Gems recipe

Our Gems Recipe – gin & tonic cake

It’s no secret that Cornwall is firmly on the foodie map, and we’re rather glad about that here at Gems HQ. When it comes to Cornish cuisine, oh boy are we spoiled! But it’s not just the delicious food that takes centre stage as gin distilleries, wineries and breweries add a little holiday spirit too helping to rubber stamp our fine Cornish reputation for all things artisan.

With a passion for enjoying the finer things in life, our Gems team are often found with their noses in a local cookbook so we invited our very own chief gastro-Gem Sarah to step up to the kitchen counter at one of our beautifully restored homes, Elynglas and share with you an extra special celebratory bake; Gin & Tonic Cake. When the weekend comes around, Sarah’s culinary creativity takes centre stage as she experiments with Cornwall’s local ingredients and for this recipe, Cornwall’s award winning Tarquin’s gin was an essential ingredient!

A tempting celebratory cake, gin and tonic cake
This recipe is set to impress whatever the occasion

Apron at the ready? here’s the recipe …

Serves 10

Prep time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 35 – 40 mins



250g Trewithen Cornish butter – I use salted but if using unsalted just add a small pinch of  Cornish Sea Salt

Knob of melted butter for greasing the tin

2 tablespoons of plain flour

250g golden caster sugar

250g self raising flour

Zest of lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange

4 large Cornish free range eggs – we love St Ewe’s eggs!


100g of white caster sugar

10 dried juniper berries crushed

150 ml / 6 shots Tarquin’s Gin

100ml Fevertree tonic

50ml orange juice

Icing and decoration

300g icing sugar sieved

50ml / 2 shots of Tarquin’s Gin

Orange and lemon zest

Almonds sprayed with edible glitter


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c (160 degrees fan / gas mark 4)

Grease a 2.4 litre bundt tin with melted butter using a pastry brush. Take your time doing this and really get into all the grooves to avoid the cake sticking! Dust with 2 tbsp of flour shaking it round the tin coating the melted butter evenly and then tip away the excess flour.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. When it is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time beating carefully. Grate the zest of the citrus fruits over the bowl.

Fold in the flour until it is all combined. Pour into the prepared bundt tin and level the cake mix carefully.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake is a golden colour and springs back when pressed gently.

Whilst the cake is baking you can prepare the syrup.  Place all ingredients into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Next turn up the heat and boil until the liquid has halved in volume.  Strain the syrup into a clean jug using a sieve to remove the juniper berries.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, skewer little holes all over whilst still in the tin. Carefully pour the syrup over the cake avoiding the edges. Leave to cool for 10 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack. If the cake is sticking, you can use a wooden skewer to loosen the sponge from the edges of the tin.

Whilst the cake is cooling, you can make the icing by mixing the gin and icing sugar together until smooth. Put the cake on the serving plate or cake stand and pour over the gin icing . Decorate with citrus zest and almonds.

Best enjoyed with a delicious G & T!

Don’t forget to tell us how you got on! @cornishgemsholidays