Friday, January 30, 2009

Maya Gets Messy (again)

First off, a big Mahalo to our reader Rachel who in response to yesterday's post, informed us that Cliffs Notes are a relic of the past, and all the cool kids now use something called sparknotes. For those of you as in the dark as we were, apparently sparknotes are available online at Barnes&Noble, totally free. How cool is that!

I was quite happy today to have the new sidebar mentioned in yesterdays post because I could very easily find "Getting Messy" written in July of 2008. Maya's messy cake was created in January of 2008, and later featured on the blog, along with photos kindly provided by her mother of the messy-themed birthday party. We were again contacted by Maya's mother to create a messy birthday cake for Maya, and this time she wanted a messy cake in sweet, girly colors fit for a princess. Rick was happy to make his messy cake again and came up with design above. I came into the kitchen a couple times while he was working on Maya's cake, and he was really getting into it. Just like last year's cake, the family chose the Guava Lava flavor they adore.

Messy cakes are harder than they look. Aside from chanelling one's inner Jackson Pollack, there is a fine line between a messy cake and a cake that's a mess. You want the messy cake to be beautiful, not end up on Cake Wrecks (though we love you, Jen!).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The cakelava Blog Crash Course

Remember Cliffs Notes back in grade school? Am I totally dating myself ... do they even publish those anymore? Rick and I have been out of grade school for quite some time and away from anything remotely resembling a Cliffs Notes, but have wished numerous times since for the Cliffs Notes/crash course version of something, and this is especially true of reading blogs.

How many times have you encountered a blog and missed the thousands of postings prior to that day -- some of them go back years! Realistically, how many of us can take the time to read each and every post in a blog's existence? Very few of us, and for this reason, we have created the cakelava crash course, which you'll find in the sidebar of the blog, right above our "Interviews from Cakeland" archives. If you are newly joining us, or want to re-visit a selection of some of the more popular postings, this section is for you!

Click and Enjoy!

Aloha ...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Big 2 Jessie!

You'll recall from the blog several days ago, our ride on the "Tommy Express". Right before we pulled into that stop to celebrate Reyn's 1st birthday, we helped Jessie celebrate her 2nd birthday, with a whimsical garden themed tilted creation. Using pastel colors and handcrafted butterflies and flowers, Rick designed Jessie and her guests an unforgettable cake. It was super cute and we got Spring Fever just looking at it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

She's a Little Bit Elegant, He's a Little Bit Rock-N-Roll

It's no secret that Rick and I are hardcore music fanatics, and relish any opportunity we can to be near music. It's been that way our whole lives, and those occasions where we're able to marry two of our most passionate loves, music and cake, in one harmonious and delectable piece of art, well, we both get a little giddy. We've been excited about Marchelle and Tom's wedding for months. Simply put, she's a little bit girly and elegant and he's a little bit rock-n-roll, and the union of the two are a perfect pairing. On Friday night, these two East Coasters celebrated their love in Waikiki with a reception room decked out in vibrant reds, purples and pinks, and two cakes that couldn't be more different, and worked beautifully together. Marchelle's cake was elegant with gorgeous tropical handcrafted flowers, in our Mixed Berries Chantilly flavor. For Tom's groom's cake, a chocolate cake filled with fudge, Rick sculpted a standing Epiphone guitar that looked so realistic Marchelle told us she had guests asking if it would be played later that evening.

Marchelle and Tom, we hope you felt like rock stars on your special day!

We'll be posting a photo of the sculpted Epiphone guitar on with our next updates!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Anakin Celebrates with Jack Skellington

If you want to learn the latest trends in baby names, ask the cakers. We hear them all, spelled every which way, and there are very few names we haven't seen come through here, with the exception of "Anakin", yes, as in Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader). Well, last weekend we made our first cake for an Anakin, and not surprisingly, the 6-year old birthday boy's parents are huge fans of Star Wars and originally came to us for a Darth Vader cake. Kids being kids have a mind of their own and Anakin decided he did not want a Darth Vader cake. Instead he would like a "Nightmare Before Christmas" themed birthday cake with Jack Skellington, and so we swapped The Vader for The Skellington, and the result is shown above.

