With six children, birthdays were always "a mission" - until Ange Rye discovered Cake 2 the Rescue.

The internet-based company sells do-it-yourself cake kits in Australia but when Ms Rye, partner Shayne Hughes and their children moved to Whanganui two years ago, she could not find anything similar in New Zealand.

"I asked Cake 2 the Rescue to send me a kit from Australia and the postage was about $100," Ms Rye said.

"The owner said why didn't I do it here so I looked at setting up Cake 2 the Rescue in New Zealand. The business had made my life easier as a mum - I was a customer first so I knew it actually works."


Since last May Ms Rye has been running her business from a small building at the family's Brunswick home, filling orders from around New Zealand.

"We have more than 200 cake designs and can also design custom cake kits if people want them. The kits provide everything except eggs, milk and butter, in the quantities you need, to get a cake on the table.

"We ask people to let us know their planned baking date so we can make sure the kit arrives fresh ahead of the party.

"It's been really well-received and we've had lots of repeat customers. We get customers from all around the country but most are from Auckland."

The most popular design by far is the rainbow unicorn, with the monster truck and retro camera other popular choices, Ms Rye said.

"The digger is also popular. It's probably our most tricky design but Shayne has made it and he in no way, shape or form should be in the kitchen ordinarily. We aren't pros at making cakes - it's achievable for everyone."

Ms Rye sources nearly all products for the cakes in New Zealand but has to import the special baking boxes from Australia. With a limited number of fondant colours available, she spends hours customising fondant by hand-blending different colours together.

Many kit users send Ms Rye photos of their creations which are shared on the company's Facebook page. She has plans to do online tutorials for mums and dads who want to know, for example, how to use the fondant for the cakes.

The designs are not limited to birthday cakes. There are special occasion and seasonal designs, from baby showers to Christmas themes.

"The biggest thing is it's fun if you can get over the stress factor when you're making a child's birthday cake. It's great for people who want to make their kids' cakes; people who can't bake but would like to or people who can bake but don't want to spend a fortune on ingredients.

"The best part is the look on the kids' faces when they see what you've made for them. It doesn't matter to them if it's not perfect, it's that you've made it."