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.

C’est la nouvelle annee

Looking back on 2008, I still find it hard to wrap my head around the changes that have happened in my life over the past year. I am living in a new city, with new people, working in an industry that is completely different to everything I have done before. And I am loving it. I am loving living my life.

So much has changed, but throughout it all though, there is a constant thread; the people around me. I find it a perpetual joy and a delight that, not only am I still getting closer to the “Southampton Lot” (as they’ve become known), but that I am finding new people, and also that I am picking up threads with people from back in the Liverpool days, and building it all into something new. Something stronger.

This means so much to me because when I look back on 2008, I am looking back at some deep lows along with the soaring highs, and it is those people who were firmly at my side through all of it. A cliche, yes, but you really do find out who your true friends are in the times of distress.

So for the endless cups of tea, the hugs, the shoulders to cry on. For the constant CV re-writes, the soothing noises pre job interviews, the commiseration’s and the celebrations. The finding me somewhere to stay, the taking me dancing, the showing me new places. Keeping me sane. Accepting me. Telling me I could do it, that I was worth it. Making me welcome. Giving me space. Keeping me laughing.

Most of all, just for being stubborn sods who refused to give up on me.

To all of you, I know I don’t ever say it enough, but I love you, and I wouldn’t be able to sit here and write this with a smile on my face, looking forward to what the future brings, if it wasn’t for each and everyone of you. So I am going to make just one resolution for 2009 and every year from now on: I am going to embrace every opportunity that comes my way. I am going to do my best to be the person you all see when you look at me. And I am going to be there for you in the same way you have been there for me.

That’s it. Happy New Year everyone 🙂