Friday, November 27, 2009

Towering Elegance in Orange and Gold

At the time we accepted the order for Malia's elegant wedding cake with feminine silhouette, orange roses and gold swirls, Rick already had his hands full with the Superheroes wedding cake, Chinese take-out box, Noah's ark cake and another wedding cake we haven't shared yet. The groom's sister ordered this wedding cake as a gift to her brother and his fiancee. She wanted an elegant white fondant wedding cake with handcrafted roses, gold swirls, and everything else was left up to Rick. He designed her 5-tier wedding cake with a vase of handcrafted roses on top, and a tall concave middle tier. It was a very striking in person and everyone loved the design. It was a beautiful gift that the bride will remember for years to come!

Join us on Tuesday, December 1st as we post part 1 of our Interview with cake designer extraordinaire Marina Sousa of Just Cake. Much will be revealed, including how she got into cakes, her experience on the Oprah Show and Food Network Challenges and just about everything else you would want to know. It was a wonderful interview and we can't wait to run it!

Janelle and Alex's Featured Wedding has been posted on and a selection of new cakes will follow soon.

Aloha, til next time!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Next Featured Wedding Sneak Peek - Janelle and Alex

All images courtesy of Stephen Ludwig Photography

Easily one of our favorite weddings of the year, our next Featured Wedding on will showcase Janelle and Alex's wedding at Lanikuhonua on June 13, 2009. We knew we were in for a real "treat" when Janelle contacted us last year requesting for a cartoon turtle hugging a cupcake for her wedding cake. We thought at first - we won't lie - "That's an odd request", but quickly realized as the rest of hers and Alex's wedding details came together that it was an absolutely perfect cake for their wedding! The couple LOVES their sweets, especially Janelle, and the theme of the wedding revolved around sweets and treats of the edible variety. How much do they love sweets? Let's count the ways ... The wedding cake was a sculpted turtle hugging a giant cupcake. We made giant sculpted cupcakes to be placed on some of the guest tables, and the other tables had baking related centerpieces, such as a bowl filled with small marshmallows, Sprinkles cupcake mix, a giant spoon, etc. Janelle and Alex provided a large candy buffet for their guests, filled with giant lollipops, licorice, salt water taffy, and many other goodies. The motif of the wedding was a cupcake which was found throughout the reception area. The pinata (yes, this wedding had a pinata) was a cupcake for the women and a liquor bottle for the men. This is just the sweets. We didn't even talk about the cuisine. Two words. Food Porn -- this foodie was in heaven! Since Janelle and Alex's wedding was a mid-day reception, guests were served a delicious lunch catered by Ginniberries. Everything was minaiture and the food looked amazing!

The wedding colors were just as fun! Vibrant pinks, greens and oranges were found throughout the wedding. Everything had that special touch, that extra customization that made the wedding unforgettable. Emi Ink, made all the paperie, and she did a wonderful job. The fabulous Mona Hirata of Weddings by Grace & Mona designed a knock-out event giving Janelle and Alex everything they wanted and more, pulling together an A-list of vendors which included Stephen Ludwig Photography, Ginniberries, Showtime DJ's, Emi Ink, Spinning Web Florist, and cakelava for the cakes.

The sweetest part of this wedding was of course, Janelle and Alex. Two of the kindest, most gracious people around, and they do love their cake. So much that we're already working with them on their anniversary cake design.

Janelle and Alex's wedding and their cake were previously showcased on our blog, but with images as beautiful and artistic as what we received from Stephen Ludwig, who is also an amazing artist, how could we pass up this wedding. Enjoy!

Janelle and Alex's wedding will be posted on in the near future.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Rick and Sasha

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mmmm... Noodles. Chinese Take-out Box Cake

It's lunch time and my stomach is growling, which may explain our choice for the next cake to showcase on the blog. One of a number of cakes Rick recently made, this one was made for a 60th birthday party in Chinatown. As I'm looking at the Hot Fudge Sundae flavored Chinese takeout box filled with noodles and the accompanying fortune cookies on the side, I'm reminded I really need to eat lunch. Rick sculpted the box out of cake and all components are edible. To personalize the box, he put a Chinese zodiac sign of the Ox, as requested by the client.

