In 2018 Pamela Clark, the woman behind the Birthday Cake Book, told the ABC about how the book was developed. She clearly had her personal favourites among the fantasy cakes but is scathing about one particular construction. The Tip Truck Cake was developed at the request of her editor. It was a nightmare to make but, as the editor’s pick, warranted a double-page spread in the book. “Don’t go there,” Pamela warns. “Glue the pages together.”
Popular designs from the Children’s Birthday Cake Book include the Swimming Pool Cake, the Choo Choo Train and the Fairy Castle. It’s all in the decoration – the recipes themselves specify butter cake mix as the basis for most of the cakes. In the Vintage Edition, four of the original designs were replaced with new designs. It seems that these depicted cartoon characters and the publisher was unwilling to renew the licence for their use.
The book is a pop-culture classic and has inspired articles, performances and cooking events. The classification of many designs as “for boys” or “for girls” makes the book somewhat politically incorrect, but so far the anti-discrimination crowd have failed to demonstrate against it.