Alcohol-inspired foods guaranteed to keep you warm as we approach ‘the coldest winter in a decade’: Part Two, The Sweet Tooth

Simple Wine Cake: 

1 Large Package of vanilla pudding

1 package yellow cake mix

4 eggs

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup oil

3/4 cup sherry powdered sugar

  1. Combine all ingredients. Pour into greased and floured tube pan.
  2. Bake at 175 degrees Celsius for 40 – 50 minutes. Cake will be moist. Enjoy!



Gin & Tonic Cake

For the Cake:


250g salted butter

325g golden caster sugar

4 eggs

250g self-raising flour

75g natural yogurt

2 large limes, juice only

75ml gin

150ml tonic water

1 tsp juniper berries, lightly crushed

For the Icing:


200g softened butter

400g icing sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

zest of 3 limes (using up those you’ve juiced, above)

To Decorate:


2 Limes, zested then 1 cut into thin wedges to decorate

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1 lemon cut into wedges

1 ribboned cucumber (optional)

Mint if desired



  1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line 2 x 20 cm cake tins. In a freestanding electric mixer, or using an electric whisk, beat together the butter and 200g of the sugar until pale and fluffy, for around 5 mins.  Add the eggs one by one, making sure they are fully incorporated before adding the next one. If the mixture looks like it might split, add a tablespoon of your flour, then fold in the rest of the flour.  Mix the natural yogurt with the juice of one of the limes and 50ml of the gin, then add this to the cake mixture to make a thick and silky mixture.  Split the mixture between the cake tins and bake for 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  2. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the remaining sugar, tonic water, juniper berries and juice of one lime into a saucepan over medium heat.  Once the sugar has dissolved, bring to boil and cook for 5-7 minutes, until it’s a thick syrup.  Cool for 5 minutes, strain then pour in the remaining gin and set aside.
  3. Once the cake is out of the oven, allow it to cool for 5 minutes, then prick all over with a skewer, then liberally spoon the syrup mixture over both of the cakes. Allow to cool completely in the tin.
  4. To make the buttercream, beat the butter until soft, then add the icing sugar, a little at a time to avoid a sugar cloud! Once fully incorporated, add the milk and the zest of the limes.
  5. To assemble, place one of the cake layers on a cake board, cover with 1/3 of the buttercream then sit the second cake layer on top. Cover this too in just a thin coat of icing then put the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up – this will make it easier to get the rest of the icing on smoothly.  Use the remaining buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake.
  6. To decorate, mix the lime zest with the sugar. Sprinkle this over the cake and finish with lemon and lime slices/or wedges, cucumber ribbons, mint, or anything else you would like that reminds you of a Gin and Tonic.

Brandy/Rum carrot fruitcake

2 cups grated carrots

2 2/3 cups sugar

2 2/3 cups water

2 cups raisins

1/2 tsp. Salt ( I leave out)

2 tablespoons butter ( I leave out)

1 teaspoons each cloves, cinnamon, allspice

  1. Boil above ingredients 20 minutes ( simmer) covered, let cool 30 minutes minimum.
  2. Add

4 cups flour

3 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chopped nuts

1 large jar mincemeat

1/4 cup Rum or Brandy (I use a bit more:)

  1. Bake in a greased and parchment lined 10 cup tube pan at 135 degrees Celsius for 2 hours, let cool in pan. If loaf pans are used, cook for less time.