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Lemon and Olive Oil Cake with Limoncello Glaze

Make a lovely limoncello cake for summer parties.
Make a lovely limoncello cake for summer parties.TODAY
Cook Time:
45 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

I prefer the simplicity of a bundt cake over a layer cake any day. The lemon and olive oil create such a moist but not overly sweet dessert that's completed by the fragrant limoncello glaze. You might as well be enjoying a forkful of sunshine.

Technique tip: Butter and flour the pan to ensure the cake releases easily.



For the cake
  • cups all-purpose flour, plus more for greasing
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick European or European-style butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • 1/4 cup floral extra-virgin olive oil
  • cups sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze
  • cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk


Make the cake:


Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a bundt pan with butter and flour (do not use a cooking spray here).


In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.


In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, olive oil, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.


Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each to incorporate into the mixture before adding the next.


Add the vanilla extract and mix to incorporate.


In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and lemon juice.


With the mixer on low, add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until streaky.


Drizzle in the buttermilk mixture and mix on low until it is almost completely combined.


Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low until well combined; do not over mix.


Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top with a small offset spatula.


Bake cake until golden brown, and a cake tester comes out clean, for 45 to 50 minutes.


Let cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes before flipping onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely before applying the glaze.

Make the glaze:


In a medium-sized bowl, stir the sugar, butter, limoncello and milk to create a smooth glaze. Add more milk if needed to thin out the consistency. 


Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake immediately, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let the glaze set at least 15 minutes before serving.