5 Birthday Ideas that Take the Cake!

It was always a highlight of my childhood birthday celebrations (and a headache for my Mum): the jelly pool, the Dolly Varden skirt, the clock tower with a mouse running down it.

Yes, I of course refer to the famous creations from The Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book. The book and all its crazy and cult cake recipes became a staple of life growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. The cakes are nostalgic for more than one generation of Aussie kids.

This year the cook- book turns 41 (*cough* along with many of us older sisters) and a new list has been released of the most ridiculous (yet still iconic) cakes from the book. May I present the top five.

Topping the list is the swimming pool cake. Yes, a circle of sugar and broken cake making dreams meant all you had to do to make the creation look festive was whack in some fake tiny cocktail umbrellas and fill the sponge with some radioactive-looking blue jelly. Throw in some ladders made of pink candy musk sticks and tiny Polly Pocket dolls for the actual swimmers and you had a chaotic masterpiece.

Number two on the list is the Choo-Choo Train. I mean this locomotive was a logistical nightmare and you basically needed an engineering degree to construct the carriages and tracks. Do not get me started on the rainbow popcorn on a string that is meant to represent steam.

Third on the list is the Dolly Varden cake. I had this one more than once growing up and I suspect because it simply involved buying a Barbie doll and sticking her inside a cake covered in marsh mellows. It looks a littler stripper club to me but, hey, who am I to judge.

Number four on the list is the Candy Castle Cake. It was too tricky for my Mum to ever tackle it, but I take my hat off to the genius who thought of using upturned ice cream cones for castle spires. So many lollies. So much icing. Completely ridiculous? Yes. But, also completely fabulous to a child.

And rounding out the most ridiculous top five cakes is the Humpty Dumpty cake. In these here covid times I do not think using a used loo paper roll would meet the health and safety standards of even a 4- year- old critic. The other problem was Humpty would slide off the wall in the hot Queensland sun before your party ended.

I do take some offence that the piano, racing car track and the clock tower did not make the top 5 list. I mean the genius of using an entire prune to resemble a mouse running down the clock is next level.

Take note kids of today with your fancy macaroons and red velvet cupcakes.

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