This raspberry limoncello layer cake is what dessert dreams are made of! It's a limoncello 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!
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 3 x (8-inch) round cake pans, then flour the pans.
In a stand mixer with the wire whisk, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.
In another large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest.
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.
In a separate mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter.
Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.
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.
While cake is in the oven, combine all filling ingredients in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and simmer until mixture is very thick and clings to a wooden spoon (about 10 minutes). Scrape into a small bowl and refrigerate until cool enough to spread.
Combine the sugar and egg whites in a medium heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water.
Whisk the sugar mixture constantly over heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture looks smooth and shiny, about 3 minutes.
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.
Switch to the paddle attachment and with the speed on low, add the butter a few pieces at a time, beating until smooth.
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.
Level the cakes by cutting off the rounded tops.
Add buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a tip.
Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving dish. Pipe 1/4 of the buttercream, smooth out the buttercream with a spatula, then top the buttercream with 1/2 of the raspberry sauce. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat.
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.
Lemon cake recipe adapted from Southern Lady Magazine
Limoncello Buttercream recipe from Cucina Grandinetti
Raspberry Filling from the Itsy Bitsy Kitchen