As everyone I know seems to be turning 30 or getting married this year, I thought I’d blend two of my favourite things together to make a new cake – gin and tonic flavoured.
Although there’s gin in the cake batter and the icing, you can only really taste it very slightly in the icing so it’s not too overpowering (depending on how much you want).
I’d recommend taste testing along the way until you’ve got an icing you’re really happy with and that’s not too gin-strong.
I used Gordon’s gin but you can really use any kind that takes your fancy, there’s probably not much point using an expensive one as the taste isn’t that strong when mixed with the other ingredients.
The cake is flavoured with lemon zest and the sponge mixture is light, fluffy and delicate while the buttercream on top is flavoured with lime juice and gin giving the cake a sharp finish.
125g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
150g self raising flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 shots of gin
A pinch of salt
For the icing…
500g icing sugar
100g butter, very soft
3 shots of gin (or however much you fancy)
How to make…
Preheat the oven to 190C/180 fan/Gas 4 and line two 24-cup cake trays with fairy cake case.
Blend together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. This takes around three minutes with an electric mixer, double without. If you’re using an electric mixer remember to scrape down the sides regularly with a spatula to make sure everything is mixed in properly.
This photo shows the kind of texture you’re after…
Once the mixture has doubled and lightened in colour, add in the eggs one at a time. In between each egg pop in a dollop of flour to stop the mixture separating.
Add the lemon zest and gin then sieve in the flour slowly.
Carry on mixing everything together until combined – around two minutes with an electric mixer, four without.
Spoon the mixture into the cake cases until they are two thirds full. Bang each tin sharply on the table to get rid of the air bubbles and then put in the oven for 20 minutes.
Watch the cakes like a hawk and as soon as they’ve darkened in colour and spring back to your touch they re done.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack and wait until they are stone cold before attempting the icing.
While you’re waiting for the cakes to cool make your icing. Beat together the butter and sugar until it forms stiff peaks. It should be thick – like soft butter – and the longer you beat it for the smoother it will become, around five minutes with an electric mixer.
Use a spatula and swirl on the icing, followed by a sprinkling of lemon zest.