A while back I stumbled upon a blog post about the Women's Weekly Cake book (which you can see here) and it reminded me of how great that book is, and of all the associated memories.
So when I wanted to bake a cake for my colleague Miss N's birthday, and I decided I should finally go to mum and dad's and steal their copy of The Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book. If you were born in Australia in the late 70's or early 80's, you most likely would have had a cake from it for your birthday party when you were a kid. Maybe you got the swimming pool, the little piggy, one of the numbers perhaps, or a dolly varden marshmallow creation (I always wanted the tip truck as it was full of lollies, thus maximising my rare opportunity to eat lollies).
How cool is it?! I get so nostalgic whenever I flip through the pages. I loved it so much when I was little, i recall requesting it as my bedtime story once! It's very dated now - it has hilarious gender-specific chapters (such as a rocket ship and a racing car for the boys, or a sewing machine and a kitchen for the girls). The cakes aren't perfect - they're all a bit dodgy and very homemade looking, which is part of the appeal as they're full of character and all quite achievable.
Whilst at my parents', I dug out some pics of my 5th birthday party, featuring the swimming pool cake. I actually got this cake for every birthday, as it was the only one mum was willing to make.
We knew how to party back in 1987! (and dress like little girls instead of those horrible Bratz-inspired hookers outfits of today!) (Ooh I'm getting old!)
Above is the actual cake from the same party that mum made. And below is the one I made for Miss N on monday. It didn't taste amazing, but that's totally not the goal, it looked cool. People in the office either went "what the hell is that?" whilst the younger crew went "ooooh, the swimming pool cake!! I had that once!!"