The BEST recipe for limoncello cake ever! This recipe for Limoncello Ricotta Cake takes lemon cake to a new level with so much flavor. Don’t miss this tasty Italian dessert recipe that’s sure to be your new favorite for every occasion.

Limoncello ricotta cake with candied lemon peel on a white platter.

Delicious and moist, this lemon cake has all of the flavors you love and a frosting that can’t be beat! Made with Italian Limoncello liqueur and creamy ricotta cheese, I guarantee this is a recipe you’ll be making again and again.

Limoncello Ricotta Cake is similar to my fan favorite Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake. However, this recipe uses delicious limoncello liqueur and a limoncello cream cheese frosting that makes it perfect for any celebration.

Limoncello Ricotta Cake on a white pedestal with a piece cut out of it.

What makes this cake so special are the flavors and textures that go in it. Firstly, the ricotta cheese helps to build that moist texture and creaminess of the cake. If you’re hesitant about using ricotta, don’t be. It’s no different than adding sour cream or yogurt to cake batters.

Secondly, the Limoncello brings a delicious lemony flavor that helps to amplify the flavors of the lemon zest. No limoncello, no problem! Just substitute lemon juice for the limoncello in this recipe.

Limoncello Ricotta Cake on a pedestal with a bottle of Limoncello liqueur in the background.

Lastly, the Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting, takes this cake to a new level! I opted to go the cream cheese route because my cream cheese frosting is another fan favorite and I knew topping this cake with it would make it really special. Again, you can substitute lemon juice for the limoncello if desired.

As for the topping, I decided to garnish the cake with candied lemon peel. My favorite brand of lemon peel is Paradise Candied Lemon Peel. However, you could also garnish this cake with real slices of lemon or skip the garnish all together.

overhead view showing the  paradise candied lemon peel.

And, for a fun take on a traditional dessert, be sure to try my Tiramisu Bundt Cake with a delicious ricotta filling.

Simple Italian Desserts

Desserts don’t have to be complicated, and that includes Italian desserts. Make-ahead desserts are also ideal. As well as desserts with simple and easy to find ingredients. Here are some of my favorite Simple Italian Dessert recipes that are perfect for your next party.

Italian Thumbprint Cookies are cookie perfection! These tasty treats are rolled in chopped almonds and topped with fig jam. Simple and delicious, this is a great recipe to have on hand for a cookie exchange or make ahead and freeze for when guests stop by.

Italian Fig and Almond Thumbprint Cookies on a white plate with fig spread in the background.

Easy Tiramisu is the classic Italian dessert and no list of Simple Italian Desserts would be complete without it. I love that this recipe simplifies the dish without compromising the flavor.

Classic Anisette Cookies couldn’t be more delicious and comforting! Love serving these little cookies after dinner with coffee and tea.

Almond Ricotta Cake is the perfect Italian Almond Cake made with ricotta cheese, almond extract, and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Cannoli Cheesecake Bars are a great way to get the flavors you love in cannolis, without all of the work.

Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake will forever be my favorite Italian dessert recipe. So simple and so full of flavor, this cake is perfect for any occasion.

Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake with paradise candied lemon peel on top

Limoncello Ricotta Cake

The ingredients for this cake are simple and easy to come by. But, what really makes the cake special, is taking the time to incorporate air into the batter. To start, it’s a good idea to break out your stand up mixer. Personally, I love my KitchenAid Stand Up Mixer, but if you don’t have one, a hand mixer will work.

Firstly, preheat the oven and grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans. It’s also a good idea to line the bottoms of the pans with parchment rounds.

In your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Next, add in the ricotta and beat for five minutes until the mixture is pale in color. Add in the eggs, one at a time, limoncello, vanilla, and lemon zest.

Fold in the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Use a kitchen scale to pour equal amounts of batter into each of the cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.

baked rounds cooling on a wire cooling rack.

Let the cakes cool on a cake pan completely before frosting. Alternatively, you could make these ahead and, once cooled, freeze in an airtight container until ready to frost.

Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting

Lastly, you can’t miss the pièce de résistance of this cake: the frosting! Sweet and simple, it really ties the cake together and makes it special.

This simple frosting can be made right before serving the cake or ahead of time. The key is to make sure you are using room temperature butter and cream cheese so that the ingredients fully incorporate.

Firstly, cream together the unsalted butter and cream cheese. Make sure it is really well combined before adding the powdered sugar, limoncello, and lemon zest. Then, simply frost the cake as you normally would.

Limoncello Cream Cheese frosting spread all over the cake.

At first, I frosted this cake on all sides just using a butter knife to create swirls. Later I opted to give the cake a more rustic look showcasing the cake beneath the frosting by using a cake scraper to clean up the sides as I rotated the cake pedestal.

limoncello ricotta cake on a white pedestal.

Lastly, sprinkle with Paradise Candied Lemon Peel if desired.

Limoncello Ricotta Cake is tasty and elegant option for your next Italian meal. Great for brunches, dinners, birthdays, or holidays, you are going to love this flavorful and moist cake. Enjoy!

Tried this recipe? Comment below and let me know how you like it!

Limoncello Ricotta Cake on a white pedestal with a piece cut out of it.

Limoncello Ricotta Cake with Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting

Super moist and delicious Italian Limoncello Ricotta Cake is simple to make and perfect for an celebration. Don't miss the tasty Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting!
4.92 from 90 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 471kcal
Cost: 12-14

Equipment

  • 2 8-inch round cake pans

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 ½ sticks)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup limoncello liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from one lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (one stick)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Limoncello liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from one lemon)

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons candied lemon peel (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 inch round cake pans and line bottom with a parchment round. Set aside.
  • In a stand up mixer or large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the ricotta and blend until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating well. Mix in the Limoncello, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  • In a seperate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into prepared pans and smooth as needed. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pan at least 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  • To make the Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting, in a large bowl cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add in the powdered sugar, Limoncello, and zest. Mix until well combined. Place one layer of the cooled cake on pedestal or cake plate and spread on about a cup of frosting. Place on the top layer of the cake and spread the remaining frosting all over the cake. Sprinkle on candied lemon peel if using.

Notes

This cake can be made up to a two days in advance. Just store covered in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition

Calories: 471kcal
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!
limoncello ricotta cake pinterest pin.

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149 Comments

  1. This cake is Delicious! I have only made the cake part and cant wait for fathers day and have it all together!!

  2. Have you ever made this recipe using cake flour instead of AP flour? Or is your recipe designed to be made with AP flour only? Would love to know! Thank you for all of your wonderful info and recipes! :>)

  3. Can this recipe be made in other sized cake pans? 9×13, 9x 9 square or a Bundt? Would you have the adjusted cooking times, too?

    1. You could do this in a 9×13 inch pan or a bundt pan. I would test for doneness using a toothpick starting at around 30 minutes. Hope this helps!

  4. 5 stars
    The cake was fabulous and loved by all! My husband wants me to make it again, just one day after we finished the cake. My only comment was the paradise candied lemon peel. It was flavorless and a weird texture. It was so gross that we didn’t use it on the cake.

    1. Honestly, I make my own candied orange and lemon peels. The peels do not contain preservatives, has a great flavor, and can be stored in the freezer. Look up the steps on Pinterest. It’s so easy.

    1. Yes! Just divide the batter into cupcake liners until they are about 2/3rds full. Bake for about 20-22 minutes. Enjoy!

  5. 5 stars
    Omg! This was sooo good!
    I used the lemoncello that I made last year. The flavor was amazing! Thank you for another fabulous dessert!