The cake was a huge hit among both the attendees of the party and the people who couldn't make it. See our Thank You note from our client Samantha, who also provided these marvellous photos. Thank you, Sam!

Dear Rick and Sasha,

I just had to email you once more to thank you so much for such an AWESOME cake. I kind of had an idea what the cake would look like, but it's a completely different story when you see it in person. The Chinese Takeout box cake was SO realistic and still just a bit cartoony!! My mom LOVED the cake and so did everyone at the party. For those that couldn't attend I snapped a few pictures with my cell phone and sent them a picture, it wasn't until they read the message that they realized they were looking at a cake! Some of them thought it was an actual order of noodles! It was an awesome cake and tasted just as yummy as it looked!! You both are awesome, awesome people and I so look forward to working with you folks again!

Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you on TV!!

Samantha T. and Family

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Coming Soon - cakelava Interviews Marina Sousa!

It's been a year since we conducted our last interview in our "Interviews from Cakeland" series. When our last interview ran, with Elisa Strauss of Confetti Cakes, we had already lined up Marina Sousa of Just Cake to be our next interviewee. Around this time Marina suffered a tremendous personal loss and we had to put the interview on hold til the opportunity was right. Last month, shortly before Marina was scheduled to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show, she reached out to us to congratulate Rick on his upcoming Food Network Challenge and it was then that all the stars lined up just as the universe meant them to be, and we decided THIS was the time to run the interview. Over the past couple of weeks Marina and I have been conducting our interview, fulfilling what was started a year ago. I am a firm believer on the timing of things, that events occur when it is appropriate and I can't think of a better time when someone is on top of the world and in her element, to find out how she got there and why she is so deserves to be there. My upcoming interview with Marina left me inspired, touched and an even bigger "Marina" fan than I already was. She is one amazing lady and we are very excited to share the interview with our readers! As one of the top cake designers out there and a Food Network superstar, we are honored she has shared so much with us!

We will be running Marina Sousa's two-part interview on our blog shortly after the Thanksgiving holidays, during the first week in December. We will keep you updated on the exact days both here and on Facebook.

In the meantime, we urge you check out Just Cake's incredible portfolio of cakes and read about Marina's many accomplishments.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Noah's Ark Birthday Cake

After a week full of artistically challenging designs which included several wedding cakes and sculpted cakes, Rick ended his cake week with this super cute Noah's Ark cake for a Isaiah's first birthday. Unlike Noah, who supposedly had one hundred plus years to build his ark, Rick worked on his over the course of three days. The ark was made entirely out of cake and everything on the cake was edible. Rick spent hours sculpting the ark and handcrafting dozens of animals to fill his ark, so it could be viewed from all sides. It was absolutely adorable and the family of the birthday boy couldn't be happier with the end result. Shortly after we arrived on site for the delivery, it started to rain, but it was only a drizzle. Thankfully, it didn't continue for forty days and nights. Happy Birthday Isaiah!

To see more children's birthday cakes in our portfolio, visit

Aloha, 'til next time!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kapow, Thwack, Christina and Jason's Superheroes Wedding Cake

Christina first contacted us to make her wedding cake back in January when she and her fiance Jason were stationed in Iraq. She told us that Jason was a big fan of Captain America and this was something she wanted incorporated into their cake, possibly as a groom's cake. When they returned to Hawaii from Iraq in the summer, we met with the couple and it was decided at the meeting Rick would design a Superheroes themed wedding cake, with a custom figure of Christina as Wonder Woman and Jason as his favorite Superhero, Captain America. We were all excited about the idea and the couple absolutely loved Rick's design when they saw the sketch. The couple gave Rick carte blanche on the design and his idea to create a backdrop of a metropolis in the cake. Christina and Jason are a couple of hipsters and wanted to do it Old School, which was perfect for us, because we're Old School too. The couple hired a wonderfully artistic photographer Christen Vidanovic, of Nineteen Owls Photography to capture their wedding day. For a non-traditional couple like Christina and Jason, Christen was a fantastic match and we can't wait to see her images! The wedding and reception took place at the beautiful and lush Haiku Gardens last Friday. Just as they went unconventional for their wedding cake design, so were the flavors of their wedding cake. They chose our super delicious Local Kine Special and Kona Toffee Crunch flavors, to serve their guests. Hopefully Christina and Jason, our Superheroes had one fabulous day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Cakes for a Cure" - American Cancer Society Relay for Life

