Warren Buffett is known as the “Oracle of Omaha.” The investing genius transformed Berkshire Hathaway from a failing textile manufacturer into a $522 billion conglomerate. But did you know he also has a notorious sweet tooth?
Coke is his favorite soda and the 88-year-old is known to drink several a day. Buffett told Fortune in 2015, “I’m one quarter Coca-Cola.” “If I eat 2,700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings.”
Berkshire Hathaway even held an $18 billion stake in The Coca-Cola Company as of June 30. Buffett can never have enough Coke, so when he visited Smith & Wollensky in Manhattan on his 88th birthday, he was surprised with a special Coca-Cola-themed cake.
His birthday also serves as a charity luncheon to benefit the Glide Foundation at the steakhouse every year. Bidders donate millions for the chance to dine with Buffett. The auction went marvelously well with the winner’s bid topping $3.3 million.
The confectionery masterpiece was themed as a Coke float. The entire chocolate cake was soaked with cola syrup and topped with dark chocolate ganache. Pastry Chef Cory Colton tells CNBC Make It, the buttercream was made to taste like ice cream and to accomplish the correct taste, the chefs bought freeze dried “astronaut ice cream” and whipped it like frosting, he adds.
The cake took over four days to make with fellow pastry chef Lucy Blanche. Although the two were baking a cake for one of the richest men in the word, they claim they didn’t feel nervous at all. “He’s just such a nice, comfortable, kind guy,” Colton says of Buffett. “I never feel like we have to continuously impress him.”
Last year on Buffett’s 87 birthday, Smith & Wollensky created a “birthday cake extravaganza” which sparked the idea behind the Coca Cola cake. “Last year’s theme was Warren Buffett’s favorite things and we didn’t really get to include the Coke element,” Colton says. “This year we wanted to just focus on that.”
Buffett claims he’s always had a sweet tooth and would take his “nickel-a-week” allowance straight to the candy store when he was younger. He and fellow billionaire Bill Gates took a trip to a candy shop in June, where Buffett opened up about his favorite treats. “I like the peanut brittle a lot and there’s no way to stop once you start eating peanut brittle,” he said. “And Whoppers, I love. And Milk Duds. … I like almost everything. Just offer it to me and find out.”
With a lot more money is his pockets these days, Buffett is still spending on sweets. Berkshire Hathaway owns See’s Candies and Dairy Queen. Although consumers are trending towards healthier food choices, Buffett says he enjoys his sugar-filled treats.
At Berkshire’s annual meeting in 2016, Buffett said, “I am a very, very, very happy guy.” He continues, “I really wish I had a twin, and that twin had eaten broccoli his entire life, and we both consumed the same number of calories. I know I would have been happier, and I think the odds are fairly good I would have lived longer.”