Gin and Tonic Cupcakes

For the last month or so I have pretty much only been making salted caramel brownies because they are everyone’s current favourite and they freeze well and they are easy to convert to gluten free by just switching the flour and they taste so good. Anyway, finally I have made a new and exciting thing: Gin and Tonic cupcakes. Gin and tonic is by far my favourite alcoholic drink and with a friend’s party coming up I thought it was a perfect excuse to try something a bit more grown-up.


It was based on a recipe I found on Katie Cakes but slightly modified in places:


For the cakey bit:

  • 175g unsalted butter softened
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 4 tbsp tonic water (I used Fever Tree – yum)
  • 2tbsp gin (I used Hendrick’s)

For the icing

  • 250g unsalted butter softened
  • 500g icing sugar
  • Juice of one lime
  • 4tbsp gin

To decorate

  • Zest of one lime
  • 1 lime halved and thinly sliced


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170c and line a cupcake/muffin tin with 12 cases
  2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and creamy making sure you use a spatular to clear down the sides
  3. Add the eggs one at a time whisking in and making sure each one is fully combined before adding the next
  4. Sift in the flour and fold in being careful not to over stir it
  5. Stir in the tonic water
  6. Divide the mixture between the 12 cases but don’t fill more than 2/3
  7. Bake for approximately 20 mins until they are golden and spring and a skewer comes out clean
  8. Remove from tins and place on cooling rack while they are still hot pierce each one with a skewer half a dozen times and brush as much gin as you think you can get away with
  9. For the icing, soften the butter with your whisk, add in the icing sugar and whisk fully batch at a time
  10. Squeeze in the juice of lime into the icing and add the gin. Whip again until soft and light and fluffy
  11. Pipe on to the cakes and add a slice of lime and some lime zest to decorate.

Enjoy and careful if you lick the icing bowl. I got a bit tipsy.


66 thoughts on “Gin and Tonic Cupcakes

  1. These sound really interesting! I love gin but never thought to put it in my baking before. Will be attempting this at some point. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Have made three batches now, following @girlonetrack’s Tweet. Am sitting at work now watching one lot disappear rapidly to great acclaim 🙂

    The only thing I’d say is that the icing recipe seems to produce enough for two batches.

    But that just provoked me to bake more of them…

    • Amazing! I am glad you liked the recipe… Also buttercream freezes pretty well so if you didn’t want to make another batch of cakes then you could freeze the rest. Although, I think using it as an excuse to bake more is clearly a far better plan.

    • Yes! I think if you used a GF self raising mix it should be fine. You might need to add a couple of tsp of milk because it can be quite absorbent.

  3. Thank you for sharing this great recipe, made a batch for my parents anniversary party. They all disappeared really quickly & I got lots of lovely compliments.

  4. Am just having a cheeky g & t while I’m waiting for the cupcakes to cook. My icing looks a bit runny (my first real attempt at buttercream!) but I don’t think I’m too bothered. I hope the guys at Sunday Assembly tomorrow appreciate these!

    • If your buttercream icing is runny, chances are you let the butter get too warm…stick it in the fridge for about 10 minutes and have at it again…this works for me almost always. 😉

  5. If the icing is runny, more icing sugar will always fix it, or you can cover it and stick it in the fridge will make it a bit firmer.

  6. Amazing recipe, only change I made was more icing sugar (I prefer less butter in my icing but that’s just a personal preference) and some zest in the icing to make it a bit more limey 🙂

  7. These are amazing! i made some for a tea dance and they went in a second! Im now about to make a second batch for a BBQ for the same crowd that went to the tea dance……..guess Id better make double the amount if i want to actually get one!

  8. Not a baker….never make cakes but thought i would give these a go for my friends McMillan coffee morning. I was very impressed with the result. They looked and tasted so good and were the first cakes to go at the coffee morning. Am making some more today

  9. Having made these and loved them, I’ve turned my thoughts to other drink-based cakes, so I’m adapting this to make Brandy Alexander cupcakes – crème de cacao in the cake, brandy butter icing and a tiny sprinkle of nutmeg on top. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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  12. Do you Need that lime on the icing for the taste because i dont like that. Are there other solutions. I gonna make them tomorrow cant wait

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  15. Fabulous!
    Just bought the gin to make these beauties😊.
    Made stout cakes for Father’s Day, so G&T cakes for Father’s Birthday sounds perfect. Thank you for sharing. This recioe came up when I googled gin and tonic cupcakes. Wanted to comment so it would remain the first one😜.

  16. Seriously YUM!!
    On my second batch, (giggle, giggle), I mixed the gin with some lime juice before brushing on the cakes a second (hiccup) time. I also added lime zest into the frosting.
    Make these! So good!

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  18. These are delicious! The sponge is so light, and the frosting tastes yum. I was generous with the piped icing but still had some left over, so could do 1/2 or 3/4 instead! Will syringe more gin into the sponge next time..!

  19. Made these today for my hubby’s birthday… They are amazing! Totally delicious. I tried 2 different recipes I found online – these were the best by far x

    • They are fine made the day before and shouldn’t go soggy – keep them in an airtight container. 170 is in a regular oven so you might want to lower is to 160 for a fan assisted.

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  22. Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe, I’ve made these cupcakes numerous times now, always a great success, so much so I have been asked to make them for a local cafe who host gin tasting evenings, they went down a storm!!! Just made another batch of 48 for another gin tasting evening for a local Rotary club, they are awaiting the frosting as I write!

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  26. Made these a couple of days ago and they went down a treat. My personal tip – be brave on the gin if like me you are a bit of a gin fiend! I probably put about 3-4 tbsp gin in the end on the cakes – was pretty much pouring by the end almost like a drizzle – which as a bonus kept the cupcakes lovely and moist. But a great recipe – I am making these again for the office tonight. Might adapt the recipe to make some Grand Marnier cupcakes with Orange zest. Thanks again for a great recipe!

  27. Been meaning to leave a comment for ages, but I’ve been too busy baking! These are now a firm family favourite. When I asked my father what he wanted for his birthday cake, he asked for these cupcakes. And he got them too!

    Since I am coeliac, I used gluten free self-raising flour in the cupcakes and it worked fine as a straight swap, no extra liquid needed. (I used White Wings brand GF flour.)

    Also, I’ve made the cupcakes the night before, and iced them the next afternoon, and the family swore they were the best batch ever.

  28. Just made these. Gin buttercream is a bit of a revelation, although mine split slightly and Im not sure why. Still tasted fab though. Couldnt really taste the tonic- think I would maybe brush some onto the cakes next time instead of gin? Or maybe just leave it out to be honest, and have gin cupcakes!

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