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LeBron James birthday cake controversy has baker hopping mad (video)

Jan 6, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT


Our story so far: Boca Raton, Fla., baker Alethea Hickman got a frantic (all caps!) email from the Shelborne South Beach hotel last week, saying that LeBron James was having a New Year’s Eve/birthday party where he was also announcing his engagement. They needed a birthday cake, so Hickman set to work.

She created a five-tier cake for The King at her shop, Passion For Pastry. (Her cake is the one on the right). Hickman said the cake was worth $3,000, but agreed to hand it over for free in exchange for publicity from the hotel. OK so far.

She had the cake delivered, but apparently LeBron’s people rejected it, and made arrangements for a different cake (pictured on the left).

But when she went online early on New Year’s Day, the photos tweeted worldwide were those of an ivory-colored rum cake with gold lion’s heads from Miami’s Divine Delicacies.

“I don’t even know where my cake went,” Hickman said. “I was mortified. They had me do it in the middle of the holiday crush and I hired additional people. Someone needs to pay.”

Galbut said James’ people decided Hickman’s work wasn’t fit for the king: “It just wasn’t what was expected. When LeBron’s people saw it, they just didn’t want to use it and decided to bring their own cake. I can’t tell LeBron James what birthday cake to eat. It’s LeBron James, for Christ’s sake.”

Now Hickman is hopping mad and wants to be paid for the cake. Hotel managing principal Jared Galbut, however, is disputing the price tag. “That cake couldn’t be worth more than $600. It’s flour, eggs and water.”

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My favorite part: Hickman says she doesn’t want to start “a cake war.” Why not? Those are always the best wars!

LeBron’s girlfriend, Savannah Brinson, fared much better. Here’s the ring she got.

  1. skids003 - Jan 6, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Surprise, surprise. It must be fit for the King. What other explanation is there? Be gone, you worthless peasant.

  2. tomtravis76 - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    “Hotel managing principal Jared Galbut, however, is disputing the price tag. “That cake couldn’t be worth more than $600. It’s flour, eggs and water.”

    That is ridiculous, they requested the product and were getting it basically on trade for agreed upon publicity. The hotel didn’t live up to their pre-arranged agreement, so now they have to pay the original price, not what some DB feels he wants to pay. To degrade another persons business like that it completly unprofessional. Jared Galbuts job could be done by any highscool dropout for minimum wage.

  3. juanvelez6 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Everyone is blaming Lebron James for this. Lebron’s team NEVER asked Mrs.Hickman for a Cake nor less a FREE one. The hotel in the other hand did without not knowing Lebron James people had already order his favorite cake from where he always orders Divine Delicacies.

    Hickmans cake gets delivered earlier. Then The people at DD bakery delivers the cake, the Lebron James people say we didn’t order that cake. This is our cake. The Hotels respect their decision in not using the cake. Next day the Mrs.Hickmans sees how her cake was never brought out to him.

    Then she goes and tries to get attention going to local channels to bash the hotel and that Lebron people didn’t like her cake. Her cake was tasteless and ugly. Not sure why she has been in the food channel, obviously she didn’t win!!!!

    She shouldnt be upset!! Everyone in Miami knows. At least me that Divine Delicacies creates all of the Big “3” cakes for years. I think it’s fair what the Shelborne hotel it’s paying her $500 because that cake does NOT look like it cost $3,000. She is inflating the price to make a big deal Because they did promised her publicity they couldn’t guarantee. But out of this and she has gotten the worst publicity to her business after her poorly showcase of her cake. I myself would never buy a cake from Hickman after this. Her cakes are over price and cartoonish looking. She has given Lebron James and his team a very bad reputation this past days and it’s not fair!! The hotel should be the blame and herself for a very and I say horrendous cake.

    I loved the Cake his team paid and ordered from his prefered bakery Divine Delicacies they order this cake the night before through email. then created next day.

    Lebron haters research before you blame him.

  4. sgm405 - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    I can’t believe LeBron James did something douchebaggy…it’s sooooo unlike him!

  5. heavyalert - Jan 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    According to the Herald:
    Here’s the rub: It didn’t really go down that way. The baking job was actually double-booked by the Shelborne, and James — who never even saw the rejected cake — was presented with the one his people had wanted all along. But online fire-breathers didn’t care much for the details, so James spent much of the past week once again skewered as a pampered, childish celebrity.
    When criticism is due, I’m all for it. But, let’s not go overboard with this.