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A moist and flavorful lime cake soaked in a gin syrup and slathered with a boozy, lime frosting.
Where are my gin and tonic lovers? Raise your hand, preferably with a lime wedge in it! There you are– I see you. Today, my friends, this cake is for you.
My love for gin began on my birthday in 2014. Matt took me to an Asian fusion restaurant where the gin mojito came recommended by a friend. I ordered one, not knowing what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was amazeballs.
The next time we were out for drinks, I ordered a gin and tonic and instantly realized that the thing I loved about that gin mojito was, indeed, the gin.
I originally shared this recipe right around my birthday in 2015, in a silly series I called #lynnsfavs where I shared some of my favorite recipes, or versions of my favorites…
Hence, this gin and tonic cake (because aside from my winter sangria, this is not a cocktail recipe site and Matt makes all of my cocktails for me so I have no idea what the ratios are anyway).
I needed to get creative for that last recipe of #lynnsfavs. And then this cake was born in my head. And then in my oven. Three times before publishing.
So, yeah, if you’re not into gin… Sorry, Charlie. This cake ain’t for ya.
Have you ever worked with a glaze for soaking? Super simple and super tasty.
HOW TO MAKE GIN AND TONIC CAKE
The cake base for this gin and tonic cake is simple. No fancy ingredients, but you will need gin and tonic, but you probably already have them if you’ve found yourself here to make this cake. You’ll also need yogurt (plain is what I always use, any fat content is fine).
A simple mix in one bowl and you’re off to the races with the gin and tonic cake portion of this whole shebang.
Right after the cake comes out of the oven, you’ll allow it to begin cooling on a wire rack. Then, mix up your soaking syrup (gin, lime juice, tonic water, and sugar). When the sugar is completely dissolved, you’ll poke a bunch of holes in the top of the hot cake with a toothpick, cake tester, or skewer.
The holes will allow the glaze to really get down into each and every nook and cranny of that cake. It will seem like a lot of liquid, but trust me, and just keep pouring!
Once the cake is completely cool, spread this gin/tonic/lime buttercream all over the top, right in the pan.
This gin and lime buttercream is really simple: butter, powdered sugar, lime juice, and gin. It’s zesty and boozy and OMG good.
Among my dozens of taste testers over the years of this gin and tonic cake recipe’s existence, I have heard my fair share of different comments. Some have tasted a lot of gin, some have said not so much, and some people claim not at all.
Umm, what? This cake is so mysterious.
I think the gin level is just right, but obviously I really enjoy gin. Other taste testers who said they tasted the gin a lot more often than not were not gin drinkers.
Don’t get me wrong though… Everyone always loves this cake. And I mean l-o-v-e-s.
When I worked outside of the house, I would take treats into work all the time. Weekly, really. Sometimes more than once a week.
While I would always get positive feedback, I remember that this cake had people seeking me out to tell me how good it was and ask for the recipe that instant, and I remember that some people had even had the opportunity to bake and share this cake with their friends before it was even published on the blog.
Seriously, always great reviews.
If you’re looking for something different or a way to use up leftover gin or limes or even just tonic water, this cake is for you. I guarantee it will be a hit wherever you bring it, and you may just become a gin and tonic lover’s new bestie.
Moist, flavorful, boozy, celebratory… What more can you ask for?
Another slice, that’s what! Cheers!
Gin and Tonic Cake
GIN AND TONIC CAKE
- 1 and ⅔ cups (200g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup (61g) yogurt plain, vanilla, Greek, or regular, any fat content; you may also use sour cream
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons (135mL) milk any
- 2 Tablespoons (15mL) gin
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice and zest of 1 lime
GIN AND LIME GLAZE
- juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup (60mL) gin
- 1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (45mL) tonic water
GIN AND LIME FROSTING
- ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (15mL) gin
GIN AND TONIC CAKE
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Spray an 8" square baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave and allow to cool a bit. Whisk in the sugar, egg, yogurt, milk, gin, and vanilla extract until combined. Add the lime juice and zest and stir again until fully incorporated. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until no large lumps remain (I like to press the batter against the sides of the bowl as I stir to crush all the larger lumps).
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack for a few minutes while you make the glaze.
GIN AND LIME GLAZE
- In a glass measuring cup (or any microwave safe container with a spout), heat the lime juice, gin, and sugar in the microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir to dissolve sugar. Heat again for 30 seconds and stir again. Repeat this process until all sugar is dissolved. Add tonic water and stir again.
- Using a toothpick, poke several holes in the surface of the hot cake (I poked about 50 holes total). Slowly pour the gin glaze evenly over the entire cake. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.
GIN AND LIME FROSTING
- In a medium size bowl, stir together butter, lime zest, and powdered sugar. Add the gin and stir again until smooth. If you need more liquid, you may add more gin, some tonic water, milk, or tap water.
- For more buttercream troubleshooting tips, see my book, The Home Baker's Guide to Basic Buttercream.
- Spread frosting over cake in the pan using an offset spatula or a knife. Cake will stay fresh covered at room temperature up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator up to 6 days. Unfrosted cake freezes well. Allow to thaw overnight in fridge and frost at room temperature.