Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mele Kalikimaka!
Mele Kalikimaka!  That's "Merry Christmas" in Hawaiian.  It's always difficult getting in the Christmas spirit over here.  No snow on the ground, no roasting of chestnuts by an open fire, no bundling up in our winter attire while sipping hot chocolate.  This is not to say that we don't enjoy our Hawaiian Christmases.  We have beautiful 80 degree weather perfect for spending a day at the beach. President Obama and his family are here in Kailua for Christmas, which is always fun, and we get to enjoy the comforts of home with family.  Still ... no snow, no snowflakes and certainly no snowmen.  Fortunately, we have clients who also desire to have a winter wonderland here in the tropics, and every now and then we get the opportunity around Christmas to make a winter themed cake.  This year we have two of them and one even has snowmen on it!

The blue and silver cake above is the first of our two winter/Christmas themed wedding cakes this month.  Rick designed the striking 4-tier cake along with a groom's cake for Eseta and Poasa's wedding last Saturday night.  They requested snowflakes to be used on the cake and wanted it to be fun and elegant at the same time as well as integrate their wedding colors of light blue, silver and white.  Eseta gave Rick carte blanche when designing their cake.  In person this cake was full of sparkles and details difficult to convey in the photo.  The bands on the bottom of each tier sparkled as did the custom handcrafted snowflake topper.  Conceptually, Rick's idea was to express the falling of snow and to have a feel of winter wonderland.  This cake was so pretty and full of life!  We can't wait for our next Christmas themed cake, coming next week!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quarry Books Giveaway - And the Winner Is ...

There was much excitement about the Quarry Books sponsored Giveaway on the blog last week!  The 1000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes book is a must-have in any cake or baking enthusiast's library.  We own two copies, one in our shop for clients to look at and one at home.  Earlier this week Rick was a judge in a local cupcake competition and the organizer of the event purchased this delightful book which Rick signed.  The autographed book was included in the prize package that the winner received.  We hope this book will inspire Donna, the winner of the cupcake competition as she continues to pursue her baking passion, as well as the winner of our Quarry Books Giveaway on the blog!  Before we announce the winner, we would like to say that if we could, we would gift each one of you a copy of this beautiful picture book. 

(drumroll please) And the winner of our Quarry Books Giveaway is ...

Jen Ramsey

Congratulations to Jen on her winning entry! Jen is an avid reader of the cakelava blog and the 2nd person to enter the giveaway.  That's what we love about random drawings, it doesn't matter when you enter, everyone has a chance.  Rick and I have known Jen for several years as she used to work as a wedding coordinator for Weddings by Grace & Mona, a top event planning company in Hawaii before moving to Idaho this year and opening up her own event planning company, Weddings and Events by Jen Ramsey.  (Jen, we hope you don't mind if we give you a plug! )

On her entry Jen wrote:  Hi Rick and Sasha!! I found the picture of your wonderful Indian Pillows cake on page 22! Miss working with you two and seeing your fabulous cakes! Would love to have a copy of this book to show all my Idaho friends what wonderful work you do! Hope to see you soon! Jen Ramsey

Enjoy your new book, Jen!

This Giveaway wouldn't have been possible without the generous contribution of Quarry Books publishers.  Rick and I thank the team at Quarry Books for their gift and the authors, Sandra Salamony and Gina M. Brown for assembling this beautiful picture book! 

Coming this week on the "Musings from Cakeland" blog ... our newest cakes!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Celebration at the Finish Line

We are blessed to have many repeat customers at cakelava, including Connie and Mike, who we made a wedding cake for last year.  Connie contacted us to make a surprise cake for Mike, who was running his first Honolulu Marathon on his birthday, Sunday December 12th and wanted a cake to reflect both events.  Mike is an avid runner and she was excited about the idea of a sculpted running shoe.  Not just any running shoe, but one in Mike's collection.  Rather than having just a shoe sitting on a board, she asked if we could add in a Finish Line with a "Happy Birthday" sign, to give it context and we thought it was a great idea!  Rick sculpted the shoe out of cake and all items used were edible.  Connie was so excited when she came to pick up the cake and said they would be afraid to cut into it.  Wishing Mike a  big Congratulations on finishing his first Honolulu Marathon and a Happy Birthday!

Just a reminder that our Quarry Books Giveaway of one copy of "1000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies and Cakes" book will be ending tomorrow, Saturday, December 18th at Midnight Pacific Standard Time.  If you haven't entered yet, this is a fantastic opportunity to win a fabulous book featuring cakes by Rick Reichart of cakelava and many other amazing designers!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Giveaway! - Quarry Books

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!  If you submitted an entry past Midnight PST on December 18th, your entry was not counted. Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!
We had so much fun with our giveaway back in November that we have decided to do another one! Quarry Books, publishers of the gorgeous 1000 Series, have generously offered one reader of "Musings from Cakeland" a copy of their fabulous new book called 1000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes.  Authors Sandra Salamony and Gina M. Brown have assembled an exquisite collection of cakes, cupcakes and cookies from contributors all over the world, including our very own Rick Reichart of cakelava, who has 12 cakes featured in the book, including one on the back cover.  cakelava is proud to have our designs in this amazing collection that is a Bestseller on   The book has been so popular that we had to wait to run the contest because the publisher was tight on stock until another shipment arrived!

