I had one of those moments the other day – those moments when you just want some cake. Well, there’s only one thing I like to do in those moments, and that is to go make some sort of sponge.

As it so happened, life had given me lemons at the same time – lemon that needed to be used up. But before jumping the gun and knocking up a simple lemon sponge (or going to my default way to use up lemons – limoncello), I noticed the tail-end of a lump of ginger that probably ought to be made use of. That’s when my simple lemon cake became lemon and ginger, with a drop or two of gin added in to make it that little extra bit special.

It was only as I was sitting on the sofa munching a loaflette – another last-minute change to the plan, away with the bun cases – watching some of the action from Sochi (I’m absolutely hooked on the Winter Olympics, the curling is amazing and I think Claire Balding is my new favourite TV presenter) when I realised that my addition of gin made this little bake the perfect entry for this month’s Baking with Spirit! This month Janine’s challenge was to include a light spirit, well since you can’t get much lighter than transparent I think this one is bang on the money. A gin win for sure.

baking with spirit

Light, warming, zesty, and with that hint of gin-goodness at the end, I’m very happy with my cobbled together little cake – definitely what was required for those cakey cravings.

lemon, ginger and gin cake

Lemon, Ginger & Gin Loaflette

This recipe is an original to The Usual Saucepans and comes firmly under the bracket of ‘made it up as I went a long’. It makes enough for approximately 2 loaflettes, but to make a full loaf just double the quantities below.


1 egg
65g self-raising flour
65g light brown sugar
65g butter
zest & juice 1/2 lemon
1cm root ginger
20ml gin


Turn the oven on to warm up to 190ºC. Cream the butter and the sugar together in a large bowl, then add in the flour, zest, lemon juice, ginger and egg one by one, then stir together using a wooden spoon (or mixer, if you’re feeling more technological), making sure it is all combined and the mixture is light and fluffy!

Spoon the mixture into your loaflette containers and bake in the centre of the oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch.