Recipe: Limoncello and Olive Oil Cake

A delicious (and addictive) cake that will whisk you away to the Amalfi Coast with its lemony zest.

The following recipe, prepared by Chef Francesca Montillo, appears on The Lazy Italian.

Let them eat cake!

There are days when only cake will do. If you have a sweet tooth, like I do, those days are often! I love anything lemon, so this cake is right up my alley. Plus, the fact that it comes together in only a few minutes makes it that much more appealing. I didn’t call my blog “lazy Italian cooking” by coincidence.

When it comes to ease, it doesn’t get any easier than this for a cake. A boxed cake wouldn’t be any easier! Yet this is all homemade! You can bake it the day before serving and glaze it the day of. It stores well for a few days, not that I have had it last that long. It goes well with a shot of limoncello, of course, or tea or a good cup of coffee. It’s surprisingly light and moist.

I tell myself that because this has olive oil in it as the fat, as oppose to butter, that it’s healthier for you. Whatever helps me justify a second piece is what I will tell myself! The ingredients are basic, I bet you already have them in your pantry! I use extra-light tasting olive oil in this recipe, because, well, EVOO is just too strong for my taste. I don’t want my baked goods to taste like a salad! That said, you can use EVOO, but it will affect the overall taste a bit, so personally, I would not recommend it. Enjoy!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light-tasting olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Limoncello
  • Zest of one lemon


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon limoncello


  1. Preheat over at 350. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl or stand mixer blend the sour cream, eggs, sugar, olive oil, limoncello and lemon zest until blended. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to sour cream mixture. Do not over mix. Pour in a 10 inch cake pan that has been sprayed with baking spray. Bake for 35-40 minutes, start looking at the cake at about 30 minutes, since everyone’s oven is different, if could be done sooner or take a few minutes longer. Test with a toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean, it’s fully cooked. If it looks at all moist, leave it in the oven a few more minutes.
  3. Cool completely before removing from pan.
  4. Prepare the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar with limoncello. If it looks dry, add a teaspoon of milk, do not add too much limoncello as it could be a bit too tangy for some folks. If it’s too liquid, add a tablespoon more of powdered sugar.

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