Rick had far too much fun making Anakin's "Nightmare Before Christmas" cake. It's such a cool, fun cake and we both dreaded seeing it leave. Our client seemed extremely happy with it, and hopefully Anakin loved it just as much!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Letter From Ellen

A few months ago we received an email from a woman named Ellen in North Carolina inquiring about our CH 53 Delta USMC sculpted helicopter cake for her husbands retirement party in January. Her husband worked with the 53E's and she thought it would be a fun cake for him. Unfortunately, Rick was unable to make the cake for her husband's party, and we had to decline the request. Last week we received a wonderful email from Ellen on the day of her husband's retirement party saying that Rick's helicopter cake inspired her to make a similar one for the celebration, and would we mind if she shared the photos with us. She told us she wasn't a professional decorator but that she made her daughter's cake and has made cakes for friends over the years, with no formal training. I realize now that I should have referred Ellen to Rebecca Sutterby's (one of our previous interviewees on the blog) cake classes, so Ellen, if you are reading this, keep a lookout for Rebecca's classes in the south!

Both Rick and I were quite touched by Ellen's gesture of reaching out to us after the party, and I told Ellen we'd love to see her photos. She seemed excited to share them with us and they arrived shortly after. Considering she has had no formal training and is just starting out in her budding cake career, we thought it showed a lot of promise. Rick was quite impressed. The helicopter is a very difficult design both structurally and proportionally and she did a great job.
Her cookies were quite nice too. Ellen has given us permission to post her cake photos on the blog to share with you.

Ellen's helicopter cake may be a new beginning for her. In a follow up email, she told us that she has had numerous requests from the CO, other officers and a few other squadrons. She also caught the interest of the catering manager at the party asking her if she wanted to make more cakes for them. North Carolina, watch out, Ellen is honing her craft, and may be available for hire in the future. We told her we'd happily post her contact information if she decides to move forward with a cake career. For now, we hope she is loving her process of learning and thank her for sharing her experience with us. Go, Ellen!

The photos below are courtesy of Ellen:

See our CH 53 Delta helicopter and our portfolio of sculpted cakes on

Monday, January 19, 2009

All Aboard the Tommy Express

Over the weekend, our country got to witness all the excitement of riding the Obama Express. We were here making cakes no where near any of the stops of that historic train ride, but we got to take a ride of our own, on the Tommy Express -- choo-choo -- which rolled his sweet little locomotive self right into Reyn's birthday party, just in time to watch him turn 1. This wasn't our first Thomas the Tank Engine sculpted birthday cake, but they are always fun to make, and yes, a lot of work. Our Thomas cake was right at home, surrounded by Thomas themed party props, and a crowd of admirers to enjoy and chew-chew-chew the Hot Fudge Sundae flavored cake.

See our Thomas the Tank Engine cake and many more birthday cakes newly posted on

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Perfect Catch!

One of our newest wedding cakes this week took place at the Moana Surfrider's "Rooftop Garden" venue overlooking Waikiki Beach and featured a fly-fishing theme for a Canadian couple. Most of the cakes we've made using a fishing theme were for ocean fishing, not river, and this was a unique request that Rick embraced. Our bride Lesley gave Rick creative control over the design of the cake. Her only requests apart from the theme were the white/black contrasting colors and to use her porcelain toppers she purchased for the wedding. We thought these toppers were very cute and worked well with the fishing theme of the cake.

See this fly-fishing cake and many new cakes on soon!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Next Featured Wedding Sneak Peek - Leslie and Rocky

All images courtesy of Chrissy Lambert Photography

January's Featured Wedding on starts 2009 off with Leslie and Rocky's BIG, opulent, purple and white/black checkerboard BLING-ed out extravaganza wedding at Lanikuhonua on Saturday, November 1, 2008. Lanikuhonua's most extravagant wedding required a 2-day set up time. 2-days to set up, 500 guests, multiple tents and outside lounge areas, custom ice sculptures by Iceculture, Inc. out of Canada, security detail, a big wedding cake and groom's cake, and a Hawaii vendor list to drool over, starting with the team responsible for coordinating this amazing event, Weddings by Grace & Mona.

