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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Limoncello Cake

This cake is spiked with our favorite cordial from batter to buttercream. It's a perfectly light, fluffy cake with a kick of lemon (and limoncello!) that is great for springtime brunches or any celebration.

Limoncello Cake



Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

25 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Limoncello Cake


    For the cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup limoncello liquor
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3 eggs (beaten, at room temperature)
  • For the frosting:

  • 16 ounces 2 blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces 1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup limoncello
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of 2 nine inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and butter that as well. Dust with flour being sure to tap out the excess. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. To the well add the yogurt, limoncello, lemon zest, lemon juice, melted butter and eggs. Use a whisk to combine the wet ingredients in the well. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients being careful not to overmix. Divide the batter evenly in the 2 prepared pans and spread to cover the pan. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until light, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cook for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, mascarpone, limoncello and powdered sugar. Using a handheld mixer, beat on medium speed, starting on low, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  4. When the cakes are cooled completely, place one layer of cake on a plate or cake stand. Place 1/4 of the frosting on the cake and spread evenly all the way to the sides using a small offset spatula. Place the other layer of cake on top and press gently. Spoon all the frosting on the top and spread evenly pushing the frosting over the edge and spreading it around the sides. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Decorate with thinly sliced lemons if desired. Allow to temper at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.



Nutrition Serving Size
per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
83 grams
10 grams
32 grams
Saturated Fat
19 grams
136 milligrams
480 milligrams
1 grams
62 grams
Trans Fat
1 grams
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6 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Anne Wahl

    Wow! Amazing cake; our new favorite. Came out exactly as the photo. I didn’t have enough yogurt so I sub’d with sour cream. I also cut back on sugar to one cup.
    I’ll be enjoying this recipe again! Thank you.

  • Author's avatar image
    Anne Wahl

    Wow! Amazing cake; our new favorite. Came out exactly as the photo. I didn’t have enough yogurt so I sub’d with sour cream. I also cut back on sugar to one cup.
    I’ll be enjoying this recipe again! Thank you.

  • Author's avatar image
    Kathy Urbano

    Made some homemade limoncello so of course I had to make this cake! Outstanding in flavor and texture. Of course I love lemons. I will make this again and again. Thank you for a great recipe.

  • Author's avatar image
    Abby C

    This cake is amazing!! I made it for the first time in the Spring for Mother's Day. When I made it for a second time, I made them as cupcakes which was equally amazing. It is so easy and the flavor is out of this world. This cake has definitely become a staple in our house and we will make it again in the future.

  • Author's avatar image
    Linda Frasca

    I made this cake for Mother’s Day & the flavor is amazing. I would make it again. I had one issue the center kind of sank. It was a little dense but still edible. Not sure what I did wrong. Only substitute I did was used 0% fat Greek yogurt not 2% but I can’t believe it would cause the problem I had. Also made a lot of extra frosting more then you would need for this cake. But you can never have enough frosting I guess.

  • Author's avatar image
    tom Wilson

    While the flavor was good (especially the frosting), the cake was not what I was expecting. It ended up being more like pound cake. The only variation was that I used a combination of 0% and 5% yogurt (no 2% available). Was this "the culprit" or is the result supposed to be more like a pound cake?

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