~30 minutes prep

~20 minutes bake

Makes 12-16 cupcakes

< £10 or ~46p a cupcake


For the Cakey bit:

175g unsalted butter

175g caster sugar

175g self raising flour

3 medium eggs

4 tbsp tonic water

2 tbsp gin

For the Icing:

250g unsalted butter

500g icing sugar

Juice of 1 lime

4 tbsp gin

To decorate:

Zest of one lime

2-3 limes cut into wedges

You’ll also need cupcake sleeves, which can be bought in most supermarkets. Baking tray or cupcake tray. Mixing bowl, whisk/spoon, kitchen brush, kitchen scales or a good eye for measurements.


  1.  Preheat the oven to 175C and like a cupcake tin, if you have one, otherwise just a normal baking tray, with 12-16 cupcake cases.
  2. Add the butter and sugar for the cakey bit, to a bowl and mix until you have a light and creamy consistency.
  3. Next add the eggs one at a time and continue to stir.
  4. Now stir in the tonic water.
  5. This mixture then needs to be split between the cupcake cases, filling each case to about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes.
  7. Once done, the cakes should spring back up nicely when a slight bit of
  8. pressure has been applied with your finger to the top.
  9. Preferably place the cakes on a cooling rack, otherwise just a kitchen side is fine.
  10. Next pierce each cake 2 to 3 times using a skewer, sharp knife, or  chopstick.
  11. The gin (2 tbsp), can then be applied preferably using a kitchen brush, which will be absorbed down into the cakey goodness with the holes you just made.
  12. Meanwhile, for the icing, soften the butter in a mixing bowl and add the icing sugar and stir well.
  13. Add the juice of one lime as well as the gin (4 tbsp).
  14. Finally pipe the icing onto your cupcakes, and decorate each one with a wedge of lime and some lime zest.

* If you don’t have self-raising flour then you can use plain flour and yeast instead. Yeast usually comes in sachets of roughly 7g, which should be enough. You can obviously add more gin if you wish to make them stronger or use lemon instead of lime. Or you could alternatively be even more adventurous and try other combinations like whiskey and orange or vodka and cranberry.