Virgin G&T Lemon Drizzle Cake with Syllabub.

Lemon Drizzle Cake with a Gin and Tonic

Virgin G&T Lemon Drizzle Cake


Its summer, the season for open air events, boating trips, dressing up, and enjoying a picnic with friends.  Recipes for the seemingly de rigueur lemon G&T drizzle cake, well it is delicious, grace every self respecting summer food article and magazine. However, as a non-imbiber let me assure you that there is nothing more irritating than being offered boozy desserts, so as a follow-on from my last post, Free Spirit – The Shift to a No-Alcohol Cool, I figured a recipe for a booze-free lemon G&T cake was in order.

As an alternative to Virgin G&T use your favourite distillate; Seedlip Spice 94 & tonic would make a good alternative,  quantities given in the recipe. Excitingly, my bottle of MeMento aromatic blend arrived yesterday, and wow, this is delicious! Lemony overtones with a soft rose finish, it works well as a drink with tonic or sparkling water, slices of lime and mint. Again feel free to use this in the same way as Seedlip 94; you could try substituting the lemon with lime in the drizzle cake recipe which would work beautifully with the spiced rose flavours.

Serve the drizzle cake sliced with a light G&T syllabub (Zero proof of course) and fresh raspberries.


 Virgin G&T Lemon Drizzle Cake


225g butter, softened

225g caster sugar

4 eggs, cool

225g self-raising flour

2 lemons, the zest of both and the juice of one

100ml Virgin G&T

or, 70ml zero proof distillate and 30ml tonic water


130ml Virgin G&T

or, 100ml zero-proof distillate and 30ml tonic water (taste to make sure this isn’t to strong)

1 lemon, juiced

150g caster sugar

½ lemon very thinly sliced


Method: (by hand – to make in a food processor see below):

Preheat the oven to 180c. lightly oil  and line a 1 litre capacity loaf tin, or use a baking tin parchment liner. I like to use a 1 litre, lined, cast iron terrine dish, it does slow the cooking a bit so you will need to watch the timings.

Cream the caster sugar and the butter together in a large mixing bowl, until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time and beating well between each addition.   Using cool, rather than room temperature, eggs prevents the creamed butter from curdling  giving the cake a better texture.

Sieve in the flour, add the lemon zest from both lemons, and stir gently to combine.

Mix the lemon juice in with the G&T, or Distillate and tonic, and fold this into the batter.

Alternatively make the cake in a food processor:

You can mix the cake in a food processor. Cream the butter and sugar well and with the motor running add the eggs one at a time. Stop the motor and sift in the flour, add in the lemon zest. Pulse the motor a couple of times, not more to mix. Add the gin and lemon juice and pulse again a couple of times. You do need to take care not to over mix or the gluten is activated in the flour and the cake will be a bit heavy. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.

Cook the cake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in to the cake comes out clean. The sponge should be well risen, golden and springy to the touch

Remove the cake from the oven and put it still in its tin onto a cooling tray.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven in its tin to a cooling wire. Leave to the cake to cool in its tin until warm before pouring over the ‘drizzle’.

Drizzle and Decoration:

Make up the lemon drizzle by mixing the gin, tonic, lemon juice and sugar into a small bowl or jug. Prick the surface of the warm cake, still in its tin, all over with a fork or skewer and pour ¾ of the drizzle evenly over it.

To decorate the top, lay the finely sliced lemon pieces, in an overlapping line, on top of the cake and brush with the remaining gin and lemon drizzle. Leave the cake to cool completely in its tin as this allows the drizzle to fully soak in.

When ready to serve, remove the cake from the tin to a serving palter. Serve sliced, with an iced Virgin G&T, or, with the lemon gin and tonic syllabub and fresh raspberries.


Lemon  Virgin G&T Syllabub Cream

300ml double cream

1-2 tablespoon icing sugar

60ml Virgin G&T

or, 30ml  distillate and 30ml tonic water

A spritz of lemon juice.


Put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk until the cream forms soft peaks (don’t overmix). Adjust the sweetness and ‘lemonyness’ to your taste. Spoon the cream into a serving dish and chill until required.

 Serve slices of drizzle cake with mounds of syllabub and fresh raspberries. 

Cake and Cream with raspberries

Drizzle Cake served with Syllabub and fresh raspberries

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