And just like that, it’s Mother’s Day weekend. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there, I made you a cake. This White Chocolate Limoncello Cake was inspired by my own mother’s love of lemon desserts. Her favorite is actually Lemon Meringue Pie but I figured you probably didn’t need yet another Lemon Meringue Pie recipe. So I changed things up a bit with this golden beauty. This cake is rich, velvety, and capital-M Moist. I know most people hate that word, but there really is no other word for it. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
Now, I designed this cake for those of us who aren’t frosting fanatics. I have nothing against frosting, I do actually enjoy it. But I prefer my cake to be 75-80% of the show. The frosting is the accent, not the main event. Now, if you are more of a frosting enthusiast, you could easily split the cake in half and fill it with another batch of the mascarpone frosting. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
First things first let’s talk cake. This cake is built on the bones of a white chocolate mud cake. Essentially it is the ivory version of a classic mud cake. Mud cakes tend to be rich with a creamy, dense crumb. This White Chocolate Limoncello Cake has some of the characteristics of mud cake but I think it’s a little lighter. Sort of a cross between a lemon cake and a white chocolate mud cake. This may be a pro or a con in your books. It really depends on what you look for in a cake.
Let’s talk about how this cake comes together. And that all starts with preparing the pan. This cake tends to be a bit sticky. It has a lot of liquid in it and white chocolate comes with its fair share of sugar. So grease your cake pan with butter all the way to the top and line every inch of it with parchment paper. The butter will help the paper stick to the sides of the pan. And speaking of the pan, select an 8-inch cake pan that is also 3-inches deep. Wilton makes a nice one. This cake will rise all the way to the edge, so short cake pans need not apply.
Now that your pan is primed, let’s get cracking on the cake. Start by whisking the dry ingredients and lemon zest together. Then combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and finally, melt the butter and chocolate in another bowl over a double boiler. Make sure you really whisk the butter and melted chocolate together to form a cohesive mixture. They have a tendency to separate.
So yeah, this isn’t a single bowl affair. But trust and believe, this cake is worth it. Once all your components are ready to go, add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until a batter forms. The batter should be a little loose. Fold in the chocolate mixture and pour everything into your prepared pan. Bake the cake for an hour and 10 minutes or until set in the center.
Once your cake has cooled completely, it’s time to make the mascarpone frosting. I love this frosting because it’s fluffy in texture, rich in flavor, and light on the sugar. There’s only a 1/4 cup of sugar in this frosting. I’d like to see other frostings claim that. Start with a cup of cream and whip it until soft peaks form. In another bowl, whisk to combine the sugar, mascarpone, and limoncello. I know, again with the multiple bowls. But again, I promise this is all worth it. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture and you’re done.
When it comes to decorating your cake, let your own personal aesthetic be your guide. Pile on the frosting and top it with whatever your heart desires. I went with candied lemon wheels (don’t worry, the recipe is included below) and fresh sage leaves. And at this point, you’re ready to serve this baby. And that’s everything you need to know about this White Chocolate Limoncello Cake. I hope you try this one. It’s seriously my new favorite cake!
White Chocolate Limoncello Cake with Mascarpone Frosting
- 1 8" cake pan 3" deep
- 1 hand or stand mixer
- 1 small saucepan
- 1 Large skillet
Candied Lemon Wheels
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
White Chocolate Limoncello Cake
- 2¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 lemon zested
- 1½ cups milk I used 2%
- 3 large eggs
- 2 oz limoncello
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 225g (8oz) white chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 227g (8oz) mascarpone room temperature
- ¼ cup icing sugar sifted
- 1 oz limoncello
- sage leaves for garnishing
For the Candied Lemon Wheels
- Pour the water and sugar into a large skillet and bring to a boil. Once the sugar dissolves, reduce to a simmer and add the lemon wheels. Simmer the lemon wheels for 40 minutes.1 cup water, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 lemon
- Transfer the lemon wheels to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Let dry overnight or dry in a 200°F oven for 2 hours.
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease an 8” cake pan that is 3” deep with butter. Line the bottom and the sides of the cake pan with parchment paper, using the butter to help the paper stick. Set aside.
- Shift the flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Whisk to combine and set aside.2¼ cup all purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 lemon
- In another bowl, pour the milk. Add the eggs, limoncello, and vanilla. Whisk to combine and set aside.1½ cups milk, 3 large eggs, 2 oz limoncello, 2 tsp vanilla
- In another bowl, place the butter and white chocolate chips. Melt the butter and chocolate together over a double boiler. Whisk the chocolate and butter together until they form a cohesive mixture and remove from the heat.1 cup unsalted butter, 225g (8oz) white chocolate chips
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until a thin batter forms. Fold in the chocolate mixture and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for one hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted in the center and removed cleanly.
- Take the cake out of the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling wrack. Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely. This should take about 2 hours.
For the Frosting
- Pour the cream into a bowl and using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Don’t overwhip the cream or your frosting will be grainy.1 cup heavy cream
- In another bowl, place the mascarpone, sugar, and limoncello. Whisk to combine. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.227g (8oz) mascarpone, ¼ cup icing sugar, 1 oz limoncello
- Place the frosting on top of the cake and, using an offset spatula, create a series of pleasing swoops. Top the frosting with the candied lemon wheels and finish with a few sage leaves, if desired. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.**sage leaves
This was delightful! I substituted orange liqueur for lemon and baked in a deep 8 inch square pan. Thank you!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake, Karen! Thank you for the lovely review ☺️