The Great Australian Bake Off

Test your baking skills with this slightly more advanced, all edible version of the classic Dolly Varden cake.


  • Red velvet cake

  • 500g cake flour

  • 4 heaped tbsp cocoa powder

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 200g room temp unsalted butter

  • 400g caster sugar

  • 30ml Pillarbox red food colouring liquid

  • 4 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 350ml milk

  • 2 tsp cider vinegar

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 tsp fine table salt

  • Pan release

  • 100g unsalted butter

  • 100g sunflower oil

  • 120g plain flour

  • Sour cherry syrup

  • Liquid from 500-600g jar of Morello Cherries

  • 80g caster sugar

  • Modelling chocolate

  • Soft gel paste colour – “soft pink” -  132

  • Soft gel paste colour – “orange ” -  113

  • Soft gel paste colour – “violet” -  122

  • Soft gel paste colour – “Ivory” -  103

  • Soft gel paste colour – “bright white” -  126

  • Soft gel paste colour – “super black” -  201 or 101

  • Soft gel paste colour – “chocolate brown” -  104

  • Soft gel paste colour – “royal blue” -  102

  • Soft Gel Paste Colour – “Super Red” - 120

  • 1.458kg white melts

  • 400ml corn syrup

  • 1 tsp pure natural vanilla extract concentrated

  • Corn flour

  • Large Ziploc bags

  • Diamonds edible micas or edible glitter white

  • Edible luster dust in cosmo pink or shimmery pink

  • Sour cream white chocolate ganache

  • 1.2kg melts white chocolate

  • 400ml sour cream full fat (at least 30%)

  • ¼ tsp fine table salt, more to taste

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


  • For the pan release:

  • 1.

    Mix all ingredients together in stand mixer on high until combined. Paint thickly on the inside of cake pans with a pastry brush.

  • For the red velvet cake:

  • 1.

    Add plain flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb, salt to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low for a few seconds to combine.

  • 2.

    Chop butter into cubes and add soft butter to dry mix and mix until crumbly consistency.

  • 3.

    To another bowl add milk, vinegar, vanilla and microwave for 40 seconds to take the chill off.

  • 4.

    Whisk in eggs.

  • 5.

    Then pour in two-thirds of the wet mixture into the dry mix in the stand mixer. Mix on medium-high for at least 2 minutes. Add remaining wet mixture and mix until fully combined.

  • 6.

    Pour the mixture into prepared cake pans. Bake at 170°C until cooked.

  • 7.

    Turn out onto cooling rack and place in freezer to chill.

  • 8.

    Once cooled, cut to level them and sprinkle on cherry syrup.

  • For the cherry syrup:

  • 1.

    Pour juice from the cherries into a small saucepan. Add sugar. Cook on high until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup comes to a gentle simmer, and simmer for 2 minutes.

  • 2.

    Remove from heat to cool.

  • 3.

    Once cool fill the squeeze syrup sprinkle bottle with syrup. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

  • For the modelling chocolate:

  • 1.

    Place white chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 1-minute intervals stirring between each interval until completely melted.

  • 2.

    Add corn and vanilla to small bowl. Heat in microwave for 25 seconds. Pour into the melted chocolate. Mix until no streaks or syrup or chocolate are left. Divide into four parts. Spoon into a large Ziploc bags and flatten out. Place in fridge to set.

  • 3.

    Once set, knead until smooth and add colour as required. Store in zip lock bags until needed on the bench.

  • For the assembly process:

  • 1.

    Make pan release. Make red velvet cake, brush pans with release while cake is mixing; bake.

  • 2.

    While cake is cooking make modelling chocolate. Make ganache. Make cherry syrup, knead and colour the modelling chocolate. Cool down cakes.

  • 3.

    Begin modelling the torso and face. Model the torso on a thick cake dowel stuck into a large piece of foam to make it easier to work on.

  • 4.

    Once cakes are cool, trim sprinkle with syrup, and stack them with the ganache, trim to bell shape, coat in ganache, lower the torso on its wooden skewer into the cake, secure with modelling chocolate and fondant. Decorate dress and figure with modelling chocolate.


*This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department. 

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