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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 13, May 1970

By Isobel Chester (nee Thornton)

The late Mrs. Annie Robinson made the exquisite "cakes" in the photographs entirely of butter. There were no refrigerators in the days when this was done, and Mrs. Robinson placed the butter by the creek to keep it cool.

The butter was moulded on a wooden rod going up the centre, and on this were placed the required number of platforms to form the tiers. This was the framework for the whole structure.

Mrs. Robinson had only a pair of pats and a piece of muslin to help her in doing this fine work. When the butter became too warm to work she had to stop, cool it off in her creek "refrigerator" and carry on later. One of the difficulties was in keeping her hands cool enough to handle the butter. There is about 56 lbs of butter in each "cake".

Mrs. Robinson made these cakes while she resided in Waitekauri for some years from 1910 onwards - her son, Mr. Hector Robinson is still a resident of Waihi. The cakes were mainly sent to shows and exhibitions. It is remembered that the then M.P. for Ohinemuri, Mr. H. Poland, specially asked her to exhibit some of her work in Dunedin. She had learnt the art of "Butter sculpture" in Australia before coming to live in New Zealand.

Mrs Robinson’s Butter Cakes.

Mrs Robinson's Butter Cakes.

Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 13, May 1970
Mrs Robinson’s Butter Cakes.
Mrs Robinson’s Butter Cakes.

Mrs Robinson's Butter Cakes.

Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 13, May 1970
Mrs Robinson’s Butter Cakes.