Limoncello Cake

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December 31, 2020

Drizzling icing and zest on top of the loaves.I made these delicious lemon flavored cake loaves as a gift for Christmas. They would be a treat any time of the year and are made from a basic box of cake mix with some additions.


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: About 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, plus cooling time

Yield: 3 small loaves


  • 1 butter (or lemon) cake mix
  • 1 box instant lemon pudding
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-3* lemons
  • 1/2 cup limoncello OR
  • 1/2 cup lemon simple syrup AND
  • 1/4 cup citrus flavored vodka
  • Icing
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
ingredients for Limoncello Loaf

I made limoncello with a surplus of lemons earlier in the year but used it up making the first loaves. For the second batch, I made the lemon syrup and used citron vodka instead. I'll include the recipe for limoncello soon.


  1. If you are not using limoncello, use half simple syrup and half vodka. I made the simple syrup with 1 lemon (juice and zest) and 1/2 cup of sugar, simmered together for about 10 minutes and then strained. Allow to cool before adding to the lemon juice and vodka. The alcohol mostly is cooked off but if you wish for a nonalcoholic version, use lemon syrup, lemonade or even a tablespoon of lemon extract.
  2. Lemon simple syrup in a saucepan.
    Straining the lemon peel from the simple syrup.

  3. Finely zest the peel of two lemons and then juice them. You need 1/2 to 3/4 cup of juice. You may require more lemons if they are small or don't contain as much juice. And if you are short, just use water to make up the difference. You want to have 1 cup of water total.
  4. Finely zesting lemon peel.
  5. Sift the cake mix into a bowl and break up any clumps.
  6. Sifting the cake mix.
    Small clumps in the cake mix.
  7. Melt the butter in a microwave or saucepan and substitute for the oil in the cake mix directions.
  8. Add lemon pudding mix, 1/2 cup limoncello (or other liquid) and 4 eggs to the bowl. Add lemon zest, reserving about 1/4 to sprinkle on top of the icing.
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  10. Mix gently at first then on medium high for 2 minutes. Pour into buttered loaf pans or cupcake tins.
  11. The batter after being mixed.
    Three buttered loaf pans.
  12. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees F, until a skewer comes out cleanly. Allow to cool for 10 - 15 minutes before icing.
  13. Three baked limoncello loaves.
  14. To make icing, combine 1/2 powdered sugar with the remaining lemon juice, about 2 Tbsp. Add additional water if the mixture is too thick for drizzling. Drizzle over the top and sprinkle with the reserved lemon zest.
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