A ranking of the Australian Women's Weekly birthday cakes from iconic to bloody impossible.

Forty years ago, The Australian Women's Weekly released the original Children's Birthday Cake Cookbook.

Since then, the iconic recipe book has become a staple in Australian households, ruining the lives of countless parents.

In fact, if you were born in Australia in the '80s or '90s, you'll probably remember some of the, erm, elaborate cakes.

There was the rubber ducky with the crinkle cut chip beak, the ridiculously over-the-top choo-choo train, and the jelly-filled swimming pool cake. It was... a lot.


So, in honour of all the parents who spent hours constructing nightmarish animal cakes and that dreaded tip truck, here's our definitive ranking of the most ridiculous cakes from the Australian Women's Weekly Cake Book.

1. The Swimming Pool

In our household, choosing a birthday cake from the Australian Women's Weekly Cake Book was a yearly tradition. 

Every year, we spent approximately six to eight weeks deliberating over what cake to choose from the tattered, chocolate-smeared recipe book.


And every year, the swimming pool cake was a very hot contender.

It had everything: a tiny paper umbrella, chocolate sticks, radioactive-looking blue jelly, and musks sticks. Oh, and we can't forget the addition of Polly Pocket dolls "swimming" in the jelly. 

It was totally chaotic and sugar-filled and we wanted nothing more.

2. The Choo-Choo Train


The Choo-Choo Train was... a lot.

In fact, you basically needed an engineering degree to construct this cake.

This cake involved train tracks, multiple carriages, and rainbow popcorn on a string which was meant to resemble steam.

But to be honest, the end result was so worth it.

3. Dolly Varden 

A Barbie doll stuck inside a marshmallow-covered cake. What more could you possibly want?


(We have one question though. Where the heck do you stick the candles?)

4. Candy Castle 

Candy Castle was definitely one of the more, erm, advanced cakes.

But to a four-year-old child, it's everything.

Inverted ice cream cones for castle spires? Check. Endless lollies? Check. Fluffy marshmallow icing? Check? Complete ridiculousness? Check.

5. Humpty Dumpty 


Humpty Dumpty always looked deceptively easy to create.

With a rectangular chocolate cake wall and an eggshell (or loo roll) Humpty Dumpty, it looked simple.

But in the hot Australian summer, Humpty Dumpty would always slide off the wall before it was time to sing Happy Birthday.

Cute? Yes. Practical? Not quite.

6. Racing Car Track 


In a time when Hot Wheels was everything, the Racing Car Track was the coolest cake. Ever.

Although the cake involved some crafty ramp construction, it was easier than expected to put together. Plus, it was an easy fit if you were turning eight.

7. Little Miss Piggy 


The Australian Women's Weekly Cake Book was filled with nightmarish animal cakes.

Our favourite? Little Miss Piggy, of course.

8. Echidna 


Another popular animal cake was the Echidna cake.

Those beady eyes were... terrifying.

9. The Number Cakes


The number cakes were a staple at Australian birthday parties. And it's pretty easy to see why.

10. The Monster

The Monster was one of those cakes that looked really bloody good with minimal effort.

We give it bonus points for the huge assortment of lollies on top.

11. The Tip Truck 



Just no.


Pamela Clarke, who worked on the cookbook, has previously described the Tip Truck cake as the one cake from the book that no parent should ever attempt.

"B*tch of a cake," she told the ABC.

"Don't make it... unless you're really desperate."

What's your favourite cake from The Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Cookbook? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Feature Image: Getty.