Maida Heatter

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Maida Heatter
Born(1916-09-07)September 7, 1916
DiedJune 6, 2019(2019-06-06) (aged 102)
OccupationCookbook author
  • David E. Evins
  • Ellis Gimbel Jr.
  • Ralph Daniels (until his death)
FamilyMerrill Heatter (cousin)

Maida Heatter (September 7, 1916 – June 6, 2019) was an American pastry chef and cookbook author who specialized in baking and desserts.


Heatter was born in Baldwin, New York, the daughter of radio commentator Gabriel Heatter and Saidie Heatter (née Hermalin).[1] She graduated from New York's Pratt Institute in fashion design and began a career as an illustrator of merchandising, then subsequently switching to jewellery design, and then finally becoming a baker and baking instructor.[2]

Her career as a professional cookbook author began when her skills in dessert making caught the attention of Craig Claiborne, a former food section editor of the New York Times.[2] In part through his numerous endorsements for her[3] and his suggestion to her to write her own cookbook, Heatter began her decades-long career in teaching baking and writing cookbooks.[2]

The quality of her recipes caught the attention of many prominent figures in the trade of cooking and baking,[2] garnering praise from numerous celebrity and media sources.[4] Heatter's cookbooks have been the recipient of three James Beard Foundation Awards, and she herself was inducted into the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America in 1988. She was also inducted into the Chocolatier Magazine Hall of Fame.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Heatter was married three times. In 1940, she married shoe designer David E. Evins, who was also Jewish; they had one daughter before divorcing.[6] In 1949, she married Ellis Gimbel Jr., grandson of Adam Gimbel and brother of Richard Gimbel.[7][8] In 1966, she married Ralph Daniels (died 1994).[9] Her only child, daughter Toni Evins, died in a glider accident in 1994.[8] She turned 100 in September 2016[10] and died in June 2019 at the age of 102.[11]


  • James Beard Foundation Awards[12]
    • 1998 Cookbook Hall of Fame Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts
    • 1988 Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America
    • 1981 Single Subject Book Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts
    • 1978 Specialty Book Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies


  1. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (June 7, 2019). "Maida Heatter, Cookbook Writer and the 'Queen of Cake,' Dies at 102". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Hobart, Christy, The Queen of Cake, Saveur, archived from the original on 2011-06-13, retrieved 2010-02-14
  3. ^ Hesser, Amanda (11 March 2009), "1966: Maida Heatter's Popovers", The New York Times
  4. ^ The Maida Heatter Classic Library, Cader Books
  5. ^ Maida Heatter's Biography,
  6. ^ Nottingham, Leslie L. (2009). "Well Heeled Lifestyles: The Shoes of David Evins and the Women Who Wore Them, 1947-1991" (PDF). The Smithsonian Associates and Corcoran College of Art + Design.
  7. ^ "Ellis Gimbel Jr., Stock Broker, 66". The New York Times. January 5, 1964.
  8. ^ a b Hamlin, Suzanne (December 7, 1995). "Cookies A Hallmark For Heatter". The New York Times. Before her 29-year marriage to Daniels, she was married to Ellis Gimbel, a scion of the department store family, and to David Evins, the shoe designer. Toni Evins, Heatter's only child and her daughter with Evins, died last year at 45 in a freak glider accident. Daniels died of cancer three months later.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Barbara (May 2, 1985). "Dessert Still Plays Vital Role in Life of Maida Heatter". Orlando Sentinel.
  10. ^ Ellen Morrissey (2017-03-20). "The Queen of Cakes, That's Maida Heatter". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  11. ^ Scattergood, Amy (June 6, 2019). "Maida Heatter, the queen of chocolate desserts, dies at 102". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  12. ^ JBF Awards, James Beard Foundation