Gin-Soaked Carrot Cake

A fabulously boozy winter (or anytime) treat!

Some carrot cakes are overwhelmingly sweet with layers and layers of icing, and I can only manage a bite or two. On the other hand, some so-called “healthy” cakes are dry and oh so disappointing, and are a bit shy with the spread of icing.

I am pleased to say this recipe has the balance just right. It’s sweet and tastes like a true treat.


For the cake:

4 large eggs
200ml vegetable oil
250g carrots, coarsely grated
100g sultanas
100g pecan nuts or walnuts (or a mix), roughly chopped
Zest of one orange – keep juice for the icing
200g self-rising flour
200g light muscovado sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice,
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

For the syrup:

50g caster sugar
50ml water
1tbsp Gin

For the icing:

60g unsalted butter
200g full fat cream cheese
150g icing sugar
1tbsp orange juice
1tbsp Gin
100g white chocolate


  1. Set the oven to 180C/160 fan/ Gas 4. Grease and line a deep, 20cm round tin.
  2. Whisk eggs in a bowl then add oil, carrots, sultanas, nuts and orange zest.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, spices, baking powder, muscovado sugar and salt.
  4. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and stir well, to make sure all is thoroughly combined and there are no pockets of flour.
  5. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 1 – 1 ¼ hours until risen and golden, and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  6. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the sugar and water in a small pan, bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes. Allow to cool, then take 2 tbsp of the syrup and add the Gin.
  7. For the icing, whisk the butter until light and fluffy, then whisk in the cream cheese, followed by the icing sugar, orange juice and gin. Continue whisking until smooth and creamy.
  8. Now, melt the white chocolate in a microwave, or in a bowl over hot water. Add the melted chocolate to the icing and whisk until everything is mixed together. Place in the fridge while preparing the cake.
  9. Slice the cake in two (or four) horizontally, and drizzle the gin syrup over the cut surfaces of the cake.
  10. Layer the cake with a third of the icing, then use the remainder of the icing to cover the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with nuts or grated orange zest.

Here’s a tip for the best carrot flavour – choose skinny to medium-sized carrots and peel them before grating. Large carrots often don’t taste as nice, and sometimes the outer carrot skin can taste bitter.

Why not enjoy a lovely large slice with an Iced Gin Mocha Latte?

Don’t mind if I do.

Used all your gin for making carrot cake? Order more now.