Kez Maxwell

Hey it’s kez* – from iced by kez @icedbykez

I’m a cake artist from New Zealand. Living in rural South East Auckland with my super creative family, a husband who designs & builds guitars & our 4 kids who are all into art, music, rubiks cubes and skateboarding. I originally channelled my own creativity through songwriting, singing and playing guitar at church. I love that I found another way to be creative and hopefully inspire others with my cake decorating.  I have been decorating for the last 9 years. I was selling cakes for roughly 6 years until I decided to finish up selling at the end of 2019 with the hope of starting to focus more on teaching cake decorating in 2020.  We all know how 2020 turned out – so I switched gears and focussed on my own health and well being.  I did get to make cakes for my family and created a few tutorials for Pettinice. I ended up making some of my most fave cakes in 2020 and a lot of them using Edible Art Paint. I am also an ambassador for Pettinice fondant and love creating tutorials to share on their website.

What did you have for Breakfast this morning?
this morning I actually had chocolate! not a usual morning! I actually don’t tend to have breakfast – I start eating at midday & usually will have a flat white & either eggs or a chicken salad. Coffee is my fave!!!!

How long have you been Cake Decorating for?
9 & 1/2 years – I base this off the first ever fondant cake I covered by myself – which was for my second eldest’s 7th b’day.  Before that birthday, my husband & I made all the kids cakes together, but he would always cover in fondant for me as I was so scared of fondant! 🙂

Why did you choose Cake Decorating?
It’s more like – cake decorating chose me.  I have 4 kids – & wanted to make them awesome birthday cakes.  I used to love looking through the Womens Weekly Cake book & choosing what cake I wanted as a child & wanted my kids to have the same experience.  We have a big family & we started making cakes for our nieces & nephew’s as well – each cake we learnt from & grew & it just continued from there.

In times of doubt, what do you do to get back into your creative zone?
Sometimes I have to step away to clear my head.  Go & do something completely different & then come back & look at it again.  When I’m doubting myself – sometimes I will look back over past cakes, sometimes just seeing how far I’ve come is all I need to shake it off & carry on.

Where did you learn your Cake Decorating skills?
You Tube creators for the most part! A craftsy class by Jessica Harris called Clean & Simple Cake design totally changed my cake decorating journey for the better!
I took a couple of classes to learn how to make a rose, peonie & cute wee character from Magical Cakes in Auckland & I’ve also been fortunate enough to learn how to make a Zebra cake with Margie Carter & a Shark cake with Dot Klerk.  Both of those classes were incredible – I learnt so much, the biggest thing was that 3D cakes are not where I excel & that’s ok! Give me sharp edges & clean lines & I’m happy 🙂

What is your typical day like, what does it entail?
My typical day consists of getting the kids off to school, heading out for either a walk, or climbing a crazy amount of steps up ‘Sladdin’ in Clevedon – taking a photo up the top (cause if there’s no photo, then did I really do it)?! haha.  It’s back home then to throw a frisbee with my dogs.  From there I will get into work, – when I have a cake on or I’m creating a tutorial I will plan my week out & accomplish the things I need to get done on that particular day.  Once school is done – my youngest comes home on the bus & then we have to drive 15 mins to pick the older kids up from the train after high school finishes. It’s back home to dinner & then hanging out usually in front of you tube or netflix.

We know Edible Art Paint is a medium you use, what do you love about it?
Edible Art Paint has totally changed my decorating.  It’s helped me become even more creative – I LOVE painting on cake! I’m not an amazing artist, but I love the results I get using this medium.  I also love the variety not only in colours, but use – from watercolour like paint. – to the vibrant straight out of the bottle paint.

What is your #1 piece of advice for the newbies in Cake Decorating?
Each cake you make is an opportunity to learn & improve. If you have a ‘cake mare’ learn from it.  For those who are starting a cake business… Know Your Worth!! break down the cost of making a cake, include everything! even things like glad wrap & baking paper! Don’t forget to take note of how long everything takes you – work out an hourly rate for yourself & charge well. You are worth it.

Who is your inspiration in the Cake Decorating world?
– @cherrycakeco
– @mutludukkan
– @crumbavenue

Who is your inspiration out of the Cake Decorating world?
So, so many people!  But a few who I look to for creative-minded inspiration are:
– @maxwellcustom (he is also my husband – but his guitars are truly inspiring)
– @tritoan_7th
– @amandarachlee