Boozy Baking with Craft56° - Gin, Tonic & Orange Cupcakes

With the hints of an Indian Summer we've been experiencing in Glasgow this week the next in our Boozy Baking series saw us attempt some refreshing Gin, Tonic & Orange cupcakes.

We used a combination of Ellis No.3 Butterfly Pea Gin and Cushiedoos quinine-free Scottish Tonic Water to make our cupcakes. We love the deep, earthy floral tones in the gin which complements orange well. As Cushiedoos tonic is quinine-free it's not as bitter as other botanicals so knew it would also work well in the recipe.

Ellis Gin Butterfly Pea Gin

Ellis Gin No. 3 Butterfly Pea Gin was launched in September 2018 and combine classic gin botanicals with butterfly pea. Butterfly pea is an Asian botanical which has been used for many years in Asian cooking as well as in teas. The blue colour of the gin comes from the deep infusion of petals from the exotic blue flower. If drinking as a G&T you'll notice it changes to an eye-catching lilac colour when the tonic is added.

Gin & Orange Cupcakes

Recipe (we made 14 with this recipe)

The Cupcakes

  • 175g unsalted butter – softened
  • 165g golden caster sugar
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 2 tbsp Cushiedoos quinine-free tonic water
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Ellis No.3 Butterfly Pea Gin

The Buttercream Icing

  • 250g unsalted butter – softened
  • 500g icing sugar
  • Juice of half a large orange
  • 4 tbsp Ellis No.3 Butterfly Pea Gin

To Decorate

  • Orange zest
  • Small segments of orange


The Cupcakes

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 C & line a cupcake/muffin tin with 12 cases.
  2. Place butter & sugar in a bowl & beat together until light & creamy making sure you use a spatula to clear down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking in & making sure each one is fully combined before adding the next one.
  4. Sift in the flour & fold into the mixture, but don’t over stir.
  5. Stir in the tonic & orange juice.Divide the mixture into the 12 cases (being carefully not to overfill).
  6. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes, until they are golden & a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the tin & place on a cooling rack
  8. Whilst they are still hot, pierce the top of each cake several times and brush gin into the tops so that the sponge absorbs the gin.

The Buttercream Icing

  1. Soften the butter with a whisk.
  2. Add the icing sugar & whisk until combined.
  3. Add the juice from the half of the large orange into the icing & add the gin.
  4. Whisk again until combined & the icing is soft & fluffy.
  5. We put ours in the fridge while the cupcakes were cooling.
To Decorate
  1. Pipe the buttercream so it covers the top of the cupcake
  2. Sprinkle over some of the orange zest
  3. Place an orange segment in the middle of each cupcake
Gin & Orange Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

We need a few lessons on piping buttercream icing but pretty happy with how they taste - that's the important thing, right?