Princess Kate Cake: Vintage 6-layer Chocolate Mocha Cake with Chocolate Ganache

princess-kate-cake-being-sliced-for-first-slice LifeForcePhotos Bake This CakeSimple, smart, understated elegance — just like Princess Kate herself.  A 6-layer chocolate mocha torte with cocoa mocha cream & chocolate ganache, re-designed from vintage recipes in honor of Princess Kate’s visit to Los Angeles in July 2011.

A cake fit for a Princess! (the princess formerly known as Kate Middleton)

Break out your pill-box hats and put on some shoes — Princess Kate and her charming Prince came to Los Angeles!  whoo hoo!

Pointing at Santa Monica Beach BakeThisCake

If you had tuned to St. James Palace news, you’d likely heard!  Prince William (aka The Duke of Cambridge, The Earl of Strathearn AND The Baron Carrickfergus) and his lovely Duchess strolled the streets of L.A. on a whirlwind Royal Visit on Friday, July 8th through Sunday the 10th in the good year 2011!

Princess Kate wedding photo on the balcony

And I think we’d been feeling quite connected since most of us seem to have attended their wedding so up-close-and-personal that we could actually read his whispering lips (“You look beautiful.” Remember?). I’m thinking everyone here was indeed cheering. From the screaming-est Hollywood mogul to the chill-est Malibu surfer. Their Royal Highnesses might have even garnered more red carpet attention than the local superstars.

But what did the couple see when they were in L.A.?

International Jewelry Center Photo by Leslie Macchiarella for BakeThisCake Princess Kate Cake

Los Angeles has so much to offer a young couple on their first summer trip across the pond! And it’s ever so much Malibu beach-ier and Beckam-ish than New York, or London for that matter.

The list of possibilities was as long as a skateboarder’s roll down Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach. Oh yeah!

If they were able to get close enough, they saw color. Vibrant color!!

Beach Graffiti Art. Photograph by Julie Macchiarella

But what did they do in L.A.?

The Royal Itinerary told us that on Friday, they talked business and philanthropy. They receptioned and had a sleep-over at the “British Residence” (the residence of HM British Consul-General, Dame Barbara Hay) in a 1928-fabulous Wallace Neff-designed home in the Windsor Square section of Hancock Park.(You may recall when Brad and Jen had to slash the price of their Wallace Neff home to a mere $22.5M when they broke up.)

On July 9th, they veered north to the Santa Barbara Polo & Raquet Club for a wee bit of charity polo pony fun benefitting the “American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry” where The Prince himself rode wild stallions and Princess Catherine awarded the winning trophy. And the ever-beautiful Chef Giada De Laurentiis even cooked Italian for them.

But their stay was so very short!

On Saturday night, they visited Downtown L.A., a “best part of town”, with its thriving new community life. And, hopefully, the limo driver was “a local” and kept chanting, “Look up! Look up!” as they drove towards the Historic Downtown District.

Title Guarantee Building Downtown Los Angeles Bake This CakeWhy? Because they were on their way to the Belasco Theatre where a spectacular $12M restoration project must have dazzled them. (By the way, The Belasco is just one of dozens of incredible movie palaces in the area. Note to self: Check out the Los Angeles Conservancy for their amazing work with theatre preservation.)

At The Belasco, they attended the sold-out inaugural gala, “BAFTA Brits to Watch“, highlighting young and rising British talent. It was hosted by the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (where HRH The Duke of Cambridge just happens to be reigning President).

On Sunday, they visited with supporters of Tusk USA (an African conservation group). Prince William is a Royal Patron of the Tusk Trust.  Check out this video of The Prince discussing his 20-year involvement with the organization.They also toured the Inner-City Arts school. (Check out the Facebook page for Inner-City Arts.)

Sunday night, they were back to London. whew! whirlwind trip!

Los Angeles Disney Hall photo by Leslie Macchiarella

Now, you may be wondering what all this has to do with CAKE, for heaven’s sake. Let me assure you, however, that these details regarding the Royal Visit are an absolute necessity in terms of the lost art of cake research.

Because… I decided the most important question of all was…

But will they eat cake. (It’s more of a partial sentence than a question, I think.)


Could I create an elegant vintage cake come back to life as a Hollywood princess story?

So I broke out the vintage cook books and tried to meld our two noble worlds into the perfect celebratory cake.

The task: To re-invent a vintage cake with superb taste and texture that has the feel of Old Hollywood coupled with what British tea taste might be — L.A. style.

And the very next question I pondered for this project was…

What would be the best color for this cake???

Research required!

