Tag Archives: Cakes

Amusing Monday: Bainbridge baker designs cakes with imagination

Baker Christine Chapman of Bainbridge Island creates fanciful as well as fancy cakes in her home kitchen, the headquarters for a one-person business known as Crumbs Cakery.

“Becoming Aquatic” // Source: Christine Chapman

A few photos of her sculptured cakes designed on water themes are shown on this page.

A native of Austria, Christine was trained as a construction engineer and spent the early part of her career working for architectural firms in Austria and Germany. She jokes that some of her more elaborate cakes, such as a 2.5-foot Lego Batman cake, require a bit of structural design.

Christine’s life changed course when she met her future husband, an investor, at a wedding in Austria. They eventually moved to California for a short time before deciding to raise their family on Bainbridge Island, moving there in 2001.

“Swim Olivia” // Source: Christine Chapman

Her early cake-baking projects were done for her children, who loved cakes that looked like real objects, sometimes telling a story.

“The first cake I ever made was an airplane cake,” Christine told me. “It was very simple.”

For the most part, she is a self-taught baker. In 2012, Washington’s new Cottage Foods Law went into effect, allowing people to sell products made in home kitchens — provided the sales were direct to consumers.

“I thought this would work, so in 2014 I started my official business with a website, and I started to get some cakes out there,” she said.

Since then, she has made about 200 cakes — from collections of cupcakes to large wedding cakes to a variety of sculpted cakes. Through the years, she has studied cookbooks and taken a few classes, some online and some in person.

“Otter” // Source: Christine Chapman

“I’m still learning with every single cake,” she said, adding that she loves working with customers and leaning on her creativity to turn their ideas and color schemes into works of art. One or more sketches usually precedes the baking itself.

The first cake shown on this page combines a book with a variety of sea creatures. The cake was created for a young woman graduating from a creative-writing school, according to Christine. For her final thesis, the woman wrote about her relationship to marine life and tide pools. She titled the paper “Becoming Aquatic,” and that became the title for the cake.

“Great Blue Heron” // Source: Christine Chapman

The second cake, “Swim Olivia,” was a birthday cake for a swimmer name Olivia who was involved in a swim team. Christine started with a photo of the person diving into the water.

The otter cake is one of many similar cakes that Christine made through the years for fundraisers at Ordway Elementary School, which her children attended. The great blue heron cake was made for a fundraiser for West Sound Wildlife Center.

Christine says she is still having a lot of fun baking the cakes and intends to stay busy with the work. Other cakes she has made can be seen on her Gallery webpage, and she can be reached through her contact page.

Previous blog posts on Water Ways about water-related cakes:

Amusing Monday: Creative cakes take you places

I’m still amazed — and amused — by the idea that talented artists can create edible cake sculptures depicting just about any object or scene — including underwater realms and seaside landscapes.


The water-related themes are especially amusing, because water is one place you would never want to put a cake.

One amazing artist is Kim Simons, who got her start in cake decorating about five years ago while watching cake shows on television. As she told “Dessert Professional” magazine:

“I said to myself, ‘I can do that!’ So I taped the shows and freeze-framed the shots to learn of all the products they used. I started to play around with the materials and found my true passion in the process.”

The magazine listed Kim, a New Jersey resident, as one of the top 10 cake artists of North America last year.

Since then, she has won numerous awards for her specialty cakes, including the osprey cake, which was named best of division for show cakes at last year’s “That Takes the Cake! Sugar Art and Cake Show” in Austin, Texas. No one photo can capture the intricacy of this cake, so check out Kim’s website for a variety of shots of the osprey cake, and click each one to enlarge. The details are truly amazing.

The same goes for the painted turtle cake below. The detail shots help you take a closer look, as if you were seeing the cake in front of you. This cake won several awards at the 2011 National Capital Area Cake Show in Annadale, Va., where the theme was “Under the Sea.” I would have loved to have seen that show.

If you’re intrigued by these cakes, you must check out all of Kim’s creations under the tab “Award Winning Cakes” on her website, Cakes by Kim Simons.

See also previous “Water Ways” entries on cakes:


Amusing Monday: Nautical themes take the cake

I recently noticed that people are still clicking on a blog entry from February of 2011 in which I featured the elaborate sculpted cakes of Karen Portaleo of Atlanta. See “If I knew you were coming…”

This week, I’d like to bring you some more amazing cakes, this time from Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii, where Rick and Sasha Reichart run a cake business called cakelava.

This scuba diver cake, a recent creation, was made to celebrate the 21st birthday of a marine biology major who enjoys diving.
This scuba diver cake, a recent creation, was made to celebrate the 21st birthday of a marine biology major who enjoys diving.

It’s hard to believe that talented people can make a cake look like just about anything they want. I’m amused when I find water-related themes for cakes — not just because this blog is about water but because water is one place you would never put a cake.

Rick Reichart has been making elaborate cakes for more than 20 years. He and his wife Sasha opened their business in Hawaii in 2005. Before that, Rick worked in Los Angeles and Seattle and competed in the Food Network Challenge. Sasha had a culinary career in Los Angeles and Seattle. She currently runs the business and writes an entertaining blog about the adventures of making cakes and the interesting customers who order them. Check out the cakelava blog for pictures of interesting cakes and the stories behind hem.

In July, their new book, “Extreme Cakeovers,” will be released. It is written for people who would like to create their own unique cakes. Its list price is $17.99, but it can be found on line for $12.98.

A pirate theme is combined with a mermaid theme in this cake for two children, a brother and a sister, who celebrate their birthdays together. All the jewels in the chest are edible.
A pirate theme is combined with a mermaid theme in this cake for two children, a brother and a sister, who celebrate their birthdays together. All the jewels in the chest are edible.
In March
In March, the Reicharts delivered a cake for a Navy change-of-command ceremony. The cake was ordered by the wife of Cmdr. Stephen Mack, who served as commanding officer of the USS Hawaii, a Virginia-class sub, from 2010 to 2013.
The sailboat cake
The sailboat cake was a groom’s cake in a wedding. It was ordered by the bride as a surprise for her fiance, who is a fisherman. The boat included fishing poles and a marlin in the water. Rick Reichart also created the larger wedding cake around a racing theme.

Amusing Monday: If I knew you were coming …

I was looking for something amusing that would blend Valentine’s Day with some water-related subject, event or activity. I didn’t find anything that really fit the bill, but I stumbled on photographs of more that 100 amazing cakes.

Chocolate lovers' Valentine cake

The cake decorator is Karen Portaleo, a clay sculptor who began crafting cakes in 2005 when she noticed that her friend’s bakery needed some decorative items. She started by decorating cookies for Highland Bakery in Atlanta, Georgia. Before long, she was making some of the most elaborate cakes you will ever see.

Karen says she is self-taught and always learning, and her Flickr website mentions some of the cake-decorating contests she has entered.

Scroll down this Water Ways page to see the water-related cakes I found among Karen’s masterpieces. But you’ll want to check out her full repertoire of cakes — from the whimsical to the truly gorgeous — by going to Karen’s Flickr site and clicking on “slideshow.” It seems that the only limits are what she and others can dream up.

In Karen’s notes, she says she “deeply appreciates” comments left for her.

Giant Octopus Cake

Giant Octopus Cake
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