/assets/images/headerlogos/AWW-logo.svg
Food & Drinks

Here's how you can make the Jacinda Ardern-approved Australian Women's Weekly piano cake

Seriously, what can't NZ's PM do?!

By Bella Brennan
When New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern isn't tending to the small matter of running a country, the 39-year-old faces the same battles as the rest of us - including trying to nail the perfect birthday cake for her two-year-old daughter Neve Gayford, whom she shares with fiancé, Clarke Gayford.
Over the weekend, Jacinda won hearts once again for keeping it oh-so-real on social media as she shared a snapshot of her "imperfect" piano player cake from the pages of The Australian Women's Weekly's famous Children's Birthday Cake Book.
"Cake making lesson number two - don't focus on making the cake look in proportion with little to no attention on structural integrity....there is a jar of lentils propping this thing up," Jacinda confessed alongside a selfie with her piano cake creation.
It may have indeed been propped up by a jar of lentils, but we reckon Jacinda did an amazing job. After all, that's half the fun of baking these recipes - it's all open to interpretation!
"Happy Birthday Neve! Thanks for ignoring all of the imperfections in life and just being a joy #PianoCake #australianwomensweeklybirthdaycakebook," the PM signed off the post.
"Cake making lesson number two - don't focus on making the cake look in proportion with little to no attention on structural integrity....there is a jar of lentils propping this thing up." (Image: @jacindaardern/Instagram)
And thank YOU Jacinda for your honesty and humour, we couldn't love you anymore if we tried.
In fact, it's not the first time the mother-of-one has turned to our much-loved Australian Women's Weekly's Children's Birthday Cake Book, which has been around for almost four decades.
She's got great taste! For Neve's first birthday, Jacinda also turned to the The Australian Women's Weekly's Children's Birthday Cake Book to make this bunny. (Image: @jacindaardern/Instagram)
"I may be smiling but about an hour earlier I was not enjoying the first birthday cake making experience (like just about every parent I know!) I recommend cakes that you can legitimately cover in coconut - it hides almost everything. Happy Birthday wee Neve!" She penned at the time.
So, if you'd like to take a page out of Jacinda's book and try your hand at our piano cake, check out the recipe below.
Happy baking - and don't forget your emergency lentil jar just in case!

Easy piano birthday cake (triple tested): 1 hr cooking, makes 1

It's 9 o'clock on a Saturday, and the party crowd's already here.
They said can you play a memory... and this cake is just what you need! From The Australian Women's Weekly's famous Children's Birthday Cake Book cookbook, you're sure to feel nostalgic when you see this one from your childhood.

Ingredients

2 x 470g packets butter cake mix
2 x 180g blocks white eating chocolate
1 black licorice strap
1 ice-cream wafer
Sheet music
Small piece cardboard
Toy candelabra and candles
Chocolate buttercream
185 gram softened butter
360 gram icing sugar
3 tablespoon milk
50 gram cocoa powder

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease cake pans; line bases and sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm (2 inches) above sides.
  1. Make cakes according to directions on packets. Pour a quarter of the mixture into bar pan; pour remainder into square pan. Bake bar cake about 30 minutes and square cake about 1 hour. Stand cakes in pans 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
  1. Cut 2.5cm (1-inch) slice off one side of square cake; cut one end off bar cake to make it the same length as square cake, reserve cut-off piece. Using round cutter, cut a circle from reserved cut-off piece of bar cake to make piano stool; cut a piece from base of stool so it is lower than keyboard, if necessary.
  1. To make butter cream; beat butter until white as possible, gradually beat in half the sifted icing sugar then milk, then remaining icing sugar. Beat until smooth. Stir sifted baking cocoa into butter cream, tint with brown colouring.
  1. Secure cakes on cake board, as pictured, with a little butter cream. Spread piano and stool cakes all over with butter cream.
  1. Cut chocolate into 5cm (2-inch) strips; position, top-side down, along keyboard, as pictured, to make white keys. Cut licorice strap into 4cm (1½-inch) lengths; place along keyboard, as pictured, to make black keys.
  1. Trim ice-cream wafer to 4cm x 5cm (1½-inch x 2-inch) rectangle; press into piano to make music stand. Sheet music can be cut and pasted onto a small piece cardboard; position on music stand. Add candelabra and candles (or other small toy), if you like.
The Australian Women's Weekly's Children's Birthday Cake Book has reached cult classic status. (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)

Other notes

Equipment: 8cm x 25cm (3¼-inch x 10-inch) bar cake pan, deep 20cm (8-inch) square cake pan, 4cm (1½-inch) round cutter, 30cm (12-inch) square cake board.
Jacinda Ardern has turned to the pages of The Weekly once again for her daughter's second birthday. (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)

read more from

/assets/images/headerlogos/AWW-logo.svg