Books Books and more books Bake This Cake

I landed on dark brown. Why?  Because dark brown equals chocolate. It says Musso & Franks. The Brown Derby. Vintage Hollywood ala The Belasco.  All these things come to mind. The deep brown color of the chocolate ganache even matches the little girl history of Princess Kate from the days when she was a Brownie. And I was actually hoping they’d catch wind of this cake through all our newfound Facebook and WordPress fans.

Or I thought maybe Giada could make it for them at their next polo pony event. She might have to make 20 of them — but it might look great as a super-long torte running right through the middle of the polo field. (Here’s her menu for their SoCal event.)

Or, I could bake this cake at any time for the Royal Couple to ship over as a gift (though I’m sure security would stop it in it’s lovely tracks). 🙂

This cake is so do-able, even a busy Princess could prepare it herself.

Princess Kate Cake unsliced with blue coffee cup LifeForcePhotos Bake This Cake

It starts with a simple bread pan shape for 2 cakes. Just cut each cake into 3 layers and stack them 6 layers high. Each layer is slathered with a mocha whipped cream filling. And then the most simple but elegant chocolate ganache is drizzled warm over the finished cake. The only real trick comes in at the very end for smoothing and shaping of the ganache with a hot knife. And, because the ganache is poured over the cake, it’s a little messy, but it’s all about The Princess, not the mess, so let’s go for it!

And if it doesn’t happen to land on a crested plate, we can just make it for our own dear friends and family. With a champagne toast to honor the visit of a real life Princess, I think it just might be a winner.

An overview of the issue by video seems appropriate for some reason…with music.  😀

Here’s How:

Executive Summary: Bake 2 bread pan-shaped cakes, slice each cake into 3 layers, fill 5 layers with cocoa mocha filling, baste outer cake with filling cream as an under-frosting (crumb coat), pour chocolate ganache over the cake, then smooth it out and pipe some simple decorations.

Tools you will need for the cake:
2 bread pans (8″x4″ x3″tall, or similar size)
cooking spray
2 large bowls and 1 small bowls
whisk (plus optional electric mixer, preferably a hand-held electric mixer)
measuring cups and spoons
parchment paper (optional)
long, sharp knife for cutting cake layers

Princess Kate Cake Ingredients:
1/4 cups dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cups  unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch process, “regular” cocoa)
1/4 cups sweet ground chocolate
2 cups cake flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
l Tablespoon dry cultured buttermilk powder (optional)
2 teaspoons instant coffee, good quality (e.g. Starbucks decaf instant packet)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, fine quality
2 teaspoons red food coloring, fine quality
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup milk (2% is fine)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 cup water

Princess Cake Kate overhead slice on a plate BakeThisCakecom

Directions for Princess Kate Cake – 6-layer Chocolate Mocha Torte:

1. Prep oven & pans:

Set oven to 350 with rack at center position.

Spray 2 bread pans with cooking spray (or butter them), set aside.
Tip: For extra precaution you could spray the pans with cooking spray, line the bottoms of the bread pans with parchment and spray again.

2. Work with dry ingredients (then set aside):

In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients until thoroughly blended:
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sweet ground chocolate
2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon dry cultured buttermilk powder (optional)
2 teaspoons instant coffee, good quality (e.g. Starbucks decaf instant packet)

3. Work with main liquids:

In a large bowl, whisk until thoroughly until blended:
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, fine quality
2 teaspoons red food coloring
1/2 cup canola oil (a different oil is okay too)
1 cup milk (2% is okay)

4. Work with the boiling water:

Bring to boil (about 2 minutes):
1 cup water

Slowly whisk the boiling water into the egg-milk batter.

5. Add dry ingredients into batter in portions and whisk until thorough blended and smooth.

Tip: You could also use an electric mixer here (a portable one is easy for this cake).

6. Prepare a special potion:

Mix together in a small bowl to a bubble:
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Whisk (or blend using an electric mixer) the baking soda/cider mixture into the final cake batter until just thoroughly incorporated.

7. Distribute and bake:

Divide the batter between the 2 prepared bread pans (they will be about half full).
Tip: Batter is rather thin.

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and a soft touch to top center lightly springs back.

Princess Kate Cake baking in the oven by Bake This Cake

Smell the mocha as the cakes bake!

7. Cool and trim:

Princess Cake Chocolate Mocha Cakes by Bake This Cake

When the cakes are thoroughly cooled, slice away any humps, bumps or mounds from the tops and from sides for a nice shoe box look to each cake.

Using a sharp knife, slice each of the cakes into 3 horizontal layers (to create the 6-layer torte).

