Monday, 3 February 2014

Limoncello cake

Whenever you're on holidays in Italy, it always seems like a good idea to get a bottle of Limoncello or Limoncino at the airport on the way back. It feels like taking a bit of the Italian sunshine, bottled and preserved to disperse the grey clouds back in England. At home, you open a bottle, have an enthusiastic sip, say how wonderful it is when poured on top of the vanilla ice cream, and then that same bottle is left to collect the dust for weeks and months, and nobody cares for another little glass. The other day I discovered we have three bottles of the lemony goodness, one totally unopened, taking space in the cupboard. Something had to be done. How about a Limoncello cake?

Italian cake

There are literally hundreds of Limoncello cake recipes online, some use the oil rather than butter, some ask for natural yogurt. Some cakes are very moderately flavoured with the liquor, some are drenched and drowning in booze.
I looked at the selection, and then decided to adapt the cake recipe which I have tested and tried many times, and which is one of our family favourites - an Advocaat cake.
I used Villa Massa Limoncello (Liquore di limone di Sorrento) but any limoncello would do.

Limoncello cake
4 medium eggs
200g caster sugar
125ml Limoncello
lemon zest of 1 lemon
125g self-raising flour
125g cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
30g ground almonds
190g butter, melted
for the icing:
4 heaped tbsp of icing sugar
lemon juice

In a big bowl beat the eggs with the caster sugar, add limoncello, grated lemon zest, flour, cornflour, baking powder and ground almonds, mix well. Add the melted butter and mix again. The cake batter is quite runny in consistency.
Butter the cake ring tin or use the cake release spray, pour in the cake mixture. Place the cake tin in the oven preheated to 180C. Bake for about 45-50 minutes. Check if it's ready with a wooden skewer.
In a small bowl mix the icing sugar with the lemon, until you get the runny consistency. Pour over the cake.
You may also sprinkle it with more icing sugar on top.

The cake is really nice, very lemony and crumbly. I am definitely going to bake it again, now that I found what to do with those bottles of limoncello.


  1. I love Limoncello, its a really special treat. The cake looks lovely

    1. It was surprisingly good, given that it was an experiment on my part, I wasn't sure if there was too much of limoncello in the cake, but it doesn't taste of alcohol at all, just very lemony