Kez Maxwell

Iced by Kez*

Clevedon, Auckland


See more of Kez's cakes at  

sweetlittletreats instagram

I am known for my sharp edges and clean lines which are SO easy to create using Bakels Pettinice. I love how you can 'buff' or smooth the fondant to get a beautiful finish and the Pettinice colour range is beautiful - on their own they work great and mixed you can create some gorgeous shades! 

I live in Clevedon, rural Auckland with my husband and four kids. My passion for cake decorating came from making my kids their birthday cakes and has grown from there. I have been decorating for 9 years - the last few of those years in a professional capacity selling cakes from my home registered kitchen.

This year I am no longer selling cakes, but rather creating content for my social media pages. I hope to be working on tutorials and maybe later this year be able to teach some classes - depending on where Covid-19 takes us...

In the beginning YouTube was my class room - but since then I’ve made some amazing friendships through Facebook and Instagram in the vast cake world there & through these friendships have learnt so much!

I have been involved in a few cake collaborations and been fortunate to have a couple of cakes featured in magazines and a book! My upcoming goals are to keep pushing myself and trying new things and to start teaching. 

Pettinice makes getting a sharp edge and smooth finish easy! Best base colour range out there and mixing them together means endless colour shade options!!

What is the very first cake you remember making?

The very first cake I remember making was an Eggless Chocolate Cake. My sister taught me how to bake it and we decorated it with chocolate icing and m&m's. The very first cake I made for my eldest child was a Number 1 cake - with buttercream icing, my husband actually iced it and I got the fondant out to make a wee pillow and bedding and pop stars on it. But the first cake that I consider the start of my caking journey - is my second eldest's 7th birthday cake. She wanted a Hannah Montana cake, it was the first cake I covered in fondant on my own (before that my husband used to do that part). I made 'Hannah' for the top - so hilarious to look back at now, I've come a long way!!

Why/how did you become a cake decorator?

For me there wasn't a huge 'defining moment' I had made so many cakes for my own 4 kids & their cousins that friends started to ask me to make them cakes. At the time I had no idea that you needed to be registered to sell - so all that came later. The more cakes I made, the more I learnt & the end results were better & better each time. 

What has been the most challenging cake you have made to date?

Probably Rohan's Prince Cake - the crown was extremely stressful to make & even more stressful to put together. I couldn't have made that crown without the help of my husband - he made me a form for the gold arch's so I could cut the shape out & have them dry just right. There was a lot of math needed for that one, so needed him for that too!! hehe :) & he was with me helping me stick it all together at the end. I was so proud of that cake, so proud it survived the drive to the party as well!

What was the last cake that made you cry? (from joy even!)

It was a wedding cake - It had been booked in months earlier & I had noted it down as a 'rustic' finish - in my head I kept thinking that was the finish with whipped white choc ganache & textured with the end of a pallet knife. I was prepping the cakes for ganache & thought, maybe I should re check the photo she sent with her email - just in case. I decided I would get the cake crumb coated & then check, so I continued to cut the edges of my cake so there would be room between the cake card & the cake for the ganache to fill. I then checked her email, which had a semi naked cake. OMG. My stomach just dropped. I had just cut the edges off the cake!! on a design where I need Cake to be seen in parts! What the heck was I going to do... I didn't have enough time to rebake as I wanted it to be fresh as possible so I had started it quite close to the delivery date & I had other cakes on that week too so there was no time for baking. I was in tears - called my husband & called my friend Kerry from Eat Cake - we talked through options of what I could do... I wiped away the tears & got started. I got the top tier onto a smaller cake card & scraped off as much of the crumb coat as I could, built up some areas so others looked naturally 'semi naked'. The bottom tier the cake card I used was fortunately the perfect size for the cake, so I was able to just scrap back in parts & clean it up. In the end the cake looked awesome, they never knew (until now if they see this) that anything went 'wrong'. 

What cake do you wish someone would order?

Sounds crazy - but right now, probably a Simpsons Donut themed cake. I've been able to make a lot of the cakes I have wished to make, sometimes I work them into my kids b'day cakes if they haven't been ordered or my own bday cake!


What is your favourite part of the cake decorating process?

I have two fave parts, getting Sharp Edges on my fondant cakes & then towards the end of the process when you see the cake design starting to come together - it gets really exciting then!

What do you listen to while you are decorating?

Either music I'm into at that moment, if there's a new album out that will be on repeat! haha... otherwise I love listening to podcasts, my fave is Dax Shepherds Armchair Expert.


What is your favourite Pettinice colour?

Black!! don't go telling me it's not a colour! although for those of you who are on that side of things, my 'colour' choice would be Purple - it's a great colour straight out of the pack & you can get some gorgeous shades & variants by mixing it with other colours.

Do you make your own birthday cake?

Yes!! I have made a few cakes for myself! I find it a great opportunity to make something that I have always wanted to make but never been asked for. So I've done that a few times, my faves being a black cake with gold polka dots & gorgeous bright coloured peonies - the 'kez*' on top is actually my handwriting. I look back now & wish I had done somethings different... like not having those sprinkles on top. Other faves were my 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S' cake last year & the Stranger Things one this year! I kept waiting for someone to order either of those themes! but nope!

What’s your favourite cake delivery story?

I have two! I made my friend a cake for her baby shower, it was a beautiful design with super cute converse baby shoe toppers (her husband has quite the shoe collection) - as soon as she saw it she cried it was rad! The other one wasn't a delivery but my friend picked it up - she wanted a Spice Girls cake for her 21st - actually cried & then laughing cried when she saw it, it was the best! 

What’s something you wish people would know about your business?

Time. The absolute INSANE amount of time it takes to create these cakes. Also that for most of us, we do EVERYTHING on our own, so answering emails, quoting.... and Quoting people takes more time than you would think & we don't usually get paid for that. Shopping, council registration requirements, cleaning, dishes often multiple times a day, invoicing, tax, accounts, baking, oh yeah and decorating the cake. I struggled to keep on top of my emails & felt terrible for not being able to get back to people quickly - the struggle is real!!


What’s next in your cake world?

The future is a little unclear for me. I'm no longer taking paid orders, so just making a small amount of cakes for family & friends - some of them so I can create tutorials for Pettinice. I'm also considering starting a you tube channel or teaching classes. I just haven't decided yet! for now, I am heading into a heavy birthday season with my own family so I'm looking fwd to creating cakes again after having a huge break!









See Kez's cake tutorials here:

I once did a rainbow cake for my daughter using six Pettinice base colours and gradually mixing them to get an individual shade for each panel. It was so beautiful - around 30 individual shades in the end! It really shows the diversity you can get with this product.