2 In Dolci - Desserts

Raspberry Limoncello Layer Cake

31. And what a year it’s been. A LOT has happened since I wrote my 30th birthday blog post last year. Between getting married, moving into our new place, getting settled in, becoming used to living together and finding our groove, and not to mention re-naming/branding and launching my blog, this year has flown by!

This year, I wanted to do something special to celebrate my birthday, and to me, “something special” means baking myself the ultimate birthday cake. My how times have changed from my younger days!  Since my birthday is in June, I knew I wanted the cake to be the flavours to be very fresh and fruity; it is almost summer after all!

My sister in law Menina is a great baker, so she helped me come up with the concept for this cake and create it as well. We got together one day and baked, chatted and just generally had a good time. It really is cool how being a food blogger has brought me even closer to family (being from an Italian family, I didn’t think we could get much closer!). Everyone is eager to help with recipes, whether it’s from giving me ideas, tips on techniques, or actually helping me make a dish. I truly am lucky. 

And not to mention, the cake turned out amazing! It’s a lemon cake layered with raspberry sauce and the most delicious limoncello buttercream. It can’t get much more “summer” than that can it? We then topped the cake with fresh flowers, because I think it adds the most beautiful touch. 
Overall, I’m in love with this cake and am so happy with how it turned out!
31 has definitely started off on a good note, and I hope that it’s a sign for the year to come 🙂


Raspberry Limoncello Layer Cake

This raspberry limoncello layer cake is what summer dessert dreams are made of! It's a lemon cake with raspberry sauce, covered in a decadent limoncello buttercream. Make it for your next birthday or event. It's bound to make a statement!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Pina


Lemon Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp limoncello
  • 4 large egg whites

Raspberry Sauce

  • 2.5 cups frozen raspberries
  • 3.5 tbsp sugar

Limoncello Buttercream

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1.5 cups butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup limoncello
  • 1 tsp lemon extract


Make the raspberry sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, stir raspberries and sugar together. Cook down until a sauce forms. Remove from heat and place in fridge. 

Make the lemon cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray, then flour the pans. 

  2. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. 

  3. In another large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest.

  4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in stand mixer in thirds, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add limoncello, beating until smooth.

  5. In a separate mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter.

  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.

  7. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

Make the Limoncello Buttercream

  1. Combine the sugar and egg whites in a medium heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water.

  2. Whisk the sugar mixture constantly over heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture looks smooth and shiny, about 3 minutes.

  3. Remove mixture from heat and pour into a stand mixer bowl. Whisk on medium speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture has cooled and stiff peaks have formed.

  4. Switch to the paddle attachment and with the speed on low, add the butter a few pieces at a time, beating until smooth.

  5. When all the butter has been added, beat the buttercream on medium-high speed for about 6-10 minutes until it is very thick and smooth. Add in the limoncello and beat until combined. Add in the lemon extract. Use to layer the cake right away, as the buttercream will be easier to work with. 

Assemble the cake

  1. Level the cakes by cutting off the rounded tops. There are some great YouTube videos on how to do this, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hNxFPiW2OM

  2. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving dish. Spread about 1/4 of the buttercream on top, and then top the buttercream with 1/2 of the raspberry sauce.  Top with the next layer of cake and repeat.

  3. Place the third and final cake on top, and cover the entire cake with remaining buttercream. Decorate as you wish, with fresh fruit, fresh flowers, or both. 

Recipe Notes

Lemon cake recipe adapted from Souther Lady Magazine: https://www.southernladymagazine.com/dreamy-lemon-cake-limoncello-frosting/

Limoncello Buttercream recipe from Cucina Grandinetti: http://cucina.grandinetti.org/recipes/frostings/limoncello-buttercream


Raspberry Limoncello Layer Cake


Raspberry Limoncello Layer Cake

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  • Reply
    June 10, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    I love this idea. I am going to make this exact cake for myself for my birthday. It sounds delicious and I deserve this cake. I love your story about how you spent time in Italy and in Vancouver and both are so much a part of who you are. I am pinning and sharing this recipe. I found you in Everything Foodies and can’t wait to check out some more of your posts.

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 11:23 pm

      Thank you so much Amy! I agree- it’s important to to treat yourself, especially for your birthday! Thank you for the words of encouragement, from one food blogger to another!

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