top of page
  • jdettmann

Great Cakes in History

In the lead-up to May Blossom’s birthday, the cake preparations continue. Today’s post is an homage to some of the great cakes of my childhood. The first, and in my opinion the greatest, is my first birthday cake. It was made by my mother in the shape of my brown burmese cat, Quickly. It is not, as H assumed before I resized the image so he could see the cat’s face, a cake in the shape of Western Australia.

It was served, as all the cakes were, on a massive brown plastic tray. I don’t know where you’d find such a thing these days. I think May Blossom’s cake may end up being served on the upturned lid of a plastic file box.

Next we have my brother SuperChief’s third birthday cake, the motorbike cake. This was a curious decision of Mum’s because she regards motorbikes, quite rightfully, as Instruments of Death and Destruction and we are all banned from ever getting on one. SuperChief appears to be clutching a new heli-cop-cop. Around that age he often received new helicopters because there was a woman Mum used to invite over for tea who had a son a bit younger than SuperChief. The son would break SuperChief’s toy helicopter every single time he visited. SuperChief and Mum had a deal where she could keep inviting these people only if she kept replacing the helicopter.

It was probably either the cat cake or the motorbike cake that Snail slept on. Here he is, crammed onto the kitchen counter, next to the stove — which is on. He was a very companionable cat, if a bit singed about the whiskers.

My fifth birthday party had a zoo theme. Hence the cake shaped like a seal balancing a ball on its nose. That was a splendid party. The guests spared no effort in their costumes. One child wore a papier mache elephant’s head. My cousins wore my grandmothers’ furs. I wore a pair of grey tights, a grey skivvy, and another pair of grey tights with the legs balled up on my head. I was meant to be a mouse. Tights were my mother’s secret weapon. There was no animal costume (except all animals that weren’t mice or chipmunks) that she couldn’t create with a couple of pairs of grey or brown tights.

Please note the packets of small frankfurts next to the cake in this picture. Chocolate cake, fairy bread and little bright red sausages dipped in tomato sauce were the three essential elements of a birthday party when I was a kid. I haven’t seen those sausages at a party for a while. Do people still let children eat them? The past is a different country; they eat more food additives there.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page