Over the years, when asked what cookbook we would love to find a box of, the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book (the one with ‘the train on the front’) always topped the list.
Published in 1980, it has sold well over half a million copies. We’ve had countless requests going back years for copies, and have seen it advertised on eBay at over $100; we’ve had parents, grandparents, Aunts & Godparents all chasing it, keen to reproduce the cakes of their children or childhood for the latest generation of Australian kids.
There has even been a show: Josh Earl vs The Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book recently featured at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and around Australia (see reviews); by all accounts very funny & distinctly Australian.
Tim’s first cake was a soccer field ( an adaptation of the cricket pitch ) and he still remembers the addictively sweet, oddly compelling green dessicated coconut grass. Months would be spent combing over the book making strategic decisions about what cake one should ask for. With siblings you always had to make sure they didn’t gazump your favourite cake!
So imagine our excitement, when the Australian Women’s Weekly announced they would reissue it as a vintage edition - almost exactly as it was! A bit like counting down to your birthday, we’ve been counting down the days until it was available to bookstores.
The wave of nostalgia has been almost a tsunami. We’ve had copies in the window for only a few days and everyone who has picked it up has told us about the cakes they had as a child, the cakes they desired (and not always got) and the first cake they are going to make when they get home!
Even if you think you have too many cookbooks, you do need this one. Why don’t you tell us about your favourite cake!