Frugal Kitchen Adventures With a Limoncello Cake

| 2/20/2014 10:01:00 AM

Erin SheehanMom remembers drinking chokecherry juice and gooseberry juice at breakfast when she was growing up. Reason being that oranges didn’t grow in upstate New York, so orange juice was not on the menu at her house. Even though it meant some awfully tart (and not very tasty!) juice to start the day, Grandma and Grandpa believed in using what they had on hand. Bad breakfast memories aside, Mom passed that sentiment on to me. As my husband can attest, this can lead to some interesting culinary adventures.

A friend gave us a bottle of homemade limoncello as a gift a while back.


Jim and I aren’t big liqueur drinkers so I’ve been stumped as to how to use it. But I held on to it, waiting until the right opportunity to use limoncello came along. And it did. Not long ago I was looking through a magazine and would you believe I came across a limoncello cake recipe? I had never even heard of it before getting some as a gift, but happily stumbled across a recipe that features it. I made the cake this week for my mother-in-law’s 91st birthday party.


Limoncello is lemon liqueur made from vodka, lemon zest and simple syrup. It’s potent, as well as sweet and tart. Although I know a primary rule of baking is “stick to the recipe,” I modify recipes to use ingredients I already have on hand, which sometimes leads to interesting substitutions. I made a few changes in the original recipe in this case, which appeared in a vegan cookbook. Here’s what I used, in case you, too, have some limoncello to use up around your house: