Shake it. Stir it. Sip it. And now bake it. As the nation’s love affair with our favourite tipple continues, it seems we just can’t get enough of the botanical beauty. So much so that it’s not just G&T’s and gin cocktails that have us all hooked.
As we don our aprons and grab our whisks, it seems we’re also reaching to the drinks trolley to add a splash of gin to our baked masterpieces. And as Jane Batham, Director at Leeds-based bakery, Tarte & Berry, points out; gin is a perfect ingredient for baking up a storm.
She says: “Both the gin and baking scene have exploded over the past few years and we’re seeing a real increase in demand for gin bakes, particularly in the summer months when people are looking for light citrus and floral flavours – ideal accompaniments to gin.
“Gin can be a really helpful addition to a cake or baked good and can really help to harmonise the ingredients. A gin-infused sugar syrup is key to a great gin bake. Think floral lavender and rose water syrups. Add gin to them and you have a beautiful syrup to dowse your sponge with. Or to add to crème patisserie to create delicately flavoured tarts and pastries.”
And it’s not just a trend for the summer. Jane adds: “Try adding gin to a caramel sauce for the perfect autumnal ginger parkin and sticky toffee cake. Or combine with chocolate for an indulgent dark chocolate torte, topped with gin-infused cherries.”
If that hasn’t already got your sweet tooth excited, here are five of our favourite gin bakes:
Why we love it: The delicate pink frosting and the sparkling flavour of the pink lemonade makes this a delightful cake for any celebration.
Top tip: Why not try using our Yorkshire Rhubarb Gin? After all, Rhubarb and Rose Lemonade make a perfect pairing.
270g Caster Sugar
270g Unsalted Butter (at room temp)
4 Large Eggs
270g Sieved Self-Raising Flour
1 Large Splash of Milk
20ml of Fentimans Rose Lemonade
Pink Food Colouring
250g Unsalted Butter (at room temp)
450g Icing Sugar
1tbsp of Gin
1tbsp of Fentimans Rose Lemonade
Grease and line 3 x 6” round cake tins with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
Add the butter and caster sugar to a bowl and beat until pale and creamy – this can take around 3-4 minutes.
Add your eggs one at a time mixing each one until smooth.
Add the milk, gin and Rose Lemonade and stir in slowly until combined.
Sieve your flour and add in two parts mixing until smooth.
Add some pink food colouring, split the mixture equally into three bowls and add a little more to each one to create three different shades of pink.
Fill each tin and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, test the cake after 30 minutes – a skewer should come out clean.
Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a bowl mix together the icing sugar and butter until pale and smooth. Add the gin and Rose Lemonade and pipe between each layer and smooth around the top and outside.
Recipe and photo credit: Fentimans
Why we love it: Rhubarb and plum is one of our favourite flavour combinations so add it to a delicious cake and we’re sold.
5 ripe plums, cut in half and de-stoned
75 ml rhubarb gin
Zest of 1 lemon
100 ml buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
200 g plain flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
125 g butter, plus extra to grease
200 g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. demerara sugar
75 g plum jam
Preheat oven 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin. Cut each half of a plum into 4 pieces, put to one side.
In a jug whisk together the gin, lemon zest, buttermilk and vanilla. Put to one side. Mix together the plain flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Put to one side.
In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, around 5min. Beat in the eggs one by one, whisking until fully combined. Whisk in the buttermilk mixture. Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients then slowly add the buttermilk mixture, whisking constantly.
Spoon into the prepared tin. Place the plum slices around the cake and sprinkle over the tablespoon of demerara sugar. Bake for 50min-1hr until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Add the plum jam to a small saucepan and heat over a gentle heat until liquid. Remove cake from oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5min before tipping onto a wire rack. Brush the warm jam all over the top of the cake. Cut into slices to serve with whipped cream.
Recipe and photo credit: Good Housekeeping
Slingsby Gin and Pink Grapefruit Cakes
Why we love it: This recipe came about from a partnership with Bettys cookery school and Slingsby gin (an incredible pairing we must say). It takes all the best bits of Slingsby London Dry and creates a beautiful citrus cake with savoury notes which mirror the herbaceous smoothness of our London Dry.
100g softened butter
1x 50g caster sugar
zest of 1/2 a pink grapefruit
25ml pink grapefruit juice
25ml Slingsby London Dry Gin
2 medium eggs (separated)
50g ground almonds
50g plain flower
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 grapefruit peel
the rest of the grapefruit juice
50g caster sugar
50ml Slingsby London Dry Gin
2 bay leaves
5 crushed juniper berries
extra caster sugar for frosting
Preheat the oven to 175°C (fan assisted).
