We’re not exactly blessed with cocktail weather at the moment so why not try your favourite cocktail in edible form? Local blogger, Ilse van der Merwe from the Food Fox has come up with these deliciously boozy cupcakes to give you a gin cocktail fix that can be enjoyed night and day. These martini-inspired cupcakes are super moist and delicious and the green olives offer a savoury twist to the otherwise sweet cupcakes. Soaked with a gin & lemon syrup right after baking, these grown-up treats are easy to make and are sure to be a dinner party favourite.

Gin Soaked Cupcakes with Green Olives, Lemon & Poppy Seeds

For the batter:

12 queen green olives, pips removed (Ilse recommends Buffet Olives Queen Green)
finely grated rind of a lemon
15 ml poppy seeds (plus extra for sprinkling over the icing)
125 g cake flour
125 g sugar
125 g soft butter
5 ml baking powder
2,5 ml baking soda
2 XL eggs
30 ml milk

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with baking paper or cupcake liners. Place all of the ingredients except for the milk in a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides, then process again, adding the milk as it mixes. Process until very smooth, then divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake moulds. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the syrup:

125 ml (1/2 cup) gin (Ilse suggests New Harbour Spekboom Gin)
125 ml (1/2 cup) lemon juice
250 ml (1 cup) sugar

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, then bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar has just melted, then remove from the heat. When the cupcakes are ready, poke a few holes in each one with a sosatie stick. Spoon a tablespoon of syrup (15 ml) over each cupcake, then repeat with a second round, giving the syrup some time to get absorbed. Let the cupcakes cool completely before icing.

For the icing:

250 g plain cream cheese, at room temperature
125 ml (1/2 cup) icing sugar, sifted
15 ml gin (Ilse used New Harbour Spekboom Gin)

Use electrical beaters (or a wooden spoon and some elbow grease) to beat the cream cheese, icing sugar, and gin together in a mixing bowl until smooth and fluffy. Top each cooled cupcake with a generous dollop (tip: use the back of a teaspoon, or a piping bag).

To serve: Sprinkle with some poppy seeds, then garnish with cocktail sticks skewered with slices of lemon & green olives.