Friday, 18 February 2011

The Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book (Vintage Edition): Back by popular demand!

O FRABJOUS DAY!

Reprinted Birthday Cake Book

I normally don't promote products on the blog, but I'm breaking my rule because I'm so excited about this news: boys and girls, the ORIGINAL Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book has been reprinted due to popular demand, and is for sale once more!

Yes, no longer do you have to trawl eBay for second-hand copies or (*gasp*) buy the fondant-icing-is-cheating modern version! The one we all knew and loved as we were growing up in the 80s is back in newsagents as of today and will be in Big W stores from March.

The Classic Birthday Cake BookThe new Birthday Cake Book

The photo below is me, aged 6, with the candy castle cake.

I've written before about the special place this book holds in my heart. The Facebook group I created called The Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Book is awesome at last count has over 6,600 nostalgic members and nearly 800 photos of book-inspired cakes, and last year I fielded a couple of book-related questions from comedian Josh Earl as he prepared his Comedy Festival show Josh Earl vs the Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book (I went and saw the show, it was hilarious).

Poppy's 6th birthday

I've been lucky over the last few years to have two dear friends of mine, C and J, make me book-inspired birthday cakes. In 2007, C made the piano cake, with a handmade candelabra and miniature bound sheet music to Rock Lobster (book photo on the left, C's version on the right).

PianoPiano cake with Rock Lobster sheet music

In 2009, C made the bunny cake, another one I'd always wanted as a kid.

BunnyBunny

In 2010, J made the gorgeous piggy cake, with snakes for Medusa-like hair.

Piggy

And this year, C decided to make the infamous swimming pool cake, with a contemporary spin.

Rather than a swimming pool filled with green jelly (a feature that had always repulsed yet fascinated me as a child), she made a hot tub with cream cheese frosting cleverly mixed with blue and green food dyes to give the illusion of swirling water.

Swimming poolHot tub birthday cake

She also threw in two bikini-clad dolls, seated close to each other to leave open the possibility of some girl-on-girl hot tub action, and painstakingly constructed a ladder out of bamboo skewers. LOVED IT!

Hot tub birthday cake

So which was your favourite birthday cake from the book? :)

30 comments:

http://editingme.net/ said...

Woohoo! I'm not even going to pretend that I have kids to buy this for. My mum made lots of these cakes for my brother and I, my favourite being the swimming pool cake you mentioned - it looked *exactly* like the picture. Other triumphs were a Mr Happy cake and a Frankenstein cake.

Hmm, maybe it's my turn to bake for my mum. A patchwork cake perhaps??

Katrina Higham said...

I have been unindated with requests for cakes recently. I have made the Sweet Shop and the Stove in just the last couple of weeks! They are making a huge comeback!

www.katrinahigham.com.au

Kitchit said...

My mother always whipped this book out a month before our birthdays and asked us to pick which one we wanted. I had the sewing basket, the barbie, the log cabin and many more. They were all so beautiful to look at and delicious.

I have my mother's copy from the early 80's but I will be buying the new edition when it comes out. The other one has bits of cake on it!

Honeycrackle said...

I had the train for my 5th birthday. ChooWooO!!

Johanna GGG said...

I never had one of these cakes as a child but the giraffe cake holds a special meaning for you - as you will know by my avatar! I love your cakes - now I want to make the updated pool - just brilliant.

Am glad the book is reprinted because I'd heard that prices on e-bay were getting silly and everyone should have this book - though the cyncial voice in my head says AWW just wanted to cash in on the popularity of it rather than it going to ebay owners!!!

David said...

Totally getting it when it comes out. I'm not waiting for my mum to let me steal hers. :D

Megan said...

Those cookbooks are amazing! I had the bunny cake and the castle, and the other 3 children in my immediately family definitely had more than a few of the other designs... I used to spend hours at the kitchen table, pouring over the recipes and telling Mum my latest idea for my next birthday cake. Between those books and my mother's baking abilities, I somehow managed to inherit an ability to bake without recipes. Talk about a formative influence! I still have Mum's copies, but am probably going to buy books for all of my friends with children... :)

clairsy said...

SHUT UP!!!!! THIS IS THE BEST NEWS EVER!!! I am obsessed with this book (I made the pool recently, which is the only cake mum ever made me. The jelly cake thing was a bit wrong).

Em said...

Heeeee! What awesome news to start the week! I won't have to borrow Mum's anymore.
I made the train cake in November (EPIC - but worth it) and I'm due for a Ghost Cake in May.
Yesss! Thanks Claire!

Anonymous said...

I love love love this book! I used to read it to myself as a bedtime story!! ♥♥♥ So many lovely memories! My favourite was the witch with french-fry chip hair!! Can't wait to get my own copy - mum's is so tatty and covered in icing ☺

Lyall said...

If my mum had her way she'd ban this book. She still made me the Train and Aeroplane cakes.

Roslyn R said...

The train was always a winner and Mum made the piano for me one year as well. Mum found a copy of the book for me at a market a couple of years ago but I haven't made anything yet - my daughter is 2 and this year I made her a 'Hoot' cake. (Owl character from ABC2)You have inspired me to get it out and have another look!

