The ultimate indulgence cake from Prim & Proper Ltd


Prim & Proper Ltd, based in Rugby, provide the entire service for your Quintessentially British Occasions. For brides to be, mums to be, birthdays, small weddings, engagements, celebrations and funerals.
They provide all catering for afternoon tea, high tea and cream teas. Homemade cakes, scones, and layer cakes feature on their sweets menu and a selection of traditional sandwiches, and cold buffet options. They have a full range of antique, traditional crockery including collections such as Royal Albert Bone China. They also have table cloths, bunting and can provide flowers and other decorations.
Founded by Harriet Cooper in 2015, Prim & Proper Ltd provide cakes to cafes and restaurants in town. Harriet grew up in rural Norfolk. She has been cooking and baking since the age of 7, using seasonal ingredients, fresh from the village or their smallholding. This gave her a great foundation to provide homely, scrumptious food and now has a catalogue of her own homemade recipes and is always looking to develop more. A recent influx of inspiration came from a masterclass at Claridges from the Head Pastry Chef including millefuilles, buttermilk scones, tartlets and macarons.

baking patissiere
Harriet Cooper learning at a Claridges’ Masterclass.



Mocha Triple Layer Cake

The Mocha Triple Layer Cake, by Prim & Proper Ltd

This recipe is for a sumptuous mocha layer cake. It is a subtle mocha so those who don’t like a strong coffee taste will still enjoy it’s richness. If you are a coffee lover like myself, feel free to add extra expresso for more of a kick!
This recipe can be adapted into low, mid and high faff options. The photos are of the high faff option.

Chocolate Sponges

The sponges will keep for three days wrapped in cling film if you want to make ahead of time
320g Plain Flour
520g Caster Sugar
120g Cocoa Powder
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
½ tsp table salt
360ml buttermilk
240ml hot coffee/espresso
180ml vegetable oil
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line three 8 inch sandwich tins. Weigh the bowl in which you are going to make the mixture in and jot down for later.
2. Into the bowl for your electric mixer add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. In a large jug or bowl with a spout, mix together the buttermilk, coffee, oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
3. With your mixer on a low speed gradually add the wet mixture and beat for one minute until smooth. You will need to give the bowl a good scrape down the sides and bottom to make sure it is all mixed. Pop the mixer back on for another minute to make sure the mixture is beaten until smooth. This can all be done by hand, just get the elbow grease out and a whisk.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between the three pans. If you need to cook them one after the other as you do not have three tins, or need to cook two at a time due to oven size, weigh the entire mixture including the bowl. Take the weight of the bowl off of the total amount, then divide the remaining amount by three. You can then make sure you weigh each sponge exactly.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes and make sure when a skewer is inserted it comes out clean, or just a couple of crumbs. Let them cool in their tin for 10 minutes after running a knife around the edge to release from the sides and finish cooling on a wire rack. The sponges will deflate slightly, don’t panic! I cool them face down on the rack. This allows you to peel off the paper easier and as we are making a layer cake, it helps to level the cakes ready to be stacked.

Mocha Floof Frosting

This frosting can be stopped half way through and used as a gorgeous coffee buttercream for the low faff option, or add the melted chocolate for full floofness! I use a food processor to make this as it’s much quicker and gives a real silkiness, but it can be made in a mixer. I make it once the sponges are cool so it can be used straight away.
455g unsalted butter
500g icing sugar
80ml double cream with 2 tsp of instant espresso powder, stirred in to dissolve.
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
Pinch of salt
200g best quality dark chocolate

Photo by Harriet Cooper

Put the butter, sugar, cream mixture, vanilla and almond extract and salt into the food processor and blitz until combined (about one minute) and you have gorgeous coffee buttercream.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Add the slightly cooled, melted chocolate to the buttercream and blend until it’s smooth. If the frosting is too soft leave it in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up slightly before using straight away.
More faff or less faff? Your choices below:
Low faff option- just layer the sponges with the coffee buttercream and pop the rest on the top
Mid faff option- layer the sponges with the full floof frosting, and crumb coat the sponges (crumb coat explanation click here). Put the crumb coated cake in the fridge to harden for 15-30 minutes, before taking out and using the rest of the frosting to cover the rest of the cake.
High Faff- Do the mid faff option and put the cake back in the fridge again for another 30 minutes so it’s ready for the mocha glaze.

Harriet piped on the finishing touches
Harriet pipes on the finishing touches

Mocha Glaze

For those of you wanting a showstopper this glaze is for you. It effortlessly drips down your frosted cakes for a dramatic effect.
150g best quality dark chocolate
1tsp of instant espresso powder
170g unsalted butter
1 tbsp liquid glucose
Pinch of Salt
In a bowl over a barely simmering pan of water, melt all of the ingredients together, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove the bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Take the cold, frosted cake from the fridge and gently pour the glaze spoonful, by spoonful onto the cake. There is a video on my social media showing how to do this step.
Depending on how many layers of glaze you wish to do (you can keep putting the cake in the fridge, let it harden, then remove and add another layer of glaze) or how covered you would like the cake to be, there may be glaze left over. This will keep in the fridge for a week. Just warm over a pan of simmering water until it reaches the required consistency.
I then used whipped cream and raspberries to decorate the finished cake. Sprinkles also work very well with the glaze for a dash of colour. If it somehow lasts more than the sitting, keep the cake in the fridge for up to 3 days (if it doesn’t have fresh cream on) but allow the cut slices to come to room temperature before eating so the floof can soften for full yumminess.

Watch Harriet apply the glaze here: Mocha Glaze Video

The Mocha Triple Layer Cake, by Prim & Proper Ltd
The Mocha Triple Layer Cake, by Prim & Proper Ltd


Photographs by Jamie Gray

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