Oh yes, my friends. I bake with gin. But, I can’t take all the credit. I wish I could, but I have to give props to Jessica over at How Sweet It Is (and if you don’t read her blog, you should – she’s Ah-Maaaaaze-ING) for giving this gin-loving girl the inspiration.
So, last May (when I turned a wee-bit past 30) I made this cake. For myself. For my birthday. I ate most of it.
I will be honest. As a true lover of gin, this cake was the brightest idea since sliced bread. However, I’m not an alcoholic and I must add that I found it to be a bit too gin-y.
If I made it again, I’d probably use less or no gin at all in the icing. Eating a little more than “infused” gin icing made me feel like I had problems. Like, send me on my way to AA problems. So, that’s my reasoning on that.
I could only slightly taste the gin in the actual cake part, which was great – this cake only needs a hint of gin.
I should probably add that I don’t actually drink Gin and Tonic in real life, but I do drink Tom Collins, so I would like to dub the name “Tom Collins Cake”. Also, the recipe doesn’t actually call for Tonic, so I win.
My idea to ever slightly change the cake would be to take out the gin in the icing and replace with a lime syrup or thick lime juice. If you do this, let me know how it goes.
The cake part was a bit thick and heavy (this was cake made from scratch after all). My next suggestion would be to just use a boxed-cake mix. Gasp! I know, shameful – but the boxed cake doesn’t seem as heavy. So essentially, you’re just adding some gin to vanilla cake. Sounds boring, but we’re talking gin inside cake – that alone should peak your interest.
So, here’s how you do it (according to Jessica) and here is how it went.
Gin and Tonic Cake
- makes one large 9×13 baking dish
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly zested lime rind
- 1/4 cup gin
- 1/4 cup milk
- juice of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add in sugar and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl if needed. Add in each egg one at a time, beating until fully incorporated before adding the next. Add in vanilla and lime zest and mix.
With the mixer on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients. Add in gin, milk and lime juice, mixing until combined and scraping the bowl if necessary. Add remaining flour and beat until just combined. Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish, and bake for 35-40 minutes, until top is golden and center is not jiggly. Remove cake from over and immediately poke holes over top with a toothpick or fork. Pour gin glaze over then, then let cake cool completely. While cake is cooling, mix up icing and once cooled, frosted. Note: you can sub tonic water in for the gin/milk portion of the recipe if desired.
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons gin
- the juice of 1 lime
Mix ingredients together until a glaze forms, then pour over cake immediately while it is still warm. Note: start with 1-2 tablespoons of gin, if more non-gin liquid is needed, use tonic water, milk or cream. You can use more tonic in the glaze if desired.
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons gin
- drop of vanilla extract
Mix ingredients together until a very thick but spreadable icing forms. Once cake has completely cooled, spread a thin layer of icing all over the cake. Note: start with 1-2 tablespoons of gin, if more non-gin liquid is needed, use tonic water, milk or cream. You can sub more tonic (instead of gin) in the frosting if desired.
So, my next and final suggestion would be – try switching up the gin with tequila. I haven’t tried this, but why not attempt a Margarita cake?
The verdict (in my opinion, because I ate most of it) was that I liked it but it’s not your every day cake (not that I eat cake everyday).