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Vintage Birthday Cakes

Mmmm. Birthday Cake. You know, back in the day people really made an effort to make their kiddo’s birthday cakes special—and personal. They cut and created. They decorated and embellished. Cakes were artful in a very home spun way!


image: curly wurly

I never was a fan of too much frosting when it came to eating, but I sure loved to look at it. When I was 4 or 5 one of my mom’s friends made me a gigantic ballerina shaped cake and whooooo boy did I think it was cool.


image: the happy apple

I have to say that ultimately I’m a big fan of the sweet and simple old timey two layer cake. My specialties are yellow cake with chocolate frosting and M&Ms all over the top (cute, easy, and festive!) and a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting (which is sooooo freakin’ scrumpdillyicious I can’t stand it).


Nowadays it seems that birthday cakes fall into a couple of camps. The over-the-top fondant covered fancy cake—that’s so elaborate it’s almost more of a wedding cake. (Does fondant really taste good anyway??) And the other option are the prefab, store-bought rectangle cakes with that puffy sweet frosting that makes yer teeth hurt. And then there are the cupcakes.

For all my yackin’, I’m never that adventurous and I always end up making cupcakes—which are admittedly all the rage with the elementary school set. While I do love a good cupcake, I still miss those proper homemade “cut up” cakes of the 1970s . Take a look at these babies from the Baker’s Coconut Cookbook and you’ll see what I mean! (Please pardon the butter and flour stains on the page—this little book was well loved!)

Poor Jerry Giraffe….it’s never a good sign when there are only two good things about you, and one of them involves you being eaten.

Awww, the gum drop horsey! So cute. Although it kinda looks like a llama…..

And then there’s the quirky Teddy Bear with it’s craaaazy eyes.

It’s a fluffy bunny, bear, er…. “THING”. And finally, the Cut-Up Kids!

The little girl is a TAD creepy. A slab o’ pink “leg” anyone??

So fun huh! I would loooove to bake something like that for Wolfie. Like, a groovy guitar cake! Or a wacky dog. Alas, my son is the World’s Only Child Who Hates Cake. It’s maddening. Cupcakes are his usual request, but someday I think I’ll just surprise him and bust out with something totally crazy. Like this red and yellow luv:

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  1. Astred * Designcherry says

    What a timely post! I have just sat down for a break after constructing my 2 year old’s birthday cake for his party tomorrow. We made the swimming pool cake from the reissue of the Australian Women’s Weekly birthday cake book, which is an iconic publication that any Australian kid who was anyone in the 70s and 80s had at least one memorable cake made from. I can still remember the train cake and princess cake my grandma made me… Remembering how important an awesome cake was to me as a kid spurs me on to make sure my kiddo has those kick ass cake memories too.



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