Great Australian Bake Off Series 3: Episode 1 CAKE WEEK {recap}

You guys! You know I am a Bake off TRAGIC (GBBO is like my favourite thing ever) and I have long been a fan of the Australian Bake off as well. Baking and TV…what’s not to love? And not having the skills to ever pullout a rough puff on demand (even though I once dreamt that Maggie came to me and asked me to make her one) watching is the closest I will ever get to it. A friend of mine is a producer on the show and asked me to come along to the final (you know the picnic thing) and I was like SHUT UP OF COURSE I WILL BE THERE. So last year off I trotted to the final where I knew NO ONE AND NOTHING but of course was swept up in it all because: TELLY! MAGGIE! THE TENT! MEL & CLAIRE! And FINALLY we are here at the start of season 3. I knew at the time that future Beth would want me to take as many photos of the end deal and take in as much detail as I could (and I did) but for now? Let’s focus on each week as it comes with a ye olde episode recappe.

You can find out more about the show here.

Season 3 opens to the bake off tent (did you know it’s in the burbs of Sydney and not in the country?) where we meet the new contestants. Props are plentiful, 12 new contestants excited, Matt’s biceps pumped and his collection of tight vests at the ready as is Maggie’s linen smocks and statement necklaces…Mel and Claire have their tongues in their cheeks ready to go and we are off to…CAKE WEEK.

I wish every week IRL was cake week.

And I wonder how many times the word moist will be said in the next 90 minutes.

First up we have a signature bake and contestant overview where we judge quickly and harshly as we know who NO ONE is and it’s confusing but at least there is cake.

Contestants have to make a family sized marble cake (streaked or mottled appearance by blending batters any combo of flavours and must be decorated) that also show their personality, so you know, not much to ask. Matt wants to see definition of marbling (much like his forearms) and Maggie wants flavour.

We meet…

Raeesa, 37 Health food store worker who is making a peacock marble cake lime & coconut fondant feathers.

Michelle, 64 a Maggie look alike keeping the dementure at bay with keeping busy I instantly love her as she reminds me of my Mum and she loves baking for family. She’s making a Lemon & raspberry Bundt cake. Love that word BUNDT. Reminds me of perky bum cheeks. Maybe that’s just me…? I’m sure Matt would agree. He would have BUNDTS.

Dave, 35 accountant who is making a green matcha cake (why did matcha become a thing?) Dave is into Korean style piping (icing not musical) although it could be called K-PIPE instead of K-POP.

Robert, 34 IT Administrator making a Chocolate Orange to match his orange hair.

Emma, 23 Science Graduate Ode to her one eyed cat with a vanilla chocolate & orange cake. She giggles a lot.

Claudia, 48 Psychiatrist from German background and I suspect German precision in all she does. She is whipping up a Pink marble ake with lemon & raspberry

Jessica, 28 Sales coordinator (Matt eyeing her off already) who is making a Lime coconut & chocolate cake

Max, 28 Plasterer who is French AND a spunk rat AND bakes. COME ONE. His fiancé gets to enjoy his delights the package to camera says… I BET SHE DOES. He is making a Chocolate & matcha cake. Bloody matcha again.

Chris, 32 systems administrator with a tough Mohawk exterior but seems like a softy dad who loves to bake for his daughter. WE LOVE YOU ALREADY CHRIS. He is making a chocolate & orange sponge.

Barb, 37 Finance Manager Mum of 2 who is also my doppleganger (but with tatts) so I obviously LOVE her. She’s making a Marble bundt (bum cheek) cake with vanilla & coffee.

Alex, 47 Building importer single dad of 3 who loves baking inspired by his Greek Mum. WE LOVE ALEX ALREADY. He is making a Lemon & pistachio cake.

Marcus, 27 Dentist who seems to giggle a lot.

Throughout the cook there’s not too much to mention of note, Melissa’s icing was too hot, Dave is showing off with his K-PIPE icing skills and Robert’s cake is a little rough. It’s very hard to keep up with everyone, let alone judge them, let alone pay attention to their cakes. First week is HARD.

Judging comes around and the cakes to note are Raeesa’s peacock with great marbling although a little woozy in colour (blue cake is not so appetising) Matt trying to describe the cake…MOIST is the word you are looking for Matt.

Alex’s lemon & pistachio cake which according to Maggie is Autumnal and Greek. There is a head shake and fork down from Maggie she likes the flavour but alas! No marbling! The cake has layered not marbled.

Michelle’s lemon & raspberry cake she has thrown every berry at it to cover her cracks (don’t we all).

Dave’s green cake…oh he’s good. AMAZING was used and his precision is both annoying and intriguing.

Hard to say who the winner is here…perhaps Raeesa, but I am confused as to who everyone is.

