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on 21 October 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you are wanting to make a birthday for a child but don't know where to start, this book provides the inspiration to stop you wandering off to your local supermarket and buying something pre-made.

With loads of suggestions for both boy and girl themed cakes, there is plenty here to last throughout the birthday cake making years. The focus is very much on the decorating, to the point that the recipes are all based on packet mixes for the cakes themselves. If you prefer not to take that approach cake recipes are provided in the back of the book and they can be used for all the ideas here. There are also lots of tips and advice about equipment and ingredients, as well as a glossary at the back.

The ideas themselves include things like "Cricket pitch", "Chessboard", "Treasure island" as well as spiders and snakes. What I particularly like about this book is the breadth of ideas - not all even use large cake sponges.. some are based on having lots of cup cakes. There are also stencils in the back to help cut out the icing.

This book is highly recommended - there are lots of good ideas, and they are fairly easy to follow.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What I liked about this book is that a lot of the designs are fairly straightforward and will be quite good for a beginner like me to attempt and (hopefully) achieve a reasonable result with. The instructions are fairly straightforward and should be easy enough to follow but it seems to cut a lot of corners when it comes to the more complicated ways of decorating (it suggests using plastic toys rather than showing you how to create toppers yourself using icing).

The downside is that the cakes are fairly old fashioned and anyone with a lot of experience making cakes are probably going to find the selection very basic. They remind me of the kind of cakes I had growing up but you can buy much nicer designs fairly cheaply from the supermarket now so I'd prefer to tackle something a little more complicated.

I was also expecting more cake recipes than were actually included although I'm definitely going to give the ones in here a try.

I think anyone who is a complete amateur when it comes to baking will find this book isn't a bad place to start but if you have any kind of skill you probably need to look elsewhere.
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VINE VOICEon 27 June 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
i have been dissapointed by some of the womens weekly books in the past especially my last cake decorating one but this one is a whole different ball game.If you are looking for a book to give you recipes for different styles and tastes of cake then no it wont satisfy yu but if you are looking for cheap, easy and inventive cakes for your kids and even the big kids we all know and love then read away. the kids have flicked through this book so many times its unreal and have chosen cakes for years ahead. its great for idea even if you dont want to follow them to the exact. it can spark ideas you didnt know you could have .some great ideas for every type of occasion and cake with sections for girls and boys and fantasy etc. i loved the prinsee castle cake but i loved the fact there was also a boy version. great easy to follow idea which even a bsaic cook cake follow with ease.
also includes the stencils in the back for cutting shapes from sponge etc.
i would say this really is a must have book for cake decortators or just us mums who have ideas thrown at us for birthday. this will dig you out of that hole i promise
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VINE VOICEon 28 July 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My wife was seeking birthday cake inspiration for her overgrown kid of a husband when we came across this book. It has a large number of suggested designs with recipes for cakes in all shapes and sizes, many with elaborate decorative finishes. There are also a number of very useful templates included with the book which my wife found easy to follow and copy.

As this is a book from Australia, you may find the use of imperial measurements (ounces, etc) difficult to follow if you're young enough to have learned in metric terms, and some of the products featured may not be easily available in the UK or, at least, may be called something different. There are photos of the items to help you track them down in the shops. It also surprised us that we were directed to buy packaged cake mixes rather than starting the cake from scratch, though there is a section on how to bake one from basic ingredients.

In conclusion, a useful book for amateur baking enthusiasts and I can confirm the Spotto Yellow Beach Buggy at least should come out a sweet treat.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It is a nice touch that the various shapes & sizes you need are presented on neatly folded pattern posters that fit into a sleeve on the inside back cover...So many books today include links to websites to download and print & I have some older books with gridded pictures for you to draw out yourself!

Obviously it does state AUSTRALIAN on the cover so why I was surprised by Possum cakes and bush babies is anyone's guess. I didn't realise the use cups for measuring.

