I belong to the Kings Hill Rotary Club and it is our tradition, when it is a member’s birthday to buy them cupcakes to celebrate. Tomorrow is our president, Sharon’s, birthday and because we are in lockdown, I couldn’t buy cupcakes so decided to make some instead.
I made this as a loaf and some cupcakes – mainly because what I thought was some icing sugar in a jar at the back of my pantry turned out to be cornflour and therefore I didn’t have enough to ice a full cake, so I only had just enough icing sugar for the traditional two cupcakes – the loaf will have to wait until I get a shopping delivery to be iced.
If you don’t have margarine, you can just use butter but according to my grandmother and the great Mary Berry, half and half is best. I saw Mary Berry do a blind taste test on Michel Roux Jr and he was shocked to find himself agreeing!
One of the group said that it was a shame you can’t buy gin and tonic cake when I asked what flavour to make – so consider this challenge accepted!
Ingredients – for the cake
200g caster sugar
Zest of one unwaxed lemon
4 medium sized eggs
200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
125ml tonic water
For the lemon decoration
Finely sliced lemon (I used the one I had zested)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
100ml tonic water
2 tablespoons gin
For the icing
100g icing sugar
1 tablespoon gin
Splash lemon juice
For the drizzle if no icing!
100g granulated sugar
50ml tonic water
15ml lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 170C fan and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper
- In a large bowl cream together the butter, margarine, sugar and lemon zest
- Whisk in a tablespoon of flour (another thing my grandmother always told me to do – something to do with stopping the eggs curdling)
- Whisk in the eggs and then the gin and tonic
- Gently fold in the flour and baking powder
- Tip the mixture into the loaf tin then bake for 30 minutes when the cake will have started to brown slightly and will bounce back to the touch, a cocktail stick should come away clean.
- Whilst the cake is baking, put the sugar for the lemons in a small shallow pan with the gin and tonic and stir over a medium heat until dissolved
- Put the lemon slices in the pan and bring to a simmer until the syrup has reduced to a thick sticky consistency turning the lemon slices at least once
- Remove the lemon slices and then add the remaining ingredients for the drizzle and bring back to a simmer and reduce by about half
- When you remove the cake from the oven, leave in the tin and place on a heat proof board
- Make several holes in the cake with a skewer and pour over the drizzle
- Arrange the lemon slices along the centre of the cake and leave to cool in the tin.
- If you are going to ice the cake, stir the gin, lemon juice and icing sugar together into a thick but smooth paste, add a little more juice if it feels too thick
- Dip a butter knife into a cup of hot water and then use to spread the icing paste evenly over the cake and then arrange the lemons on top
- Serve and enjoy!