Gin and Tonic Cake



Never one to shy away from a hipster trend, I have been known to enjoy a gin and tonic now and again.

For my birthday party last weekend I thought it would be a great time to try the old “mothers ruin’ in a baking recipe and make my own cake.

As the name suggests, it does contain alcohol but it’s not super strong. My friends and family all enjoyed it, as did I!

I used Hendricks as it’s my gin of choice, but any one will do!

For the gin and tonic syrup and candied limes

  • 150ml tonic water
  • 150g/5oz golden caster sugar
  • 3 limes
  • 20 juniper berries, crushed
  • 30ml gin (my preferred gin is Hendricks!)

For the cake

  • 250g/9oz unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g/9oz golden caster sugar
  • 20 juniper berries, finely crushed
  • 2 limes, zested
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 250g/9oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp gin

For the filling

  • 300ml whipping cream

For the icing

  • 200g/7oz icing sugar
  • 40ml gin


  1. To make the syrup and candied limes, put the tonic water and 100g/4oz of sugar in a small pan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook for 2-3 mins, until it has thickened slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, thinly slice 2 of the limes. Zest and juice the remaining lime, reserving the juice for the syrup and the zest for the filling. Add the lime slices to the pan of tonic syrup and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 mins.
  3. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a jug, leaving the lime slices to drain in the sieve. Add the crushed juniper berries, gin and reserved lime juice to the syrup and set aside to cool.
  4. Put the remaining 50g/2oz sugar in a shallow dish and add the lime slices, tossing well to coat in the sugar. Spread the candied slices out on a tray lined with baking paper and leave to dry out for at least 2 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line the bases of 2 round cake tins.
  6. Put the butter, sugar, crushed juniper berries and lime zest in a large bowl and beat together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly until just combined.
  7. Gently pour in the flour followed by the gin until the mixture is just incorporated. Divide between the tins and bake for 25-30 mins or until the cakes are golden.
  8. Let the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 mins, then pierce all over with a skewer or cocktail stick. Brush the syrup over both cakes, allowing it to sink into each sponge. When cool enough to handle, remove from the tins to cool completely, keeping the baking paper on the bottom of the sponges so the syrup doesn’t leak out.
  9. To make the filling, put the whipping cream in a large bowl and add the reserved lime zest from the syrup. Whip together until thick but not too stiff. This took me about 10 mins.
  10. Once cool, peel the baking paper off the cakes and transfer one to a serving plate. Spread with the lime cream on one of the cakes.
  11. Put the icing sugar in a bowl and mix in most of the gin, adding more gin as needed to form a thick, pourable icing. Pour the icing over the top of the other cake, starting from the middle and moving outwards, letting it drip down the sides a little. You should put a plate underneath this cake to stop icing getting on the surfaces.
  12. Allow the icing to set for about 10 mins. Then add this cake to the one with the filling on it. Then decorate the top with slices of candied limes.
  13. Slice, serve and ENJOY. I would suggest enjoying it with a nice Hendicks and tonic on the side!


Do you think you’ll be trying this recipe? As always I’d love to hear from you down in the comments section.


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