Friday, July 31, 2009

Cute Cuppycakes

We don't often make custom cupcakes but we had a couple recently that were pretty darn cute! The photo on top sent by our client put a big smile on our faces, seeing her adorable son Van trying to get his little mouth around his Paul Frank monkey cupcake. Van's 2nd birthday party took place at an art gallery surrounded by beautiful Japanese gardens.

Van wrote us the cutest thank you note, with some help by his mommy, we're guessing. Our hearts always melt when the kids call us "Uncle Rick and Aunty Sasha":

Hi Uncle Rick and Aunty Sasha,
My birthday cake and cupcakes were the BEST!!!!!!! It made my party!!!!!!!!!!
My mom was especially happy and thank you for opening a business back home in Hawaii and bringing your talented husband with you!
Here are a few pics!
Until my next party,
Van M

Another super cute cupcakes birthday party we did was for Isaiah, whose under-the-sea themed cupcakes so perfectly matched the venue, the Oceanarium restaurant, which has a ginormous aquarium in the middle of the room and the cupcakes were placed in front of it. Our client Chanelle and her family made us feel like rockstars when we walked in. We had a video camera on us as we placed the cupcakes down and then they took photos of Rick and I with the mother, grandmother and baby Isaiah. They were so gracious and just loved the cupcakes. What a sweet family!

We've got some cool cakes lined up this weekend, and all very different from each other. Check back next week to see some of them, and visit in the meantime.


Uncle Rick and Aunty Sasha

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's good, it's still kind of moist

Some of the best foods out there are aged. There is nothing like a dry-aged steak, or how about a fruity, aged balsamic vinegar, or an aged wine. Then there are foods that should never be aged, take for example, cake. Cake is best eaten fresh, within days of making it. We will never quite understand the tradition of freezing the top tier, only to take it out 1-year later and take a bite of it. Now if that doesn't sound delicious, I don't know what does! We have also heard of people, mostly the older generations who have kept their top tier of the wedding cake in the freezer for decades and each year pull it out and enjoy a bite of it. The thought of eating something decades old is quite revolting, even if it has been frozen, and thawed (and frozen and thawed...).

You can only imagine our horror, when we saw an article on about a 36-year old government issue pound cake that was served at the Army retirement ceremony of Col. Henry Moak, who had been saving it since receiving it while serving in Vietnam back in 1973. He had saved it and planned for many years to serve it at his retirement. Apparently Col. Moak loved the pound cake that came in a can and ate it every chance he could get. Col Moak does have standards and told people he wouldn't eat it if it was black and moldy. Lines must be drawn somewhere. 36-years old. OK. Black and Moldy. Not OK. You'll have to read the article on to get the full skinny but he was quoted as saying, upon opening the 36-year old cake, "It's good, it's still kind of moist."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Andrew's Star Wars Death Star Cake

Rick made Andrew's Star Wars Death Star birthday cake the day before we went out of town. The same day we had the pirate themed sand bucket and another Louis Vuitton purse. Each time he finished a cake, I walked into the kitchen to see the final product and was amazed at his level of concentration considering the excitement of the trip ahead. Rick is a huge Star Wars fan and was determined to make the Death Star as detailed as possible. His idea was to have the Death Star in the process of annihilating a planet. Rick and I had never met Andrew prior to his birthday party but we knew based on our conversations with his mother that Andrew would be so excited when he saw his Death Star cake. His parents were kind enough to send us photos they took at the party. Andrew was thrilled and mesmorized with his cake when the family came to pick it up and I thought he was going to climb in the trunk with the cake to ride with it to the party. What an adorable child and such a fun cake to make!

A BIG shoutout to Great White Snark for showcasing our Death Star cake as today's Geeky Cake of the Week! The post is titled "The Best Star Wars Death Star Cake You'll Ever See Went to a Six-Year-Old." Upon arriving at the studio, I checked out the Great White Snark site, saw our cake as Geeky Cake of the Week then excitedly grabbed Rick, who was starting to work on cakes. We felt absolutely honored as we know he's seen a lot of Death Star cakes in his day.
We got so lost in the post and accompanying links including the hilarious "Awful Death Star cakes" that we almost forgot there were cakes to make.

