food-stylist

The making of TODAY's 60th birthday cake

Jan. 13, 2012 at 8:22 AM ET

TODAY /
TODAY's 60th anniversary cake.

"This has not been a one-person job," said TODAY's Director of Culinary Production, Bianca Henry, about putting together the 6-tiered, 4-foot-high cake that greeted TODAY anchors past and present on the 60th anniversary show.

Bianca, the executive pastry chef for the project, was freed up by helpers Lish Steiling and Alli Simpson, who took on the show's regular food segments for two days so Bianca could get started. 

Katie Quinn / TODAY.com /
Bianca Henry, Lish Steiling and Alli Simpson apply fondant to the 60th anniversary cake.

Each tier of this enormous dessert is a different flavor (Bianca picked her 6 favorite): chocolate, vanilla, Creamsicle, almond mocha, carrot and lemon raspberry. Around 60 pounds of butter, 50 pounds of flour, 70 pounds of sugar, 11 pounds of chocolate and 8 quarts of cream went into it.

Katie Quinn / TODAY.com /
Bianca Henry works on TODAY's 60th anniversary cake.

She started brainstorming the design two weeks ago and found aesthetic inspiration from TODAY's original 1952 logo.

Katie Quinn / TODAY.com /
Bianca Henry shows an image of the TODAY's 60th anniversary cake.

"At first we weren't sure if we'd do the cake in-house" or hire an outside company, said Bianca. In true form, TODAY's hard-working food maven decided to do it from start to finish.

Katie Quinn / TODAY.com /
Food stylist Lish Steiling trims the fondant on TODAY's 60th anniversary cake.

When TODAY.com caught up with these queens of batter and baking, they were in the midst of applying the fondant (a sugar paste) and diamond sparkle powder to the bottom tier. It was clear they made the right choice to do it themselves: Bianca, a trained pastry chef, was in her element and the cake was shaping up to be a big success.

Katie Quinn / TODAY.com /
Bianca Henry shows how tall the TODAY's 60th anniversary cake will be.
Katie Quinn / TODAY.com /
Supplies for TODAY's 60th anniversary cake.
Katie Quinn / TODAY.com /
Cake scraps from TODAY's 60th anniversary cake.
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