Leslie and Rocky were an obvious choice for us to feature. This fun-loving couple's wedding was the perfect blend of over-the-top elegance combined with a playful black and white checkerboard racing car theme, and some serious bling thrown in for good measure. One look at the fabulous images captured by Chrissy Lambert Photography, you'll see this is a couple who doesn't take themselves too seriously and fun is definitely the name of the game!

I'll never forget when we first met with Leslie and Rocky and they arrived at our studio in a vehicle almost too large for the parking space. Rick and I were looking out our window seeing if they would fit. Not only was the vehicle large with big wheels, it was tall. They were funny, sweet and down to earth, and looking forward to their wedding. Little did they know just how awesome it would be ...

Special thanks to the team at Weddings by Grace & Mona and Yvonne Floral Design for putting together such an unforgettable event! We can only list a handful of vendors on our website with the feature, but here is their complete vendor list. Mahalo to Jen at Weddings by Grace & Mona for providing it!

Coordination: Weddings by Grace & Mona
Reception Location: Lanikuhonua
Accents and Accessories: Original; Toppers with Glitz
Accommodations: JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa
Cakes: cakelava
Catering: Cater to Me- Christian Schneider
Ceremony: Sacred Heart Church- Waianae
Chocolate Fountain: Aloha Fountains
Emcee: Rodney Villanueva
Entertainment: Eight0Eight; Koa Uka; ShowTime DJ’s; Coco Chandelier and Friends
Flowers and Design: Yvonne Chapman, Yvonne Floral Designs
Hair and Make-up: Maleana Cosmetics, Katie Arbore (Dorys Foltin’s senior stylist)
Ice Sculpture: Iceculture Inc., Heidi Bayley, Ontario, Canada
Invitations/Stationery: Miemiko Atelier, Cari Nakanishi
Limousine: Roberts Hawaii- Trolley
Photobooth: Photo Booth Hawaii, Domi Doliente
Photography: Chrissy Lambert
Rentals: Catering Connection, Bruce Watanabe; Productions Hawaii, Mike Rossell; JMJ Rentals
Security: Securitas Inc.
Videography: Video 21 Productions, Janice Davis

"Les Roc" monogram and checkerboard motif

flowers by Yvonne Floral everywhere, even in Iceculture ice sculpted vases!

totally amazing "Les Roc" ice bar by Iceculture, Inc.

Rocky's Sprint Car Groom's cake.

Curious to see more? Visit in the coming days to see Leslie and Rocky's Featured Wedding!

Til next time .... Aloha!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bubbly, Engaged Love

We had fun working on this next cake, which was made for a recent engagement party. The couple wanted something that would symbolize important aspects of their long distance relationship, culminating in the proposal, which took place in a bubble bath. The sculpted antique clawfoot bathtub was surrounded by items including a SAMSUNG F250 cellphone, owned by the couple and represented their long distance communications. On either side of the cellphone, Rick placed a handcrafted acorn and plumeria flower, honoring the states of North Carolina and Hawaii, where they were living at the time. He also added candles, a bottle of champagne and a diamond engagement ring, which we were told by the future bride, were part of the proposal. Now that they are residing together in Hawaii and planning their wedding here, they appropriately chose our Hawaii Five-0 flavor to serve their guests. We wish our couple the best during this exciting time in their lives and we look forward to making their wedding cake.

See this cake along with many others on in the near future!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cute, cute, Oh So Cute! - The Girly Pink Tokidoki Cake

Happy Monday, everyone! Over the weekend we took a double dose of Vitamin Cute and Rick created this girly pink Tokidoki cake for Autumn's first birthday. Even the inside was pink with our Guava Lava flavor. This cake had been on order since shortly after our first Tokidoki cake was made for Laneah's 14th birthday. For the 14th birthday cake, Rick made that one in black and white and went for a more sophisticated look, and for Autumn, he opted to keep things cute and playful, and used different Tokidoki characters. Has anyone who is familiar with Tokidoki's ever counted how many different characters there are? There must be hundreds of them! You can probably tell by looking how involved these cakes are to make, but all the labor is worth the end product, and it doesn't get much cuter than this!