As Thanksgiving approaches, we have so much to be thankful for. Aside from the love and support of our friends, family and each other, Rick and I have been counting our blessings recently, as many new and exciting opportunities have come our way. One in particular that we are very excited to be a part of is the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life "Cakes for a Cure" which is taking place on April 24, 2010 in Greenwood, S.C. The theme of this year's American Cancer Society is "More Birthdays: Creating a world with more birthdays" and what pairs up perfectly with birthdays? Cake!! Cake is synonymous with comfort, caring, celebration and commemoration, as is Music. Bringing together cake and music is the idea behind Greenwood, S.C.'s Relay for Life teams "Cakes for a Cure" fundraiser presented by Co-Chairs Patti Gagstetter and Valerie Hofstetter. This one day cake fundraising extravaganza in Greenwood will feature cake competitions, demonstrations, a "Showdown Challenge", concert, ice cream and cake social and an amazing 2010/2011 calendar of cake designers available only through "Cakes for a Cure".

Some of the enticing line-up of events include a cake competition with 20 categories to enter. Demonstrations by cake designers Norm Davis and Zane Beg, who will be making a 4 foot tall dress form cake with the cancer ribbon. Ashley Vicos will be demonstration air brushing techniques. The "Showdown Challenge" will be emceed by Ashley Vicos and will feature challengers from 3 states competing. And then there is the calendar and t-shirts, which, if you don't have the opportunity to get to Greenwood, S.C. for the event, you can still help support the cause and get a beautiful memento from the event.

cakelava was invited several months ago to be a part of this incredible event and we accepted the invitation right away for Rick to appear in the "Cakes for a Cure" 2010/2011 calendar. Rick, along with a number of other well-known industry cake artists throughout the nation will design and decorate a cake based on their theme "With a Song in My Heart". He will be selecting a song and designing a cake around it, to be presented in the calendar. The calendar will be available at the "Cakes for a Cure" event in South Carolina as well as through their website after the event. We felt honored to be asked to take part in such a worthwhile cause!

Unfortunately, we have weddings booked that weekend and are not able to fly out to Greenwood, S.C. to be a part of "Cakes for a Cure", but we and our cake (via the calendar) will be there in spirit to show our support. If you are wanting to contribute to this wonderful event, "Cakes for a Cure" has recently released t-shirts and aprons for you to purchase. For each t-shirt purchased, $6.50 will be donated to The American Cancer Society Relay for Life and $7.50 per apron will be donated. There are two designs to choose from: Design #1: "Surviving Cancer is Icing on the Cake" and Design #2: "Finding a Cure is No Cake Walk". Check out the Relay for Life, Greenwood chapter's website for all the information on this exciting event! Please help show your support by ordering t-shirts and aprons, and the calendars in the spring, which will in turn help more cancer survivors celebrate more birthdays!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Girl Fest Hawaii Cake

We knew as soon as we received the "Save the Date" poster for Girl Fest Hawaii 2009, that Rick was going to use the scene in the poster in some way on the cake he was making for the soft opening of Girl Fest, last Friday night. It was a powerful depiction of women of all cultures united for a single cause, beautifully painted by artist Kristen Napier. As we discussed possibilities for the cake, we both agreed that we didn't want to deconstruct the poster onto a stacked or sculpted cake because the piece on its own made such an impact. It represented everything we wanted on the cake and it was then decided Rick would handpaint the scene on the cake with a lovely frame around it. Since the soft opening was in honor of local women artists who had their work displayed throughout the gallery, this would fit in perfectly!

