Pillowy moist cakes lovingly adorned with tapa patterns, stretching web-like over fondant canvases; pineapple pies smothered in velvety blankets of custard and cream; tastebuds set alight by clouds of sweet, buttery swirls atop sumptuous bite-sized cupcakes…

These saccharine confectionaries are what you can expect to find when you visit My Cake House by L&H online, one of the few independently owned cake companies operating in Tonga.

A self-taught pastry chef, Lola Liava’a Tonga embarked on her cake journey together with her husband, Howard, in 2013.

“While job hunting, I had time to experiment with baking, and because it was the easiest thing for me to take to family functions. I started devouring many cooking shows on Food Network TV, [searching] the internet and social media for inspiration.”

With a background in Environmental Resource Management, Lola has worked at the Department of Environment in Tonga and the Auckland and Wellington City Councils. But with a talented family of cooks and bakers, she couldn’t resist the culinary call.

“My Mum is an old school baker who never really used recipes. She would measure ingredients with normal coffee mugs. She would add or remove things according to how it looks and feels, and I have certainly picked up on that too.”

“My favourite recipes are the ones passed down from family – my Grandma, my Mum, my sister (who is also a food blogger) and Aunties.”

Satiating sweet-tooths around Aotearoa and the Kingdom, My Cake House has become the go-to for all occasions, even gracing the tables of Pacific royalty. In 2016, the couple was given the ominous task of baking for the late Queen Mother HM Queen Halaevalu Mata’aho’s 90th birthday.

Story Credit: Alice Lolohea

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