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Sweet Success: Cake Queen Edda Martinez Expands Her Domain

Sweet Success: Cake Queen Edda Martinez Expands Her Domain

Ana Veciana-Suarez | The Miami Herald

When the cakes at the neighborhood dulceria wouldn’t do, Edda Martinez decided to bake her own for family celebrations. For a son’s autumn birthday, she whipped up a pumpkin cake. For the holidays, she created Christmas trees.

Relatives and friends loved them so much that she began taking cake decorating classes “wherever they were offered” (including one she was later recruited to teach). No one expected otherwise from a woman who, when her parents had limited Christmas gifts to only one per child, asked for an electric blender.

“I have two loves – cooking and art,” says Martinez, “and somehow I have been able to combine both. I’ve been lucky.”

More than three decades after selling her first cake, Martinez, 62, and her family run four Edda’s Cake Designs shops in Miami-Dade and Broward and are taking their brand national with a line of bundt cakes available online.

What began as a part-time operation in her West Miami-Dade

kitchen has grown into a business with 80 employees and a commercial baking plant in the Bird Road warehouse district that uses 900 pounds of butter and more than 1,000 pounds each of sugar and flour a week.

It is almost impossible to socialize in South Florida without savoring Edda’s signature vanilla rum cake at a wedding, quince, bar mitzvah, baby shower or corporate event.

Many of her customers have been ordering from the bakery for years, referred by friends or won over by an encounter with one of her cakes, known for their whimsical designs (in buttercream or fondant).

Eliana de Souza, director of catering and conference service at the Sonesta Bayfront in Coconut Grove, raves about the bakery’s attention to detail, especially with unusual customer requests: a groom’s cake in the shape of two beer cans in an ice bucket with a NASCAR logo, for example, and a ski-slope cake for a bar mitzvah that “was amazing. It really stood out.”

Raysa Fanjul, who is married to Alfy Fanjul of the Fanjul sugar dynasty, says she uses Edda’s Cake Designs for all her family events, driving from Palm Beach to pick out custom designs.

“The taste, the moistness, the decor, oh all of it is so delicious,” she says with a sigh.