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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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30 comments on “Limoncello Cupcakes with Limoncello Buttercream”

  1. Cupcakes for me! They look fantastic!

  2. These are my new favourite – and I loved them so much I don’t even think frosting is needed!

  3. These were good, weren’t they – your look great. Ah Bill, we are going to have to expand his culinary horizons one day.

  4. Trifecta is right! My coworkers loved all the lemon!

  5. Liz, I absolutely LOVE these cupcakes!!! I am a lemon freak!!! and that marmalade surprise in the center?!! These are gorgeous!!!

  6. Your frosting looks quite ethereal – beautiful!

  7. they looked terrific–I wouldn’t be able to forget about them! I like the way these got the perfect dome in the oven.

  8. lemon is one of the best flavors to me for baking and i love it in a cupcake. The perfect portion of frosting on top and it is a winner. this looks so great

  9. These lemon cupcakes look ever so beautiful!

  10. I am a lemon nut and you are right! I am going crazy over these!

  11. I agree that if there is chocolate in the house it takes priority. We enjoyed these. My husband loves orange marmalade so it went in all. Have a great week.

  12. What lovely cupcakes!!
    Look beautiful!!!

  13. OMG! Talk about divine! I’m loving your lemon desserts lately, Liz, and these cupcakes are no exception. Love!!

  14. Liz, these look so good and I even have a bottle of limoncello. My problem is that I don’t really like lemon in desserts. Yeah. I’m one of those weird ones.

  15. I just want to spoon off that frosting and eat it. 😉 Beautiful photos, as always, Liz.

  16. The cupcake look yummy. The frosting looks like the perfect amount.

  17. Your cupcakes look great…the frosting looks perfect!

  18. These cupcakes are lovely! Filling them with the orange marmalade looks so yummy indeed!

  19. Your cupcakes look delicious. Love the garnishes on the side.

  20. Very interesting note about the French and frosting, Liz. I hadn’t really thought about it before but very true if you think of Parisian pastry shops…No wonder I’m not a Francophile =) I am however a huge fan of this scrumptious sounding cupcake with the soak of syrup and sock it to me flavor of Limoncello!


  21. Beauties, and I love that surprise lemon filling!

  22. Very pretty, Liz, I really loved these.

  23. Your cupcakes look like perfection! And I agree that the syrup helped keep the top of the cupcakes moist!

  24. One peek inside that cupcake and I was in love.

  25. Beautiful presentation the bit of blue in your Spring-y and nice ;). This is a good recipe and goes on my will make it again list…hope you’re having a great week xxooxx Patty

  26. I am absolutely a lemon lover so these cupcakes are right up my alley! These are beautiful! I love the filling inside!

  27. Beautiful! I like the photo showing the inside.

  28. Lizzy,
    I would have to leave the cupcakes empty too., My hubby wouldn’t eat them with the filling either.

  29. I have a Limoncello bottle in my fridge that I bring from Italie ! I will do this recipe, it looks gorgeous 🙂

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