Lemon Limoncello cake

Lemon Limoncello cake

Boutique Baking
one 15cm round cake, serving 8–12 slices
Georgia Glynn Smith

This is a very lovely cake – light, moist and full of flavour. A scattering of cute sugar daisIes complements the refreshing pale lemon buttercream icing.


Quantity Ingredient

For the decoration

Quantity Ingredient
150g white sugar florist paste
small amount white vegetable fat
green and yellow paste food colour
small amount Royal icing

For the sponge

Quantity Ingredient
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
pinch salt
2 unwaxed lemons, finely zested
4 medium eggs
200g self-raising flour

For the sugar syrup

Quantity Ingredient
150ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
150g caster sugar
50ml limoncello liqueur

For the buttercream filling

Quantity Ingredient
80g unsalted butter
80g icing sugar, sifted
pinch salt
40g peggy’s lemon limoncello jelly or any other good-quality lemon jelly or lemon curd


Quantity Ingredient
Basic baking kit
3 15cm round sandwich tins
cake leveller or large serrated knife
non-slip turntable
flat disc to place on top of the turntable
15cm round cake card
metal side scraper
Assembling layer cakes


  1. Make the simple daisies and leaves decoration at least one day ahead of assembling and serving. Bake the sponges one day ahead of serving. Make the sugar syrup whilst baking the sponges. Prepare the filling and assemble and decorate the cake on the day of serving.
  2. To make the decoration

    Mix two thirds of the sugar florist paste with a small amount of white vegetable fat. Mix the remaining third with the green paste food colour to make a pale green shade. Mix the royal icing with the yellow paste food colour to a pale lemon shade and mix until smooth and pliable. Roll out the paste to a thickness of approximately 2mm. Using a daisy plunge cutter, leaf cutter and veiner (all lightly greased with vegetable fat), make approximately 12 simple sugar daisies and small leaves. Leave to set in a cool dry place.
  3. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  4. Prepare the sandwich tins by greasing and lining them with greaseproof paper.
  5. To make the sponge

    Place the butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.
  6. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture while whisking quickly. If the mixture starts to separate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in 2–3 tablespoons of the flour. This will rebind the batter. Once all the egg has been added and combined with the butter mixture, sift in the flour and stir until the batter is just combined. This will ensure the sponges stay light and fluffy.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the sandwich tins. If you find it difficult to measure by eye, use your kitchen scales to weigh out the amount of sponge mixture for each tin.
  8. Bake for 15–20 minutes, depending on your oven. If you are using deeper cake tins, the sponges will take longer to cook. The sponges are cooked when the sides are beginning to shrink away from the edges of the tins and the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. If in doubt, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge; it should come out clean.
  9. To make the sugar syrup

    While the sponges are baking, prepare the sugar syrup for soaking. Place the lemon juice and caster sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Set aside to cool down slightly and then add the Limoncello liqueur.
  10. Once the sponges are baked, let them rest for about 10 minutes outside of the oven. Using a pastry brush, soak the tops of the sponges with syrup while they are still warm; this allows the syrup to be absorbed faster.
  11. Once just warm, run a knife all the way round the sides of the tins, remove the sponges from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  12. Once cool, wrap the sponges in cling film and then rest them overnight at room temperature. This will ensure that all the moisture is sealed in and the sponges firm up to the perfect texture for trimming and layering. When trimmed too soon after baking, the sponges tend to crumble and may even break into pieces.
  13. To make the buttercream filling

    Place the butter, icing sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and cream together until very pale and fluffy. Add the lemon jelly to the mixture and stir through until combined and smooth.
  14. To assemble the cake

    Trim and sandwich together the three sponge layers using one-third of the buttercream filling and the limoncello syrup for soaking. With the remaining buttercream filling, cover or mask the top and sides of the cake. Chill until set.
  15. To decorate

    Arrange the sugar daisies and leaves around the circumference of the cake top and stick them down with a dab of buttercream.
  16. Serve the cake at room temperature. This cake is best enjoyed within 3 days of baking, but it can last for up to 1 week


  • Decorations made from sugar can attract moisture and may collapse when exposed to humid conditions. Therefore, do not store the cake in the fridge once decorated if it is not being eaten on the same day.
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