During a busy weekend of many cakes including the ones shown on the blog this week, Rick had his work cut out for him. He spent a number of hours painting the intricate scene from the Girl Fest poster, and we were proud of the work, and so were the ladies when we delivered the cake. There were over 200 people that showed up that night to support the cause, including Shonna Hammon Glenn, one of the artists featured. Shonna, like us, was a sponsor of Girl Fest and wrote us a very sweet Thank You note following the opening:

Thanks again! Just wanted to let you know your cake was a huge hit! We even had to station two girls to guard it until 6:30pm. The place was packed all night despite the water main break and First Friday. I figure at least 200 people came. People wanted your cards and were still talking about it yesterday at the roller derby. I can’t imagine you wouldn’t get lots of business from it. And it made all the Girl Fest girls feel special. My kids are looking forward to seeing you on the Food Network!

Thank you,

For more information on Girl Fest, which runs through Saturday, please visit their website at There is a schedule packed with activities for you to attend. We also posted previously about the fest on our blog.

Join us next time to read about another great cause we are involved with and so excited about! This one will really appeal to the cakers out there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy 234th Birthday! The Few The Proud The U.S. Marines

For the past 3 years on November 10th, we've had a date with the United States Marine Corps, to make them a spectacular cake in honor of their birthday. Last night in the Sheraton Waikiki's "Hawaii Ballroom" we helped them celebrate their 234th Birthday party in style with a gigantic cake with the USMC globe and anchor emblem. The eagle is holding in his mouth a small "Semper Fidelis" banner, latin for "Always Faithful" and the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps. This cake was huge, serving at least 200 people and took up a substantial amount of space. Part of the cake ceremony for the military balls is the cake is wheeled out on a cart and then cut (often with a sword) by the General. For this particular cake, they needed a very large, sturdy cart to support the weight of the cake. It was beautiful cake in person and Rick got many compliments on it. People kept asking him "Is it real?". The famous, "Is it real?" question, meaning is it real cake, as opposed to styrofoam, or mostly styrofoam, which is what they expect. If we're doing a photo shoot, the cake is probably not "real" due to the amount of time it needs to sit under hot lights, but if it is meant to be enjoyed by lots of people, it's all real!

We want to wish the United States Marine Corps the happiest of birthdays! Today we will honor our veterans for their self-sacrificing dedication to our country. Today we salute all of you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mmmm... Giant .... Cupcake

If you want us to make you a cupcake, this is as small as we go. Why not have a single serving of something you love, have it full of scrumptious fillings and be able to share it with your friends? This is exactly what we did for our client Becky, who ordered her sister a surprise giant cupcake in our delicious Hot Fudge Sundae flavor using her favorite colors of bright pink and chocolate brown. When she saw the giant cupcake cake, Becky was excited to present her gift to her sister, who was getting over an illness. We're guessing this sweet cupcake lifted her spirits and made her sister feel like a kid again.

Aloha, 'til next time!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chrissy's Birthday Cake

This weekend was fantastic! It started off with a wedding cake made for a Japanese client of ours who we've been communicating with long distance in Japan for a number of months. It was wonderful to finally meet her in person and she even brought us some tasty treats from Japan to enjoy. Yummy! In between events we got a call from Food Network finalizing things, and of course that set off an enormous adrenaline rush! Next it was off t0 the Girl Fest gallery party in Waikiki where Rick's handpainted art cake was a huge hit with the 200+ attendees. On Saturday night one of our events included this super fun cake for Chrissy's 50th Birthday party. Chrissy's daughter and husband ordered the cake and chose the shape, similar to other styles on our website and provided colors along with a request for roses to be used and otherwise Rick could do what he wanted. Chrissy's cake was tall and dramatic in person and really matched the decor of the location. The party was sophisticated and elegant and the cake brought an element of whimsy into the room. Chrissy and her husband loved their Banana Nutella and Coconut Pineapple Chunk flavored cake. This was the second large cake we made for the family this year and hopefully many more to come!

