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Limoncello Cupcakes | Buttercream topped cupcakes with a triple dose of limoncello

Limoncello Cupcakes with Limoncello Buttercream

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These Limoncello Cupcakes with Limoncello Buttercream have a triple dose of the famous Italian lemon liqueur plus a marmalade surprise in each center!

Since alcohol is a known flavor enhancer, this Lemon Cupcake Recipe is bound to catch your attention after just one bite!!

Limoncello Cupcake with Limoncello Buttercream on a square white plate

Limoncello Cupcakes with Limoncello Buttercream

Lemon fans will go nuts for these citrus-laden, limoncello cupcakes with the swirls of limoncello buttercream. With lemon zest and limoncello in the batter, limoncello syrup painted on the warm cupcakes and a limoncello infused buttercream these sunshine infused cupcakes were truly dreamy.

Plus they were filled with a teaspoon of marmalade for an extra punch of flavor–lemon if you have it, but I used the classic orange. Knowing the picky hubby only eats grape, seedless raspberry, and strawberry jams, and jellies, I left half unfilled. Sigh.

Limoncello Cupcake on a round white plate with a lemon and mint garnish

Lemon Cupcake Recipe

Dorie revealed that the French prefer a little swirl of frosting versus the billowy American trend. The dousing with syrup did a lovely job of keeping the revealed surface moist, so full coverage just wasn’t needed. But feel free to double the frosting recipe if you prefer a higher frosting to cake ratio on your lemon cupcakes.

The family fancied these boozy gems—though when the chocolate Easter lamb and mousse filled chocolate cake were completed on Sunday, the poor fellows got forgotten. Timing is everything! If you’re a limoncello lover, bake up a batch of Parisian inspired Limoncello Cupcakes!

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Limoncello Cupcakes | Buttercream topped cupcakes with a triple dose of limoncello

Limoncello Cupcakes with Limoncello Buttercream

Lovely lemon cupcakes flavored with limoncello and marmalade and topped with a swirl of lemon buttercream


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • The grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (80g) orange marmalade

For the syrup

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello

For the frosting

  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Line a standard, 12-opening muffin tin with paper liners. Center the oven rack, and preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl, and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is fragrant. Whisk in the yogurt. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, followed by the limoncello. Then exchange the whisk for a flexible spatula, and use it to fold the dry ingredients into the wet.

Fold only until the flour disappears into the batter. Then fold in the oil. Scoop a generous spoonful of the batter into each cupcake mold, and top with a teaspoon of the orange marmalade. Cover the marmalade with the remaining batter.

Bake until the cakes are puffed and done, 20-25 minutes. Set the muffin tin on a wire rack to cool.

While the cakes are baking, make the sugar syrup. Mix the sugar and water in a small, microwavable bowl. Microwave on high until the mixture reaches a boil, about 1 minute. Stir in the limoncello. Let cool just until the cakes are done, then brush the still-warm cakes with the syrup.

After the cakes have cooled to room temperature, put the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer outfitted with the paddle attachment. Blend at low speed until the mixture clings to the beater, about 5 minutes.

Add the limoncello and lemon juice, and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Spoon or pipe a dollop of frosting on top of the cakes.


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Tuesdays with Dorie logo in black and pink lettering with a cupcake, spoons, lemon, Eiffel tower and more

To see what the other Doristas thought about these Limoncello Cupcakes, check the LYL page on the Tuesdays with Dorie site. This recipe can be found on page 194 of  Baking Chez Moi, Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, by Dorie Greenspan. All the recipes I’ve tested have been winners and this cookbook is highly worth the investment—especially if you’re a baker. You can also view it on Google Books.

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