Recipe: Gin & Tonic Cake

I make no apologies: this is one boozy cake…

I’ve had a long, industrious history of baking without recipes (and plenty of failures too!)  but I never write them down. However,  this seemed so particular (and with so much liquid) it did require the bastardisation of a lemon cake recipe torn from an old Delicious magazine. It is quite strong – but you can adjust the tonic/gin ratio to taste. Just remember it’s not exactly morning tea cake!


This photo largely confirms I should not give up my day job for food photography, but you get the idea. It's cake!

This photo largely confirms I should not give up my day job for food photography, but you get the idea. It’s cake!


  • 2.5 lemons or limes juiced & zested. Keep 1/4 cup for cake & rest for icing
  • 1 x tablespoon of juniper berries smashed into fine dust with a mortar & pestle
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or melted butter
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup plain white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking power
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 2/3 cup good quality gin
  • 1/3 cup tonic (you can adjust these two ingredients to taste)
  1. Line and butter a medium size (8 inch) cake tin. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl beat together eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil & citrus juice (only 1/4 cup) zest until combined
  3. Sift in baking powder & baking soda, plain flour. Add in spelt flour (it’s too coarse for a sifter) & almond meal, gin and tonic.
  4. Fold in juniper berries (put these through the sifter if you’re worried about lumps. If the batter seems too runny add in a little more flour – just don’t mix the batter too much!
  5. Cook for about 50 minutes until just set.

I made limoncello icing – but I would also recommend a rich cream cheese frosting

  • For the icing  mix 1/2 cup melted butter; 1 cup icing sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of citrus juice & and 30mls limoncello. Pour on the cooled cake; it will set to a soft icing within about 15 minutes.

I sprinkled a teaspoon of juniper berries on the cake to finish it, but you cold garnish with lemon slices, crushed juniper berries or even almonds.

Next on the boozy baking list is a negroni-red-velvet cake. I’ll be sure to keep you posted!