Gin and tonic cake

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Who's up for a boozy treat masquerading as afternoon tea? Try this gluten-free gin cake that wheat dodgers can eat too!

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I’m going to level with you. Despite coming from an entire family of fervent gin swillers, my conversion to this summer cooler has only been fairly recent. I used to think a G & T tasted like hairspray in a glass. All sourness and weird fragrance. The only good thing going for it was the fact it glowed in ultraviolet light. Pretty cool to use as a makeshift torch to find the way to the loos, but drink it? No, thank you.

Maybe my revulsion came from going on a particularly awful date with a very angry, sweaty man, who, when it was his round, returned to the table with two gin and tonics, despite the fact that I had asked for a dark rum and ginger beer. He was so angry about everything already (“the bloody barman, the bloody prices in here, the bloody Tube journey…”), I felt I couldn’t tell him I didn’t like the drink he’d just got me. I valiantly (if I may say so) struggled through and managed finally to drain the glass, but it wasn’t pretty. Needless to say, that was the last time I saw that bloody man.

Roll forward several years and how my feelings have changed. Not only can I enjoy a G & T if given to me by mistake, I’ll even actively order at least one on purpose. Maybe gin and tonic is a flavour you grow to like, like olives, coffee or whisky. Maybe I’ve finally grown up, or maybe I was just late to the party. Either way, I’m very glad I’ve discovered how refreshing and summery a glass of mother’s ruin can be. And now that I have, the logical next step can only be to celebrate it in cake form. So here you go! Gin and tonic gluten-free cake. Tuck in!




For the cake

  • 110g of unsalted butter, soft
  • 110g of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g of rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5 limes, zest finely grated
  • 30ml of gin
  • 30ml of tonic water

For the syrup

  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 15ml of gin
  • 15ml of tonic water

For the icing

  • 15ml of gin
  • 15ml of tonic water
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 50g of icing sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease and flour (with GF flour) a 22cm diameter savarin tin or a loaf tin will do the job
Whisk all the cake ingredients together until pale and fluffy and spoon the batter into the prepared tin smooth over the top and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean
In the meantime, put the syrup ingredients in a saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved
Once the cake is out of the oven, leave it to cool for ten minutes before upturning on a wire rack. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper underneath the wire rack to catch any drips
Stab the hot cake all over with a cake skewer and spoon over the syrup and leave it to soak in. Leave the cake to cool completely
Mix together the icing ingredients and drizzle over the cooled cake. Decorate with a little extra lime zest if you like and serve with a gin & tonic

Victoria is a London-based food writer and recipe developer. She was the Roald Dahl Museum’s first ever Gastronomic Writer in Residence and has written six books, including her latest, Too Good To Waste.

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