Sidecar Cupcake recipe: perfect for a Gatsby themed party

 I did intend on doing a post on how to make a classic prohibition era cocktail, but I decided it would be better to do cocktail inspired cupcakes instead. This is my own Sidecar cupcake recipe, adapted from a simple lemon cupcake recipe.

Sidecar Cupcakes
Serves 12
This is my version of 'Sidecar' cupcakes, it is adapted from the Love Bakery Lemon cupcake recipe. It is inspired by one of the many Sidecar cocktail recipes, that contains cointreau, brandy and lemon juice
Write a review
298 calories
34 g
76 g
18 g
2 g
11 g
83 g
17 g
33 g
1 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 298
Calories from Fat 157
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
Saturated Fat 11g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 76mg
Sodium 17mg
Total Carbohydrates 34g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 33g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the cakes
  1. 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 125g caster sugar
  3. 2 tsp Cointreau
  4. 1 tbsp grated Lemon zest
  5. 2 eggs, at room temperature
  6. 125g self-raising flower
  7. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  8. 3 tbsp skimmed milk
For the frosting
  1. 125g butter, at room temperature
  2. 1 tsp brandy
  3. 1tsp grated lemon zest
  4. 250g icing sugar, sifted
  5. 1 tbsp skimmed milk
  6. orange food colouring (optional)
  7. Yellow sanding sugar to decorate (optional)
To make the cakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160° Fan-forced) and line the holes of a 12 hole muffin pan with patty pans
  2. Add the butter, caster sugar, lemon zest and cointreau to a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer for 7 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix for 2 minutes.
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl, then add to the mixing bowl (with the butter, sugar etc.) and mix until incorporated. Add the milk and mix for a further minute.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the patty pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden on top.
  6. Remove the baked cupcakes from the oven and immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting
  1. Cream the butter, lemon zest and brandy together with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the icing sugar, milk and food colouring. Mix for a further 2 minutes until well blended.
To Decorate
  1. Top the cupcakes with frosting, either by piping or spreading with a palette knife.
  2. Sprinkle with yellow sanding sugar (this mimics the sugar rim on the Sidecar cocktail)
  1. I used a fan-forced oven and it turned out that even 20 minutes was going to be too long. You may need to judge for yourself, by smell and look, to know when they're ready.
  2. An alcohol free alternative to this recipe would to replace the cointreau with some orange extract/essence and replace the brandy in the icing with lemon extract/essence
Adapted from Love bakery Lemon cupcakes recipe
Adapted from Love bakery Lemon cupcakes recipe
Cotton Candy Diva
 sidecar cupcake recipe

The Love Bakery ‘cupcakes from the heart’ has so many great recipes to try (not sponsored BTW, I just love the book!), it also has handy tips on decorating. My favourite section of the book is ‘Cuptails’ (like this sidecar cupcake recipe), they would be perfect for a New Years or Christmas party! You can buy the cookbook here

 Sidecar cupcakes recipe

The Sidecar cocktail was popular in the prohibition era, back then it was usually made with cognac, triple sec and lemon juice. There are a few different variations, including the brandy recipe that I used for inspiration in my sidecar cupcake recipe.

sidecar cupcake recipe

 A warning when making the frosting, don’t go overboard with the brandy (especially if you’re using the real stuff). I tasted my frosting before I piped it and all I could taste was the lemon zest, so I added (what I thought was) a little more…big mistake, the brandy near took my breath away!

sidecar cupcake recipe

Strictly an adults only treat, enjoy responsibly! 😉


Gatsby nails: Classic 1920s Manicure

The moment I got the idea to do ‘5 days of Gatsby’, I knew that I wanted to do a nail post. I thought of doing an art deco manicure (similar to the pattern from the movie’s promo posters and the tie-in novel cover below), but there are quite a few variations of that idea around the web already. I decided to research what a Classic 1920s Manicure looked like and do that in stead.

1920s manicure

From different sources I have found conflicting information on this manicure. Some sites say it was not worn until late to mid ’30s, but others say it started in the early ’20s. From what I have read and from old print ads I’ve seen online, I’d say it was the latter.

It has most commonly  been referred to as the ‘moon manicure’, but I have also seen it being called the ‘Paris manicure’. In the late 1930s/early 1940s the manicure changed a little, women no longer left the tips of their nails bare and filed the tips into a slight point (like Dita Von Tesse wears now).

How to apply the Classic 1920s manicure

Prep your nails by filing any uneven edges, a rounded edge works best for this manicure. Then apply a base coat.

To create the half moon I drew on the shape at the base of my nails with a tooth pick. You can also use reinforcement rings (the stickers that go over binder holes), if you want a guide for your half moon shapes.

1920s manicure

It looks like I’m bleeding out of my nail-bed ew! haha

Then paint the rest of the nail, being careful not to go over the line of the half moon.

1920s manicureClean up the edges of your nails by using a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover.

The final step is to rub off the tips of each nail with another cotton bud (dipped in remover), you may need to use a few so there is no red stain left on there. If you don’t rub off enough of the tip, it will look like they have worn away. A little less than the width of a french tip will do.

1920s manicureNo top coat is needed, as this manicure was designed to last longer than if it was a full painted nail! This Classic 1920s manicure was normally only worn by ‘society’ women, it sort of served as a status symbol until the 1930’s when the tips were painted and only the ‘moon’ left bare.

1920s manicure

What I used:
-Sally Hansen Double duty base and top coat
-Be Yourself Acetone free nail polish remover
– Johnson’s pure cotton, cotton buds applicators
-Bourjois 1 second nail polish in #11 Rouge in style

I thought I would mention, this manicure does kind of tie in with The Great Gatsby. I won’t know for sure until I see the movie, but from what I have seen in the trailers ‘Jordan Baker’ is seen wearing the same (if not, similar) manicure at one of Gatsby’s house parties.


I hope you liked my 1920s manicure tutorial. Come back tomorrow for Day 3 of my 5 Days of Gatsby.