Jacinda Ardern baked an iconic Women’s Weekly Cake for her baby’s birthday

Jacinda Ardern posted on Instagram an image of a large bunny cake covered in coconut. Source: Instagram - Jacinda Ardern

Doing what so many parents have done before her, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has drawn inspiration from the iconic Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book to bake a cake for her daughter Neve, whose first birthday was Friday.

Showing off her cake-baking skills, Ardern posted on Instagram an image of a large bunny cake covered in coconut, with the caption: “I may be smiling but about an hour earlier I was not enjoying the first birthday cake making experience (like just about every parent I know!) I recommend cakes that you can legitimately cover in coconut – it hides almost everything. Happy Birthday wee Neve!”

Many parents were quick to comment, with one writing: “Absolutely fabulous! Brings back memories when I made the same cake for my daughter when she was 7!”

Another added: “I’m pretty sure the only reason I had kids was so I could bake birthday cakes from that book.”

In an earlier post, the 38-year-old wrote: “Doing what so many parents have done before me. Waited till baby was in bed before trying to magic up a passable cake for the big first birthday. Wish me luck.”

In the days before Bake Off, Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, parents relied on cookbooks for inspiration and any mother, grandmother or creative man who had children in the 1980s likely drew inspiration from the Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book when it came to creating the perfect cake for a birthday boy or girl.

The book originally hit shelves in 1980 and sold more than half a million copies, with its original author now speaking candidly about how the book came to be. And, while it was re-released in 2011 because so many ‘80s kids who had the kooky cakes at their own parties wanted to recreate the sweet treats for their own children, chances are there are thousands of homes around the country that still have the original book.

The original release of the book included 108 different designs, although they weren’t always easy to master.

The Swimming Pool cake, complete with a chocolate finger fence and green jelly pool was quite tough, while the iconic Number cake was a bit simpler. The Duck was another one that could be tackled by more creative parents and was iconic for its popcorn feathers, yellow frosting and two potato chips as a beak.

Do you remember the Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book? Which cake was your favourite to create?

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