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Recipes: refreshing limoncello cake

Limoncello is an Italian lemon liquer which is mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples. Although there is debate about the exact origin of the drink, it is at least one hundred years old.

The beautiful Gulf of Naples
The beautiful Gulf of Naples
Ummmm, good

Limoncello is traditionally made from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, also known as Sorrento lemons. Lemon zest, or peels without the pith, is steeped in rectified spirit until the oil is released. The resultant yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup. Clarity, viscosity and flavor are affected by varying sugar to water ratio and temperature.

Limoncello is the second most popular liqueur in Italy. Restaurants in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States are increasingly offering limoncello on their beverage and dessert menus.

You can add it to your dessert menu with this recipe for refreshing limoncello cake. It is both light and refreshing. Enjoy.


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup limoncello liquer
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons limoncello liquer


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare an 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together the yogurt, eggs, canola oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and 4 tablespoons limoncello in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Do not over mix or the cake will be tough. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake until top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Stir the powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of limoncello together in a small bowl until smooth.
  6. Poke small holes all over the top of the still-warm cake with a fork or toothpick.
  7. Spoon the glaze over the cake and spread with the back of a spoon.
  8. The glaze will seep into the cake and add moisture.
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