Tips and techniques

People are sharing their AWW birthday cake memories, and it’s a serious nostalgia trip

Because we’ll never forget obsessively turning the pages of this iconic cookbook to find the perfect cake.
Loading the player...

[The Australian Women’s Weekly’s recipes] have been a favourite for decades, and to hear the collective internet say it, none more so than the classic Children’s Birthday Cake Book of the ’80s.

Tasty, impressive but most importantly, achievable, the cookbook had kids across the country pouring over the pages to pick out the perfect cake.

Now, after over 40 years of delighting children, fans have joined the Reddit community to reminisce of cakes gone by.

Australian Women's Weekly Dolly Varden Cake

The Weekly’s Dolly Varden cake recipe

There are those whose parents weren’t quite committed to constructing the masterpieces…

“My mum would give us the book to choose our cake out of. I found out years later that she had glued together the pages of the really hard to make cakes, so we couldn’t choose those,” said Redditor reallydusty.

“My mother made the doll in a dress one. Except we were abroad and couldn’t find a female doll. So I had a boy doll in a lovely cake dress,” said vocalfreesia.

Loading the player...

Meanwhile, autopilot638’s mum pulled one over on the kids for the sanity of all the adults in attendence.

“The one I remember most vividly is the fairytale castle cake that uses frosted ice cream cones for turrets. Because there were only four turrets, and many more little girls than that at the party, Mum told us they were poisonous so we wouldn’t fight over them.”

Then, there were the kids who maybe loved the book too much (but in the cutest way possible!)

Redditor spicebite said, “This was my son’s favourite bedtime book for a few months when he was 4.”

“My daughter made the train for my grandsons 4th birthday. He cried when we went to cut into it, so it sat in the freezer for 6 years until I threw it out. In hindsight I should have kept it for his twenty first,” commented lesleigh.

And even the older kids loved it.

“At my primary school the library had a copy of this bad boy. There was a waiting list 12 kids long for this thing. If your time came around and you “had it”, then mate, you were cool s***,” explained verynayce.

the good witch birthday cake

The Good Witch birthday cake recipe is still popular, too!

Of all the cakes, it was naturally the cookbook cover-star, the Choo-Choo Train cake that stole hearts.

“All the cool kids got the train,” Glytcho remarked.

“We’ve had many cakes from this book over the years, but the best was the train cake! I had it for my 4th birthday, and again for my 18th, because…I’m an adult I can have a train cake if I want!” said herooftimesc.

Choo choo train birthday cake

It true, the cookbook was and still is all fun and games…until the Rubber Ducky came along or, as fans have been calling it, “Chip Duck”.

“Chip duck! Always wanted that cake. Mum’s weird ‘I can’t be bothered excuse’ was that she thought the notion of chips on a cake was an affront to common sense,” said SneakerTreater.

“I always wanted the weird duck cake with popcorn and chip-bill,” another added with many replies echoing the above, that no-one’s mother was willing to attempt it.

The one thing this exercise in collective internet memory has settled, however, is summed up perfectly by the following sentiment:

“A truly stand-out piece of classic Australian literature. It should be required reading in schools nationwide.”

Thanks, nbduckman. We think so too.

Take another trip down memory lane with our favourite Women’s Weekly classics in our video below, or check out the links for more content to love.

Loading the player...

Related stories