Sunday 16th January 2022

My Best Birthday Cake. 23/51. #LifeThisWeek. 65/2019.

Beyond Five.


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My Best Birthday Cake. 23/51. #LifeThisWeek. 64/2019.

I cannot think of a ‘best’ birthday cake so I am going on a trip down birthday cake lane!

I think any birthday cake made for me by my Mum was a great one.

Mum might not have liked eating cake much but she sure enjoyed making them for us kids, and then her grandkids and I do think she even contributed to a great-grandchild’s birthday cake way back.

I use many of Mum’s strategies in cake making as I have her basic cake recipe in her handwriting in my recipe collection. She did not have electric beaters until the late 1950s so making by hand was even harder. Mum never had a ‘proper mixmaster’ and neither have I. We both preferred the electric hand held mixers.

My First Birthday.

Made by Mum I am sure!

My 65th Birthday.

Made by my daughter. A favourite of my late Mum’s that my daughter and I often made. Orange cake. This was a special but somewhat sad occasion as it would be the last birthday celebrated in Sydney with our children and their children. We have not celebrated any birthdays with all of the  family since. For reasons that are about distance and changes in lives of those concerned. It happens, right?

My 67th Birthday.

One little cake made by me. My husband joined me when he came home from Lifeline counselling. I remember this day well. Making an effort with my appearance because my ill-effects from IBS and anxiety (grief-like) were getting a hold. We were not to know, that within 6 months I would be diagnosed with oral cancer. And, I also did not know this would be the last time I could blow out the candle!!

And, for my 69th Birthday!

My chosen celebration was morning tea out with my lovely husband and then at home I said “we’d better have a cake and a candle”. Of course, I always have little cakes in the freezer….and here was when I found out what small limitations my mouth now had. It does not seal properly either. But no matter, the cancer is gone.

How about you?

What are your memories of birthday cakes?

I should add, I like all Mums (and possibly Dads and grandparents) got a copy of the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book. My daughter now has my original. I made the “one” for our son’s 1st birthday and he is now 40. Mum took to this book well. Over the years she made the racing car track, the number that was all lamingtons, a tennis racquet cake and later on…much later, our daughter made the Thomas the Tank for her then boyfriend’s 21st.


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Next week’s optional prompt 24/51 Thank You to Me. 17/6/19



  1. Hi Denyse sorry my post is the opposite of birthday cakes isn’t it? But…I do make special cakes for my grandchildren’s birthday. My latest feat was The Very Hungry Caterpiallar for Elliot who turned 1 on 29 May. They aren’t perfect but certainly made with love. Not sure if this link will work but here is the cake: Have a great week. xx

  2. That Woman’s Weekly cookbook was in every home I think, growing up. We all have favourites from memory without even seeing the book! You can wet your fingers and snuff the candle – and still make your wish. It counts! Love the last photo of you smiling! (over the side effects caption)

    • Thanks Lydia. Yes, mine is at my daughter’s.

      I found it rather amusing that something I took for granted, blowing out a candle, was something I could no longer do.

      I ended up getting the candle out!

      Denyse x

  3. I’m that weird person who never liked birthday cakes. If there was a Vienetta on offer though it was a different story. I loved making birthday cakes though – & remember the AWW book with fondness.

    • You are weird but from what I know of you, savoury is much more your style.

      Viennetta was the go-to birthday cake when we didn’t have a cake. My husband and daughter loved them too.

      Making and creating cakes is FUN…as long as it all works out!

      Denyse x

  4. My favourite is the cake your daughter made for you in Sydney! The memories that cake holds of your own mother.

    SSG xxx

    • Yes the passing down of memories via food is big isn’t it?

      Comfort foods in particular.

      Thanks SSG. Enjoy your ‘day off’ …well at least I hope it is.

      Denyse x

  5. Great pics Denyse and I know what it’s like to not have the family around for your birthday – distance sucks at times doesn’t it? Loved your new candle blowing technique and we also had the WW birthday cake book for our kids’ birthdays. xx

    • Thanks Leanne. I am so much better than I was about family not being around as they too have their need to be met. I am grateful if I get to at least hear from them….we know we are loved so that IS the most important I believe.

      I went through much of my life as a kid “having” to attend things and the pull was strong to continue this in my family life & I did but now I know better and resist. It is much better to choose for the greater good of all than old fashioned family guilt trips. Got a bit carried away there!

      That book was never meant to be a best seller according to the WW! Funny isn’t it?

      Denyse x

  6. I’m obessed with that AWW Birthday Cake Book and feel like I had a lost childhood without any of those cakes! We’re making up for it though, working our way through the book and making the cakes for our godchildren. We made the bunny cake for our god-daughter at the weekend and it went down a treat! I think the best birthday cake I ever had was a Mr Happy Cake for my 6th birthday. I still remember it now!

    • Oh the looking and ideas that were found there. I learned how to make proper butter icing from that book. OMG. I use that as a basis for all my icings.

      I was grateful not to get into too many of the complicated styles but Mum gave it a go. Just like your David is with you!

      Loved seeing the bunny cake and ALL the coconut.

      Oh you had a Mr Happy cake. Sweet!

      Denyse x

  7. This is so cool! I’d love to do this with my son’s Birthday cakes and look at all the cakes I’ve made (or bought!) him over the years!

    • It is the best memory-making. My kids’ albums have been mixed up, culled and given away but I still see many of the cakes in my minds’ eye.

      Recently when a granddaughter was 22 I was able to find a photo of the ONE (1) cake her Mum made from the WW cookbook) for her first birthday.

      Denyse x

  8. Loved this prompt Denyse! I have my original Women’s Weekly birthday cake book and have just bought a copy for my daughter as Emilia will be one before we know it! We all have such happy memories of going through the book choosing designs then trying to make it all work out! I have shared an older post from my last birthday and I’m happy to say it does feature a cake. I’m so happy to hear your good news re your cancer results, it’s well worth looking back over the past few years and seeing where you’ve come from. Thanks again for the weekly prompt.

    • Thanks so much for your well wishes. It is good to know I am, for now, cancer free but it took a bit for me to be convinced. Living with the news for so long and having so much done is part of it.

      I love that you are giving your daughter the book for her to use. I am sure my daughter has had mine for 22 years (her first child’s age) and my now, ex-dil may have used it or had a copy of it. She made amazing cakes for the kids!

      Enjoying your northern jaunt photos. Better than the cold place for now!

      Denyse x

  9. I like the memories attached to the cakes…I think that’s probably what makes it more memorable. I no longer have family around for my birthdays {haven’t for the last 14 years} so kinda understand that bittersweet feeling…my 21st was the last time I had family and friends and they all surprised me. I still celebrate occasional birthdays with friends but I’m not too fussed in general. I don’t know if I’ve really had a favourite cake over the years but I do remember for my 7th birthday and my sister’s 2nd (we celebrated together for a few years), we had a Tom and Jerry cake which was pretty cool. 🙂