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Ron Ben-Israel Is New York’s Wedding Cake Couturier

This baker makes cake into sculptural works of art that taste as good as they look

Baking is a precise science and an art form, but Ron Ben-Israel doesn’t think of himself as a scientist or an artist. He’s just a baker. He is a baker who is also the executive chef of his own eponymous, by-appointment bakery, and one who was once called the “Manolo Blahnik of wedding cakes” by The New York Times. He is a baker who has truly become a couturier of cakes.

When I start asking Mr. Ben-Israel about cake, I, as an art appreciator with a sweet tooth, immediately find myself gushing about his work. Ben-Israel is, at once, well-spoken, affecting, and impassioned about baking. But modest, for someone who’d just baked the five-tiered cake for Marc Jacobs’ wedding last spring. I tell Ben-Israel that I’ve read he’s perfected his buttercream recipe, to which he politely disagrees. As the only Guest Master Pastry Chef at the International Culinary Center in New York City, he’s also taught beginners and big names alike; one of his many students was Christina Tosi, founder of popular New York bakery Milk Bar, and the mastermind behind naked cakes.

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There are endless ways to design and execute a White Wedding Cake . For Caitlin’s and Michael’s celebration we separated the tiers with singular types of sugar flowers – Roses, Tulips, Ranunculus, and Hydrangeas on top. ➡️ Scroll to see the bride’s dress that inspired the surface design. Venue: @plazaparties @theplazahotel • • • • • • • #ronbenisrael #rbicakes #sweetgenius #cake #cakesofinstagram #weddingcake #sugarart #sugarcraft #cakeart #cakedecor #cakedecorating #cakedesigner #cakedesign #sugarflowers #floralcake #uniquecakes #customcake #bespokecake #fondantcake #fondant #confectionery #pastrychef #cakeinspiration #baker #baking #whiteweddingcake #tallweddingcake

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His wedding cakes are nothing less than works of art; masterpieces that are completely edible–down to the blooming bouquet of sugar flowers sprayed around a cake (one of Ben-Israel’s many specialities) to ribbons, gemstones, latticework, lace appliqués. Sometimes, the cake can resemble something out of an issue of Vogue, or a Birkin bag.

Each cake tastes just as good as they look, chosen through close collaboration with every couple. While popular cake flavors might be chiffon, vanilla, and almond, Ben-Israel’s own personal favorite is ginger which, he shares with a laugh, isn’t exactly everyone’s first choice. But the baker isn’t afraid of flavors–or challenges. He advises that a couple finds and commissions a bakery for their wedding six in nine months in advance, though he recounts situations in which he’s produced cakes within a week. He doesn’t suggest waiting until the last minute to book a bakery–especially if you want the frills and excess of complete customization–but when you’re as talented as Ben-Israel, it can be done. (Likely better than other bakeries that’ve been given the full nine months.)

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Repost @chererosalieweddings Photography: @trishakeelerphoto ・・・ It’s almost too pretty to eat…almost! . . . In awe of this stunning, glamorous and delicious wedding cake by the one-and-only Ron Ben-Israel. . . . . #weddings #weddingplanner #westchesterweddings #newyorkweddings #hudsonvalleyweddings #nyweddings #weddinginspo #instabride #weddingideas #dreamwedding #bridalinspo #weddinginspo #weddingideas #bridalmakeup #weddingdress #weddinggown #weddinggoals #hautecouture #bridalfashion #weddingfashion #weddingshoes #weddingreceptionideas #weddingdecor #smplittleblackbook #fineartwedding #theknot #weddingwire #weddingphotography #weddingflowers #newyorkweddingplanner #weddingcake #ronbenisraelcakes

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As for wedding cake trends he forecasts for 2020? He sees metallics, saturated colors, and environmental elements like granite. But the trends he’d rather see left behind in 2019 include big display cakes that no one eats, and donut towers. While he has nothing against donuts, he finds the practice to be a poor substitute for the real thing–the main event; the wedding cake, to which he’s married many times over.