Aloha, til next time!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Charging into their Future - San Diego Chargers Wedding Cake

cake photo by cakelava

There's a first time for everything, and sooner or later we were destined to make a San Diego Chargers themed wedding cake. Couples like Sonia and Moses are a rarity in weddings. In what was a truly selfless act of kindness, Sonia, a style-conscious bride with a wedding filled with pinks and purples decided she wanted to gift her fiance their wedding cake by having Rick design a fun, funky cake with her fiance's favorite team, San Diego Chargers. We were asked to make a cake using the Chargers' "throw back" colors, and the first thing we did was to look up exactly what that meant. She also requested for the Chargers' bolts to be used on the cake. She gave Rick carte blanche on the design as long as it was funky and incorporated the San Diego Chargers. During the design process, Sonia revealed to me just how much of a Diehard Charger fan Moses was:

Just so you have a little more information regarding Moses (my fiancĂ©’). He is a diehard Charger fan. He has season tickets every year. In fact, the first weekend I met him we went to Venice Beach and he got a Charger Bolt tattooed to the inside of his bicep. He lives and breathes Chargers. So much so, he wants us to watch the two Charger games that will be airing on TV while we are in Hawaii (keep in mind we have never been to Hawaii before). He wants us to bring our Charger Jerseys…insane. I think if it were up to him our bedroom would have a Charger theme…I will not let that happen. We are a fun loving couple in our late 20’s (27). Moses was born and raised here in San Diego and I have lived off and on in southern California for a lot of my life. Moses “claims” that we would have never met if the Chargers didn’t blow the playoffs almost 4 years ago. Otherwise he would’ve never come up to visit my roommate in Redondo Beach the weekend we first met. He would have been preparing for the Charger game instead.

Rick and I had a chuckle about this and instantly knew how important this cake would be to Moses. It makes designing so much more meaningful when we're given a backstory as fantastic as this. Thank you, Sonia! Even if we have never seen a Chargers game in our life (I know, terrible...), Rick was determined to give him the wedding cake of his dreams, courtesy of his lovely fiancee.

Stefanie Riedel, the couple's photographer shared with us these beautiful images of the couple enjoying their cake. We're guessing the groom died and went to Chargers heaven!

cake cutting images courtesy of Absolutely Loved/Stefanie and Anna Riedel Photography

Happy Friday! Aloha, 'til next time...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dragon Cake for a Yakudoshi Birthday

Cakes with dragons on them are a regular request for us, especially for the Yakudoshi birthdays, when you need all the help you can get, according to Japanese culture. The term "Yakudoshi" is comprised of yaku, meaning "calamity" and doshi, signifying years. Yakudoshi years are considered critical or dangerous because they are believed to bring about bad luck. With a large Japanese population in Hawaii, we get a fair share of yakudoshi cakes, and they always involve symbols of good luck such as cranes, dragons, and frogs. When the cake is of a larger size with stacked up tiers, we are reminded not to make 4-tiers because 4 symbolizes death in Japanese. Somehow Death and Good Luck don't mix. Knowing this, Rick designed Kim a 3-tier birthday cake. As with previous yakudoshi cakes, on her order we wrote "4 tiers = Death. Please Use 3". In addition to having a large good luck dragon wrappped around her cake, we made the cake red, which is a lucky color.

What you see in the photos of Kim's dragon cake is all cake, including the dragon. Rick sculpted the dragon directly on the cake and later took his almighty airbrush to it. It was an exciting process to watch and I felt priveledged to walk into the kitchen throughout the process and snap a few photos to document it. We seem to do at least 1 big dragon cake a year and they keep getting better and better. When she ordered her cake, Kim asked if Rick could put her near the dragon. Maybe she was hoping some of that good fortune would rub off on her, or maybe she just wanted to be on the cake. Either way, it was an adorable addition and she got a kick of seeing herself when we delivered her cake.

Aloha, 'til next time!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tiki Cake for a 17th Anniversary

A HUGE Thank You to all of you who have reached out to us in one way or another about the Food Network Challenge. We truly appreciate the support and encouragement!

One of our favorite tiki cakes to date was also the first cake Rick made in November, for a lovely couple celebrating 17 years of marriage. Rick sculpted a giant tribal looking tiki made entirely of cake -- our Guava Lava, to be precise, to honor the husband's love of Tiki's. As this was an anniversary cake designed for the couple, Brianna, our client, was also represented on the cake, in the form of a honey bee, positioned on the plaque, near the handcrafted plumeria flowers. Brianna's husband calls her his "honeybee" and she asked if we could work this into the cake somehow. The cake really knocked the socks off our clients when they came to pick it up. We saw a couple of jaws drop, which is always fun. As Rick was carrying their cake out to their car, Dodge, the owner of Koi Tattoo, located next door to our studio, came running out to look at the cake, which he saw from afar and loved it! Dodge is a talented artist, well-respected here and it was a great compliment to receive.

