I’m not sure why I have not made this until last week.  After reading several recipes and comparing ingredients across the board, here’s what I came up with…Oh, and the Family and a good friend all give this one 5 stars.  If you didn’t get a chance to cruise or drive the Amalfi Coast this summer, not to worry. This week’s Marvelous Monday may just take you (mentally) there.  Made with Limoncello, the Italian lemon liquor,  this cake, now ‘takes the cake’ when it comes to my most favorite dessert I make, bumping off my Berry Cobbler from my book, It’s a Great Day To…Gather Around a Table.

My sunflower cake pan, always remember to butter and flour the pan or pans you use and Limoncello can be purchased at your local wine store.

    Let’s start with a little history.  Although Limoncello has been made for many years, it wasn’t until the early 1990s did this liquor become largely marketed. Made originally in the Amalfi Coastal area with lemon rinds marinaded  for about 30 days.  Originally served after lunch or dinner as a digestivo and enjoyed by sailors for its medicinal properties before heading out to sea early in the morning, it now is   enjoyed in the summer by many around the world, either alone as an after meal shot or in mixed drinks.

    As the liquor gained in popularity of course, a cake followed.  Not to be confused with the Lemon Panettone, known to be served at Christmas,  coming from the area of northern Italy, notably, Milan, which could easily be described as a sort of ‘ ready’ cake, having a texture similar to French Brioche with pieces of candied lemons and oranges.  You can find a ready made cake from the Vermont Country Store, mail order or a mix through Williams Sonoma.  With Panettone being a ‘bread like’ cake, it can be a time consuming process.

Here's what I mean by making a well or hole in your flour mixture, as you add more ingredients to the well, it will overflow, then start blending with a whisk first and then use a spatula.

    Soooo, now let’s look at the Limoncello Cake and my “Something, Simple, Something Good, Marvelous Monday Recipe. (Every Marvelous Monday has to fit that criteria, simple and good).  Many of the Limoncello Recipes I read included a glaze, which takes additional time.  Many of the recipes included oil, I’m not a fan of basic  canola oil in a cake.  I like a cake made with unsalted butter, it just makes for a nice scent while baking and taste.  It seems likely that the original Limoncello Cake may have been made with Ricotta cheese, since that is readily available in Italy and used in cooking and baking.  I don’t have Ricotta on hand often however, strained/thick yogurt (also known as Greek Yogurt) is in our refrigerator most of the time, so I decided that I’d like a recipe including that.  It also contributes to a pleasing taste and texture in a cake with less calories than a Ricotta cheese or sour cream.

I like to store baked goods on the counter to be easily enjoyed both.

    Rather than a sugary glaze, I opted for fresh whipped cream, just slightly sweetened with a simple, regular white sugar or fine caster sugar and then just a touch of lemon zest sprinkled on the little dollop of whipped cream.  Get the cream going in the stand mixer, keeping an eye on it, and you can be doing something else in the kitchen.

Here is the recipe made in a loaf pan (recipe will make 2). You could serve this with a little bowl of whipped cream and then slices could also be frozen in separate sandwich bags. Frozen separately, each piece can be enjoyed for a single serving, left to defrost on the counter or placed in a lunch box or bag to be part of a lunch or snack on the go.

    In terms of shape of the cake, recipes can be found for a Bundt or a layer cake.  I opted for a sunflower pan, which is easily described as a Bundt with no hole in it (remember the Bundt in the movie  “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?”).  It needed a 40 minute cooking time. Over the weekend, I made the recipe into two loaf pans, baking for about 35 minutes. Choose the best size for you and how  you plan to serve, I’ll give adjusted cooking times.

Smooth the batter once you pour it into the cake pan(s), let cake cook in pan for 10 minutes and then turn onto a rack, whipping cream consisteny that I like.

    Let me tell you just how good this cake is, I made it three times this week, Wednesday to try out my version of the recipe, which I had my kids/grandkids in town and my Mom try. Friday I made it again on a whim so they could have some more and for my friend who was recovering from minor surgery, oh and my brother too.  They all loved it.  And finally on Saturday for more friends.  Although I like it with the whipped cream it is absolutely delicious  solo or with a few blueberries or raspberries on the side. This would be easy to make ahead if having for company or easy to take when asked to bring a dessert.

I like to display my cakes on a pedestal plate and cover with a cake dome. Keep doilies on hand for under your baked goods to add a pretty touch.

    Summer is coming to an end shortly so here’s is your last hurrah of a warm weather dessert.  My prediction is that you may just become one of yours or at least in your kitchen repertoire.  You now know EVERYTHING you need to know about Limoncello and the Cake…Wishing you fun in YOUR kitchen this week…Ciao!


 For Cake

  2 cups unbleached flour

  1 teaspoon baking powder

  1 teaspoon baking soda

  1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

  1 cup sugar

  1/2 cup strained yogurt (AKA Greek Yogurt)

  1/3 cup Limoncello

  2 teaspoon lemon zest (and a little extra to top whipped cream)

  1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from one large lemon or 2 small ones)

  3/4 cup unsalted butter (which is 1 and 1/2 sticks ) melted and slightly cooled

  3 large eggs at room temperature, then beat in a bowl with a fork or whisk

Fresh Whipped Cream to Top With

 1 pint whipping cream

 2 teaspoons sugar

 Additional lemon zest to sprinkle on top of dollop of whipped cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and gather all ingredients having them handy, juice squeezed and lemons zested.  Decide on your pan of choice, butter and flour it so it’s ready to go.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl place flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt and whisk together to blend.  Create a well (or hole) in the middle of this mixture to add the other ingredient.
  3. Now add the yogurt, Limoncello, zest, juice melted butter and beaten eggs in the well. Whisk gently to get all ingredients incorporated, then switch to a spatula, being careful not to over blend, making sure that all dry ingredients are blended in.
  4. Pour batter into pan(s) of choice, place in oven and set the timer. For a Bundt pan bake about 25-30 minutes, for 2 loaf pans about 33-38 minutes, for a pan similar to my sunflower pan 35-40 minutes. ALWAYS set a timer and stay in the kitchen while cake is baking to monitor for adequate baking time and for safety reasons.
  5. When baking time is completed, let cake cool in pan(s) on a rack for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes turn onto a rack to complete cooling time.  
  6. Whipping Cream.  Shake whipping cream in carton before opening.  Pour into a chilled mixing bowl and beat with chilled beater(s), starting on low and as cream starts to get thicker, increase speed.  Add 2 teaspoons of sugar as cream starts to thicken.  Allow cream to thicken while beating to your desired consistency.  DO NOT over beat.  
  7. Serve a slice of cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of lemon zest.  Buon Appetito 🍋
🍋Enjoyed by Friends and Family of all age...Here's how the goodies were transportated 🍋