(as always, no toy Tokidoki's were used or injured in the making of this cake.)

side view of cake:

Kudos to Autumn's mother for creating a Tokidoki themed birthday party, to match her girly pink cake. Rick and I were both impressed at how much thought and creativity went into the centerpieces and favors. Here are a few photos snapped at the outdoor party:

Aloha, til next time ...

Friday, January 9, 2009

These Guys Can Party -- Hippos Go Berserk!

After our post on Elmo a couple days ago, I thought I'd continue the "Oh So Cute" theme and share another adorable characters birthday cake. Over the weekend we helped little Lily celebrate her first birthday with a (Sandra) Boynton's Hippos Go Berserk theme. Boynton's playful animals work perfectly on cake and they are always fun to do. To add a cute Hawaiian flair to the cake, Lily's mother requested to have one of the partying hippos wearing a hula skirt, and we gave this special hippo center stage.

What good is having a party if you can't party 360? Rick added more of the hippos to the backside of the cake, to make things even more festive!

Hippos aren't the only ones who can party. Check out these other loveable Boynton characters below.

Join us back here next week as we take "Oh So Cute" to another level, with a girly pink Tokidoki birthday cake and many others. If you are asking, "What's a Tokidoki?" check out our blog post on our first Tokidoki cake.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Elmo - A Little On the Funny Looking Side, But Oh So Cute!

Something about this little guy makes me smile everytime. With his cute, exaggerated features and perma-grin smile, Elmo is always ready for a party. When Raymee came to pick up her daughter's Elmo birthday cake, I felt compelled to follow the cake out to her vehicle. Maybe it was his oversized nose or those big, endearing eyes but I was mesmorized by his goofiness ... and intoxicated by the smell of the Rainbowlicious cake. I was helpless against this charming muppet.

Elmo was a big hit at the party because we got an enthusiastic thank you note from Raymee shortly after:

I just wanted to send a little note to say THANK YOU for such an AWESOME Elmo cake! We loved it...alot!! I told my husband we're getting a cakelava creation every year for Naiya's birthdays!! The colors were beautiful and the flavor was scrumptous! Thank you again and talk to you next year!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Kyla and Jen's Wedding Cake

Normally Tuesday nights are pretty quiet for events, especially weddings, but not if it's the night before New Year's Eve, when we found ourselves running from wedding to wedding. I can think of no better way to close 2008 and bring in 2009 than to marry your sweetheart with all your favorite people surrounding you. One of our last weddings of 2008 was a commitment ceremony for Kyla and Jen. Rick designed this beautiful maize-gold colored fondant wedding cake with abundant handcrafted edible fruit and dogwood flowers. Kyla and Jen chose our ever-popular "Hawaii Five-0" flavor to serve their guests. We want to wish Kyla and Jen congratulations on their wedding and many years of happiness together!

Check out in the coming weeks for many other new cakes!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sleeping Beauty's (Sand) Castle

Happy New Year Everyone! We're back, just as we promised. 2009 has gotten off to a brilliant start, with a bunch of fun and unusual cakes since we last wrote. Like this one, made for our bride Erin, whose North Shore wedding took place over the weekend. Erin wanted a really unique cake and being a big fan of Disney, she asked us if we could make her Sleeping Beauty's (Disney) Castle, and since it was a beach wedding, could we make it out of sand? I asked Rick and he's sculpted many castles and sandcastles over the years and was up to the task and at that point, all Erin and her fiance had to do was choose a flavor (our Coconut Pineapple Chunk), sit back, and dream about the sunny North Shore beach where their wedding would take place.

* disclaimer: no design molds were used or harmed in the making of this cake.

See our Sleeping Beauty's (Sand) Castle cake on with the next updates!

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