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.

Why You Must Make

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.

Expert Tips

  • Dorie revealed that the French prefer a little swirl of frosting versus the billowy American trend.
  • The dousing with syrup does a lovely job of keeping the revealed surface moist, so full coverage just wasn’t needed.
  • 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!

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

Helpful Tools:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Limoncello?

Limoncello is an Italian liqueur made with lemon zest, sugar, vodka or another neutral-flavored alcohol.

How Do You Add Filling to Cupcakes?

In this recipe, a spoonful of marmalade is placed in the center of each unbaked cupcake. It will sink to the middle as the cupcakes bake.

Alternatively, you can use a small knife to remove a small round piece of cupcake from the top, then remove some of the cake beneath it to create a cavity. Save the round piece to use to cap off the filling. There are also (affiliate link) cupcake corers available at Target or on Amazon.

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

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

Limoncello Cupcakes with Limoncello Buttercream

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield 12

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


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • The grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup (80g) orange marmalade

For the syrup

  • 1 ½ 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


  1. Line a standard, 12-opening muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Center the oven rack, and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt.
  4. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl, and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is fragrant.
  5. Whisk in the yogurt. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, followed by the limoncello.
  6. Then exchange the whisk for a flexible spatula, and use it to fold the dry ingredients into the wet.
  7. Fold only until the flour disappears into the batter. Then fold in the oil.
  8. 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.
  9. Bake until the cakes are puffed and done, 20-25 minutes. Set the muffin tin on a wire rack to cool.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 362Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 161mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 1gSugar: 36gProtein: 4g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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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.

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.