Servings Chart

If you’re wondering how many servings each tiered cake will provide to your guests, then this is the chart for you:

  • 4″ layer and 6″ layer will serve 20 people
  • 6″ layer and 8″ layer will serve 40 people
  • 8″ layer and 10″ layer will serve 64 people
  • 4″ layer, 6″ layer, and 8″ layer will serve 46 people
  • 6″ layer, 8″ layer, and 10″ layer will serve 78 people
  • 6″ layer, 9″ layer, and 12″ layer will serve 100 people
  • 6″ layer, 10″ layer, and 14″ layer will serve 128 people
  • 6″ layer, 8″ layer, 10″ layer, and 12″ layer will serve 134 people
  • 6″ layer, 8″ layer, 10″ layer, 12″ layer, and 14″ layer will serve 210 people

It’s worth mentioning that these are all approximate servings and it’s always best to check with your cake maker for confirmation.

How Many People Does a 2-Tier Cake Feed?

The amount of people a 2 tier cake will feed all depends on how big the layers themselves are. For example, if you have one 4″ layer and one 6″ layer to your cake, it’ll serve approx. 20 people. However, if you have one 6″ layer and one 8″ layer to your cake, it’ll serve approx. 40 people. And if you have one 8″ layer and one 10″ layer to your cake, it’ll serve approx. 64 people.

The larger the circumference of the cakes, the more people they’ll be able to serve.

What Size Cake Pans For a 2 Tier Cake?

The most common pairings of 2 tier cake sizes are as follows:

  • small cake – one 6″ layer and one 8″ layer
  • medium cake – one 8″ layer and one 10″ layer
  • large cake – one 10″ layer and one 12″ layer

These are not the only 2 tier cake sizes; there’s a huge selection of sizes available; both bigger and smaller than the ones listed above. The ones above are simply the most common.

How to Bake a Two-Layer Cake

If you’re looking to bake your own two-layer cake, the most important equipment you’ll need is 3 8″ round cake pans and 3 6″ round cake pans. To make a simple vanilla cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups of vegetable oil
  • 3 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Now all you need to do is:

  1. Grease your 6 round cake pans with cooking spray and then line them with parchment paper. You’ll also need to preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Grab a mixing bowl and add the following ingredients: eggs, egg yolk, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Mix well and leave to one side.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix well. Gradually add this bowl of ingredients to your egg mixture and mix on a low speed.
  4. Pour in the milk and vanilla. Keep mixing for around 1-2 minutes, or until your batter is smooth.
  5. Evenly divide the batter between your 6 prepared cake pans. Bake the 6″ layers for 25-30 minutes and the 8″ layers for 35-40 minutes. You can check your cakes are done by placing a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, your cakes are ready.
  6. Remove from oven. Leave to cool before frosting, assembling, and serving. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Conclusion on 2 Tier Cake Sizes

Whether you are just having a small gathering with family and friends or are celebrating a wedding, 2 tier cakes can be a wonderful dessert to serve. Fortunately, you can have two-tiered cakes in different sizes; as the typical rule of thumb is the bottom layer is two inches bigger than the top. This allows you to make a cake to serve anywhere from a dozen to 50 people.

Each tier can have multiple layers, with frosting or filling in between each layer. You can use any cake flavor or frosting for your cake, though American buttercream is often the most popular choice.

Do you have any questions about 2 tier cake sizes? If so, please ask them in the comments down below. Sharing is caring! 

Read more about How To Transport A Cake In A Car

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