Down in Georgetown, on a quiet street off Sixth Ave, lies Cakes of Paradise Bakery. Hawaiian reggae music gently booms out of the speakers, briefly transporting you to a warmer, and decidedly more laid back place. A case full of cakes and pies of all sorts, both whole and by the slice, make you think dessert for lunch is gravely underrated.
While Cakes of Paradise has been making custom treats and a bevy of baked goods since 2011, it recently expanded into the space next door and is opening the new cafe space on May 28.
The newly renovated cafe, which was formerly a pretty run-down music studio, has walls papered with tropical sunsets, equally beachy seating, and a menu of island-inspired snacks and drinks. Nab something from the case, like a slice of their passion fruit cake or coconut cream pie, or go the full-on pastry route with custard-filled Long Johns, aka America’s eclairs, and a lineup of malasadas. Malasadas, a holeless, Portuguese-style yeasted doughnut, will come coated in sugar, dusted in cinnamon sugar, or filled with various custards. And one is rarely, if ever, enough.
Across the menu, you’ll find tropical flavors popping up in everything, from housemade pineapple coconut ice cream to passion-orange-guava sherbet to Hawaiian cream sodas. If you want it all, go for the dessert bowl: pick a cake base, an ice cream, and toppings such as fresh fruit.
Even the coffee here will channel the islands by way of Lions Coffee vanilla macadamia nut, which is perhaps too sweet a choice for Third Wave Coffee diehards, but an island fave nonetheless. There will also be Caffe d’Arte espresso, and the occasional Kauai Coffee offering—dependent upon family members willing to bring a suitcase full of beans back stateside.
It’s been a family affair since the beginning, says Pualani Kani-Sims. Her mother-in-law Mary Buza-Sims founded Kauai Desserts, a sort of Cakes of Paradise precursor. Her children have since taken the bakery reins, continuing to “share the aloha spirit in every bite,” as Buza-Sims puts it.
Check out the grand opening party, Sunday, May 28, from 10 to 3. To avoid sugar overload for even the sweetest of tooths, there will be plate lunch specials with huli huli chicken, rice, and mac salad; available for puchase now at $10 a pop.