The completely adorable Andrew, who just turned 7, and Rick with his cake.

The Death Star cake sat happily next to a Darth Vader pinata

Andrew and his classmates enjoying the cake

Visit for our ever-growing collection of Star Wars cakes, including the Millennium Falcon and R2-D2.

Til tomorrow, Aloha!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

grace ormonde WEDDING STYLE Magazine - So Dreamy!

cakelava has been featured in 3 of the past 4 issues of grace ormonde WEDDING STYLE Magazine including the soon-to-be-released Fall/Winter 2009 issue, which we can't wait to pick up! We were notified sometime ago that our cake made it to the final stage of review but as with any media, you never know if it will actually make the final cut and be published. With our fingers crossed, we went along with business as usual and then recently saw the new issue posted on the Wedding Style website and felt elated, both that Rick's cake had been selected and for our bride U`ilani, whose striking black and ivory wedding cake will be be shared with other brides around the world. I know she'll be tickled when we tell her -- brides always love seeing any aspect of their wedding in print. It is especially wonderful for us to be featured in grace ormonde WEDDING STYLE as this has been a magazine we consistently pick-up and share with our brides at our studio and is without question, one of the industry's best. We are so proud to have that affiliation. Grace, Yanni, Jessica and everyone at the magazine is top notch! We love the fashion and elegance of the magazine and how they feature cakes which take artistic risks, plus they respect the work we do. Although the week is just beginning, it's already off to a great start. Thank you, WEDDING STYLE!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Magical Miyamoto Matrimony

Above image courtesy of Hokuli'i Images

above image by cakelava

June was a very busy month for us. The weekend before Annie and Eric's wedding, who are our current Featured Wedding couple on , Rick designed and made a wedding cake we had on our books since Spring of 2008 which we were both excited and nervous about designing. Excited because the cake was for renowned Hawaii wedding photographer Dave Miyamoto of Dave Miyamoto & Company and his fiancee Michelle, and through our working together over the years we had grown to really respect Dave's work as well as their friendship and were truly honored when Dave and Michelle asked us if we would make their cake. Nervous because the cake was for renowned Hawaii wedding photographer Dave Miyamoto ... whose work, but more importantly whose face is known by everyone in the industry here and whose cake would include custom handcrafted figures of Dave and Michelle. Not to mention, their wedding vendors, many of which would be present at the wedding included photographer Geralyn from Hokuli'i Images, Debbie Hemingway of Designs by Hemingway, Ginniberries for catering, Susan O'Donnell of Aloha Wedding Planners , and The Bayer Estate, plus the presence of 2 well-known local magazines, and let's just say that this cake would be on stage and it.better.look.good. No pressure of course! Oh yes, and we also attended the wedding as their guests which meant most of the night we were sitting not too far away from Rick's cake.

It all worked out beautifully! The wedding was absolutely gorgeous and will be next month's Featured Wedding on It was a magical night and I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. Their sculpted shipwreck inspired wedding cake was a huge hit amongst the guests and most importantly, the couple loved their cake! Rick designed the cake to include some of their interests like Paddle surfing and their adorable dog Nacho. They selected our Banana Nutella and Peanut Butter Fudgey flavors for the cake, and we witnessed quite the cake cutting. To see more of the magical Miyamoto matrimony, look for our Sneak Peek to their Featured Wedding coming next month.

Congratulations to the Miyamotos!!

more to come soon. Aloha, til next time!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Sand Bucket of Pirate Booty

In case you thought we had abandoned you, we've been out of town and are just now catching our breath. We have a number of cakes made shortly before we left to share, starting with this adorable pirate themed sand bucket birthday cake filled with lots of handcrafted pirate booty. Rick designed the sculpted sand bucket in a blue-green color for birthday boy Kai, whose name in Hawaiian means ocean. He added a plethora of shells, jewels and sea creatures to complete the composition. It was large, abundant and so darn cute!

