Peggy Porschen’s Lemon Limoncello Cake recipe

Peggy Porschen’s Lemon Limoncello Cake recipe

Peggy Porschen’s Lemon Limoncello Cake recipe

Peggy Porschen’s Lemon Limoncello Cake recipe

So, yesterday I reviewed Peggy Porschen’s latest cake book and today I am happy to share with you an extract from the book for this yummy and oh so pretty cake. I just know you guys are going to love it! Thanks to the publishers Quadrille for giving me permission.

Peggy Porschen’s Lemon Limoncello Cake recipe

By the way I forgot to mention two things yesterday about the book that I really love.

No. 1 – The book is styled by my friend Vicky Sullivan who has styled all of Peggy’s books (I think?) She’s a stylist with amazing talent and a natural eye, expecially when it comes to cakes. She really captures the look and feel you want when you display a cake. It needs to look too good to cut and Vicky nails it every time!

No.2 – The book was photographed by Georgia Glynn Smith. I’ve never worked with Georgia but having seen her work in many, many books (and having been told that she’s reeeaaallly lovely by people who have worked with her) I really want to. I’m sure one day our paths will cross. You never know, maybe I’ll have a book of my own to shoot one day!

Anyway, on with the cake…



Makes one 15cm (6in) round cake, serving 8–12 slices


For the decoration

  • 150g white sugar florist paste
  • Small amount of white vegetable fat
  • Green and yellow paste food colour
  • Small amount of royal icing

For the sponge

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour

For the sugar syrup

  • 150ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50ml Limoncello liqueur

For the buttercream filling

  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 80g icing sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40g Peggy’s Lemon Limoncello Jelly or any other good-quality lemon jelly or lemon
  • curd


Basic baking kit
Three 15cm (6in) round sandwich tins
Cake leveller or large serrated knife
Non-slip turntable
Flat disc to place on top of the turntable
(I (Peggy) use the loose base of a 30cm (12in) springform cake tin)
15cm (6in) round cake card
Metal side scraper

Make the simple daisies and leaves decoration at least one day ahead of assembling and serving. Bake the sponges one
day ahead of serving. Make the sugar syrup whilst baking the sponges. Prepare the filling and assemble and decorate the cake on the day of serving.

To make the decoration

Mix two thirds of the sugar florist paste with a small amount of white vegetable fat. Mix the remaining third with the green paste food colour to a pale green shade. Mix the royal icing with the yellow paste food colour to a pale lemon shade. Using a daisy plunge cutter, leaf cutter and veiner,
make approximately 12 simple sugar daisies and small leaves. Leave to set in a cool dry place.

Preheat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 4.Prepare the sandwich tins by greasing and lining them with greaseproof paper.

To make the sponge

Place the butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture while whisking quickly. If the mixture starts to separate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in 2–3 tablespoons of the flour. This will rebind the batter. Once all the egg has been added and combined with the butter mixture, sift in the flour and stir until the batter is just combined. This will ensure the sponges stay light and fluffy.

Divide the batter evenly between the sandwich tins. If you find it difficult to measure by eye, use your kitchen scales to weigh out the amount of sponge mixture for each tin.

Bake for 15–20 minutes, depending on your oven. If you are using deeper cake tins, the sponges will take longer to cook. The sponges are cooked when the sides are beginning to shrink away from the edges of the tins and the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. If in doubt, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge; it should come out clean.

To make the sugar syrup

While the sponges are baking, prepare the sugar syrup for soaking. Place the lemon juice and caster sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Set aside to cool down slightly and then add the Limoncello liqueur.

Once the sponges are baked, let them rest for about 10 minutes outside of the oven. Using a pastry brush, soak the tops of the sponges with syrup while they are still warm; this 
allows the syrup to be absorbed faster.

Once just warm, run a knife all the way round the sides of the tins, remove the sponges from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack. Once cool, wrap the sponges in cling film and then rest them overnight at room temperature. This will ensure that all the moisture is sealed in and the sponges firm up to the perfect texture for trimming and layering. When trimmed too soon after baking, the sponges tend to crumble and may even break into pieces.

To make the buttercream filling

Place the butter, icing sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and cream together until very pale and fluffy. Add the lemon jelly to the mixture and stir through until combined and smooth.

To assemble the cake

Trim and sandwich together the three sponge layers using one-third of the buttercream filling and the limoncello syrup for soaking. With the remaining buttercream filling, cover or mask the top and sides of the cake.

