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Gin and lime cake

Combining zesty frosting, a gin-laced syrup and a beautifully soft sponge, this gin and lime cake is a decadent teatime treat.

  • 20 minutes prep. time
  • 35–45 minutes cooking time
  • Serves 12
  • Cakes, bakes & desserts, Vegetarian
A pale green iced cake on a white cake stand with one slice removed, topped with pieces of lime
This elegant, zesty cake is laced with gin, and has a surprise ingredient in the icing | © National Trust Images/William Shaw


For the cake

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 limes, zest
  • 80g butter, melted

For the gin syrup

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 limes, juice
  • 2 tbsp juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced 
  • 100ml gin

For the frosting

  • 80g spinach
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 200g butter
  • 50ml gin syrup


Step 1

Place the eggs, salt and caster sugar in a mixer bowl. Start whisking on low, gradually increasing until whisking on maximum.

Step 2

Continue whisking until the eggs are at ribbon stage – where the whisk leaves a trail that lasts for 10–15 seconds when lifted from the bowl.

Step 3

Place the plain flour, baking powder and lime zest in a bowl and mix together. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the eggs and fold through using a large metal spoon.

Step 4

Add the remaining flour and gently fold through until incorporated. Drizzle the melted butter down the side of the bowl, gently folding through until incorporated.

Step 5

Pour the batter into a 23cm springform cake tin. Tap the tin gently on your worktop once, and place in a preheated oven at 190°C (170°C fan/gas mark 5). Bake for 35–45 minutes or until the cake is well risen and a skewer comes out clean.

Step 6

Remove the tin from the oven and place upside-down on a board. Leave until cool then remove the cake from the tin and slice horizontally into three even layers.


Step 7

For the gin syrup

Put the sugar, lime juice, juniper berries and 100ml water in a pan, and boil for around 5 minutes. Add the gin and thinly sliced lime, turn off the heat and leave until cold. Pour through a sieve and reserve the lime slices.

Step 8

For the frosting

Place the spinach in a pan with a little water and bring to the boil. Remove and place in a food processor. Blitz until liquid, then drain through a sieve and leave the liquid to cool.

Step 9

Put the spinach liquid, icing sugar, butter and 50ml of the gin syrup in a mixing bowl, and whisk until light and fluffy. Brush each layer of cake with the remaining gin syrup. Assemble, spreading frosting between the middle layers.

Step 10

Cover the sides and top of the cake with frosting before using a serrated knife or icing comb to create a pattern. Decorate with the syrup-soaked lime slices.

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