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Black and gold, three-tired 50th birthday cake

Daisy Loves . . .


Hiroyo Ruiz brings her artistic vision—and top-notch baking and patisserie pedigree—to her meticulously designed creations.

A new column from our founder/Editor-in-Chief: Daisy Loves . . .


Some artists work in oils or clay. Tokyo-born Hiroyo Ruiz is an artist who works in the internationally recognized medium of . . . cake.

But Ruiz’s cakes are so far from the grocery store Duncan Hines variety they really don’t even belong in the same classification.

SOMA cakes are confections of whimsy, imagination, and beauty. From a tableau of people playing pool to a huge tube of lipstick, a three-foot, green Moana complete with a flower crow—or even a multi-tiered homage to the Rangers, complete with a hockey puck—Ruiz really can do it all.

Woman seated next to a three-tiered “demin and diamonds”-themed birthday cake
Hiroyo Ruiz seated next to a three-tiered “demin and diamonds”-themed birthday cake, gifted from a daughter to her mom. Photo courtesy of SOMA Cakes
Cake decorated with golf, whisky, and casino themes: a glass of whisky; playing cards, dice, and poker chips; a golf ball and golf course design
Ordered for a golf, whisky, and casino-loving husband who was turning 40, this “modern, dark, stylish” chocolate cake was filled with vanilla buttercream and coated in dark ganache. Photo courtesy of SOMA Cakes
Two-tiered red birthday cake decorated with rose motifs and other flowers
A 60th birthday confection made for a Japanese woman. “We celebrate 60 years old big in Japan,” says Ruiz. "We used red because it has power to give people energy.” Photo courtesy of SOMA Cakes

She first arrived in New York as a student in 2000 and earned a diploma at the Institute of Culinary Education. Her U.S. visa was running out, so Ruiz took a shot and emailed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, asking to meet with him. Morimoto was so impressed with her work that he offered her a job. She worked at Nobu for five years before moving to a French patisserie that has now closed and completed her education in Paris at luxury baker Ladurée.

Returning to New York she worked in several custom cake shops in the city before founding SOMA cakes in 2019 alongside business partner Satoko Newman. The name comes from the first two letters of her children’s names, Sofia and Matthew.

Hiroyo Ruiz and Satoko Newman, co-owners of SOMA Cakes NYC
Owner/designer Hiroyo Ruiz, left, founded SOMA Cakes NYC in 2019 along with partner/business manager Satoko Newman. Together, they have decades of experience in the custom cake creation. Photo courtesy of SOMA Cakes

SOMA offers pre-designed cakes—including Gold Sail and Blue Marble with Gold and Silver Streaks—and custom orders. There are nine flavors to choose from, with eight varieties of filling (custom orders at additional cost.)

Ruiz loves every step of the process involved in making her meticulously crafted creations: from designing and baking to sculpting and painting.

The craziest cake she ever made? A four-foot, green and black tank—complete with bazookas and other weapons—ordered by a wife for her military-loving husband. Ruiz will allow that the delivery of that one was pretty stressful.

And her favorite flavor? Why, strawberry shortcake, of course. “I’m from Japan,” she laughs. “I was raised on it.”

SOMA cakes start at $500 for a pre-designed creation; $2,800 for a custom build.

Hero photo courtesy of SOMA cakes

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