Say hello to the Cockatoo cake

When we put a call-out to our readers for their best children’s cakes we were inundated with recipes, and this clever cockatoo was ahead of the flock.

In 2023, The Australian Women’s Weekly turned 90, so we decided to celebrate in the best way possible. With cake! And not just any cake but one of your cakes. We held a Best Birthday Baker competition, asking readers to create and share their own iconic birthday cake.

The winner would not only take home a cash prize of $5000, but would also have their fabulous creation featured in an upcoming issue of the magazine. Plus their cake would be included in the next edition of the famous Children’s Birthday Cake Book, which has been reprinted more than 30 times since it was published in 1980.

Australian Women’s Weekly birthday cakes have brought joy to so many children throughout the years, from the jelly-filled Swimming Pool and green-tinted coconut Soccer Field, to the iconic Rubber Ducky and Choo-Choo Train. More than half a century later they continue to do so.

After over 1300 amazing competition entries, and much deliberation and debate at The Weekly’s headquarters, there was one stand-out winner, and that was Elizabeth Kelly’s Cockatoo cake. Inspired by the Rubber Ducky, Elizabeth’s winning cake is a delicious butter cake covered in lashings of fluffy buttercream and decorated with classic banana lollies to create the cockatoo’s crest, blackcurrant pastilles for the eyes and Mars Pods for the beak.

The Cockatoo cake is a wonderful addition to the Children’s Birthday Cake Book, and we’re delighted to include it in the next edition. Congratulations, Elizabeth, on being the The Australian Women’s Weekly Best Birthday Baker.

“I created this cheeky cockatoo twist on the original Rubber Ducky cake for my daughter’s second birthday as she loves birds. She also saw the Bluey episode with the original duck cake and requested it,” Elizabeth Kelly says.

“The key difference with my cockatoo cake is in the shape of the tail, which I cut to slant downwards rather than upwards. I also shaped the head to be more pointy than round. When it came to the crest, banana lollies were the perfect choice. I actually used my mum’s original Children’s Birthday Cake Book from when I was little to make this cake.”

You can access Elizabeth’s Cockatoo cake recipe here and read more about her winning feat in the January edition of The Australian Women’s Weekly on sale December 28.

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