Where Decorative Dreams Become RealityFeatures Inside Feature
May 11, 2014
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Cake Works
While painters transform canvas and sculptors mold clay and stone, the culinary artists at Cake Works incorporate quality ingredients, skilled craftsmanship and an endless supply of imagination in what amount to classic — yet edible — works of art.
Chef and owner Abigail Langlas opened Cake Works six years ago on South King Street (across the street from Hawaiian Humane Society) as a way to purvey a host of uniquely designed cakes, pastries, cookies, cupcakes and many other sweet treats produced by the full-service bakery. Langlas draws inspiration from nearly two decades of experience that has taken her full circle from her native Big Island to England and France, and back to high-end eateries here in Hawaii. Cake Works generates anywhere from 30 to 40 cakes per week, and Langlas has built a team of 20 designers and bakers to aid in the ever-expanding effort.
“I named it Cake Works because it’s a team effort — I don’t make everything all by myself; we’re all part of the team,” Langlas says. “We all come together to make each cake work. We also try to incorporate local products and flavors when possible, and bring in some of the European flavors as well.”
Cake Works is perhaps best known for its ornate and exquisite wedding cakes, which are crafted upon input from the bride and groom to reflect the style and personality of the couple. The cake usually becomes the centerpiece of a wedding, and the skilled designers at Cake Works incorporate ideas — including favorite colors, flowers and designs that may also be used in wedding decorations and invitations — while also giving recipients a choice of frosting (butter cream, fondant or whipped cream) and flavor (choices include but are not limited to: red velvet, chocolate butter cake, mocha macadamia, carrot cake, haupia coconut cream, strawberries and cream, and lilikoi).
In addition to crafting cakes for weddings, Langlas and her skilled team also design and produce custom cakes for multiple occasions ranging from first-birthday luau to anniversaries, corporate events and graduation parties. Those with dreams of elaborate cakes are encouraged to call on Cake Works, regardless of how big or small the project may be; Langlas recalls building a 5-foot-long classic pink Cadillac cake to commemorate the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association’s 50th anniversary. Customers are advised to order cakes at least two to four weeks in advance to give the Cake Works team ample time to execute one’s design.
Custom cakes from Cake Works can be crafted for any occasion, and usually feature designs and details only limited by one’s imagination. Three-dimensional sculpted cakes require the most skill, expertise, planning and execution time, but result in edible masterpieces. Some of Cake Works’ 3-D cake creations have included cartoon characters, sports figures and memorabilia, animals, gift boxes and suitcases — the possibilities are limitless.
Two-dimensional cakes are cut and shaped from sheet cake and formed into multiple shapes. The 2-D option is a bit more practical, and in the past Cake Works projects have included motorcycles, spaceships, ninja warriors and, of course, Sponge Bob.
Round or square decorated cakes elevate the dessert experience with oneor multi-tiered options that can be decorated with almost anything from fresh flowers to gumpaste figurines. These cake designs can range from simple to very intricate, and include a “Sweet 16” birthday cake with little balloons, as well as a graduation cake adorned with cap and tassel. Cakes may also include edible photo images, which may be accompanied by supplementary decorations — a reasonable option when customizing a cake.
The aforementioned custom cakes start at $500 and range in price depending on size and intricacy of detail.
“We can do more than just wedding cakes and are willing to do anything from simple to very elaborate,” Langlas says.
2820 S. King St., Honolulu
Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.