Gin and Tonic Cupcakes

We are back near Dundee, house sitting. Unfortunately, on the way to Stirling for a day out, we broke down with engine trouble. A tow truck returned us to Dundee and Juan the Van awaits his fate until after the bank holiday weekend. What else was there to do but dig out the gin.

I can remember my first Gin and Tonic. It was in what used to be The Goose on Gloucester Green in Oxford. It was love at first sip, I felt very grown up! It is my drink of choice when discovering a colonial style bar in the more exotic corners of the globe. The ultimate being the bar of the Baron Hotel in Aleppo, Syria. This wonderful bar whiffs of past glamour and adventure with its leather arm chairs and bar stools, the spirits of Laurence of Arabia and Agatha Christie drifting through on the breeze {they famously stayed here during the hotel’s heyday}. The hotel is a little rundown now, its glory days have been and gone, but for me this makes it even more charming.

We loved Aleppo, the labyrinthine, ancient souk was exhilarating and exploring the citadel which towers over the city was fantastic. All this stimulus gives one a tremendous thirst, so we’d meet in the bar at the Baron for drinks in the evening. The electricity would often cut out {power cuts were regular throughout the country outside of Damascus} and the staff would come round and light candles, creating a magical atmosphere while we drank of our G&Ts. Chin chin.

Aleppo Citadel, Syria

Photo by Chris Hodgson aka Mr VB!

Gin and Tonic Cupcakes

I didn’t drink the gin {well, not much of it anyway, and that was after the photo shoot}, instead I caked with it. The cakes are just simply flavoured with lime or lemon, the gin-y, tonic-yness is all in the frosting. The frosting is based on the Cola frosting, on the Cola Cupcakes from Eric Lanlard and Patrick Cox “Cox, Cookies and Cake” book, with which I am obsessed!

oven 180 C / gas 4

12 hole muffin pan lined with paper muffin cases

For the cakes:

  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 175 g soft unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 190 g self-raising flour
  • finely grated zest of 2 limes / lemons
  • 4 tbsp milk

Cream the butter and caster sugar until pale in a food mixer or with a handheld mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour then beat in the grated lime/lemon rind.

Sift in the flour from a bit of a height and fold into the mix, stir in the milk adding a bit more if the batter seems a little stiff.

Share the batter between the muffin cases, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 mins, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

The frosting:

  • 100 g soft unsalted butter
  • 465 g icing sugar
  • 65 ml indian tonic water {freshly opened and fizzy} chilled
  • 35 ml gin
  • 1 packet of Sherbet Dip Dab {minus the lolly!} {optional but adds a light lemony flavour and I like to think, extra fizzyness}

Combine the tonic with the gin and the tonic in a small jug.

Cream the butter until pale then sift in a quarter of the icing sugar. Beat this in then add a quarter of the gin/tonic. Repeat this until all the icing sugar and gin/tonic has been beaten in. Beat in the sherbet Dip Dab. The icing is now ready to pipe and should taste a little boozy. If you want it a bit stronger {beware, a little goes a long way at this stage and very strongly alcholic frosting is not very nice at all!} add a drop or two more of the gin.

I decorated mine with crystalised lime peel but you could use a curl of peel or suitably coloured sprinkles. Or maybe even a straw!

Bottoms up!

6 Responses

  1. kris says:

    These Gin and Tonic cup cakes could possibly cause me to stray into the wheat territory, pitty it’s not easy to adjust to gluten free. They sound amazing.

  2. Excellent post! Now I know your drink of choice. And now I want to go to Syria even more! Of course it will have to wait awhile. But hoping that the problems there will be resolved and bloodshed stopped.

  3. Neat cupcake… one of my very good friends loves Gin and Tonics! Can’t wait to share with her – thanks for posting!