Surprise Inside! Creamy mascarpone icing and coffee liqueur-soaked chocolate cake makes this one impressive, irresistible dessert for special occasions.

50 min + cooling
60 min


Coffee Cake
  1. 400g butter, softened
  2. 400g brown sugar
  3. 4 large eggs
  4. 1 ½ cups (225g) plain flour
  5. 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  6. 1 cup (60g) cocoa powder
  7. ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  8. 1 cup (250ml) milk
  9. 1 tbsp instant coffee
  10. 2 tsp Queen Vanilla Bean Paste
  11. 1/3 cup (80ml) boiling water
  12. 2/3 cup (160ml) coffee liqueur
Mascarpone Filling
  1. 2 large eggs
  2. 1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
  3. 2 cups (500g) mascarpone
  4. 2 tsp Queen Vanilla Bean Paste
  5. 1 cup (250ml) pure cream
  1. 300g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  2. 1 cup (250ml) pure cream
  3. (optional) 2 tsp Queen Glucose Syrup
  4. 1 tbsp coffee liqueur
  5. 40g unsalted butter
  6. Queen Gold Soft Sugar Pearls, to decorate

Method - Coffee Cake

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C (fan forced). Grease and line two 20cm round cake pans with baking paper. Dissolve instant coffee in hot water and set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  3. Step 3

    Sift flours, cocoa and bicarb soda into a large bowl and mix to combine. Gradually add to mixer alternating with milk. Mix on low speed until combined, then add vanilla bean paste and coffee and gently mix until combined.

  4. Step 4

    Divide the mixture between prepared pans (use kitchen scales to achieve even sized cakes). Bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  5. Step 5

    Once cake is completely cool, use a serrated knife to cut cakes in half horizontally to produce four cake layers. Chilling or freezing the cake first will assist with ease of cutting and reduce crumbs.

Method - Mascarpone Filling

  1. Step 1

    Whisk eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in mascarpone, cream and vanilla. Refrigerate then remove from fridge 15 minutes before assembly and transfer to a piping bag.

Method - Ganache

  1. Step 1

    Combine chocolate, cream, coffee liqueur and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until well combined, then add glucose syrup (optional) to give the mixture a glossy, smooth finish. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool and thicken before use. Refrigerate for 15 minutes if mixture is still too thin to spread.

Method - Assembly

  1. Step 1

    Drizzle cakes gradually with 1-2 tablespoons of coffee syrup using a teaspoon to assist with distribution. The cut cake surface will absorb the syrup more easily.

  2. Step 2

    Place one cake layer on a cake stand, syrup side up. Pipe a layer of mascarpone cream, starting from the middle and finish approx 1cm from the edge of the cake. Top with another cake layer, then repeat with remaining two layers (no mascarpone is needed for the top layer).

  3. Step 3

    Mix ganache to ensure a spreadable, but thick consistency and use a palette knife or spatula to ice cake with a thin layer of ganache, covering the top and sides. Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes then ice cake with final layer of ganache icing. Sprinkle with gold soft sugar pearls to serve.

Tip – Serve cake with leftover mascarpone cream and an extra drizzle of coffee liquier.

Tip – Create a smaller version of this cake by making it with only two or three cake layers instead of four.

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