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Published March 10th 2020
Update March 15th 2020
Please note the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is cancelled.
Anyone with kids had come across the Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book. It's easy to buy a cake but our hearts and souls and hours of our time are likely to go into making an early age birthday cake for our children.
I remember making a Snakes and Ladders one out of biscuits and lolly snakes as it looked the easiest one in the book. It was a mad scramble the night before but I remember being up after midnight thinking. 'Hey this is actually fun.' And getting to eat the leftover snakes.
Perhaps you were more adventurous and tried etching buttercream images of trains, ballerinas, tip-trucks and making swimming pools out of jelly.
A free week-long exhibition at the NGV will showcase the cakes in all their birthday glory. There have been a lot to choose from. Over 40 years and a staggering 500,000 copies, the cakes in the Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book have shaped our collective memory of what children's birthday parties are all about.
The cakes have been constructed by students from the William Angliss Institute, as well by some household Melbourne names including Chrissy Swan, Jane Kennedy, Virginia Trioli, Shaynna Blaze and Chyka Keebaugh. There are some busy mothers amidst that lot.
Beatrix Bakery, that North Melbourne creator of piped dreams cake,s will also create some wonderful examples. In addition to the display, the book's author, Pamela Clark, will lead tours on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March. But you don't just want to drool over cakes without having a chance to eat them too!
Visitors will be able to purchase cupcakes inspired by The Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book from the café at Deakin Edge. And for those who want to play cake decorator, there'll be an opportunity to decorate their own cupcakes as well.
It also celebrates the birthday of the book itself, as it turns 40 in 2020. This exhibition showcases the cakes made up in all their iced glory, revealing the depth to which these designs form part of Australia's visual culture.
The exhibition is presented by Queen Fine Foods and organised by the National Gallery of Victoria in partnership with Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, supported by the Australian Women's Weekly, William Angliss Institute and Madame Flavour.
You'll find this great free event at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV in
Federation Square from the 18/03/2020 to 25/03/2020 between 10am -5pm.
What was your favourite creation form the Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book and did it flop? Or was it the centrepiece of a memory?