Developers take the cake

Edible real estate-related masterpieces now common

Jun.June 01, 2012 07:15 AM


A sheet cake replica of Newport Green, made by Carlo’s Bakery

The LeFrak Organization last month celebrated the opening of its new 4.25-acre Newport Green park, part of the company’s massive office and residential development on the Jersey City waterfront.

A highlight for event attendees — including New Jersey governor Chris Christie and New York Mets legend Mookie Wilson — was a miniature to-scale replica of the park made of vanilla and chocolate fudge cake. The dessert was created for the LeFraks at Carlo’s Bakery, best-known as the setting for the TLC reality show “Cake Boss.”

In one corner, the cake was topped with brown sugar to portray the park’s 7,650-square-foot, sand-filled “urban beach.” Mauro Castano, head decorator at Carlo’s, said his team used fondant and modeling chocolate to create tiny beach chairs, umbrellas, trees and even the slide and jungle gym inside the playground. He also sculpted a mini version of the park’s new carousel out of Rice Krispie Treats.


Richard LeFrak cuts into the cake.
Castano said it took some half-dozen workers three and a half days to create the massive sheet cake. And while attendees at the event seemed in awe of the elaborate confection, viewers of “Cake Boss” can attest that such real estate–related cakes are  becoming more common.

Castano said the bakery, which has locations in Hoboken and Jersey City, does three to four real estate–related cakes per month. The most popular ones are the Empire State Building, Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and Boston’s Zakim Bridge.

His favorite, he said, was the cake he made for Tishman Construction last June, showing the five structures that comprise the new World Trade Center complex.

A spokesperson for the LeFrak Organization said the company commissioned the Newport Green cake to help guests conceptualize the size and layout of the park, while supporting a local business. The price for that visual aid: well over $2,000, according to Castano.

The entire cake, meant to feed more than 200 people, was edible — not that anyone would know. At the very end of the event a small crowd, marveling at the artistry of the cake, surrounded company chairman Richard LeFrak, as he sliced into it. But no one dared ask, let alone attempt, to actually cut the masterpiece into individual serving sizes. If they had, they might have been pleasantly surprised.

“A lot of people say, ‘It looks too good to eat,’ ” said Castano. “But, trust me, not only does it look good, it tastes really good.”


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