Brush 9 Fancier moulds with a little oil, set aside.
Separate the eggs place the whites in a clean, dry, metal bowl and whisk to firm peak stage. Gradually whisk in one measure of 50g caster sugar and keep whisking until and the meringue is shiny. Store to one side.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and a measure of 50g caster sugar until light and creamy using an electric whisk. Add the zest of ½ pink grapefruit and beat together.
Gradually whisk in the egg yolks a little at a time. Fold in the ground almonds, baking powder and flour with a large metal spoon.
Pour in the 25ml of gin and 25ml of the squeezed pink grapefruit, continue to fold until smooth.
Then gently fold the meringue into the cake mix.
Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tins and bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
While the cake bakes prepare the drizzle.
For the Drizzle:
Cut the pink grapefruit peel into thin strips and place the peel with remaining grapefruit juice and a 50g measure caster sugar, bay leaves and juniper berries into a heavy based pan.
Warm over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for a few minutes or until you have a syrupy consistency.
Remove from the heat add the gin.
Turn out cakes and place onto a cooling wire. Prick the warm sponge all over with a skewer, remove the bay leaves and juniper berries and then drizzle half the syrup over each of the sponge cakes.
Add a little extra caster sugar to remaining syrup and peel to create a frosted sugar glaze spoon over the cakes with a few strips of the grapefruit.
Recipe credit: Lisa Bennison, Bettys Cookery School
Why we love it: Fentiman’s Valencian Orange Tonic Water is absolutely delicious and perfectly complements the dark chocolate ganache, making a mouth-watering dessert.
175g Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
100g Cold Butter, diced
1tbsp Icing Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
300 ml Double Cream
10g Caster Sugar
50g Unsalted Butter at room temperature
250g Dark Chocolate 70%
2 Large Oranges and the rind
20ml of Fentimans Valencian Orange Tonic Water
20ml of Gin
2 pinches of Fine Sea Salt
Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4
Roll out the pastry to around the thickness of a £1 coin and use it to line a 24cm greased tart tin. Fix any patches or gaps with excess pastry making sure it’s all smooth and neatly trimmed to the top of the tin.
Cover with parchment paper, fill with dried beans and blind bake for 12 to 15 minutes, remove beans carefully and bake again for around 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Put the cream, sugar and 1 pinch of sea salt into a pan and slowly bring to the boil
As soon as you see bubbles forming and the cream starts to boil, remove off the heat, add the butter and break in the chocolate. Stir until blended and smooth.
Leave to cool for around 10 minutes, add the gin, Valencian Orange Tonic Water and the juice of the oranges and keep stirring till shiny and combined.
Pour into the tart shell and leave at room temperature for 4 hours to set.
Sprinkle sea salt flakes and orange rind lightly all over.
Chill for 30 minutes before serving with a scoop of ice-cream or fresh cream.
Recipe and photo credit: Fentimans
Why we love it: Chambord, gin, blackberries, soft sponge, and sweet buttercream. What’s not to love?
175 g unsalted butter, softened
175 g caster sugar
175 g self-raising flour
3 tbsp. gin
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
2 tbsp. gin
Juice of 1 lime
200 g blackberries, plus 12 to decorate
2 tbsp. Chambord
125 g unsalted butter, softened
400 g icing sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases (we used tulip cases). In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar together using an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs, beating well between each addition. Sift the flour and a pinch of
salt and fold in, then fold in gin and lime zest.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cases (an ice-cream scoop is useful for this) and bake
for 20-25min until risen and a skewer inserted
in the centre comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the syrup by gently heating all the ingredients in a pan, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil and simmer for 1min. When the cakes are cooked, remove from oven and poke holes all over with a skewer or cocktail stick. Brush cakes with gin syrup and leave for 5min; remove cakes from tin and set aside to cool on a wire rack.
For the buttercream, put 200g (70z) blackberries into a pan with 1tbsp water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10min, stirring occasionally, until berries are soft and juice thickened. Blend until smooth, then pass through a sieve into a bowl. Stir in Chambord, if using. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, beat butter using an electric whisk until soft, then whisk in icing sugar in 2 batches; continue to beat until light and fluffy. Whisk in cooled blackberry purée.
Pipe buttercream on to cakes and top each one with a blackberry.
Recipe and photo credit: Good Housekeeping
Why not share your gin bakes with us on our social pages?
Intrigued by Carthy & Black Gin Creams? Visit their Facebook page for more info or try it for yourself! Stockists include Tesco, Morrisons, M&S, Amazon, 31Dover.com and Drinksupermarket.com