This is a good quality flexi-cover which I love and also the photographs of the finished cakes are not overly perfect and give the impression of being lovely home made cakes rather than professionally over produced. Although they suggest using cake mixes they do have some recipes at the back if you want to go it alone! Marshmallows, chocolate buttons, sweets and popcorn are all used as decorations.

This is all in all a lovely book for the have a go parent....so go on - have a go!
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a good guide book for those who suddenly find themselves confronted with demands for themed birthday cakes (no you don;t believe it but it will happen). It's Australian so quite a few of the decorating items (mainly sweets) aren't available in the UK and neither the terminology ("butter cake") nor the characters ("wobbly wombat") are home grown but you can work it out and adapt to British tastes. There's nothing impossibly ambitious and the cakes are practical and homely rather than spectacular. That said my 6 yo was delighted with the upright piano cake and with the football ground and I love the vegetable garden. There's nothing here that requires special tools of amazing icing skills, which is its joy, and there's a dead simple "how to do it" guide at the back. It is a decorating book not a baking book so don't be misled by the title.

Since I wrote this I've made the piano cake (it's an upright) - worked really well and was a huge hit.
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm not a skilled baker but was attracted to this book because of the sheer amount and variety of different cake designs. The joy of with most of them is that you could buy a shop bought cake and just be creative with the decorations.

The selection really is comprehensive; animals, adventure, dinosaurs, a wide variety of different sports; castles,; rockets etc. There are also cakes made from ice-cream and from chocolate cereals if you're not a confident baker. The book contains a great selection of templates which tuck into a neat pouch inside the back cover and there is a section about how to make simple tools such as mini piping bags.

I also think that the book does itself something of a disservice in saying it's just for children's cakes. I'm planning to make the mermaid for my husband's birthday (although I might make her a little saucier!!)

The only book you'll need. Fantastic and worth every penny.
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VINE VOICEon 28 May 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a really lovely book. I have another women's weekly cake decorating book which is more on adults designs and I had been looking out for one like this, and it has not disappointed. It covers so many designs, pretty much any theme you could want - although not character cakes, but so many different animals, train, football, dolls, snakes and ladders, numbers, space ships, and many more. So there is something for most children to choose. My oldest boys birthday is coming up and he is going to be 5, and he has really enjoyed looking through and trying to choose which cake to have. I remember enjoying browsing this kind of book myself as a kid so I was really wanting to get one with great pictures so that the kids can enjoy looking too, and this has worked well for that. All the instructions are pretty clear and easy, and templates are provided for some of the designs where needed, so overall it is ideal!
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VINE VOICEon 15 August 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you love baking and have children or nieces and nephews or just thinking of getting into the cake-making business then this is a must-have!

They don't kid when they call it the 'bumper book' - there are about 150 ideas in this! That's a lot of children to bake for!

Split into categories like animals, classics, characters, numbers there are just sooooo many fantastic and exciting ideas to work towards.

The instructions are clear, with tips given for the trickier parts.

If you're a complete novice at cake design then there are lots of step-by-step instructions for the techniques to make beautiful cakes. There are also recipes to follow and best of all it even comes with a large number of patterns at the back fold which is so helpful.

We only have a three year old so are finding lots random reasons to make these amazing cakes!
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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First off - this is not a cookbook - it is a cake design idea book. Most of the recipes use a pre-made cake mix but there are a couple of recipes towards the back which equate to the mix size quoted (approximately a 2 egg mix basic sponge - you may want to experiment a little!)
Secondly, once you decided the size cake you need, start at the back (around page 330) - that will give you all the basics you need and the translation between UK and Australian terms.
The decorating ideas are simple but very very effective, using a mixture of templates (provided), icing and add-ons for almost every childhood occasion! My personal favourites are the stunning peacock on page 127 which a lot of adults would love and the giant doughnut which would be popular with Simpson fans (Page 297)

Most of the ideas are easy to follow and will be guaranteed to get a wow
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