To decorate

Arrange the sugar daisies and leaves around the circumference of the cake top andstick them down with a dab of buttercream.

Serve the cake at room temperature. This cake is best enjoyed within 3 days of baking, but it can last for up to 1 week


Decorations made from sugar can attract moisture and may collapse when exposed to 
humid conditions. Therefore, do not store the cake in the fridge once decorate if it is not being eaten on the same day.

Peggy Porschen’s Lemon Limoncello Cake recipe

BOUTIQUE BAKING by PEGGY PORSCHEN, published by Quadrille (£20, hardback)


Some baking books you may enjoy

Lucy Young and Mary Berry’s Mini Banoffee pies

Book Review: How baking works … and what to do when it doesn’t by James Morton

Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake – book review

Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle traybake recipe

Mary Berry and the best butter tip ever!

Best Book of British Baking

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EmmaMT from

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  1. jean massey says:

    how do I convert the measurements for the lemon cake to USA measurements? I would love to bake this cake please email me

    1. EmmaMT from says:


      Thanks for your comment. I have tried to work this out a few times as I would love to be able to make some recipes from Martha, but every measuring cup seems to be a different size. So I had a look on “Chef Google” aka ‘Google!’ and came out with so many different, conflicting answers that I am more confused than when I started! I think I’m going to write a post and ask my readers if they have the answer! Watch this space and thanks for giving me food for thought!

      sorry I can’t me more help!


  2. Hello !! I would like to bake the Lemon Limoncello Cake but I have a question. Where can I buy the Lemon Limoncello in London ? Can I fibd it in supermarket or not ? Thank you very much to email me.

  3. This cake looks beautiful and I hope to try it this weekend, however, I would like to use 8″ tins instead of the 6″. Do you know how much extra ingredients I would need and how long it would take to bake?

    1. EmmaMT from says:

      Thanks for that link. It’s really helpful.


  4. Hello! If you add the sugar syrup while the cakes are warm and then rest them for a day, are you meant to make more to add after trimming/ while layering? Recipe seems a little confused on this point!

    1. EmmaMT from says:


      Thanks for your question. Yes, the wording does seem a bit confusing here doesn’t it?

      When adding a syrup to a cake you need to do it when it is hot out of the oven or at least very warm so that it is absorbed into the cake and doesn’t make a soggy mess at the bottom (although when it comes to syrup I don’t mind a soggy bottom!) I just added it once after it came out of the oven.

      I think the book is just mentioning the syrup later in the recipe rather than saying to add it for a second time.

      I hope that helps.


      1. Thanks! I ended up doing as you advised and added the syrup when warm and then just layering them the next day. Worked fine. I felt a bit sad trimming the limoncelloiest bits off the top but it was still very moist and lovely and I yummed the trimmings up anyway!

        Would really recommend this recipe anyway. I made it in three 8″ cases by doubling the recipe and (unbelievably) using FIVE times the frosting amount! I also crumbled up meringue and added it on top of the frosting in the layers. Couldn’t get it as beautiful looking as the picture of course but it wasn’t bad.

  5. What is the depth of the 6″ round pans, 6×2,6×3,6×4? would really like to make this cake, my mouth is waterring!!!! BAD!!!!

  6. Hello
    This sounds like a lovely cake ,I would love to try it for a wedding cake im making the pan is 42cm do you know how much i would need to change the measurments?
    Thank you

    1. EmmaMT from says:

      Hi Jade,

      Sorry this isn’t my recipe so I wouldn’t know how it converts without making it. If you have a look at the post on how to convert recipes for different size tins that should help you. The link is here.

      hope that helps


  7. Hi,

    I’m new to baking – do I add the whole lot of lemon syrup to the cake while it is hot, seems like loads – won’t it spill out? Also do i pierce the top of the cake so it’ll absorb faster?

    The recipe also says much later on to use the lemon syrup with buttercream – I’m confused, am I making more lemon syrup because j thought I had used all of it to soak the sponge?


    1. EmmaMT from says:


      I find Peggy always prepares more sugar syrup than you need. This isn’t a lemon drizzle cake so you don’t want to soak the cake in the syrup. She adds the syrup to the top of the cake with a pastry brush to stop the cake from continuing to bake once out of the oven. It also adds more moisture to the cake. You’ll find when you do this 10 minutes after the cake is out of the oven the syrup will just disappear inside.

      Peggy actually says add ‘Lemon jelly’ to the buttercream which is the same as lemon curd. You can substitute the jelly/curd for the zest and juice of one lemon if you want.

      I hope that helps. Good luck.


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