The five-tiered cake on the Taste cover (with a layer for each decade) was the work of Jerry Dudycha, cake stylist extraordinaire, who for 40 years has been fine tuning his skills. His career was inspired by a cake-decorating class in junior high school. Dudycha trained as a baker at Dunwoody Institute’s National Baking Center and worked professionally in retail bakeries until he moved into advertising, where his meticulous skills are in high demand. Among his past work was the creation of an edible replica of the Minnesota State Capital for its 80th birthday.

For the Taste birthday cake, its structure is built of Styrofoam covered in fondant with royal icing piped at the edges. All the letters and decorative shapes are also made of fondant. Even the candles on top are made of Styrofoam, coated in royal icing before they were painted. The letters are all hand cut with a very sharp Exacto knife.

Styrofoam was used because the cake needed to withstand a lot of poking and prodding during the photo shoot. The cake will be on display during the Taste Birthday Bash Oct. 3 in the lobby of the Star Tribune headquarters.