Many Australians of my generation (growing up in the 80s / early 90s) will know all about this – one of the highlights of your birthday was your Mum handing over the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake cookbook and you got to choose which cake you wanted. Awesome!
So much to choose from! My Mum was a bit of an expert at these cakes and there are not many in the book that weren’t made by Mum and devoured at a Jackman family birthday party over the years. I remember having the piano one year, and several years having a Dolly Varden cake with a Barbie sticking out!
My sister told me a while ago that she’d always wanted the Ghost cake. Luckily for me, Mum found a copy of the original book (pictured above – it has since been reprinted with a new cover and not all the same cakes) at a market a few years back and gave it to me. So I made the Friendly Ghost cake for Kirsten for her 30th last weekend.
The most challenging part was the ‘fluffy frosting’ which is pretty much just a meringue. The only difference was that I had to boil sugar and water to soft ball stage and pour it into the mixer where the stiffened egg whites were waiting, mixing on high speed and pouring slowly. Scary! The first attempt with store bought egg whites was a disaster, but when I tried with fresh egg whites it worked perfectly. So glad I persisted – the frosting was a luscious (and super sweet!) marshmallow-y triumph!
For the eyes I used Oreo biscuits (cookies) and some little blue round sweets, and the mouth is red licorice. Simple! This would also be a great cake for Halloween.
The current version of the book is this one, but if you see the original in a second hand store GRAB IT STRAIGHT AWAY! They are quite rare. Although chances are if you are Australian your Mum or Nan might have one floating around 😉
Lots more creativity here today.