Bernadette Gee’s The Magnolia Kitchen Cookbook success all started with a frog cake she made for her daughter on her first birthday.
“I was 18 and I got pregnant. Oh I’m gonna cry. I always get so emotional when I tell this story because I’ve come so far,” Ms Gee told TVNZ's Seven Sharp.
“I wanted to be the coolest mum and bake an epic cake for her first birthday. I felt like I had a lot to prove.”
It was an opportunity to bake a cake for a colleague for $20 that started Ms Gee on her path to success.
“It was like a light bulb went off. Hang on if he’s going to pay me maybe others will pay me.”
That side hustle was so successful, colleagues were clamouring for her recipes.
"Do you ask KFC for their spices? I'm not giving you my chocolate cake recipe."
Her daughter Charlotte is now 16 and has two little brothers. Ms Gee also has multiple sclerosis but that hasn't stopped her.
"I'm completely numb on the left side of my torso, which is fine. Who needs to feel that?
"I get so choked up thinking about it, I don't have any qualifications... none, but I've got a book."
She said her cookbook is selling out fast, but her best baking tip would be to "pay f***ken attention. It'll burn if you don't."