A Sweet Trend In Special Occasion Cakes

Jo McGarry
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Wednesday - June 02, 2010
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Cake Creations’ Lori Tamashiro and Lani Sonan

The latest food trend sweeping the nation involves perfect fondant, tiered castles and the ability to take a birthday party over the top. That’s good news for Lori Tamashiro and Lani Sonan of Cake Creations, a bakery in Manoa Marketplace, who’ve always known that cakes were cool.

“We started our business more than 15 years ago,” says Sonan. “Cakes have always been popular - wedding cakes especially - but now everybody seems to want a special occasion cake.”

There’s no doubt that TV has played a huge part in their most recent success.

“The Food Network has definitely had an influence in the rise of popularity of our business,” says Sonan. “It appeals to so many people, and it’s obvious that people know so much more now about how we do things.”

“Cakes are just so popular,” adds Tamashiro. “And any kind of cake is in demand right now, not just birthday cakes and wedding cakes.”


Cake Creations opened its first retail store last month, and customers can now stop in for cupcakes as they browse the cake selections in the designer catalog.

Among the traditional flavors of chocolate and vanilla you’ll find many new fillings that reflect a more sophisticated buyer.

“The designer cakes, and especially the fillings, are really important to people nowadays,” says Tamashiro, who admits that the bakery’s Rainbow Dream Cake is fast becoming a best-seller.

The three-tiered “dream cake” is made with layers of strawberry, white and lime cakes with guava mousse and lilikoi mousse piped between each one.

Other popular designer fillings include a citrusy lilikoi, lime and orange mousse.

“We’re trying to come up with new flavors that reflect the colors and the flavors of Hawaii,” says Sonan.

Average birthday cakes start at about $250 for a custom-designed cake. Sheet cakes start at about $100.

“Tiered cakes are the way people want to go nowadays,” Tamashiro says. “They see on the Food Network that everything is tiered and that’s what they want.”

Want your cake in the shape of The Mad Hatter or Curious George? That’s easy too.

“Some of our most fun cakes are the sculpted ones,” says Tamashiro.

Visiting the Cake Creations Web site offers myriad mouthwatering ideas for those in search of the perfect dessert, and if you fancy yourself as a budding designer, you can even sign up for some serious cake-decorating classes, where Tamashiro and Sonan teach everything from basic piping to advanced gumpaste flowers.

With the world of cakes at their fingertips, I ask the two bakers which one of their thousands of creations over the years, well, takes the cake.

“I’d have to say it’s our rainbow cake,” says Tamashiro. “I always wanted to create a local-style cake, and this one definitely says ‘Hawaii.’”

To order cakes or for information on classes (next one is June 8), go to www.cakecreationshawaii.com.

Happy eating!

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