You are in site section:

Birthday Cake Book

Defining Moments in Australian History

Warning: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book, 1980

The iconic and extremely popular The Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book was first published in Australia in 1980. The Choo-Choo Train cover is an instantly recognisable symbol for generations of Aussie kids, who pore over the book each year agonising over which cake to choose for their special day.

cake in the form of a train
Train cake from the Australian Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Cookbook. Photo: Ginger Gorman via Wikimedia Commons

Written by Pamela Clark and Maryanne Blacker, the book features more than 100 cake recipes and icing patterns to suit every taste. Some of the more popular creations include the Rubber Ducky, Castle, Swimming Pool, Teddy Bear, Robot and Dolly Varden designs.

By the early 1990s, the book had already sold more than one million copies worldwide.

Despite its success, Women’s Weekly stopped printing the book in the late 90s, until the release of the new ‘collector’s edition’ in 2011. This meant that, desperate for a copy, people often paid more than ten times the original purchase price on eBay during this time.

< Previous
1927: First packet of Aeroplane Jelly
Early 1900s: The Lamington created
1964: Arnott’s first produces Tim Tams
1629: Dutch vessel Batavia wrecks off western Australia resulting in mass murder and the marooning of two men on the mainland
1887: Chaffey Brothers introduce irrigation on Murray River
1976: First arrival of Vietnamese refugees by boat