So this just happened in the #brightmansions kitchen… Gincake (with recipe) #365

So this just happened in the #brightmansions kitchen... #gincake #365 @estriel @pollygcs

Gin is good. Cake is good. Friends are good. So what better way to christen the Bright Mansions kitchen than by combining the three? The original recipe came from here, but we tweaked slightly.

Ingredients – for the cake

  • 385g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 230g unsalted butter
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly zested lime rind
  • Juice of one lime
  • 60ml gin
  • 60ml tonic water

Ingredients – for the glaze

  • 225g icing sugar
  • 5 tablespoons gin
  • Juice of 1 lime

Ingredients – for the icing

  • 320g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons gin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest of a lime or two


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F / Gas Mark 5 / 170-190 C
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until soft, light and pale.
  4. Add one egg at a time, beating each one until fully combined before adding the next.
  5. Add in the lime zest and vanilla.
  6. Add in half of the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
  7. Mix in the gin, tonic and lime juice, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients.
  8. Pour into your greased/lined tins/cases.
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes until golden and until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.
  10. While the cake is baking, mix up the glaze. Mix up the icing sugar with about half the gin and the lime juice. Add more gin until the glaze is very runny. If you need more liquid, add in a bit of tonic water.
  11. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick it all over and pour the glaze over the top, allowing it to soak in the cake.
  12. Cool completely.
  13. Mix up your icing, aiming for a very thick consistency. Spread across the top of the cake and cupcakes.
  14. Decorate with a sprinkle of lime zest

Things we learnt

  • The recipe made 1 x loaf cake and 18 x muffin-sized cup cakes.
  • Depending on your oven, and what size cakes you decide to make, the cooking time does vary. The cup cakes were ready at about 30 minutes, the loaf cake took a good 15-20 minutes more as it was much deeper.
  • Sift your icing sugar. No one likes lumpy icing.
  • If you need slightly runnier icing, add a squeeze of lime juice. Do this REALLY cautiously, because it only takes a drop to turn perfect icing into runny goo.
  • This is a really simple recipe, but it does take time. And make sure the cakes are fully cool before icing.


I’m a little broken at the moment. My neurotransmitters have gone on safari without me and that old friend depression is kicking my butt, ably abetted by another old chum, Chronic Fatigue. Joy. I’m getting help, but I’m a little further down the rabbit hole than I like to be right now. I’m doing everything I need to be doing and I know that this too shall pass. Having been on this particular merry-go-round a few times before, I know this, which is bizarrely rather reassuring.

So I don’t write this to solicit sympathy.

Rather, I feel the need to explain why I am being a crap friend and human being right now. I’m ducking out of engagements, avoiding people, hermitting, making shit excuses for not doing things, not to mention ignoring people I actually care a lot about. There have been a fair few instances where I’ve made plans and then cancelled at the last minute. Not to mention the emails I have still to return. I am sorry. Some days are better than others and I just never know how a particular day will go. I honestly, sincerely, plan to follow through on the things I commit to. I’m just failing.

I hate failing.

Grrr. Silly body.

Bear with me, please, lovely people. Pretty please. I am working on restoring normal service, but part of that process is giving myself permission to be a bit pants at this whole “having a social life” stuff. I know it’s rather dull to ask “what did you do at the weekend?” and for me to respond every time with “slept, didn’t leave the house”. It is also mildly distressing that my most meaningful relationship right now is with my duvet and a giant penguin called Archibald. Then there’s my attention span. Brain injured goldfish have nothing on me. I’d like to be able to concentrate on something more complex than the plot of the latest Nora Roberts novel, but… Nope. Endless Gilmore Girls reruns is about all I can handle right now.

Here’s hoping things will return to an even keel soon, because if nothing else I don’t think my book group will agree to my literature choices much longer…

What can you do? Just be yourselves. After all, that’s why you’re in my life in the first place 😀

Just keep bringing the tea, keep asking me to do things, and please don’t be upset if I say no.

Oh, and make sure you step between me and any hairdressers or tattoo artists. If you let me get a buzz cut or more ink, I will not be amused.