A successful cocaine dealer, who has earned a respected place amongst England's Mafia elite, plans an early retirement from the business. However, big boss Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) hands down a tough assignment: find Charlie Ryder (Nathalie Lunghi), the missing rich Princess daughter of Jimmy's old pal Eddie Temple (Sir Michael Gambon), a powerful construction business player and gossip papers socialite. Complicating matters are two million pounds' worth of Grade "A" ecstasy, a brutal Serbian gang, and a whole series of double crossings. The title "Layer Cake" refers to the layers or levels anyone in business goes through in rising to the top. What is revealed is a modern underworld where the rules have changed. There are no "codes", or "families", and respect lasts as long as a line. Not knowing who he can trust, he has to use all of his "savvy", "telling", and skills which make him one of the best, to escape his own. The ultimate last job, a love interest called Tammy (Sienna Miller), and an international drug ring threaten to draw him back into the "cake mix". But, time is running out and the penalty will endure a lifetime.