This limoncello mascarpone cake is infused with natural lemon flavor and—of course—limoncello and has a rich and creamy mascarpone frosting that is simply out of this world.
Luscious Limoncello Cake
You haven’t lived until you’ve tried this Sicilian lemon-infused sponge cake! There’s something about the flavor of lemon in a cake that creates a bright ‘n delightful party in your mouth, and the mascarpone frosting is just icing on the cake (wink, wink).
Lemon cake tastes AMAZING with mascarpone, and top it off with buttery-tart lemon curd, and you’ve got yourself an after-dinner treat that you’ll want to savor again and again. You just can’t beat it!
why you’ll love it!
- The rich flavor of the mascarpone frosting and lemon cake layers will have you swooning!
- You can get creative with the decorating and make it your very own.
- From birthdays to holidays, this delicious cake recipe is perfect for any occasion!
Check out the recipe card below for a full list of all of the ingredients.
- All-purpose flour: We do not recommend using any flour other than all-purpose. It keeps the cake nice and fluffy. Be sure your all-purpose flour isn’t too old; that will definitely affect how the cake bakes!
- Lemon: be sure to use FRESH lemon zest and lemon juice for this recipe to get the most vibrant flavor!
- Vanilla extract: a dash of vanilla is great for balancing out the tart lemon flavors of this cake.
- Buttermilk: buttermilk helps to make the cake ultra moist and silky smooth in texture. We used store-bought, but we also show you how to make your own below!
- Limoncello: you can’t have a limoncello cake without limoncello! Don’t skip it, as it really enhances the taste!
- Mascarpone cheese: this rich and creamy mascarpone frosting pairs super well with the lemon flavors of this cake.
- Heavy whipping cream: an essential ingredient for making mascarpone frosting.
- Powdered sugar: adds just the right amount of sweetness to the frosting.
- Lemon curd: you can find store-bought lemon curd in the jam section of most grocery stores. Feel free to make homemade lemon curd if you’d like.
Don’t Have Buttermilk?
No worries! Here’s how to make homemade buttermilk with ingredients you already have at home:
- Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup and fill the remaining space with milk.
- Stir and allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes before using.
How to Make Limoncello Mascarpone Cake
Preheat the oven to 350℉ and spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
MIX, MIX, MIX!
Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Then mix the oil, sugar, zest, juice, and vanilla in another bowl.
Next, whisk in the eggs, buttermilk, and limoncello. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined.
BAKE THE CAKE
Split your batter between the two cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes.
Baking trick! If one side of your oven bakes hotter than the other, switch your cakes halfway through the bake time so that each cake bakes evenly.
LET THE CAKE COOL (VERY IMPORTANT)
You can’t cut or decorate a cake when it’s hot. You will end up with a huge mess on your hands. SO, when your cakes are done baking, let them cool for 5-15 minutes on a cooling rack.
Next, carefully flip each cake to remove them from the pan.
Running out of time? Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and then place them in the freezer to speed up the cooling process. We like to leave it in there for an hour, but 30 minutes should work if you’re in a pinch.
If you are decorating your cake the next day, just wrap your cakes in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge overnight to cool.
PREP MASCARPONE FROSTING
Add the mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, and heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low-medium speed until well blended.
Next, add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until well combined. Once combined, spread your mascarpone frosting on the cake immediately. Or, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Now it’s time to frost your delicious cake!
To frost the cake, spread half the frosting on top of one cake layer. Spread ⅓ cup of lemon curd on top of the frosting before adding the next layer, and repeat with more frosting and curd.
Serve and enjoy!
Make our 4-ingredient mascarpone frosting! You’ll love it on cakes, cupcakes, cookies and even cinnamon rolls.
What is limoncello mascarpone cake made of?
This limoncello mascarpone cake is infused with lemon juice, lemon zest, and limoncello. It also has a rich mascarpone frosting and is topped with a tart and buttery lemon curd.
What does limoncello taste like?
Limoncello has a sweet and highly concentrated citrus taste that almost tastes like lemon candies in liquid form. Many (especially Italians) drink it straight as a chilled shot. It’s refreshing and invigorating, making it a perfect addition to a lemon cake!
Is mascarpone the same as cream cheese?
Although both kinds of cheese may seem similar, they are actually quite different. Mascarpone is made from heavy cream, while cream cheese is made from whole milk. Therefore, mascarpone has a higher fat content and richer taste compared to cream cheese.
Store your lemon mascarpone cake covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days.
Limoncello Mascarpone Cake
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese ~1 cup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 4.5 cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup store-bought lemon curd
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and spray 2 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Mix the oil, sugar, zest, juice, and vanilla in another bowl.
- Next, whisk in the eggs, buttermilk, and limoncello.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined.
- Split the batter between the two cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes.
- To frost the cake, spread half the frosting on top of one cake layer. Spread ⅓ cup of lemon curd on top of the frosting. Add the next layer and repeat frosting and curd.
- Add the mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, and heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low/medium speed until well blended.
- Next, add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Spread on the cake immediately. Or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Tips & Notes
- Homemade buttermilk= Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup and fill the remaining space with milk. We used store-bought, but for the person who doesn’t want to buy it.
- You can find store-bought lemon curd in the jam section of most grocery stores. Feel free to make homemade lemon curd if you’d like.