We are now onto the TECHNICAL BAKE

Advice from Maggie? Check the levels and degree of burnt butter and to rest your batter . Also don’t over cook as PLUMPNESS is important. Like me Maggie, I get it.

Bakers have to bake 24 chocolate dipped Madeleines in1 hour 45 mins.

Thoughts straight up?

Being French, Max cannot fail. It is not pozzible. Claudia has made them before when baking with a baby (because you can make them with one hand). Plus she double dips hers into the chocolate. You’re showing off CLAUDIA. Marcus then goes on a dance off situ explaining he likes to listen to music when cleaning and proceeds to demonstrate the running man. Hats off mate. Back to your baking. Dave is using digital scales to measure his perfect mixture into the tins OF COURSE HE IS. Mr Precision is already annoying me.

Judgement is here with the following highlights: Melissa has plump well defined ridges. Max has presented his upside down, Dave not reaxjinh his potential (are you OK Dave?!) and Claudia’s are firm.

Marcus last place for not enough colour

3rd Robert
2nd Michelle
1st Raeesa with perfect butter. She’s good.

Now my fave….the SHOW STOPPER!

The front runners Dave (K-PIPE precision) & Raeesa. It’s a new day on set yet they are in the SAME clothes. What do they do with them overnight? Always confused me. This week’s challenge is to make the ultimate kids birthday cake in 4 hours. Personally they should have to make this cake between the hours of 10pm-3am when most parents finally get around to making it after the kids are in bed and all the other food is prepped and must include at least 4 fights between the married couple with interruptions of kids waking up, crumbs sticking to icing and fondant going everywhere, including your hands and possibly face. Now THAT sounds about right to me.

The cakes they are making are:

Michelle: VOLCANO CAKE with lava two tiers chocolate sponge and rice bubble volcano. Gingerbread fossils.

MARCUS: Volcano cake 3 layers of choc sponge sesame cream/ blood orange curd

MAX: Monster cake 7 layers of choc sponge cookie monster

JESSICA: Teapot white chocolate mud cake. Maggie suggests that she use lemon zest in the white chocolate. USE THE ZEST JESSICA.

Chris: Neopolitan Princess Cake with crown

BARB: Magical unicorn with rainbow cake

DAVE: Unicorn two tiers with rainbow sponges. Dave is trying hard again and outdoing Barb with an extra layer.

Robert: DOLLY VARDEN with the doll made entirely of Modelling chocolate.

EMMA: Bear cake teddy bears with fairy floss & bubblegum batter

CLAUDIA: Pony cake made her own fondant OF COURSE SHE DID

RAEESA: JUNGLE CAKE with waterfall and hidden candy. She is not fucking about here.

ALEX: Mermaid cake.

Some highlights from the baking: Mel asking Alex about his clams. Did she just go there? Did she mention clams and Maggie’s lips? OH NO SHE DITN’T. Yes she did and I love it. Robert donning his headband to stop sweating and looking like the Karate Kid. Barb asking Dave if he was horny…Jessica scooping batter of the cake whilst cooking STOP JESSICA STOP.

Before heading into judging on the bottom we have Jessica and Max and on the top Michelle (Maggie look alike), Robert & Marcus.

The Star baker announced as KARATE KID RANGA ROBERT!

And going home…

Jessica surely going…and JESSICA it is!

Are we across them all?
Do we have the tone set?
Who are your faves so far?

Let’s do this!


  1. The clothes thing has always baffled and concerned me! Assuming they really are filming the next day, do the contestants rush home, do a quick wash/dry/iron late at night when they’re already exhausted? Do they leave the clothes with Wardrobe who slaves away all night making sure everything is perfect?

    This has occupied my thoughts for MANY a season.

    • Barbalicious says

      Word on the street is they go home exhausted, wash and dry their clothes ready for a new day 😉

      • BARB! First of all how lovely to see you here! And secondly, that is BULLSHIT. Washing and drying after all that cooking? Cruel. Can’t wait to watch the rest of the season x

        • It’s true – a friend was on a couple of seasons ago. It’s so there is continuity in the cutaway bits to camera which aren’t necessarily filmed the same day it’s made.

  2. WHY OH WHY can’t we have NAMES ON APRONS? Is that too much to ask?

  3. Love this show!

  4. I love this show! I thought Barb was actually you….under another name lol! Good times 🙂

  5. I saw this episode! I wasn’t sure if I could make it through because I was craving cake but had gestational diabetes, but I was really close to having the baby so I took the risk haha. I LOVED that matcha cake with the Korean piping etc. SO PRETTY.
    We were using a free Foxtel Now trial but now that’s over and I wish I could watch the rest of the show 😭 I did think of you whenever I saw Barb on screen!

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