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Sylvia Weinstock (1930–2021), “Queen of Cakes” baker and decorator

by Linnea Crowther

Sylvia Weinstock was a cake baker and decorator known as the “Queen of Cakes.”

Intricate confections

Weinstock didn’t begin baking professionally until after age 50 – in her previous career, she taught elementary school. But once she began creating custom cakes, her reputation grew until she became the cake designer of choice in celebrity circles. Her notable customers included Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian, Martha Stewart, and Robert De Niro; she created the wedding cake for Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello’s wedding. Weinstock was particularly known for her wedding cakes, and she was said to have revolutionized the industry with her elaborate designs. She avoided fondant, preferring to work with buttercream and sugar dough as she built hundreds of flowers for each cake by hand. Weinstock was featured as a judge on baking competition shows including “Chopped Sweets,” “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” and “Nailed It!”

Notable quote

“The first cake I sold professionally was a single-layer cake filled with sugar flowers. It was for a private party at the Carlyle Hotel. Then I went to two-tier cakes. The tallest I’ve made was 10 feet and had thousands of flowers.” —from a 2019 interview for the New York Times

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Tributes to Sylvia Weinstock

Full obituary: People

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