The train birthday cake challenge. Nail or fail?




This week Mamamia challenged me to cook an iconic cake from the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book, first published in 1980. When I accepted this challenge I knew I was in trouble.

I love to bake cakes, flans, tarts, pies… you name it. But when it comes to detailed cake decorating, my skills lack a certain finesse (to say the least).

When I started the challenge I looked at the ingredients blankly and wasn’t sure where to start. Once the cakes were cooked I began to assemble (it was a team effort). My mum, boyfriend and I were all in the kitchen congregating around the lollies, sponge cakes and jam rolls. An hour and a half later, we were finally done.

I had spoken to friends who had made this cake before and they assured me that it was a breeze. Despite their reassurance, my cake looked like a five year old had decided to bake their own birthday cake (the kitchen afterwards looked that way too) although it tasted devilishly good I am going to leave the novelty cake decorating to the experts.

I definitely encourage you all to try it. I’m sure you’ll have more success than me and hey, if it doesn’t resemble a cute iconic train… the process is a lot of fun.

This is what it was supposed to look like:

train cake real
From The Australian Women’s Weekly source:


Mine turned out like this:

It’s the same, right?



And this:

I tried…


Note: I could not locate Jube Rings or Paddle Pop Sticks at any of my local supermarkets (I tried three) so try sourcing these from a different retailer.

If you want to give it a go (because you know you want to) you can get the full recipe at the Australian Women’s Weekly site. Or check out their how-to video here.


What is your favourite children’s birthday cake to make out of the The Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book?


Check out some amazing kids birthday cakes for more inspiration…