Tuesday 27 November 2007

Novelty Cakes from the Archives

This is my 100th post and I like significant numbers so I wanted to post something cheery and celebratory – birthday cakes seemed perfect.

I love novelty birthday cakes and have searched my archives for close-up photos. So here are six cakes that I made before I started blogging and but after I started using a digital camera (with apologies for the quality of the photos)! Decorating these cakes are lots of fun, and a lot of work too. I wanted to add them to my blog to record and share them. (And I have included links to other cakes on the blog at the end of this post.)

Handbag Cake
This cake was made for my sister Susie’s surprise birthday party. I was quite pleased with this cake because I couldn’t find a recipe to base it on so, after searching the net for inspiration, I made it up myself. I had to shape the cake a little and make the handle from pipecleaners and ribbon. The decorations are coloured chocolate buttons. Seemed a good idea until we were driving along the Princes Highway to the party on a hot afternoon and the chocolate buttons got soft in the heat and a sign fell off the car window onto the cake – the buttons looked a little less perfectly round after that!

Farmyard Cake
This is an easy cake to make from the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book. The hardest bit is finding chocolate fingers in the supermarket (they sell them in Safeway but not Coles, if memory serves me correctly). It is just chocolate icing topped with green dyed coconut on top, chocolate fingers lined up around the edge and some farmyard animals on top. This was for my niece, Maddy’s third birthday. She had a lovely time helping me by sucking on chocolate fingers and choosing animals for the farmyard. (I am pleased to see a giraffe in this farmyard!)

Oven Cake
This cake is also from the Woman’s Weekly but probably harder to identify as the oven in the book which was white and not so wide. This was chosen by my niece Quin for her ninth birthday and it was suitably bright and cheerful for Quin. I think the most successful part of it was the egg (halved marshmallows and yellow smarties) and sausages (chocolate bullets) in the home made foil frypan. The kids loved the colour and fun of this cake.

Flower and Octopus Cakes
These were for my nieces, Ella and Grace’s, first birthday. The marshmallow and smarties flowers were from the Women’s Weekly but I think the snowball and jelly snakes octopus (with shark fins cut from liquorice) were from another magazine but I can’t remember its name.

Fairy Castle Cake
This cake was for Maddy’s fourth birthday (from the Women's Weekly). It was chosen by her and went with her fairy dress which she wore to the party. It is a square cake with four smaller squares on each corner and an ice cream cone on each small square. Sounds easy enough but the challenges were trying to have the four small squares even so the cones didn’t sit really wonky angles, and handling ice cream cones covering in icing. Even more challenging with three small girls helping out but they were very helpful with decorating the icing with smarties and jubes.

Other Novelty Cakes on my Blog:


  1. Wow! That handbag cake is amazing! The other's are great too, but I have a thing for shoes and bags, so i would pick that one!
    You must be amazingly patient!

  2. These cakes are fabulous! I think you can certainly go into a groovy cake-making and baking business! I can't decide which one is my favourite. I like each one for different reasons. The zoo, with the finger things that look like sausages gave me a chuckle, after deciding for sure that they weren't sausages; the purse has fantastic colour and details; the octopus, with its dimensionality and the way the legs come off the cake; and the stove, which reminds me of the Barbie camper van I played with as a kid. Fantastic!

  3. Congratulations on reaching 100!

    I cannot believe how universally appealing that book is! Every year my brother and I were allowed to chose just one cake for our birthdays from the book (it's an oldie, but a goodie) - I have had the farmyard (twice) and the oven.

    So thrilled to see your excellent cakes - will try and sneak mum's copy back with me at Christmas time!

  4. Happy 100th posts Johanna - well done. I always loved novelty cakes when I was little - I still remember the rabbit cake my mum made for my 8th birthday. Love the handbag cake too!

  5. thanks holler - you obviously appreciate a little adult sophisication over kiddie kitsch

    thanks anonymus - love the comparison to the barbie campervan! It captures the fun and colour of the cakes! I like the idea of the cake and bake business but enjoy being able to be amateurishly wonky and bizarre rather than professionally neat and perfect!

    thanks Lucy - yes I love the book - it is a joy to browse through - and is exciting for kids to look through and think about possibilities for their birthday!

    thanks Kathryn - I think I didn't have enough novelty cakes in my life when I was little and now am trying to catch up! A rabbit cake sounds fun!

  6. Happy 100th post, Johanna! I've been away a week and it's great to return and see 7 new posts from you... back to the kitchen in full force by the looks of it!

    You've done a great job with the cakes. I have my own 3rd-hand copy of the always-popular WW birthday cake book.

  7. thanks cindy - hope you had a nice time away - yes is nice to be back in the kitchen and doing some cooking - am making the most of it while I have some time and energy.

  8. Thanks for the warning about the technical difficulties involved in the castle cake. I am intending to do a fairy castle cake this weekend, and I'll now know some of the traps for young players! ;)

    Happy 100th post!

  9. hi kathleen - good luck with the fairy cake - will be interested to hear how it goes!


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