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All 104 Women's Weekly cakes in the one place. Get me to Canberra.

Hands up whose mum has made them a cake from the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Cook Book at some point in their life? Maybe it was the tennis racquet, the popcorn duck or perhaps the guitar was more your scene.

For so many Australian kids a birthday cake from the Women’s Weekly cookbook was simply part of childhood memories.

Mamamia's resident baking guru, Monique Bowley whipped up this masterpiece. Image via Instagram @MoniqueBowley

I remember getting out my mum’s copy months before my birthday to make the all important cake decision. The pages were well thumbed with years of eager anticipation. Poor mum would then be up all night trying to do it justice. There was always one very excited kid on birthday morning waking to find her creation lovingly covered in aluminium foil on the kitchen bench.

My husband and I still reminisce about which cakes our mum’s attempted.

Well one mother’s group from Canberra is bringing back the memories for all of us as they attempt to have all 104 cakes in the same room, a feat they believe has never been done.

PANDSI is a Canberra based support group focused on helping families affected by ante and post natal depression. On the 7th May they will hold the children’s cake challenge at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra.

The memories came flooding back when I saw our Editor, Alys Gagnon made for her son's second birthday. A less than structurally sound train cake. Image via Instagram @alysj


The objective is to raise funds for the group which is currently supporting over 250 families. The idea was the brainchild of group patron and journalist, Ginger Gorman, who believes that it will be the first time all 104 designs have been featured at the same time.

Ginger told The Motherish that she's a massive fan of the book. “I actually own two vintage copies of the book. I still remember getting the butterfly cake for my 7th birthday.

"This book was first published in 1980 and sold more than half a million copies before it was re-released a few years ago. So thousands of Aussie kids grew up with it, and now those parents are making the cakes for their kids. Who doesn’t remember begging their mum for the train cake or the pool cake?”

Ginger Gorman's butterfly cake. That's a specky effort right there. Image supplied.

"The book has such a following that it has its own Facebook fan group and has inspired comedians, bloggers and even jewellery makers. I know this because I researched a big article about the AWWCBCB last year." Yes, Ginger is so into the book that she refers to it as an acronym.

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“Just recently it occurred to me that no one had probably ever made all 104 cakes in the book at once (the original had 108 cakes but the reprint has 104). So that’s what we’re attempting to do on May 7 this year at the Hyatt in Canberra.”

“This event is a big fundraiser for PANDSI, Canberra’s perinatal depression support service and we’re hoping the Canberra community will get behind us.

“I know from firsthand experience that PND can take you to some very dark places so with this event, we are deliberately trying to raise money in a way that’s fun and uplifting. Fancy a few kilos of blue Vienna cream icing and packet sponge mix, anyone?!”

This seriously impressive creation from a MM staffer's mummy. (Supplied)

Ginger Gorman shared some fun facts about the AWWCBCB with us.

"The duck cake is deemed 'the most controversial' because of the savoury chip bill. Should savoury flavours be mixed with a sweet cake? "(Editor's note: we say yes. YUM)

"The pool cake has been votes the most popular - I suspect this is because it’s VERY easy for mums and dads to whip up!" (Editor's note: Yes. Agreed. I think this is why mum made it for me three birthdays in a row.)

"The train cake - my personal favourite is known as ‘the Mount Everest of cakes.” I made it for my husband’s 30th birthday with help from my mother. It’s not as hard as it looks!" (Editor's note: See above. I attempted it. I strongly contest Ginger's claim that it's not as hard as it looks.)

Volunteers who would like to be part of the baking challenge are being asked to sign up via the PANDSI website, or Facebook page and design allocations will be done on a first come, first served basis. Registrations open on 24 March.

Once the icing sugar has settled, bakers will bring their creations to the Hyatt on May 7 for display and the cakes will go to silent auction to raise money for the groups cause.

The Motherish encourages supporters of this excellent cause who aren't in Canberra to consider making donation here.

(h/t Good Food)

Which of the Women's Weekly cakes is your favourite?

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