Gin & Tonic cupcakes

Who knew that my favourite drink could be converted into a delicious, tasty cupcake? The first time I made these was for a Macmillan coffee morning at work to add a bit of buzz and excitement and they hardly lasted five minutes! So, I kept making them, for parties, friends birthday’s and just a little treat for myself now and again.


The trick is getting the right amount of gin! I tested a lot of different recipes and there was a little trial and error (ok, a lot of trial and error) but never enough of an actual gin and tonic taste! It was just a vanilla cupcake with a little twist at the end.


Putting gin into a cake batter is a bad idea, the alcohol will be cooked off during the process and you won’t get the distinctive flavour. However, tonic in the batter works well and adds a slight fizz. My secret is spiking the top of the cupcakes five to ten times with a skewer and using a pastry brush to top the cupcakes with gin, a little like a lemon drizzle. Then, as well as a large helping of gin in the icing, top the cupcake with a pipette full with gin which can then be squeezed into the cupcake for that extra kick of flavour.

When making alcohol cakes always remember:

  • The alcohol can easily be cooked off during baking so for the best effect and best flavour, add the alcohol afterwards like a lemon drizzle
  • Add your choice of alcohol to the icing, but don’t overpower it. Tasting your icing as you add the alcohol is the key here
  • In cupcakes, a pipette full of your chosen alcohol is the best bet of getting a fantastic flavour! It also gives the recipient the choice on strength

Want to make G&T cupcakes for yourself? Try them out here (recipe makes 12)



  • 175g Unsalted butter
  • 175g Caster sugar
  • 200g Self raising flour
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1tsp Baking powder
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 6tbsp Tonic water (preferably Fever Tree)
  • 5tbsp Gin (preferably Bombay Sapphire or Hendricks)

For the icing:

  • 250g Unsalted butter
  • 600g Icing sugar
  • 50ml Gin
  • 2tbsp Tonic Water
  • Juice of 1 lime

To decorate:

  • 12 x Wilton Shot Tops
  • 150ml Gin
  • Limes


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake cases.
  2. Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix together until light and creamy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well in between each addition.
  4. Add the flour and baking powder in one go and mix ensuring all ingredients are fully combined.
  5. Add the tonic water and gin and stir ensuring all ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Fill the cupcake cases to 1/2 full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cake bounces back when lightly pressed down.
  7. Whilst the cupcakes are still warm, pierce the top of them 5 to ten times and using the gin, brush over each cake with a pastry brush then leave to cool.
  8. To make the icing, mix the butter and icing sugar together until creamy.
  9. Add the gin, tonic water and juice of one lime a little at a time and mix at a high speed for five minutes (longer if mixing by hand). This will ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated and the icing is light and fluffy. 
  10. Pipe a generous swirl onto each cupcake and sprinkle lime zest over the top.
  11. Cut lime into wedges and place a single wedge on each cupcake.
  12. Take the Wilton Shot Tops and fill them with the gin and place on the opposite side of the cupcake to the lime wedge.
  13. Serve and enjoy the buzz!

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