Limoncello drizzle

Bake a lovely lemon cake with an Italian twist to shake off the January blues after the festive excesses

January blues are nowhere to be seen in our kitchen. After a very busy festive season, we’re looking forward to another busy year of events. We’ve got more than 320 booked for 2018, featuring the best local, seasonal produce. I wanted to share this recipe with you, my modern Italian twist on a classic cake – the humble Lemon Drizzle – but featuring this delicious Italian Liqueur.

Watch the video on our website ( and find the full recipe below.

Bon Appetit! Tony Beales, MD, Beales Gourmet

Serves 4 people


For the cake 

  • Two free range eggs (beaten)
  • 125g self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 125g castor sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter (softened)
  • Vanilla seeds or essence
  • Zest from 1 organic lemon
  • Dash of milk (optional)

For the lemon syrup

  • Juice from two organic lemons
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 25ml Limoncello

For the drizzle icing

  • Juice from an organic lemon
  • 125g icing sugar (or enough to form a thick icing)
  • Lemon curd
  • Two organic lemons (zest & juice)
  • 125g castor sugar
  • Two free range eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 75g unsalted butter


  • Edible flowers 
  • Lemon balm herb
  • Winter berry coulis


To make the lemon cake, cream the soft butter and castorsugar together and incorporate a beaten egg before finally adding the sifted flour, the vanilla seeds or essence and the lemon zest.

Top tip: When adding the egg (to stop the mix from curdling), add a teaspoon of flour each time you add some egg. If your mix is too stiff, add some milk to make a smooth, silky cake mix. Spoon your mixture into your moulds or cake tin and cook in a pre-heated oven on 170°C for approximately 40 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on the size and shape of your cake tin or moulds.

The best way to test if your cake is cooked is to stick a skewer in the centre of the cake and when you take it out the skewer should be clean, with no cake mix stuck to it. If the cake is getting dark on the top, cover it with foil and turn the oven down to continue cooking until ready.

While the cake is cooking, prepare your syrup, which you will brush or pour over your cake once cooked. Squeeze the juice from the zested lemon – the lemon you used to make the cake – then squeeze the second lemon into a small saucepan.

Add the icing sugar and bring to the boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

Next job is to make the lemon curd. Over a pan of boiling water (bain marie), in a rounded bowl, melt the butter with the lemon juice, zest and sugar.

When melted, add the eggs, yolk and cook out, stirring with a spoon for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The mixture needs to be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Chill immediately and stir occasionally whilst cooking.

Make the drizzle by squeezing another lemon in the bowl, then add the icing sugar and whisk until a smooth, thick white icing has formed. Spoon into a piping bag to use later.

When the cakes are cooked, prick the cake or cakes with a skewer and brush or pour over the syrup. Keep doing this until all the syrup has soaked into the cake(s). Set aside to cool.

To finish the dish, cut the cakes into three – you can make as many layers as you like. Fill each layer with the thick, cold lemon curd. Put the cake back together again.

Pipe the drizzle onto the plate and add some dots of winter berry coulis. To make this, bring to the boil some frozen winter berries and icing sugar. Then liquidize and pass through a fine sieve and chill. Add your filled limoncello drizzle cake to the plate and decorate with lemon balm and edible flowers. Yellow flowers work best.