Food & Drinks

Nostalgia alert: The best of The Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book

The cult classic has been around since the '80s and is like a photo album of all our childhoods.

The Australian Women's Weekly's Children's Birthday Cake Book has been around almost four decades now and has officially reached cult classic status with some people even hailing it 'the best book ever written in this country'.
In fact, even New Zealand Prime Minister is a fan! Jacinda Ardern baked the iconic bunny cake for her daughter's first birthday, albeit with a few hiccups.
"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.
If it's good enough for the New Zealand PM, it's good enough for us! (Image: Instagram @jacindaardern)
So why do Aussies (and even non-Aussies) love it so much?
"Because the recipes look approachable. They're a bit messy, they're not styled or polished and they're just a bit of fun, which resonates with Australian families," says Pamela Clark, who worked on 60 of the cakes at the time and is the current Food Director at Bauer Books (Bauer Media is the publisher of The Australian Women's Weekly).
The Australian Women's Weekly's Children's Birthday Cake Book has reached cult classic status. (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)
The Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book first hit shelves in 1980 and now sits in more than a million homes around the country.
Due to such a high demand for those nostalgic recipes It was re-released in 2011 because when they suddenly disappeared, Aussies were forced to trawl through eBay to find a second-hand copy.
"The release of the vintage edition was due to me nagging my various bosses (over many years) and begging them to re-release the book," says Pamela. "We had countless requests for the reprint, despite the fact that we'd done quite a few kids cake books since 'the book with the train on the cover'."
So if you're not living in one of the million Australian homes with recipes to the 'swimming pool cake' and the 'train cake,' don't freak out because you can still buy a copy and surprise someone special with a birthday present that will out-do the rest.
In the meantime, here are 10 you'll no doubt remember from birthday parties past.

The Top 10 most iconic AWW children's birthday cakes

1. Humpty Dumpty (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)
2. Racing Car Track (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)
3. Rubber Ducky (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)
4. Beautiful butterfly (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)
5. Number one. (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)
6. Candy castle (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)
7. Sweets shop (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)
8. Dolly Varden (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)
9. Swimming Pool (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)
10. Choo-choo train (Image: The Australian Women's Weekly)

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