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Perhaps the most talked-about feature of Harvard’s 375th anniversary celebration is the cake. Baked by Joanne Chang ’91 and her staff at Boston’s Flour bakery, the 15-by-18-foot H-shaped cake comprises 60 individual red velvet sheet cakes, frosted with vanilla-flavored Swiss meringue buttercream. As predictions of inclement weather—thunderstorms in the early evening, followed by more rain—sparked rumors that Harvard might postpone the evening’s festivities, the University appeared poised to forge ahead. Chang’s staff arrived around noon to begin assembling and frosting the cake, which was protected by a tent with side flaps.

See the photo gallery above to learn more about the cake; see also the list of ingredients required to make a cake of this scale, and a video that tells more about it. Read more about the gala being planned for this evening, including the steps Harvard is taking to make the event environmentally friendly, and rehearsals of a “flash mob” of dancers.