Imperial Sugar
Imperial Sugar

Limoncello Cake

Limoncello Cake Imperial


Limoncello Cake

  • 1 1/3 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons + 6 tablespoons Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Limoncello Syrup

Mascarpone Cream

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Zest of 2 fresh lemons, no white bitter pith
  • 12 ounces mascarpone cheese


  • 1 bar (4.4 oz) white chocolate (Lindt was used in this recipe)
  • 1 lemon, no white bitter pith

*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9 or 10-inch springform pan, cut a piece of parchment paper to line bottom of pan, place paper in pan, and set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. Separate eggs, making sure that no egg yolk enters egg whites. Egg whites do not whip when traces of yolk are present.
  4. In bowl, whip egg yolks for one minute. Add first listed 6 tablespoons sugar and vanilla and whip for 30 seconds. Any sugar crystals that are stuck to sides need to be quickly scraped into mixture. Continue whipping until mixture is light in color and makes very thick ribbons, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  5. In separate bowl whip egg whites, second listed 6 tablespoons sugar and cream of tartar on medium speed to soft medium peaks (not very stiff and dry). Using a spatula, fold whipped egg whites into whipped egg yolk mixture. Do not overfold to prevent mixture from collapsing.
  6. Add flour and gently fold until incorporated ensuring a light mixture. Gently transfer in pan. Level surface and place in oven.
  7. Bake until center of cake bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger or an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 33-37 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.
  8. Prepare moistening syrup by boiling sugar and water together in a saucepan. Remove from heat and set in an ice bath to cool. Once cold add limoncello and set aside.
  9. Wash pan and secure bottom. Using a small part of a paper towel, wipe about a teaspoon vegetable oil on sides of pan. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of granulated sugar on oiled sides.
  10. Cut cake horizontally in 2 equal layers. Trim edges of cake. Goal is that when cake is placed in cake pan it does not touch sides and there is about 2/3 inch of space between cake and pan sides.
  11. Place one cake layer in pan and evenly spoon half of limoncello syrup onto cake. Set aside.
  12. Whip cream in a cold bowl until very soft peaks. Do not whip firm as you would to decorate a pie, consistency of this cream must barely keep its whipped shape.
  13. In a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients whip yolks and water until thoroughly combined. Quickly whisk in sugar and place bowl over a pot filled with 1 inch water. Bowl containing egg yolks should not hang over sides when working on a gas stove, as invisible heat flames can “cook” egg mixture splashed on sides of bowl.
  14. Over low simmering water continuously whisk yolk mixture until it reaches 165°F. Remove from heat and set aside.
  15. Combine gelatin with water and set aside for 3 minutes. Add gelatin mixture to above and whisk until dissolved. Add lemon zest and continue whisk for 4 minutes.
  16. Add mascarpone cheese to above and gently stir/whisk until cheese is fully incorporated. Do not whisk or stir more than required as mixture can curdle when overly mixed.
  17. Add softly whipped cream and fold into above using a rubber spatula. Again, do not fold unnecessary as once again, mixture can curdle when mixed too much.
  18. Cover moistened cake layer with about half of mascarpone cream.
  19. Cover with second cake layer and moisten it using remaining limoncello syrup. Cover with remaining mascarpone cream.
  20. Place in refrigerator or freezer. Cake can be frozen for up to two weeks when properly wrapped.
  21. When ready to decorate, frozen cakes need to be defrosted in refrigerator for 6 hours.
  22. Run a hair dryer around exterior sides of pan to loosen cake from pan.
  23. Place cake on a serving platter and place in refrigerator.
  24. For chocolate shavings, turn on oven broiler. Chop chocolate in small pieces and place in a microwave oven proof bowl. If using chocolate chips instead of a quality chocolate bar, add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to make melting easier.
  25. Heat in 10 second increments and stir in between heating until just melted. Do not get too warm as white chocolate will seize when overheated.
  26. Place 2 cookie sheets briefly under broiler until warm/barely hot. You should still be able to handle with bare hands.
  27. Using an offset metal spatula, spread chocolate as thin as you can on warm cookie sheets.
  28. Place cookie sheets in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  29. Using a plastic scraper (putty knife), scrape chocolate into shavings. Depending on temperature of refrigerator and home, waiting a few minutes before scraping chocolate will provide largest chocolate shavings. Place immediately onto cake surface.
  30. Grate lemon zest directly onto white chocolate shavings.