Lemon, lime, and gin loaf


-l-l. Lemon and lime loaf would have been a much more pleasing name for this easy-peasy cake, but we can’t miss out the gin drizzle. Really, even lemon, lime, and gin loaf isn’t its proper name – since I dreamt it up on a rogue afternoon off work, what I’ve called it in my head is Victorian malady cake, with scurvy and mother’s ruin in mind. And it’ll certainly have you saying, “Please, I want some more.”

maladyIt’s possible I’ve binge-watched too much Dickensian.

In a distinctly non-austerity move, this cake calls for real butter. Almost a whole block of it! I was pro-margarine before, mostly due to its significantly lower price, but you really can’t beat butter* for the flavour it gives, not to mention that oh-so-tempting yellow colour.

The gin, meanwhile, isn’t a boff-you-in-the-face taste, but more of a back-of-the-mouth hint. Just enough to subtly evoke summer days. If you want the gin flavour to feature more? Increase it in the drizzle by a tablespoon or two.

This cake is an easy flash-forward to sunny afternoons, a creation you can whip up without any real elbow grease at all. A beat, a mix, a fold, and a drizzle, and you’re done.

Let’s go.

*I’m sorry, that was an awful almost-pun.



200g caster sugar
200g butter, room temperature
Zest of one lemon, and one lime
3 eggs
2 tbsp milk
200g self-raising flour

Juice of one lemon , and one lime
2.5 tbsp caster sugar
2.5 tbsp gin
0.5 tbsp water


Preheat your oven to 180C and line a loaf tin (or grease, whichever you prefer). In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, then add the zest and briefly beat again to distribute.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the milk. Fold the flour in using a metal spoon, pour into tin, and smooth the top. Bake on the middle shelf for 30-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

While the cake bakes, mix together the juices, sugar, gin, and water.

As soon as the cake is ready, use the skewer (or a fork!) to poke holes all over the cake, then spoon the drizzle over. Allow to cool in the tin before removing and slicing.

Keep in an airtight tin or box!

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