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Italian Limoncello Cake

Limoncello is not only for cocktails.

Delicious, moist and tangy limoncello cake is one of my favorite lemon cakes.

Think of it as an Italian version of Caribbean Rum cake.

Now who doesn’t want that!? 😀

Fluffy sponge base soaked in tangy limoncello liqueur it’s a cake and an art in and of itself.

It’s perfect for breakfast, tea-party, as a special treat for no reason and of course during winter holidays.

I especially  love making limoncello cake when organic lemons are not in season.

Technically, lemons are available all year round, but if they’re coming from overseas they are like have been treated and you can’t really use their zest.

Instead, use your favorite limoncello or better yet, when fresh organic lemons are in season make your own Authentic Italian Limoncello with only 4 ingredients!

It’s a really simple process having all the tips and tricks.

Whatever floats your boat, this cake is a must-bake.

Now, you’ve might have come through some of the recipes that call for limoncello in the batter.

Not a good idea.

Like all kinds of alcohol it’ll be diluted in the oven and if you don’t have any lemon zest to compensate for  lemony taste, you’ll end up having a tasty, but pretty neutral cake.

So instead of wasting limoncello for the dough, we’re letting the cake soak in it afterwards.


Beyond magic.

All you need is some simple ingredients and a beautiful bundt pan.

If you’re wondering about extra virgin olive oil in the recipe, it’s there for a reason.

It not only gives a light tangy flavor but also a pleasant lemon color to the cake.

Try it yourself and let me know.

Full Recipe

The Best Italian Limoncello Cake
5 from 1 vote

Italian Limoncello Cake

Delicious, moist and tangy limoncello cake is one of the best lemon cakes.
Fluffy sponge base soaked in limoncello liqueur it's a cake and an art in and of itself.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10


For cake batter:

  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup full fat plain yogurt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 organic lemon, zested (optional)

For limoncello syrup:

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup limoncello liqueur


  • Beat eggs and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Sugar should be completely dissolved and egg mixture should double in size.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil and yogurt. Add flour and baking powder.
  • Squeeze 2 tbsp lemon juice removing any seeds and pulp, add to the batter. If you're using organic, non-treated lemon, add lemon zest as well. Mix well.
  • Bake in a preheated to 375F oven for 30-35 minutes.
  • Do a toothpick test: stick in a toothpick in the cake. If it comes out wet or with pieces of cake stuck to it – it still needs time in the oven. Check in back in 5-10 minutes. If the cake is ready toothpick will come out dry.
  • While cake is in the oven, prepare the limoncello syrup: mix 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice and limoncello liqueur.
  • Once the cake is out of the oven leave it in the form to cool.
    Once it's completely cool, deep a silicone brush in limoncello syrup and generously brush the cake. Let it absorb the syrup and repeat the process.
  • Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Turn the cake upside down and remove the pan.
  • Feel free to make wholes in the cake using a wooden skewer before brushing with limoncello syrup.
  • Repeat the process. Do it very slowly. If you see that the cake starts to absorb the syrup slower, let it sit for some time. And only after that continue with more syrup.


There are a few ways to decorate this limoncello cake.
  1. Sugar icing ( ½ cup powdered sugar + a few drops of limoncello). And this is what I used this time.
  2. Cream cheese frosting (½ cup Mascarpone cheese + ½ cup Philadelphia cheese).
In both cases you can shave some nice lemon zest stripes. But keep in mind, if your lemons are not organic, it’s best to skip eating lemon zest.
Liked this recipe?Follow @italianrecipeb for more!

Moist & Tangy Italian Limoncello Cake

Now you can drink your limencello and eat it too 😉

Recipe Rating


Sunday 31st of October 2021

Baked this cake the other day and my family loved it. Even my 95 year old mother said it is beautiful. You are so right that soaking the cake with the limoncello is much better. Thank you for the recipe.

Italian Recipe Book

Saturday 6th of November 2021

I'm so happy you and your family enjoyed my Limoncello Cake. Thank you so much Giuseppe for stopping by and letting me know Happy Holidays!

Authentic Italian Limoncello Recipe - Italian Recipe Book

Saturday 4th of November 2017

[…] Besides enjoying Limoncello as digestive drink you can also make a delicious Limoncello Cake. […]