More cakes to come next week. Aloha!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Next Featured Wedding Sneak Peek - Annie and Eric

All images courtesy of Dave Miyamoto & Company

Our next Featured Wedding couple, Annie and Eric, probably didn't realize that shortly after we heard their choice of venue for the wedding, The Pacific Aviation Museum on historic Pearl Harbor's Ford Island, we started considering them as a feature on Just having a plum, unusual venue does not guarantee a spot as a Featured Wedding, all the right components have to fall in place, and indeed they did. Starting with first and foremost, a sweet couple, Annie and Eric, who we took an instant liking to. Then came the A-list of vendors which included Dave Miyamoto and Russ Ramos of Dave Miyamoto & Company, floral designer Debbie Hemingway of Designs by Hemingway, coordinator Dianna Shitanishi of Hawaii Weddings and Events, and cakelava for their beautiful brightly colored floral wedding cake and the P-3 Orion groom's cake. The couple chose the uncoventional venue to get married because Eric is in the Navy (see his P-3 Orion groom's cake in yesterday's blog) and they wanted to do something different. Their wedding was unique in a number of ways. They had a very short engagement period (around 6 months), it was a traditional jewish wedding, and they were married under one of the airplanes on display.

Annie and Eric had 3 photographers to capture their special day -- Dave Miyamoto, Russ Ramos and Dave's son who works in film and was in town visiting for Dave's own wedding the week before Annie and Eric's. The three of them worked their magic, as they always do and presented us with a plethora of beautifully shot images to share.

Annie and Eric chose bright, bold pinks, oranges, yellows and ivories for their wedding colors, and a tropical theme or should I say a tropical-aviation theme. It worked beautifully! Rick designed their wedding cake to include an array of gorgeous handcrafted tropical flowers cascading down the cake. It was a soft and feminine touch next to the airplane groom's cake. A perfect balance just like Annie and Eric!

Annie and Eric are flying high as newlyweds and we wish them both the very best!

Want to see more? Check out to see the rest of Annie and Eric's wedding!

Til next time, Aloha!

Friday, July 17, 2009

One of Those Days

It says "Can you Believe That's a Cake?"

I'm afraid we have to delay our posting of the sneak peek of the Featured Wedding til tomorrow. We had great intentions to run this awesome wedding which we're excited to showcase, then a number of things happened. For starters, we discovered our Palmolive cake on the home page of AOL this morning when we came into work. We were asked by AOL's new site, Party Central a while back for cake images and 6 (out of 20 images on the site) were chosen to feature. The feature is called "Bizarre Birthday Cakes" which we didn't realize at the time, but now it makes perfect sense why they would choose to show our SPAM cake, palmolive bottle, and others. Anyway, it was similar to the day we came in to work to find our "pillows" cake on the MSN homepage. Let's say it doesn't hurt things to be on the front of such prominent pages. Add to that a couple other blessings, including an upcoming cake feature on another big site in the near future and a national magazine requesting one of our cakes, and it made for one busy day!
Please join us tomorrow for Annie and Eric's Featured Wedding!

Til then, Aloha!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Eric's P-3 Orion Sculpted in Cake

above photos by cakelava

As promised, here is a peek at our next Featured Wedding on Today we're focusing on the super cool sculpted P-3 Orion Navy plane made for the groom, Eric, and tomorrow we will sneak a peek at the Featured Wedding, which will be posted soon after. When our bride Annie approached us to make a replica in cake of the P-3 Orion plane, which Eric regularly flies, we knew he would go ape-you-know-what for this awe inspiring groom's cake and we all got excited for the surprise. Annie told us that Eric takes good care of her and is always surprising her and she wanted the opportunity to do something nice for him. Something that would really knock his socks off and we knew this would do it. Annie provided us with everything we needed to make Eric's P-3, including two patches with emblems of Eric's past and present, which Rick painted onto the back wing of the plane. The pressure was on! Not only would Eric know what his plane looked like, so would his other Navy buddies attending the wedding. Add to this a desire to please a couple we had become very fond of over the months, and who deserved a groom's cake that would WOW every guest in the room. Mission accomplished!

