A soft, fluffy lemon drizzle seems like a suitably summery cake. One to be enjoyed, perhaps, with afternoon tea on the lawn in some genteel, fantasy Oscar Wilde land. The only thing that could improve a lemon drizzle would be the addition of a substantial quantity of gin, and so here is a recipe for just such a cake. After all, it’s what Oscar would have wanted…
The following recipe is quick, simple and decadently boozy. It goes from mixing bowl to cake stand in less than an hour and makes a light, delicate sponge. We don’t think you can get drunk on cake, but this one is strictly adults only.
3 large eggs
200 g butter (softened)
200 g caster sugar
150 ml (!) gin
100 g granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 °C (fan). Cream together the butter and sugar. Next, crack in the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture between each addition. Add the flour and mix well. Add the zest of two lemons and the juice of one, and finally 75 ml of gin.
Mix again, then tip into a greased and lined loaf tin, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes and cover with tin foil if the top is browning too much.
To make the drizzle, gently heat 75 ml gin, 100 g granulated sugar and the juice of one lemon in a pan until dissolved.
Once the cake is out of the oven, use a toothpick or skewer to evenly cover the cake with tiny holes which reach to the bottom of the tin. Carefully pour over the drizzle while the cake is still warm, aiming for an even distribution.
Leave to cool in the tin for around half an hour and then tuck in. Gin and tonic accompaniment is optional, but recommended.
Recipe and photography by Kate MacCarthy