This is a simply delicious end to any meal and is a real special occasion cake.

Serves 12


  • 225g butter-softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coffee essence
  • 225g softened butter
  • 450g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coffee essence
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 50g white chocolate


1 Preheat oven to 180C/ gas mark 4.

2 Grease and line a 9 inch/23cm loose bottomed cheesecake tin.

3 In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until very light and fluffy.

4 Gradually add the eggs and mix in with the flour. Pour in the coffee essence and mix well in.

5 Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the cake is well set. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come away spotlessly clean and dry.

6 When the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool in the tin as it will still be quite soft at this stage. Ideally you should have the cake made the day before you require it.

7 To make the coffee icing, cream the icing sugar and butter together in a large mixing bowl for at least 4-5 minutes. Add in the coffee essence to flavour and colour the icing. The addition of the boiling water will make the icing really soft.

8 To assemble the cake, split the sponge horizontally in three equal pieces.

9 Spread some creamy butter icing in between each layer of the sponge. Cover the entire cake with the coffee icing and pipe some of the icing around the base of the cake and pipe 12 evenly spaced rosettes of the creamy coffee icing on top and then garnish accordingly with the chocolate slices

10 To make the dark and white chocolate slices, melt the dark chocolate and spread onto a large piece of parchment paper.  Melt the white chocolate and drizzle in an ad-hoc fashion on top.

When the chocolate is almost fully set, but not quite, sit the cake tin on top of the chocolate (so as to get it exactly the same size as the cake).

11 Cut around the base of the tin with a sharp knife and then cut into twelve equal slices. Transfer to the fridge to set further at this stage.

12 When the chocolate has fully set, remove from the fridge, carefully stand one of your chocolate slices on top of each slice of coffee layer cake. Pipe a final rosette of butter cream in the middle and serve.

Tip: The best chocolate to use for this design effect is the dark cooking chocolate (ssshhh don’t tell anyone) but it does not need to be tempered first and sets quickly and crisply.

Recipe credit: Edward Hayden

Photography credit: Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke