Ask one of the many couples who have hosted a luxury wedding at Oheka Castle in New York, and they’ll likely rave about their wedding cake designed by the property’s Executive Pastry Chef, Daniel Andreotti. For nearly three decades, Daniel has been the artist behind Oheka Castle’s cakes, meeting with clients to brainstorm, co-create, and bring their sugary visions to life. Not only has he built a renowned pastry department over the years – a wedding cake by Daniel Andreotti has become a signature part of the quintessential Oheka Castle wedding experience.

Buying a Bakery

Daniel was working on his Studio Arts BA at Stonybrook University when he drove past an abandoned bakery in Brightwaters, New York. At the time, he was still unsure of his career direction. Seeing that bakery, however, turned out to be a lightbulb moment that made him realize he’d go into business for himself.

“Growing up in an immigrant neighborhood of Italians, Germans, and Jews, I had learned baking by osmosis,” Daniel shares. “So, at 20 years-old, I bought a bakery.

I hired some family and friends who were expert bakers. We made all sorts of pastries and cakes, danishes, cheesecakes, stollen, doughnuts, layer cakes and more. As we became successful, customers started to ask for occasion cakes for birthdays, graduations, and weddings. Since I had a strong foundation in drawing, painting, and sculpture, I found I was very good at piping designs with royal icing, molding figured from fondant and sculpting details with buttercream. My wedding cake business boomed, which led me to the one class I would ever take – a class in making sugar flowers taught by the legendary Betty VanNorstrand. I learned I loved molding with gum paste and creating the classic features of wedding cake design. But mostly, I loved to create something beautiful for the happiest of my customers’ days – their wedding.”

Executive Pastry Chef at Oheka Castle

After getting married, Daniel was looking for a fresh start when his wife saw a “Pastry Chef Wanted” ad in the New York Times.

“My life has always been about taking chances rather than following a traditional route,” Daniel notes. “Now knowing what to expect, we drove up to Oheka Castle, a beautiful 1920’s property that had been saved and restored by Gary Melius, who opened it as an exclusive wedding and event hall. That was 28 years ago.”

Since then, Daniel has become a household name as Oheka Castle’s Executive Pastry Chef, developing an exceptional pastry department that caters all the pastries for the property’s events. It also allows him to do what he does best – designing luxury wedding cakes that perfectly complement the romantic, opulent surroundings of Oheka Castle.

The Consultation and Design Process

Like every part of the Oheka Castle wedding experience, wedding cake consultations are highly personalized and surrounded by Old World elegance. In fact, many couples – specifically, the grooms – say that meeting with Daniel and designing their cake was the best part of their wedding planning experience.

“All of my bridal appointments are conducted in Oheka’s library,” he states. “Each couple gets to try nine sample cakes. Right now, gourmet flavors such as pistachio and coconut are on the rise. We also offer dulce de leche caramel, hazelnut, raspberry buttercream with raspberry puree, white chocolate mousse, chocolate mousse, chocolate fudge, and red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Couples usually pick two flavors for alternating tiers.”

While the couple is sampling wedding cake flavors, Daniel gets started sketching the design. The extent of their collaboration varies, as some couples give him full creative control while others arrive with specific wedding cake photos from his social media portfolio. It’s also helpful when couples have a clear vision of their upcoming wedding celebration and its aesthetics.

“I would tell my couples to come in ready to define their style or motif,” Daniel advises. “A romantic look? Contemporary elements? Royal or bohemian? A secret garden? Remember, the cake is for you! Please bring me pictures of your wedding dress, your monogram, a photo of your grandmother’s china! (Yes, a bride did that once!) Anything that reflects your theme and visual elements.”

Cakes of Oheka Castle

One of the most remarkable characteristics of Daniel’s wedding cakes is how each of them fits in so perfectly with the venue itself. Regardless of the design elements and ingredients he works with, the Executive Pastry Chef has a keen eye for detail and knows how to make them cohesive with Oheka Castle’s setting.

“In terms of my favorite design elements,” he says, “I like the classics – sugar flowers, frett work, pearls, monograms done with the grandeur befitting the Oheka Castle venue. If a bride wants a more contemporary look, I suggest an elegant symbiosis of what’s modern, with touches of the classic elements.”

When asked how he keeps his work fresh, having been designing the cakes of Oheka Castle for so many years, Daniel says: “I find inspiration everywhere. Often from architectural elements in old castles or grand manors, from museum exhibits, from nature. The recent Met Gala featuring costumes evoking sleeping beauties and the Garden of Time was a delightful source of cake design inspiration!”

Wedding cakes have become much more than a symbol of good luck and prosperity. A beautifully designed cake creation also serves as a work of art, adding a focal point to the wedding reception and its décor. For weddings at Oheka Castle, nobody designs a showstopping cake quite like Chef Daniel.

Browse Daniel’s cake portfolio on Instagram at @dandreotticakes.

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