The Great Australian Bake Off

A delicious sea-side inspired treat!


  • Vanilla sponge bucket

  • 2 1/4 cup plain cake flour

  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 4 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp table salt

  • 170g unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup full fat milk

  • 6 egg whites at room temperature

  • 3 tsp vanilla paste

  • Chocolate sponge sandcastle

  • 1 3/4 cups plain cake flour

  • 2 cups caster sugar

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 2 tsp bicarb soda

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp table salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 eggs, room temperature

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 1 tbsp instant coffee

  • Decoration for the seashells

  • 340g packet chocolate candy melts

  • 340g packet white candy melts

  • Cookies/sand

  • 125g unsalted butter

  • 60g caster sugar

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 egg

  • 300g plain flour

  • 1/2 tsp table salt

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 2 tsp lemon zest

  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds

  • Sandcastle filling and bucket covering

  • 450g dark chocolate 70%

  • 150ml thickened cream

  • 250g fresh raspberries

  • Sandcastle covering and lining the board

  • 1.5kg pure icing sugar

  • 400g unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 350g dairy free spread

  • 50ml thickened cream

  • Bucket filling and covering

  • 200g white chocolate

  • 50ml thickened cream

  • 250g fresh strawberries

  • White modelling chocolate

  • 250g white chocolate

  • 100g liquid glucose

  • Decoration

  • Red and yellow/gold edible paint


  • 1.

    For the bucket cake, using oil spray, grease and line 3 x 6inch square cake tins. Pre-heat the oven to 170C fan-forced.

  • 2.

    Place dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer and mix until combined, using a paddle attachment. Add butter and mix to breadcrumb. In a jug, add egg whites, vanilla paste and milk.

  • 3.

    With the mixer on a medium speed, slowly and steadily add the liquid into the dry mix. Once combined, increase to a medium speed and mix for 30 seconds. Divide into 3 prepared tins and bake for 35 minutes or when a skewer comes out clean. Cool cakes in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

  • 4.

    For the modelling chocolate, melt the chocolate in the microwave or on a double boiler. Mix to ensure the chocolate is smooth. Pour in liquid glucose. The mixture will stiffen as it cools. Tip out onto a sheet of cling wrap. Wrap tightly and leave to set in the fridge for about an hour. 

  • 5.

    For the dark chocolate ganache, place chocolate and cream into a microwavable bowl, and microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir. Repeat for 30 second bursts until smooth. Pour into a rectangular dish, cover and refrigerate until almost set. Repeat with white chocolate for white chocolate ganache. Pour into a rectangular dish, cover and refrigerate until almost set.

  • 6.

    For the sandcastle cake, grease and line x3 6in square cake tins and pre heat the oven to 170c.

  • 7.

    Add the coffee to the hot water and set aside. In a jug, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.

  • 8.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer add- flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment, start mixing the dry ingredients on a low-medium speed.

  • 9.

    Slowly add the wet ingredients. Follow immediately with the coffee. Divide the mixture between the 3 pans and bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted knife is clean.

  • 10.

    For the sand, line 2 baking trays and pre-heat the oven to 170c.

  • 11.

    Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment until pale. Add the eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add the flour, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds mix until it forms a ball of dough.

  • 12.

    Split the dough into four. Working on one section at a time, roll out and cut as many circles as you can. Re-roll and repeat for the remainder of this section and the remainder of the dough. 

  • 13.

    Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, they will have a sight golden brown around the edges.

  • 14.

    For the seashells, melt the candy melts in the microwave. Using a brush and the cocoa melts, paint lines inside a disposable piping bag. Add the white candy melts. Cut the bag and fill the shell mould. Place the mould in the fridge to set. Repeat as needed.

  • 15.

    To assemble, starting with the square cakes, level the cakes and cut away 1.5 inches from two sides. Cut the strawberries into small pieces. Line the first layer of cake with the white chocolate ganache. Cover with strawberries. Repeat once more.

  • 16.

    Cut the 1.5 strips into squares. Using blobs of ganache, attach around the top of the layered cake, to create the top of the sandcastle. Cover the sandcastle with frosting and scrape off to create a ‘crumb coat’.

  • 17.

    Using a food processor, grind the cookies into ‘sand’. Cover the sandcastle completely with the vanilla frosting. Attach the ‘sand’. Place the cake at one end of the board.

  • 18.

    Level the chocolate cakes. Fill each layer with ganache and halved raspberries. Cover the cake with the dark chocolate ganache and scrape off to create a ‘crumb coat’- refrigerate to firm.

  • 19.

    Mould the white modelling cholate around the upright tube and leave to set. Cover the structure of the ‘bucket’ with dark chocolate ganache and begin to create the ‘bucket’ look.

  • 20.

    Remove the cake from the fridge and cover with dark chocolate ganache. Using the ‘bucket’ scraper, contour the dark chocolate ganache.  Return to the fridge to set.

  • 21.

    Slice a wedge from one side of the cake, to fit onto the structure. Cover the white modelling chocolate in a thin layer of vanilla frosting and then cover with the cookie sand. Check if the bucket is set, if yes, paint the bucket structure red using the foam tipped brush and leave to set.

  • 22.

    Remove the cake from the fridge, slice a ‘wedge’ from one side and place onto the bucket structure. Fill the gaps with some ganache and smooth. Paint the structure red – avoid the ‘wet’ bits. leave to set.

  • 23.

    Using the vanilla frosting, cover the board. It doesn’t need to be neat- add some highs and lows! Reserving some for touch ups later. Cover with the board with sand, saving some for finishing touches. ‘sand’. Place the sea shells around the board.

  • 24.

    Cover the bits of the bucket with the paint. Place Round discs of modelling chocolate onto the bucket band, as the screws, and paint the band a contrasting colour- this will be the handle.

  • 25.

    Use the remaining vanilla frosting to cover the top of the bucket, cover the join of the upright and some random blobs around. Cover with ‘sand’ to finish.


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

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