Use tonic water and your favourite gin to create a zingy iced cake with bags of flavour


200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease

200g caster sugar

4 free-range eggs, beaten

200g self-raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 lemon, grated zest only

85ml Helen Browning’s organic gin with pear and sea buckthorn

For the drizzle and icing:

125g caster sugar

120ml tonic water

65ml Helen Browning’s organic gin with pear and sea buckthorn

100g icing sugar, sifted


Preheat oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Butter and line a 900g loaf tin. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition.

Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and lemon zest, then add the gin. Spoon into the prepared tin, level the surface and bake for 55–60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup: gently heat the caster sugar and tonic water in a small pan, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves.

Turn up the heat and boil for 1 minute. Mix in 40ml of the gin (this mixture will be used to soak the loaf later).

As soon as the loaf comes out of the oven, poke holes into the top with a skewer and drizzle over the reserved gin syrup from the bowl. Cool the loaf in the tin on a wire rack.

Make the icing by mixing together the sifted icing sugar with the remaining gin until smooth.

Remove the loaf from tin, transfer to a board and peel off the paper. Spoon over the icing. Leave the cake to set before slicing.

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