Princess Cake Cake Chocolate Mocha Torte overview slightly left LifeForcePhotos Bake This Cake

Cocoa Mocha Filling and Chocolate Ganache Frosting : A lush filling and an awesome smooth outer coating of poured chocolate sauce smoothed with a HOT KNIFE (it’s so cool!) that I think is gonna rock your world. 😀

Tools you will need for the filling and ganache frosting:
large and medium bowls
electric mixer
measuring cups and spoons
long frosting knife
wire cooling rack
wax paper
piping bag & tip (or plastic bag with small corner cut-out)

Cocoa Mocha Filling Ingredients:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, fine quality
2 teaspoon instant coffee, good quality

Cocoa Mocha Filling Directions:

In a large bowl, beat on high with mixer about 1-1/2 minutes until thick but not stiff:
2 c heavy whipping cream

Beat slowly to incorporate:
2 T cocoa powder
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 t vanilla, fine quality
2 t instant coffee, good quality

Beat on high until light and fluffy (about 30 seconds).

Reserve 1 cup of the filling to smooth lightly onto assembled cake prior to pouring ganache.

Also, reserve 3 T of filling for decoration and set aside.

Spread 1/4 inch of cream filling on each of 5 layers.

Lightly spread reserved 1 c filling on outside of cake to ensure smooth ganache and chill cake for about 20 minutes. Tip: We’re going to cover it up with a drizzle of chocolate so this doesn’t have to be perfect by any means. 🙂

chocolate mocha torte with mocha cream filling and chocolate ganache frosting front view

Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

Chocolate Ganache Frosting Ingredients:
2 c (12 oz, or a typical package) semi-sweet dark chocolate chips, fine quality
1 c sour cream
1 t vanilla extract, fine quality

Chocolate Ganache Frosting Directions:

Prepare for the pouring of the warm chocolate sauce by setting on the counter a cooling rack with wax paper below the prepared cake to catch the chocolate run-off.

Place prepared cake (filled and  “pre-frosted”) on the wire rack so that is can be drizzled completely with the warm chocolate frosting.

In a medium bowl, heat to melt in a microwave for about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, stopping to stir intermittently:
2 c (12 oz) fine quality semi-sweet dark chocolate chips

After removing from microwave, stir chocolate to ensure smooth consistency.
Tip: Pudding consistency is perfect.

Whisk into melted chocolate:
1 c sour cream
1 t vanilla extract, fine quality
Tip: Achieve thinner consistency by heating chocolate mixture in microwave for a few seconds or thicken mixture by stirring to cool.
Tip: Pouring consistency is best at thickness of a smoothie or thick milkshake.

Reserve 3 T of ganache for decoration, set aside.

Pour ganache over cake.
Tip: Run a frosting knife or offset spatula under hot water intermittently and use the hot knife blade to smooth out any dents and to sharpen corners of the cake.

Refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to 2 days) before serving.

Combine reserved 3 T of Filling and reserved 3 T of ganache and use to pipe a few simple decorations along the bottom and top rims of the cake. (Because I was traveling with this cake, I used a sandwich bag (small baggie) with a corner cut off to pipe the frosting in a rim around the cake.)

Slice the slices thin and serve with coffee or champagne! 🙂

chocolate mocha torte with mocha cream filling and chocolate ganache frosting

Princess Kate slice. Photograph by Christine Murphy

I do hope you are able to bring back some history to bake this cake!  Here’s cheers to the Princess…and to you and your family!

Please be sure to follow us on Facebook where we share vintage cake recipes in the testing stages and on Pinterest where we share lots of fun inspiration. 😀


Follow us on Facebook at BakeThisCake!

Follow us on Twitter!

Follow Me on Pinterest

You may also enjoy some of our other fine heritage recipes:

Apple Skillet Cake

Whipped Cream Cake

Wild Bavarian Cream

14 thoughts on “Princess Kate Cake: Vintage 6-layer Chocolate Mocha Cake with Chocolate Ganache

  1. This recipe is very delicate and the batter quite thin. If you are at a higher altitude, be sure to adjust the recipe or the cake will fall. (Ask me how I know!) Thanks for the detailed instructions on your assembly process.

  2. Appreciating the commitment you put into your website and in depth information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Great read! I’ve bookmarked your site!

  3. Great post, I admire the writing style 🙂 A little off topic here but what theme are you using? Looks pretty cool.
    My site is about [url=]Anxiety relief[/url].

  4. I stayed up all night making your princess cake… it was worth it… I am a real royal at my office today! You are such an inspiration. Love you pictures..


Please leave a comment (some delay in posting)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s