Brianna sent us a Thank You note after their anniversary:

Dear Rick and Sasha,

I would like to thank you both for fitting us into your schedule and making a fantastic Tiki cake that my husband loved as well as myself. It was amazing and it was delicious too... It was truly a wonderful anniversary present to ourselves and quite unique. At first my husband thought, okay cake, great, but when he saw it he was astonished with the craftsmanship and creativity that had shown through in the cake. It was fun and a great way to celebrate.

Thank you,

Brianna R

Aloha, 'til next time!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Food Network Challenge - Finally!

If you've been following our blog, you know we've had a long relationship with TV's Food Network Challenge, but not one that has culminated in an actual competition. Until now. Over the past couple of years Rick has turned down numerous challenges presented to us by the show due to commitments to our clients. Flying to Colorado for compete on a relatively short amount of notice just hasn't been in the cards for us because we get bookings well in advance and it's heartbreaking to have to cancel anyone. The last time we were approached was for an October date. October as in "Rocktober", which just finished, and there was no way we could possibly do it. Very few people know that we also had to decline an invitation to compete in the Ultimate Cake Off on TLC around this same time. We were thankful to be asked but couldn't do both at the time and had already committed to Challenge. We were all determined to make it happen and as luck would have it a new challenge appeared that we were not only able to make, but VERY interested in the challenge topic, which is all we can say about it. We're not at liberty to discuss any of the details of the Challenge, and neither is Rick's wonderful assistant, Anne (Annie) Welch, who has graciously agreed to collaborate with Rick in the competition.

A little about the Fabulous Annie Welch! Annie is a truly gifted cake designer who has been making cakes for about 20 years. She owns Cake-O-Rama, which is a name you probably recognize from the internet, and is well-respected in the cake community. Aside from being an awesome cake artist, Annie had the good fortune to do something that many people dream of. She interned with Mike McCarey who owns Mike's Amazing Cakes. Mike is considered by many to be the best cake sculptor around and who regularly appears on Food Network Challenges as both competitor and judge. Annie designed cakes at Great Cakes and Edible Monuments in Redmond, Washington off and on for 10 years. Rick worked at Great Cakes and Edible Monuments during our time we were living in Seattle, and that is where he first met and was inspired by Annie. Sadly, Great Cakes and Edible Monuments closed its doors in 2003, the year after Rick and I had moved to L.A. where he began working with Joan Spitler and Leigh Grode at Cake Divas. Annie was unable to make it down to L.A. for our wedding and we haven't had an opportunity to see her since we left Seattle. Prior to accepting our invitation to assist in the challenge, Rick and Annie were pulled together by the forces of the universe when we were both approached by AOL's "Holidash" for a feature called "Bizarre Birthday Cakes." cakelava and Cake-O-Rama had numerous cakes on the site, which also featured Charm City Cakes, Pink Cake Box and others. Annie's tremendous talent is evident in photo after photo.

Lastly, though she will be the Assistant, and Rick Reichart the official Competitor in this particular challenge, Annie is no stranger to the Food Network Challenges and has been approached a number of times over the years to compete, but the circumstances and timing wasn't right. She and Rick are now ready to bring their A-Game and we all couldn't be more excited (or nervous)!

Join us tomorrow to see the Tiki cake. We briefly interrupted our programming today and will resume with the regularly scheduled cake musings tomorrow. Aloha!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Birthday Cake

The month of "Rocktober" officially came to a close on Halloween and what better way to end such a crazy month than this fun Halloween cake made for Thomas Joe and Carson James, 2-year old twin boys who celebrated their birthdays on Saturday. Rick designed a cute, not scary Halloween cake for the boys and handcrafted a bunch of characters to help them party in style. The cake was Boo-tee-ful in person and a perfect closure to a very busy month.

and tomorrow ... an amazing sculpted Tiki cake. one of our best yet!


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