The Trials and Tribulations of Making Limoncello Lemon Drizzle Cake….

Dear Lemon Drizzle Cake you are a tricky one aren’t you?

For the past month I have been trying to make a lemon drizzle cake. The first time I attempted to make this cake I wanted to use a traditional British Recipe…..

Where did I go wrong???

It wasn’t just the fact that I was trying to convert UK measurements to US measurements, Oh no. It was the fact that I was trying to convert measurements while watching Manchester United vs. Liverpool (there is nothing like a good Derby). Add Stevie Gerrard’s 38-second appearance to the mix, and all the jokes that followed, and this cake was DOOMED to FAIL from the beginning.

Who Me?? Yes Stevie You! In your 38 – seconds temper tantrum you ruined my cake….                                     Image from : The Independent

Lesson Learned: Football and Baking Do Not Mix.

The second time I attempted to make this cake I decided I would stick to a recipe I know and use Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contessa) recipe for Lemon Cake making a few changes of my own.

First, instead of using regular lemons I wanted to use Meyer Lemons. Meyer Lemons are my favorite and when they are in season I use them for everything. A Meyer Lemon is like the “Goldilocks” of lemons not to sour, not to sweet, but just right.

See the difference in color…. (Left) Meyer Lemon, (Right) Regular Lemon…

Also I think Meyer lemons yield more juice than a normal lemon.

The second change I made to this recipe was to the lemon juice drizzle. I wanted to make this Lemon Cake special and what is more special than Italian Limoncello?? I mean people make Rum Cakes so why can’t I do a Limoncello Cake? So I altered the drizzle to include 1/3 cup of Limoncello.


Finally, the Third change I made was to the baking pan…

This recipe makes 2 – 8 inch loaves of Lemon Cake. I decided I wanted to make this recipe using my Bunt cake pan instead. I just thought it would make for a better presentation, plus I haven’t made a Bunt cake in ages.

This time around the cake batter look right and tasted even better. I sprayed my old bunt pan down really well with cooking spray to make sure the cake didn’t stick, popped it in the oven and watched it bake (while eating the little bit of remaining batter out of the mixing bowl).

After 40 minutes the cake was a beautiful golden brown and filled the house with a heavenly aroma of lemon. I took it out of the oven and set it on a rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes….When it came time to remove the cake from the pan and apply the Limoncello Drizzle I remembered why I don’t make Bunt Cakes anymore. The cake was completely stuck to the pan. Disaster! Did it stop me from eating the cake? No, but I still wanted that picture perfect cake.

Lesson Learned: If you haven’t used an old Cake pan in a long time… There’s a reason.

Well as the saying goes… Third Time is the Charm 🙂


For the third attempt I make the recipe exactly as I did the second time. There was nothing wrong with the cake, just the cake pan. So splurged. I went to Williams & Sonoma and purchased a new “Gold” coated, non-stick Bunt pan and made the cake again (even though it was a “non – stick” pan I still sprayed it was non- stick spray just to be safe.)


Third time finally a Limoncello Lemon Drizzle Cake Success!


Limoncello Lemon Drizzle Cake

Adapted from Ina Garten: Barefoot Contessa Parties

For The Cake:


2 Stick Unsalted Butter at room temperature

2 Cups Granulated Sugar

4 Extra Large Eggs, at room temperature

1/3 Cup Grated Meyer Lemon Zest (about 5 Meyer Lemons)

3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

½ Teaspoon Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ Cup Freshly Squeezed Meyer Lemon Juice (about 1 ½ -2 Lemons)

¾ Cup Buttermilk, at room temperature

1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract


Pre-heat the oven to 350

Liberally coat a Bunt Pan (or 2 – 8 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray for baking)

Cream the butter and the 2 cups of sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitter with a paddle attachment, for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Then with the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time and then the Meyer Lemon Zest.

In a large measuring cup (or bowl) whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl mix together the buttermilk, vanilla and ¼ cup of Meyer Lemon juice. Add the flour and the buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter beginning and ending with the flour. Scrap the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed then pour the batter into the Bunt Cake pan. Bake at 350 for 40 -50 minutes, until the cake tester comes out clean.

For The Limoncello Drizzle:


1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/3 Cup Meyer Lemon Juice (about 3 Meyer Lemons)

1/3 Cup Limoncello


Combine the 1/3 Cup of Sugar and the 1/3 Cup Meyer Lemon Juice in a small sauce pan. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid just begins to boil. Set aside to cool then add in the 1/3 Cup of Limoncello.

After the cake has cooled for 10 minutes infer it onto a cooling rack set over a baking tray. Slowly spoon the drizzle over the warm cake (If you have a silicon pastry brush this works even better to apply the drizzle. Just paint the cake with the drizzle until you’ve used it all up.) Allow the cake to cool completely.

For The Meyer Lemon Glaze:


2 Cups Confectioners Sugar

¼ Cup Meyer Lemon Juice (1½ – 2 Meyer Lemons)


Combine the confectioners sugar and Meyer lemon juice in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Once the cake has completely cooled drizzle the glaze over the top



P.S. I still didn’t throw away the old Bunt pan because it does still have one use….. It’s the perfect stand to use when removing the Corn from the Cob.


Posted by

My name is Melody and I am the cook and blogger behind Meals With Mel. I have a love for traveling, I share a joy for gardening, and I have a passion for cooking. Although I do some baking, I don't consider myself a baker as I can't stand having to measure. When it comes to cooking my philosophy is add a bit of this, a dash of that, a splash of something doesn't hurt, never forget some type of pepper and always add at least one clove of garlic. Thanks for stopping by my Spicy Texas Kitchen and I hope to see you again!!! Melody

19 thoughts on “The Trials and Tribulations of Making Limoncello Lemon Drizzle Cake….

  1. Hi, reader from the UK here. Please, please, please don’t try and convert measurements to cups – invest in some scales and a measuring jug for liquids they cost peanuts. Then look at Lemon Drizzle Cakes from any of the following: Nigella Lawson, Mary Berry, BBC Good Food or Delia Smith. You’ll experience good results from all of these and the Nigella website may also have done the conversions for you – if I remember correctly – there’s a tab on the recipe to convert. Also remember if the measurements are in UK Imperial that a pint in the UK is 20oz not 16oz as in the US (a pint is a pound the whole world round is NOT the case). So when using measurements you may find it easier to use metric.

    I bake using recipes from the UK and the US – I use one set of measurements only – if I’m baking a US recipe and it states cups then cups I use I do not bother to try converting one to the other – that way leads to madness! Please also remember that we do not have cake flour in Europe – bleached flour is against regulations for health reasons. We use either plain flour (all-purpose) or self-raising. We also use the finer caster sugar for baking for many recipes.

    Love your blog!

    Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the advice Lesley 🙂
      I’ve been meaning to invest in a good scale I just haven’t done it yet. But I did do a good bit of research on the Lemon Drizzle Recipe and all the differences in the measurements between the US and UK. The first time I actually used Mary Berry’s recipe. I even went out and bought a sack of self-rising flour for the recipe. I really think it would have turned out had I paid more attention to what I was doing but as I said I was rather distracted by the football match ( that usually happens). I did find it strange that there are not many American versions of a Lemon Drizzle Cake online… It’s like we’ve never even heard of it or we call it a Lemon Pound a cake instead (but it’s not the same).

      Thanks Again for checking out my little blog and for the baking tips 🙂


    1. Thanks Danielle 🙂
      I hope you give the cake a try and let me know what you think. Yeah bit was a shame Gerrard went out like that… I guess mentally he’s already left.


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