Food & Drinks

Happy Birthday to us! The iconic Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book is celebrating its 40th anniversary

The cult classic book has been around since the 80s and reads like a photo album of all our favourite childhood memories!
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The Australian Women’s Weekly’s Children’s Birthday Cake Book is a stalwart in millions of Australian households.

Who doesn’t remember flicking through those well-thumbed pages and picking out a cake for your birthday that year?

Well, now the iconic cookbook is celebrating a special milestone, its 40th anniversary.

Yep, it’s been 40 years of Rubber Ducky and Swimming Pool cakes!

So why do Aussies love this book much?

“Because the recipes look approachable,” says Pamela Clark, who worked on 60 of the cakes at the time and is the current Food Director at Bauer Books, which publishes all of The Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks.

“They’re a bit messy, they’re not styled or polished and they’re just a bit of fun, which resonates with Australian families,”

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, the book was re-released in 2011, because when it 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 despair.

You can still buy a copy and surprise someone special with a birthday present that will out-do the rest.

And if you’d really like to spoil them, you can nab a copy of our special edition hard cover of the cult classic, released this month to mark the iconic birthday book’s 40th anniversary.

In the meantime, here are 10 iconic cake recipes you’ll no doubt remember from birthday parties past.

MORE: The best Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book creations of all time!

The top 10 most iconic Australian Women’s Weekly 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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