If you don't already own 1,000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes, now is your opportunity to have a copy or gift one for the holidays.  Our giveaway is super easy to enter!


This giveaway is available to residents of the U.S. ONLY.   Quarry Books will mail a copy of the book to the winner, so please make sure that we have a way to reach you by including your email address if if is not in your profile. 


To enter the giveaway, visit the link to the book at

Above the image of the book you will have the opportunity to "Click to Look Inside!" It is here that you will find the answer to our question:

On what page in the book is our Indian pillows cake shown (pic below)? 

Rick Reichart, cakelava, USA, image by Chrissy Lambert Photography

- Leave us a comment with the number of the page.

- Earn an extra entry by tweeting about the giveaway on twitter - include a link to this post.  Please leave a separate comment for each entry.


The giveaway ends on Saturday December 18th at Midnight PST.  One winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Monday December 20th on our blog. 

  A BIG thank you to Quarry Books for donating this wonderful prize!  Good luck everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Kristin and Joel's Wedding Cake 

Images courtesy of Rachel Robertson Photography 

For the past 12 hours the weather in Hawaii has been miserable with a capital "M".  The rain has been coming down in sheets.  There is thunder and lightning. The wind has been howling, knocking over power lines and trees, businesses have lost power (luckily we did not!) and we're all hoping for the sunnier days we're used to!

A miserable, gloomy day like today needs a little sunshine.  Today's blog is dedicated to everyone who is suffering in cold, snowy, wet, dreary weather and dreaming about sunnier days.  Kristin and Joel's Hawaiian sunset wedding cake makes me think about laying out at the beach and catching some rays.  Rick's design has managed to capture some of my favorite things about Hawaii -- the palms and lush greenery, watching a sunset that looks like its receding into the ocean, spending time at the beach, and the beautiful carved hawaiian art.

Kristin and Joel were married at the Halekulani in Waikiki, a perfect setting for a Hawaiian themed wedding cake.  When we met with them to work on their cake design they had a few requests.  They wanted something with a Hawaiian feel that was fun with flowers, tikis and surfboards.  The primary colors they wanted to be used were orange and green.  They selected our Banana Blueberry Mascarpone and Hot Fudge Sundae flavors to serve their 100+ guests.  Below an image of the couple during their cake cutting, photographed by the fabulous Rachel Robertson.  Joel is an officer in the Navy and like many of our military couples, chose to use a sword to cut the cake.  Love it!  Congratulations Kristin and Joel!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jessica and David's Wedding Cake

Jessica and David were married at a Waikiki resort less than 24 hours ago in front of several hundred guests.  We've been looking forward to making their wedding cake ever since it was designed and upon completion it quickly became one of our new favorite designs!  Working with Jessica and David was a wonderful experience! They encouraged Rick's creativity, wanting a showstopping design of contemporary elegance with a minimum of 5 tiers. This cake was 7 tiers, including the floral vase topper and a height of 3 feet.  Their colors were ivory, black and a pewter/silver color.   Rick had been working on all the handcrafted decorations throughout the week and spent most of Saturday making the cake.  When I first saw the finished cake, my jaw dropped.  I knew Jessica and David would fall in love with it. The towering wedding cake commanded a presence in the large ballroom decorated in black, white and silver.  Everything looked gorgeous and I only wish we had a chance to give our best to the couple when we delivered the cake.  We would have loved to see their reaction! 

Jessica and David selected three flavors from our menu to serve to their guests -- Kona Toffee Crunch, Peanut Butter Fudgey and Strawberries Chantilly.  We hope our couple loved their cake as much as we enjoyed making it for them.   Congratulations, Jessica and David!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Birthday Wishes from Afghanistan

Earlier this year we made a sculpted tiki cake for a woman about to leave to Afghanistan on deployment.  The cake was ordered by her husband as a surprise in honor of a birthday celebration before she left for duty.  The cake was a big success -- she, her husband and their guests loved it!  A number of months later we received an email from Afghanistan.  This time, it was her husband's birthday and she wanted to surprise him with his own special cake!  For both of our clients, incorporating Hawaii into the cake was important to them.  He chose a tiki with a surfboard for her and she requested a sculpted Honu (Hawaiian sea turtle) for him.  Both cakes looked amazingly realistic!

Hawaiian sea turtles are revered in Hawaii and most people think they bring good luck.  Sometimes when we are out swimming at our local beach they come right up to us.  it is a magical moment. They are gentle, beautiful creatures, and also look great in cake!  Rick has made many honu cakes over the years and each looks slightly different from the next.  The honu is sculpted out of cake and handpainted.  The handcrafted hibiscus flowers give it a further tropical touch.

Just like the tiki birthday cake, the honu cake was delivered to a party on a military base.  Our client had arranged for a friend to meet and escort us.  When we arrived at the building where the party was held, a familiar face walked by -- it was the birthday boy -- yikes! -- and we had to dodge him just so he wouldn't see his birthday surprise.  Luckily he didn't see us and we delivered the cake to the table where it patiently waited for its reveal!  From across the miles, we want to say "Thank You!" to our clients for including us in their special days!

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