Kirsty Jelly Pool Addict said...

Ok. Confession time. I had the Jelly pool cake from my I believe my 7th Birthday onwards. Every year my poor mum would pass me the greatest cake book ever printed to which I'd reply.. no need the pool cake please. After about 5 or 6 years she stupidly threatened me with this ..."if you get a jelly pool cake one more time when you are 18 I will get you a real jelly pool and I'll make you jump in it".. Guess what on my 18th I had an inflatable pool full of jelly. Fun times. I am now 28 and last year I had a Jelly pool cake for my birthday. My theory is this. Not only do I get cake, but I get jelly and always ice cream. Dessert bonanza!Plus Kit Kats make a great fence!

Anh said...

omg this post is so cute :). I have heard a lot of things about this book, and how a lot of Aussies grew up with it!

Phil said...

This is great news - even though I've got an original copy (and the sacrilegious new version), I need a new one to replace the pages that are glued together with cake.

I've also been meaning to make the evil duck cake, possible with red, glowing LED eyes. There is truly something malevolent about the combination of bow tie and popcorn afro.

jo said...

I bought this book today I love the fact that you posted a pick of yourself with a cake so so so cute :)

Rebecca said...

OMG I love this book. My mother and aunt would make all our birthday cakes from the Womens Weeklys Cake Book. I have had the piano cake, the pool cake and many a dinosaur cake was made for my brother

Alison said...

Does anyone know which 4 cake designs are missing from the new version that were in the old?

Sylvia said...

Oh, so this is why they're advertising the supplement of this book with this month's WW!!

Wonderful news! My mum made me the bunny when I was 4 :) I also had the Elephant, Minnie Mouse and the little Vanity Unit. My sister had the Castle Cake, Dolly Varden, Little Miss Muffet, Humpty and the Teddy Bear. Unfortunately we lost our book to a naughty relative so I think I'll have to get 2 copies, one for myself and one for mum!

Lyall said...

@Alison

The four missing cakes must have infringed intellectual property and I assume the licensing fees too expensive to include them in reprints so Minnie Mouse had to go.

I can't remember the others from memory. Was there also a Donald Duck?

Julia @ Boredom Abounds said...

So funny, we were just talking about the WOmen's Weekly birthday cakes at work yesterday, and then I stumbled upon your blog entry just now!

Lovely blog - so great to read about Melbourne restaurants!

tori said...

OH MY GOD. I'm not sure what is better; the cakes you've had made for you or the fact they're reissuing that book.

I had the dump truck for my 5th birthday, the one with mint slices for wheels. My sister asked for the castle one year and I remember seeing my mum sobbing in the kitchen at 4 am when it all fell apart. Oh, the memories.

Gourmet Chick said...

Love the pic of you when you were little! What a well loved book...

Geoff said...

But the black notes on the piano are all wrong. They are supposed to be in sets of 3, then 2, then 3, etc with gaps in between.

Anonymous said...

My Dad turned the big 60 a few years back, & always had great yarns to tell us about the Steam Trains he used to admire & watch as a youngster. My younger sister & I were given the honour of making the cake for his Birthday Party, & we got together to discuss what we'd make, at Mum & Dad's place. Of course, you can easily guess what we grabbed 1st from Mum's Cookbook collection, & the cake we chose to make! Choo choo! We filled the Train with licorice Allsorts (Dad's favourite lollies) instead of popcorn. What a triumph it was!! We got huge 'oohs & ahhhs' from the crowd of guests, & Dad was blown away :) Thanks Women's Weekly for reissuing this vintage cookbook. So many precious fond memories!

blushingstrawberries said...

One of my favourite books of all time, I have the old and the new and they've both been dog-eared beyond recognition!!

lisaslifelately said...

I had the pig as a child!!! My mum wouldn't use food dye, though, so it had to be white. Sort of missed the point...

I made the piggy cake (WITH pink food dye) to celebrate the re-issue (not to be the jerk who goes "LOOK AT MY BLOG!!" but I put pics up of it here lisaslifelately.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/little-piggy-cake/ if you wanted to see. Mine's not as good as yours as I forgot the snakes for the Medusa-like hair...)

artyfartybev said...

Oh my, I wish I'd seen this before paying $49 for a used copy on eBay! My daughter nagged me constantly for giving my original copy to a friend whose children were still young whilst mine were teenagers. So I tried to get one for her on eBay not realising just how expensive it would be. I believe the original was only $6.99! However she is now making good use of the eBay copy following the same tradition I started with her & my son I.e. the book came out with great ceremony a week before the party so they could choose 2 cakes, one for the party & one to share at school. They spent hours looking through the book.

heidielka said...

I'm yet another obsessor when it comes to this book.
I had no idea it had been re-released until I found it at my local store. So excited, I had to post about it, which is how I found you! I borrowed a pic of the modern version from your site :)

Sweet Dream Cakes said...

I actually bought the Kids Birthday Cakes book for a family member when it first came out. It was a great book with easy to follow instructions and great cake ideas.