"We were inspired by Oprah herself," says Ron Ben-Israel of his vision for the lavish three-tier tower adorned with handmade sugar-paste flowers, which also appears on this month's cover. "She's very generous, and we wanted to capture that feeling. The cake is overflowing; it's feminine and romantic, and it's like giving Oprah a gift." Ben-Israel, the only visiting master pastry instructor at the French Culinary Institute in New York City and the owner of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, says, "Our philosophy is that our cakes must taste as good as they look." This one measures up, with four vanilla cake layers alternating with fillings of pistachio and apricot buttercreams, in springlike shades of pale green and peach.
Get the recipe: Ron Ben-Israel's Vanilla Cake with Pistachio and Apricot Buttercreams
Plus: Ron Ben-Israel's guilty pleasure