Below are some images by the couple's photographers, Dave Miyamoto and Russ Ramos of Dave Miyamoto & Company taken at the wedding. The two of them did a terrific job capturing the wedding and we can't wait to share the Feature with you. Enjoy!

a screen was put up to hide the plane from the groom. Eric going ape-you-know-what over his P3.

detail of the P3-Orion showing the tiger emblem

cakelava delivery team at your service! Rick struck a pose for photographer Russ Ramos.

The venue for the wedding was in a most appropriate space perfectly suited to the couple. Come back tomorrow to meet our couple, Annie and Eric, and sneak a peek at our next Featured Wedding!

Aloha, til then!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cranes, Bamboo, and "Joy"

Yesterday's yakudoshi birthday cake was full of good luck, which is exactly what our client wanted for his wife's special day. Rick drew inspiration from one of his previous 3-tier yakudoshi designs (shown on which included turtles, cranes and dragons, all symbols of good luck. For this yakudoshi cake, the client requested cranes and bamboo and to have the symbol "Joy" on the cake. Japanese birthday wishes in front completed the cake, and our delicious Chocolate Dream flavor made the cake as tasty on the inside as it was lovely on the outside. Happy Birthday Dawn!

Join us tomorrow as we reveal a sneak peek to our upcoming Featured Wedding on

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A NYC Christmas Scene in Hawaii

All images courtesy of Absolutely Loved: Stefanie and Anna Riedel

It must have been 80 degrees outside when we delivered this snowy winter wonderland wedding cake. This beautiful metallic and white wedding cake drew its inspiration from a wedding proposal that took place at New York City's Rockefeller Center during Christmas time. It was an unusual request that came to us (as they often are -- thank goodness!) to create a Rockefeller at Christmas themed wedding cake, for a summer wedding, without actually putting Rockefeller center in the cake. Challenging. The couple wanted to keep the design more about the Christmas tree and the two iconic angels in front. Originally we were asked to create the angels out of spun sugar which with Hawaii's humidity and an outside wedding in nearly 80 degree heat, we thought it would be best to have Rick create the angels to work more with the environment and opted for a different material. At the couple's request, the cake was made using whites and metallics, which looked rich and elegant.

This cake was gorgeous in person and was exquisitely captured by photographer Stefanie Riedel, of Absolutely Loved. Stefanie, who is originally from Germany, told us that seeing the snow on the cake brought back memories of Europe. She loved the story behind the cake, as did we. That's what weddings are all about, bringing together those special memories of the couple in the most significant celebration of their lives!

Aloha, til next time!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Wienermobile Sandwiched Between Two Tikis

Wednesday, which was also 7-8-09, was one of those oddly wonderful days that come along once in a blue moon and just make you feel good! For starters, we had two of our signature tiki cakes booked on 7-8-09, both for destination weddings with smaller guest counts. Our first bride, Connie picked up her cake as we were not able to deliver it due to our other wedding on the North Shore. Shortly after her wedding cake was picked up, Rick and I had to run some errands and drove past our local grocery store where we spotted a most unusual sight -- THE Oscar Mayer Wienermobile! Right in the heart of Kailua! Now between the two of us, we've lived on the East Coast, and West Coast including Maryland, New Jersey, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Hawaii, and neither of us can remember ever seeing the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in person. We MUST stop! But first, we must run back and grab our camera, which we promptly did. Luckily upon our return the Wienermobile was still there and we had just enough time to ham it up before we had to leave to drive out to the North Shore for Andrea's wedding, the second tiki cake of the day. Andrea's tiki cake was almost the same design as our "Gwen" cake, which we've blogged about. Rick made a different tiki for the top of Andrea's cake, and it looked spectacular!

THE Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in all its pork and glory! Can we get any luckier!

The cakelavians hamming it up before Andrea's wedding. Luckily the wiener costumes come in all sizes.

view from the backside

Love this!

how cool is this backside!

in case you wanted to know ...

Inside the Wienermobile. Check out this luxurious seating.

yellow and red, baby!

Our gracious host of the Wienermobile explaining the ins and outs of the Oscar Mayer wiener-world.

What a way to end the day. A beautiful drive to the North Shore and our signature tiki cake for Andrea!

More cakes to come. In the meantime check out or visit us on twitter.

Aloha, til next time!
the cakelavians

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