The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua celebrated National Gingerbread House Day on Dec. 12 with the unveiling of their latest edible installation, a “Life-Size Sugar Cane Gingerbread Train” located in the lobby of the luxury Maui resort.
Prepared by the resort’s pastry team, the life size gingerbread train is infused with the aloha spirit and covered in 21,000 pineapple and gingerbread decorated cookies. Ingredients include 225 pounds of brown sugar, 350 pounds of granulated sugar, 200 pounds of butter, 10 pounds of baking powder, 50 pounds of molasses, 8 pounds of ginger, 1,440 eggs, 660 egg whites, 850 pounds of flour, 750 pounds of powdered sugar, 20 pounds of cocoa powder, and 8 pounds of cinnamon.
During an era when trains were dominant throughout West Maui, they would transport sugar from the fields where it was harvested, to the mill, and then off to ports in Olowalu and Ka‘anapali. With the arrival of the automobile, it became more efficient to move the cane in trucks, and West Maui’s railroad tracks became a thing of the past – all except for the Maui Sugar Cane Train which (re)opened in 1970. Residents and visitors could experience a piece of the island’s history and also get sweeping views of West Maui from scenic spots on the route. The train ran along a six-mile track, through Lahaina and Ka‘anapali, before continuing north to Pu‘ukoli‘i, not far from Kahekili Beach. The Sugar Cane Train is currently running seasonal “Holiday Express” trains, which travel a short stretch of track in Ka‘anapali, through the end of the month.