Sylvia Weinstock, wedding cake baker to the stars, died on Monday surrounded by family in her Tribeca home. She was 91. The Brooklyn-born baking dynamo pioneered new techniques and styles for wedding cakes, overhauling the industry standard of the traditional, white, and tiered dessert with her towering, sugar-flowered creations. One of the most in-demand designers in the industry, she baked for the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Billy Joel, Sofia Vergara, and Robert De Niro. Just over a month ago, she emerged from retirement to design and make a six-tiered cake for Jennifer Gates’ wedding.
Weinstock took up baking relatively late in life, after winning a battle with breast cancer at age 50. Encouraged by famed dessert-maker William Greenberg, she opened her first store in 1980, selling cakes by appointment out of a brownstone. By the time she officially retired in 2016, according to The New York Times, the ‘Queen of Cake’ was making well over a thousand cakes a year, with slices priced at between $15 and $100. For herself, however, she kept it simple. “I love yellow butter cake,” she told the New York Daily Newsin 2008, “and I love it with lemon curd and fresh raspberries. I always find that delicious.”