A gin & tonic cake on a cake stand, garnished with cucumber ribbons

Gin & tonic cake

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(19 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 45 mins plus chilling

More effort

Serves 12 - 15

Fan of gin & tonic? What could be better than your favourite tipple in cake form? A fabulous showstopper for afternoon tea or a summer celebration

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving (15)

  • kcal517
  • fat26g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs62g
  • sugars49g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.77g
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    For the cake

    • 250g salted butter



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 325g golden caster sugar
    • 4 eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    • 250g self-raising flour
    • 75g natural yogurt
    • 2 large limes, juice only



      The same shape, but smaller than…

    • 75ml gin



      Gin has enjoyed a huge revival recently. It's usually served alongside tonic water (a…

    • 150ml tonic water
    • 1 tsp juniper berries, lightly crushed

    For the icing

    • 200g softened butter



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 400g icing sugar
    • 2 tbsp milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • zest of 3 limes (using up those you've juiced, above)



      The same shape, but smaller than…

    To decorate

    • 2 limes, zested then 1 cut into thin wedges to decorate



      The same shape, but smaller than…

    • 1 tbsp granulated sugar



      Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

    • lemon sherbets
    • ¼ cucumber, peeled into ribbons
    • party straws


    1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Greese and line 2 x 20cm cake tins. In a freestanding electric mixer, or using an electric whisk, beat together the butter and 200g of the sugar until pale and fluffy, for around 5 mins. Add the eggs one by one, making sure they are fully incorporated before adding the next one. If the mixture looks like it might split, add a tablespoon of your flour, then fold in the rest of the flour. Mix the natural yogurt with the juice of one of the limes and 50ml of the gin, then add this to the cake mixture to make a thick and silky mixture. Split the mixture between the cake tins and bake for 35 mins until a skewer comes out clean.

    2. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the remaining sugar, tonic water, juniper berries and juice of one lime into a saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil and cook for 5-7 mins, until it’s a thick syrup. Cool for 5 mins, strain then pour in the remaining gin and set aside.

    3. Once the cake is out of the oven, allow to cool for 5 mins, then prick all over with a skewer, then liberally spoon the syrup mix over both of the cakes. Allow to cool completely in the tin.

    4. To make the buttercream, beat the butter until soft, then add the icing sugar, a little at a time to avoid a sugar cloud! Once fully incorporated, add the milk and the zest of the limes.

    5. To assemble, place one of the cake layers on a cake board, cover with 1/3 of the buttercream then sit the second cake layer on top. Cover this, too, in just a thin coat of icing then put the cake in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up – this will make it easier to get the rest of the icing on smoothly. Use the remaining buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake.

    6. To decorate, mix the lime zest with the sugar. Sprinkle this over the cake and finish with lemon sherbets, lime slices, cucumber ribbons, party straws and any other gin & tonic paraphernalia you fancy.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    26th Mar, 2019
    I added baking powder to the recipe. It rose beautifully in the oven and sank right down when I took it out. Awful recipe.
    AndyTastes's picture
    3rd Jul, 2019
    So.. you altered the recipe, it didn't work, and you're blaming the recipe? also, adding baking powder leads to exactly what went wrong for you. Dope.
    8th Jun, 2019
    That's not the fault of the recipe. Adding baking powder when it's not called for can lead to cakes rising too much, then sinking.
    Leila Tavendale's picture
    Leila Tavendale
    19th Jul, 2018
    The flavours are amazing but the sponge is a little dense and doesn't rise that much. I would suggest adding some baking powder to create a lighter cake.
    1st Jul, 2018
    This was my first attempt at baking and method was easy to follow and flavours are refreshing - a delicious cake.
    Minou Vison
    11th Nov, 2017
    I made this today for a friend’s birthday and it worked out very well. Most of us present at the dinner love gin, and everyone who had a slice said how delicious it was. I don’t often make cakes, but the recipe was very clear and easy to follow, and was definitely a success.
    Alice Purser's picture
    Alice Purser
    14th Jul, 2018
    How should this cake be stored? I made the sponges today but want to serve the cake tomorrow. Was a little confused with overall ingredient amounts, when some things are used in the cake and the syrup, but overall a great receipt and it smells delicious!
    goodfoodteam's picture
    23rd Jul, 2018
    Thanks for your question. We'd recommend storing the cake in the fridge in the current hot weather. Decorate with the sweets, lime and cucumber before serving.
    Charlotte Wheaton's picture
    Charlotte Wheaton
    10th May, 2018
    Do this recipe need fresh or dried juniper berries?
    Julie Guntrip's picture
    Julie Guntrip
    20th Mar, 2018
    can i freeze the sponges ahead of time
    goodfoodteam's picture
    22nd Mar, 2018
    Thanks for your question. Yes, you can freeze the sponges.
    Barbara Flynn's picture
    Barbara Flynn
    16th Mar, 2018
    Hi, what can you use if you can't find juniper berries or can I just leave them out?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    19th Mar, 2018
    Thanks for your question. The juniper berries do enhance the flavour of the syrup but if you can't get hold of them, the finished cake will still be great without.
    Lewis Wheeler's picture
    Lewis Wheeler
    9th Mar, 2018
    Would this recipe work baked in a loaf tin (only tin I have!)
    goodfoodteam's picture
    12th Mar, 2018
    Thanks for your question. You could bake this in a different tin but as this one is baked in two tins and we don't know which size you are using, we can't say whether there will be the right volume of mixture. We'd suggest not filling the tin more than two thirds full and you'll need to increase the cooking time as the depth is bound to be greater.
    Eva Milbank's picture
    Eva Milbank
    31st Jan, 2018
    What do you do with the other lime and the spare 25mls of gin?!?


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