A Wonderfully Summery Birthday Gin and Tonic Cake | Recipe

My birthday may have been a bit different this year, but it was still lovely all the same. As part of our socially distanced, back garden party we enjoyed various treats baked my dad and I. As we’re both gin lovers, the Gin and Tonic Cake had to be made as our joint birthday cake. Now, I should point out if you’re not a gin fan, just omit the gin from the bake. I have made this cake previously doing that and can confirm it makes a wonderful citrus cake instead. (Use water instead of tonic for the syrup too).

Gin and Tonic cake

The perfect summery cake or birthday cake for a G&T lover!

 Course Dessert

 Cuisine English

 Keyword Baking

 Prep Time 1 hour

 Cook Time 45 minutes

 Servings 12


For the Cake

  • 250 g Salted butter
  • 200 g Golden caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 250 g Self-raising flour sieved
  • 75 g Natural yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 Large lime juice only
  • 50 ml Gin a London Dry works well

For the Syrup

  • 125 g Granulated sugar
  • 150 ml Tonic water
  • 1 Large lime juice only

For the Icing and Decoration

  • 200 g Softened butter at room temperature
  • 400 g Icing sugar sieved
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • Zest of 3 limes using up those you’ve juiced
  • Decorations you wish to use


  1. Make sure you zest your limes first and set the zest aside, it will be hard to do this when you’ve juiced them! Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease and line 2 x 20cm cake tins.
  2. In a freestanding electric mixer, or using an electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, for around 5 mins. Add the eggs one by one, making sure they are fully incorporated before adding the next one. If the mixture looks like it might split, add a tablespoon of your flour, then fold in the rest of the flour. Mix the natural yogurt or sour cream with the juice of one of the limes and 50ml of the gin, then add this to the cake mixture to make a thick and silky mixture. Split the mixture between the cake tins and bake for 35 mins until a skewer comes out clean.
  3. Make the syrup. Put the remaining sugar, tonic water and juice of one lime into a saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil and cook for 5-7 mins, until it’s a thick syrup. Cool for 5 mins, then pour in the remaining gin and set aside.
  4. Once the cake is out of the oven, allow to cool for 5 mins, then prick all over with a skewer, then liberally spoon the syrup mix over both of the cakes. Allow to cool completely in the tin.
  5. To make the buttercream, beat the butter until soft, then add the icing sugar. Once fully incorporated, add the milk and the zest of the limes.
  6. To assemble, place one of the cake layers on a cake board, cover with 1/3 of the buttercream then sit the second cake layer on top. Cover this, too, in just a thin coat of icing then put the cake in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up – this will make it easier to get the rest of the icing on smoothly. Use the remaining buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake. Add the decorations you wish to add.

Recipe Notes

The cake freezes well in portions or keeps in the fridge for a few days.

Based on this recipe.

I should add that this Gin and Tonic cake recipe is one of my favourites. The texture of the cake is wonderful every time. I think you could also change up the flavours and make this cake any way you wanted too. I’m tempted to make it with lemons instead of limes next time and I imagine it would work well with grapefruit too!

If you’re not like us and don’t eat all the cake almost immediately, it freezes in portions really well. And whilst it can be enjoyed with a large cup of tea like most cakes, it definitely goes well with a large gin and tonic too!

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