Mother’s Ruin Cake: gin and tonic in a dessert

Daniel Wren

Gin and tonic might be a bit 80s, but it’s undeniably also a very popular drink. Being connoisseurs of a kind (well, the boozy kind), when we saw this recipe for a gin and tonic cake, we were delighted.

In essence this is a lemon and lime cake with added booze – most of it in the glaze. You can scale it down by using less booze, but you’ll want enough gin to taste it, so don’t skimp too much!


  • 4 eggs
  • 225g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 10 shots (250ml) of gin
  • Dash tonic water
  • 150g granulated sugar


  1. Bring ingredients to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (165 fan assisted).
  3. Cream together butter and caster sugar.
  4. Crack in eggs and beat until combined.
  5. Sieve in flour, then mix.
  6. Grate in zest of lemons.
  7. Stir through juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime and 3-4 shots of gin.
  8. Pour into lined 1kg loaf tin or similar.
  9. Bake in centre of oven for 45 mins. HINT: Check the cake with a knife before serving. It should be fluffy but firm in the middle, not soft. If the knife comes out clean, it’s good to go. If it comes out wet or sticky, it’s not ready yet.
  10. For best results, prepare the glaze while the cake is baking.
  11. Combine sugar, gin, tonic and remaining lemon in a bowl. Sugar should begin to dissolve (stirring more will speed this along).
  12. Prick the surface of the cake with a fork while still hot.
  13. Pour over the glaze and allow the cake to cool.
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About Daniel Wren

Vada Magazine staff writer. Interested in travel, news, politics and dating.