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A sweet ending for L.A.'s 'Cake Lady's' museum

August 21, 2010 |  4:37 pm

Cake museum

A sweet ending for a one-of-a-kind cake museum was assured Friday when bakery students from a San Fernando Valley vocational school rescued more than a hundred colorfully decorated cakes from a trip to the dumpster.

The elaborately designed wedding and birthday cakes -- actually, frosting-covered Styrofoam -- were kept in glass display cases by cake-decorating expert Frances Kuyper. She operated her museum in Pasadena before moving to a Boyle Heights retirement home.

For a dozen years, operators of Hollenbeck Palms allowed Kuyper to maintain a mini-museum in a small basement room. After "the Cake Lady" died July 15 at age 92, Hollenbeck officials made plans to scrap the 150 cakes.

Then along came Susan Holtz, a culinary department instructor at the West Valley Occupational Center in Woodland Hills.

Holtz was familiar with Kuyper's museum. In the past, she had taken students from a cake-decorating class there to show them examples of expertly done cakes.

"When I called Hollenbeck, they said I had two weeks to find those cakes and that history a home," she said. After asking around for ideas, Holtz decided to find out whether there was room at her school.

Read the full story here.

-- Bob Pool

Photo: Justin Benolerao takes care with one of the cakes from Frances Kuyper's collection, which have been housed in a retirement home. The cakes are Styrofoam covered in icing. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

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