Let Them Eat Cupcakes in Hawaii

Photos: Lesa Griffith

After gaining fans at sell-out First Friday and Eat the Street appearances, local treat purveyors Let Them Eat Cupcakes opened a shop on Beretania Street in May—and still sell out almost every day. Goes to show that, no matter how crowded a niche (Hokulani Bake Shop, Cake Couture, Cake Works, Happy Cakes, Frosted, The Little Cupcake), there’s always room for another if the product is great.

Owners Kawehi Haug and Nick Gervais were casualties of the 2010 merger of the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. She was an Advertiser entertainment writer, he designed and laid out the TGIF section. Both are food buffs, and Haug was known among her friends for her baking skills (her pink retro KitchenAid mixer is one of her prized possessions). Getting into cupcakes just made sense.

The pair did hundreds of hours of test baking to perfect their recipes. What makes their treats stand out is the incredible moistness of the cake. That moistness is obtained in different ways, according to the flavor—some cakes need oil, others butter, or even cream cheese. Their other signature is the frosting—buttercream frosting that is silky smooth and not tooth-achingly sweet. Let Them Eat Cupcakes frosting doesn’t become an acrylic-hard cap, like the stuff at the supermarket.

Cupcakes go fast. At 12:30 p.m., there was only one dobash and one carrot left on a recent visit.

Biting into the double-chocolate with vanilla buttercream frosting is like falling into a narcoleptic dream. Sound and sight become fuzzy as you marvel at the dense, moist fudginess of the cake. It barely qualifies as a cupcake—it’s a genre unto itself.

At their appropriately cute bakery (in the former Mix Café space), tiers of cupcakes have downtown office jocks practically pressing their faces to the glass, agonizing over which flavor to choose, like little Charlie Buckets. (Get there early. Often by 1 p.m. there aren’t many cakes left.)

Let Them Eat Cupcakes has a rotating menu as well as specials—check the website for the schedule of staple flavors—lilikoi Tuesdays, peanut butter and chocolate pretzel Thursdays—and Facebook for the daily specials, such as tiramisu, cookies ‘n’ cream, and maple bacon.

Let Them Eat Cupcakes, $2.50 for classic flavors, $3 for specialty flavors, 35 S. Beretania St. at Bethel Street, 531-2253, letthemeatcupcakes808.com.