The Great Australian Bake Off

An interactive volcano and dinosaur cake topped with a smoking volcano and surrounded by edible sand. Go digging for fossils and discover even more treats!


  • 10 inch dark chocolate mud cake

  • 320g dark couverture chocolate

  • 320g unsalted butter

  • 35g coffee granules

  • 240ml hot water

  • 180g plain flour

  • 180g self raising flour

  • 70g Dutch cocoa powder

  • ¾ tsp bicarb soda

  • 675g caster sugar

  • 6 large eggs

  • 50ml vegetable oil

  • 140ml buttermilk

  • 1kg dry ice pellets

  • Hot water

  • Volcano

  • 6 cups rice bubbles

  • 50g unsalted butter

  • 250g pink and white marshmallows

  • Dark chocolate ganache – island, volcano

  • 2kg couverture dark chocolate

  • 1L thickened cream

  • White chocolate ganache – lava

  • 600g white chocolate

  • 200ml thickened cream

  • Red gel paste food colour

  • Lemon yellow gel paste food colour

  • Royal icing – grass, dinosaur fossils

  • 1kg pure icing sugar

  • 25g egg white powder

  • Juice 1 lemon

  • 140ml water

  • Forest green gel paste food colour

  • Black and brown edible ink pens

  • Decorator’s rose spirit

  • Gingerbread – dinosaurs

  • 125g unsalted butter - softened at room temperature

  • 500g plain flour

  • ¼ tsp bicarb soda

  • ¼ tsp table salt

  • 2 tsp ground ginger

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • 60g caster sugar

  • 60g brown sugar

  • 180g treacle

  • 1 egg

  • Trees

  • 5 grape stalks

  • 3 waffle cones

  • 500g milk chocolate

  • 2 cups rice bubbles

  • Green gel food colouring

  • 5 lengths of green florist wire


  • For the mud cake:

  • 1.

    Line base and sides of two 10”x3” round cake pans with baking paper.

  • 2.

    Preheat oven to 150°C.

  • 3.

    Place dark chocolate into a medium bowl.

  • 4.

    Place hot water, butter and coffee granules into a medium saucepan and heat until butter is melted. Pour this over chocolate, stir and allow to cool.

  • 5.

    Sift both flours and bicarb soda into a large bowl. Add caster sugar.

  • 6.

    Whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil together in a medium bowl.

  • 7.

    Stir chocolate mixture into flour bowl and mix until smooth. Add the egg mixture and continue to mix until smooth.

  • 8.

    Divide mixture evenly between the two cake tins and place in preheated oven. Set timer to 70 minutes. While the cake is cooking, make the ganaches, gingerbread mix and rice bubble volcano and boulders.

  • For the ganache:

  • 1.

    Heat the cream in a medium saucepan until boiling. Place the dark chocolate in a large plastic oblong container. Pour the boiled cream over the chocolate and mix until smooth. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge.

  • 2.

    Repeat with the white chocolate ganache – leave this ganache at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap placed on the surface of ganache.

  • For the volcano:

  • 1.

    Spray a medium bowl with cooking spray. Place two plastic tumblers into centre of the bowl. Spray with cooking spray.

  • 2.

    Place 6 cups of rice bubbles into a large bowl. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted.

  • 3.

    Pour the butter and marshmallow mixture into the rice bubbles, mix quickly then place the mixture into the prepared bowl. Make some boulders out of the remaining mixture.

  • 4.

    Once set, turn the volcano out of the bowl. Remove one of the plastic tumblers – the remaining tumbler will stay in the volcano to hold the dry ice and water. Trim around the top of the volcano to create a rough edge.

  • For the royal icing:

  • 1.

    Place the icing sugar and egg white powder into the bowl of a food processor. Process until no lumps remain and sugar is light and fluffy. Place into the bowl of stand mixer with the water and lemon juice. Beat on medium to high until stiff peaks form. Store in a large plastic oblong container. Take some icing and place into a small plastic bowl. Add sufficient water to obtain an outline consistency. Place this icing into a piping bag with a No 2 Loyal icing tip.

  • 2.

    Take some more icing and add more water to create a flood mix. Place this icing into a large plastic squeeze bottle. Remaining royal icing will be used to create grass on the island.

  • For the gingerbread dinosaurs:

  • 1.

    Set oven to 170°C – conventional (lower for fan bake). Mix flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. In stand mixer bowl, mix together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the treacle and egg. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until well combined. If it feels too sticky add a little extra flour at this stage.

  • 2.

    Roll out between two pieces of baking paper.

  • 3.

    Place in fridge to rest for ten minutes. Remove from fridge and cut out dinosaurs and place them on baking paper-lined aluminium baking trays. Use the stamp to create fossils on some of the dinosaurs.

  • 4.

    Bake biscuits on baking paper lined trays for 12 minutes. Allow to cool on trays. Decorate with royal icing. Fill fossil indentations of three dinosaurs with white royal icing. Cover three plain dinosaurs with white royal icing, allow to dry – preferably in a dehydrator – and then paint features on remaining dinosaurs.

  • For the trees:

  • 1.

    Place rice bubbles into a deep bowl. Mix some green food colour with water and place in spray bottle. Spray the rice bubbles a few times lightly to create leaves.

  • 2.

    Melt milk chocolate in deep bowl. Wind floral wire around each of the grape stems. Holding the wire dip the stems into the melted chocolate to create the trunks and branches and the dip into the green rice bubbles. Hang the trees over a piece of dowel or towel rail. Dip waffle cones into chocolate and then dip into green rice bubbles. Allow to set.

  • Assemble cake:

  • 1.

    Check cake after 60 minutes. Test with a skewer. Continue to cook until skewer comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool. Once cool halve each cake with a 14” cake knife.

  • 2.

    Using a cranked palette knife place a small amount of dark chocolate ganache onto centre of 10” cake board. Place one piece of cake onto and spread with ganache. Repeat with two more pieces of cake. Place remaining cake on top then trim around the side and top of the cake with a sharp knife to create an island. Cover the top and side of the cake with ganache.

  • 3.

    Using some ganache secure the 10” cake board and cake to the tray.

  • 4.

    Cover the volcano with dark chocolate ganache. Secure to the island with ganache. Mix some red colour and some yellow colour into white chocolate ganache in two bowls. Drip coloured ganache down the side of the volcano to create lava.

  • 5.

    Push the trees into the soil.

  • 6.

    Cover boulders with ganache. Place around the volcano and in three places on the island. With a little royal icing attach the painted gingerbread dinosaurs to the front of the boulders.

  • 7.

    Colour remaining royal icing with green gel paste and place green royal icing into piping bag fitted with a tube large grass #234 piping tip. Pipe grass over the island.

  • 8.

    Place fossil dinosaurs on baseboard below the island. Blitz remaining gingerbread in a food processor to create sand. Spread around the island to hide the fossils.


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

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