Wednesday, 18 April 2012

My Slutty Dolly Varden

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to ME,
Happy birthday dear meeee-eeeee,
Happy birthday to me!

In honour of this auspicious occasion, I made the Dolly Varden cake. And I've got to ask the question: is it just me, or have Dolly Vardens gotten a lot sluttier since I was a girl?

Here's the backstory: I always admired the Dolly Varden cake when I was younger, but it my father would never make it for me. He didn't explain why, exactly (sends the wrong message? too pink and sugary?), he just never did.

So I decided that for my birthday today I would make it myself. Off I went to buy my Dolly Varden cake tin. That's how famous this kind of cake has become, it's got its own tin named after it.

And of course I would need a Dolly Varden doll to go with it. I had always thought it was just a complete doll stuck into the cake - so it was a surprise to find out that you can actually buy a mutilated half-doll that has a single stump where her legs should be.

Now, The Book has a delightful photo of the Dolly Varden cake. The doll herself is sweet and cherubic, with plump little arms and an adorably innocent face. Here she is.

That's what I had in my head when I trotted off to purchase my own version. What I was met with though, was anything but sweet and cherubic.

I searched high and low, but Dolly Vardens have changed in the intervening 30 years since The Book was released. Dolly Vardens have gone on sex-appeal steroids. Dear god.

Apparently you cannot buy innocence anymore. Although as I'm writing that sentence I realise that actually I'm quite wrong, because you can, if you're in, say, Thailand or the Philippines. (Have I gone too far? Have I?)

Anyway, I was spoilt for choice. I could have bought any one of the following:
  • Pole-Dancing Dolly Varden
  • Las Vegas Showgirl Dolly Varden
  • Tiny Prostitute Dolly Varden, or 
  • Slutty Dolly Varden, which is the one I chose. 

I do not endorse her. Are these dolls really appropriate for children? Oh god, I've turned into my mother.

Pursing my lips in disapproval (I get you now, dad) I dressed her up in her pink ribbon and stuck a flower in at her waist, just like the picture in The Book except about 20 years older and light-years away in terms of ahem, experience.

She did not look innocent and cherubic like the picture in The Book. She did, however, look perfect for a night out at the Logies or the Brownlow.

My Slutty Dolly Varden could also have taken a lesson from the red carpet and put on some Hollywood tape to avoid an accidental wardrobe malfunction that occurred when I started to cut her up in the office, but hey - you can't have everything. You can see her "dress" just starting to slip in this picture.

And look, at the end of the day - irrespective of the seck-syoo-al innuendo that My Slutty Dolly Varden  brought with her - she was an absolute smash hit in the office. With red velvet cake inside and cream cheese icing outside, there was not a scrap of her left within about seven minutes.

THAT is the measure of baking success. Happy birthday to me!


  1. Hilarious! Love it! Loving the humor along with the cakes! X

  2. That is one trampy cake. Happy birthday.

  3. Your Dolly Varden cake looks very nice, but I just can't understand the allure of a doll stuck in a cake (whether she has legs or not). She just reminds me of those toilet roll covers my great-grandmother used to make... Happy Birthday! Christine xx

  4. Exactly what I did for my birthday. I made a doll-cake too. Used a bit sweet looking doll and stuck her in with legs and all. These days she's sitting naked on my kitchen bench (I can't find her clothes anymore...

  5. Oh goodness, I can completely see Brynne Edelstein wearing that at the next Brownlow. :D

    You did brilliantly once again- but what happened to the swimming pool cake? Or are you saving that for next birthday?

    Happy Birthday!

  6. So funny! I made one of these for my daughter for her 4th birthday and resorted to a Dollar Shop Barbie shoved in the cake. Pictures on my blog at if you want a laugh at the post consumption photos!

  7. Hehehe - another old favourite!! My sister got this for one of her birthday parties!!!
    Happy Birthday too by the way FGH - we are all on the downslide to that dreaded significant number, aren't we?
    Love the cake. Are you having fun?
    And I have to ask - how many kgs have you and your work colleagues put on in the past few weeks????
    Ness x

  8. I am loving this cake challenge : ) You know I have a weakness for cakes and baking or anything that requires a vintage apron to be worn. I've shared your challenge over on my blog : )

  9. I can see this Slutty Dolly Varden has touched you, readers! Euw, I don't mean like that. But I must say, she has been a spectacular baking and blogging success. She went down a treat in the office. Oops, I mean, my colleagues just ate her up. Oh gosh, sorry - I just can't help myself!


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