Celebrity wedding cake designer Sylvia Weinstock – nicknamed “Queen of Cakes” for her extraordinary edible art – has died. She was 91.
The Brooklyn-born baker – who has made wedding candy for Oprah, Mariah Carey, Billy Joel and Sofía Vergara – died at her Tribeca home on Monday, her family announced in a statement Wednesday without elaborating on her cause of death.
“Sylvia Weinstock, the cake designer who pioneered an industry of towering wedding cakes with sugar flowers, died peacefully in her home in Tribeca, surrounded by her loving family,” read an obituary on her Instagram page.
“The family will have a private memorial at a future date and request that all donations be directed to the Oncology Department of the New York Presbyterian / Weill-Cornell Medical Center,” the statement continued.
Weinstock – who appeared in “Gossip Girl,” “Today,” “Top Chef” and “Nailed It” – was a former Long Island schoolteacher who first became a full-time baker at age 50 after surviving breast cancer.
She started Sylvia Weinstock Cakes in Tribeca in 1980, Tribeca Citizen reported.
Her ornate and ultra-vivid edible art quickly made her a beloved culinary icon and a sought-after celebrity wedding cake designer.
Bon Appétit magazine once described Weinstock as “the wedding cake Leonardo da Vinci.”
The master baker – known for her distinctive short white hair and large round glasses – eventually closed her studio bakery in 2016 to spend more time with her sick husband, but she retired this year to design an artful six-story floral-ornate creation to Bill Gates ‘daughter’s wedding, according to Gates’ wedding planner Marcy Blum.
Jennifer Gates, who married Nayel Nassar in a lavish ceremony on October 16, paid tribute to the Queen of Cakes on Instagram on Wednesday.
“Getting to know this incredible woman, pioneer and baker legend was the greatest blessing,” the 25-year-old newlyweds wrote.
Sylvia, your zest for life, passion, creativity and generosity will never be forgotten. We will be eternally grateful for the gift you gave us by designing our dream wedding cake with @ladureeus. “
“Rest in peace.”
Many other celebrities and notable people also took to social media to mourn and honor the confectionery artist.
“So sorry the incredible Sylvia Weinstock has passed away. I loved her so much!” tweeted “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi along with a photo of herself cutting a cake at her 2004 wedding to ex-husband Salman Rushdie.
“She made that wedding cake and was a legend in the food world for her cakes,” Lakshmi later added.
Chef Marcus Samuelsson – from Red Rooster Harlem – praised Weinstock as an “inspiration.”
“So sad to hear about the passing of @SylviaWeinstock, the queen of cakes,” Samuelsson tweeted. “She started her culinary career as a 50-year-old. What a lesson in following your dreams … She’s an inspiration to everyone!”
Fashion designer Reem Acra also honored Weinstock by saying on Instagram: “To my dear friend Sylvia. I will miss you very much. Your success story is an inspiration to all women.
“Your love story with Ben is an inspiration to the world. God bless your soul. Reem. “
Throughout her impressive career, Weinstock said she baked over 1,000 cakes a year, costing between $ 15 to $ 100 per person per slice, according to the New York Times.