Sign up for news and special offers from Dining Out
Inside Feature

Seasonal Flavors that Take the Cake

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
November 16, 2014

See more articles from

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the talented team of culinary wizards at Cake Works has crafted a host of sweet treats inspired by iconic holiday flavors for customers to ring in the joyous season.

While painters transform canvas and sculptors mold clay and stone, the team at Cake Works incorporates quality ingredients, skilled craftsman-ship 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 from Hawaii Humane Society, as a way to purvey a host of uniquely designed cakes, pastries, cookies, cupcakes and countless other sweet treats produced by the full-service bakery.

“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 European flavors as well.”

Langlas draws inspiration from nearly two decades of experience that has taken her full circle from her native Hawaii Island to England and France, and back to high-end establishments here in the Islands. Cake Works generates anywhere from 30 to 40 cakes per week, along with hundreds of other tasty treats, and Langlas has built a team of 20 designers and bakers to aid in the ever-expanding effort.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Cake Works is offering freshly made French macarons ($2 each) featuring more than 20 flavors, including seasonal offerings such as Chocolate Rum Ball and “Frozen,” which draws inspiration from the uber-popular Disney movie. “Frozen” macarons feature blue and lavender tones with edible glitter and butter-mint flavor to capture the essence of winter. Caramel Apple Pie and Pumpkin Spice macarons also embody the season and make for perfect holiday party desserts, as the sweet treats can be ordered in special gift “towers” with 30 macarons ($67.50) composed of any flavor combination. These special gift packs can be ordered in advance, and custom macaron orders are welcomed for larger quantities.

Cake Works has created a must-try Pumpkin Crunch Cheesecake ($23.50 for 7-inch and $38 for 9-inch) featuring seasonal flavors that pair perfectly with Thanksgiving feasts. Those who pre-order by Nov. 23 will receive 10 percent off the cheesecake, with pickup available Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Customers may also pick up a few Homemade Fresh Marshmallows ($6.25 for five) available in appropriate seasonal flavors such as pumpkin spice and peppermint rocky road. The latter is infused with refreshing peppermint, and coated with a layer of chocolate and peppermint candy. Langlas recommends giving the marshmallow packages as gifts — they make ideal stocking stuffers during the holidays.

“We’re happy to customize items for any ideas customers have, from cakes to macarons, for larger get-togethers and corporate gift sets,” Langlas says. “Keep an eye out for new packaged items that are perfect for holiday gift giving. We will post those on social media.”

While seasonal treats garner extra attention this season, Cake Works is 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 also may be used in wedding decorations and invitations, while also providing a choice of frosting (buttercream, 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).

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 amazing designs. The 2-D option is a bit more practical, and in past Cake Works projects have included motorcycles, space ships, ninja warriors and, of course, SpongeBob. Cakes may also include edible photo images, which can 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.

Cake Works

2820 S. King St., Honolulu
946-4333
Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sundays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.