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Hot toddy cake squares recipe

Hot toddy cake squares recipe

1 rating

The warming hug-in-a-sip hot toddy was the inspiration behind these dessert canapé cakes made with honey, lemon and whisky. The filled cake will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 24 hours; cut just before serving. See method

  • Makes 36 squares or 1 x 20cm square cake
  • Takes 1 hr plus overnight resting and chilling
  • 148 calories / serving


  • 170g unsalted butter, well softened
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 1 lemon, finely zested

For the syrup

  • 150ml whisky
  • 50ml clear honey
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick​
  • 1 lemon, juiced, plus finely grated zest to decorate
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar

For the icing

  • 35g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp whisky
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 250g icing sugar
No self-raising flour? Add 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    6g 9%
  • Saturates

    4g 18%
  • Sugars

    17g 18%
  • Salt

    0.1g 2%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 20.9g Protein 1.2g Fibre 0.2g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line the bottom of a 20cm square cake tin with a removable base. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt and beat with an electric mixer for 1-2 mins until everything smooth. Spoon into the cake tin, level the top and bake for 25-30 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  2. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin. Once it’s cool, make the syrup. Put 2/3 of the whisky in a small pan with the honey, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick. Add 100ml water and heat gently, stirring, to melt the sugar. Bring to the boil and bubble for 3 minutes to reduce the liquid to a thin syrup. 
  3. Remove from the heat and add the remaining whisky. Poke holes all over the cake with a skewer and spoon the syrup evenly over the cake. Squeeze the lemon juice all over the top, then scatter over the demerara sugar. Cool, then cover and leave overnight for the syrup to soak in.
  4. The next day, make the icing. Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave, then stir in the whisky and leave to cool to room temperature. Whisk the cream cheese with the icing sugar until smooth, then slowly beat in the butter mixture until smooth. Set aside. 
  5. Remove the cake from the tin and place on a chopping board. Using a long, serrated knife, carefully cut it in half horizontally, then use a cake lifter or cake tin base to remove the top layer, keeping it sugar-side up. Spread the icing all over the base layer, then replace the top layer and chill for 1 hr – this will allow you to cut it more easily. 
  6. Once the icing has firmed up, carefully divide the cake into 36 squares; cut it into quarters first, then cut each quarter into 9, wiping the knife between cuts to keep them clean. Scatter over the lemon zest, then serve immediately.

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