Michael Clarke (148) scored his seventh Ashes hundred, in a double-century stand with Brad Haddin (118), to power the hosts to 570 for nine.
Clarke's opposite number Alastair Cook then had no answer to the extreme pace of Mitchell Johnson, losing his off-stump to a 92mph thunderbolt, as England reached 35 for one at the close.
Mitchell Johnson celebrates the wicket of Alastair Cook on a bad day for England
That leaves the tourists with an uphill battle just to stay in the game with relative rookies Michael Carberry and Joe Root at the crease but Stokes, himself making his Test debut, has confidence in the batting line-up.
"It's been a pretty tough two days but it's nice to eventually get off the pitch and concentrate on what we've got to do with the bat," he told Sky Sports 2.
"We've just got to go out there and do what we do. There's a lot of talent in the batting line-up and we know that we've got the skills to do it and try to put a big score on ourselves."
He added: "It (the pitch) hasn't really sort of broken up like we thought it would with it being so dry. It's still a very good batting wicket and hopefully we can capitalise on how good it is.
"We didn't want to give any more away and give them the upper hand, as it is. We go in tomorrow with nine wickets left and we can pile them on tomorrow."
England were left toiling in the field as Australia piled on the runs but Stokes had a personal highlight as he dismissed Clarke to claim his first Test wicket.