My Cake Decorating Journey

Thanks for the share opportunity Michal – great idea!

My earliest memory of cake was when I lived with my Gran – she made delicious cakes that were rock hard and you had to use your teeth like a scraper to gnaw at them! She didn’t have an oven or a fridge and baked the cake by putting the filled tin on hot gravel in a large pot. But they were delicious because I tasted the love that went into making them, more than anything else.

I have always loved things arty and crafty from a very young age – always standing first in every art competition in school. I loved craft so much too – that I every year I handmade Christmas decorations for my tree. But most of all I like to eat! …..and so enjoyed cooking and being a severe ‘sweet tooth’ – baking came naturally. I made my first birthday cake when I was 13. It was out of a box….but what was important was I decorated with a dough that I made out of butter and icing sugar and food colours! It was a sleeping beauty cake for my sister who was 3 at the time! Then I got lost along the way trying new mediums in art like pottery, oil painting, sewing and craft.
Then I grew up! After we got married, we decided to move to New Zealand from India. Before we left 16 years ago, I did a course in Cake Decorating, thinking this would add a skill to my CV. I learnt Royal Icing piping, flowers and Fruit cake!

Well what do you know – when we moved – all we could think of was trying to support ourselves on a limited budget and hobbies and passions were put aside. …..all until 8 years later, my son was born. I then started playing with fondant again. I didn’t know that you got fondant in different colours so I would colour them with liquid colours. But this kindled my passion again. I made his birthday cakes every year with small modeled toppers up until his 5th birthday when I made him a Pirates’ Treasure chest! I wanted to make it brown, but as I could not find brown food colour, I painted it black! He loved it and so did everyone and I was very proud!

I became a Flight Attendant and also started up my own food Company called Mel’s (keeping it simple! – just went with my own name!!!). Then my second child was born – the love of my life – my daughter, Maayan. I got so sick after that (nearly died!) and fell into very deep depression. Then a Flight Attendant from work asked if I would make her wedding cake – a 3 tier cake with cascading roses! I pushed myself and forced me to get out of bed. What came of that was not the greatest by any standards, but that was it! I realized that cake and sugar was the medium I wanted to work with – I had discovered my passion. I created a logo, made a website and called it ‘Sugar and Spice’ ….and the rest is history! Sugar and Spice was the song that my Nana sang to me….she always called me a Princess…you know the song…’what are little girls made of? Sugar and Spice and everything nice…."

Robyn’s Wedding Cake

After that I got a formal education from the University of YouTube! ….and practiced and practiced. Only with this degree – you never Graduate – it’s life long learning! I bought almost every tool in the world I guess as I wanted to learn every technique. I am still learning everyday. I have wonderful Cakey friends and met amazing talent – I am in awe constantly on my ‘Daily Cake Drool’!

Today I have a new birthday – its the day we Christen our brand new kitchen. I work with an amazing team of friends. With our new place, I have tried to think of every little detail. We have built this cake studio from scratch. It’s our dream come true. It is HACCP approved – and all MINE!!!!! The top floor is my Cake Studio – the bottom is a full on commercial factory where we cook and package gourmet Indian spices for delis and supermarkets all over New Zealand. It would never have been possible without the encouragement and support of my dear In-Laws – my Father in Law has always believed in me and pushed me to GO for It! I am eternally thankful to them.
This is where I play!

My Consultation Room ~

Love my Baroque feature wall ~

I love the amazed look on people’s faces when they receive their cakes – it makes all the long nights worth while. Life is very busy….balance is a myth….you just have to do what you gotta do….chase your dreams, explore and live your passion. Life is so fragile, love with all your heart. Today I run both businesses amid a flurry of kids, cake orders, classes, workshops and life! I love it!

This is one of my latest cakes…
James Bond 007

Moulin Rouge

Thanks for taking the time to read my story.
Mel SugarMama <3

-- Mel Sugarcraft Artist Designer Cakes, Cupcakes & Sugarcraft

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Chris Jones

What an amazing journey Mel!! Thanks for being an inspiration to me and my cake journey!!

Allways Julez

Thanks Mel for the view into your caking life!… I love the comment, “…formal education from the University of YouTube!” I wish YouTube was available when I started out! …and yes, your workspace will be the envy of all others! Go girl!
Love your talent and style too. xxx


awww thanks Chris and Julez! XOXO

Enza - Sweet-E

Mel I loved reading your story. .to leave a country which was your home for another country with a totalling different culture, that in itself is an amazing accomplishment ♥…congratulations on everything you have worked for and achieved ♥

Mira - Mirabella Desserts

So wonderful to read your story! Your workspace is amazing and your cakes are always so beautiful. I’ve admired your work for a while now and it’s so nice to learn the journey behind the talent. Thank you for sharing! :) xx

Toni (White Crafty Cakes)

I loved reading your story Mel! You have been one of my biggest inspirations since I first met you here on Cakes Decor! Your new cake workplace is going to be so amazing!!

Calli Creations

Oh Mel…. What an inspiring story! Thanks so much for sharing with us. You can see how much grown and have been on such a journey and it’s so clear your passion.. Love the university of you tube… I’m a huge believer in always learning from all resources made available, learning is lifelong. I read on someone’s page awhile back how she is self taught, doesn’t use books etc and thought “how sad” as she will always be held back in her own creations by not only acknowledging others, but by self denial…
Your creations are a marvel and you as a person inspiring… Thanks so much Mel xxx

June ("Clarky's Cakes")

What a story Mel….and quite the journey. And now your exciting new cake home and studio…..wonderful. I’ve enjoyed all your creations on CD….looking forward to more from your new cakey home….

Fifi's Cakes

Such a super story Mel, thank you so much for sharing this with us. You have gone through so much to get where you are now, well done to you! I have loved reading this. Your Moulin Rouge cake is totally outstanding and is a true measurement of your talent. Your testimony to the fact that creativity and purpose can lift one out of depression is a very strong and important message and is a subject I am actively interested in. Praise the Lord for the Flight Attendant! Thank you for telling us about that. What a lovely lady you are. Bless you. Stunning studio which you truly deserve! xx

Judy chaoui

Congratulations Mel, you are an inspiration!!!


Your story is so inspirational as well as very moving – and so lovely to get to know the remarkable woman behind the wonderful cakes I enjoy following. I particularly like any story about cake that is about them being created with love – as they should be – and your cakes ooze with it! Thank you for sharing your story and lovely work spaces x

Karen's Kakery

Love your story Mel, you’ve come such a long way………both geographically and with your skills.
Your work room and consultation room look fantastic and I can see why your cakes are so stunning xx Well done, and I wish you every success for the years ahead xxx

Znique Creations

Hi Mel, thank you for sharing your long journey, you are such an inspiration xx

Donna Tokazowski- Cake Hatteras, Hatteras N.C.

Congratulations on your new kitchen, Mel and thank you for sharing your story. I wish you all the best!


Oh my Goodness – thank you all so much Enza, Mira, Toni, Calli, June! Fiona, Judy, Zelda, Karen and Donna – thank you so much without you all we would have this fantastic forum where we can share and be inspired. Thank you!