Limoncello Icebox Cake

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This recipe was originally published as part of a menu in Tasting Table National.

TT Test Kitchen Tip: Tangy crème fraîche and puckery limoncello keep this dessert from being overly sweet. The limoncello, an Italian, citrus-based lemon liqueur, can be replaced with raspberry or black currant liqueur for an easy variation.

Limoncello Icebox Cake

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Cook Time: 20 minutes, plus overnight refrigeration


¼ cup limoncello

1 vanilla bean, split, scraped and pod discarded

2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 large or 2 small lemons), divided

3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 large or 2 small lemons)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2½ cups heavy cream

¾ cup crème fraîche

3½ tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Pinch of salt

36 (about three sleeves) prepared ladyfingers

1½ cups fresh blackberries


1. In a medium, shallow bowl, whisk together the limoncello, vanilla bean seeds, 1½ teaspoons of the lemon zest, lemon juice and granulated sugar. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the heavy cream, crème fraîche, the remaining ½ teaspoon lemon zest, confectioners' sugar and salt at medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.

3. Briefly dip each ladyfinger in the reserved limoncello mixture and layer in a large trifle dish or a 9-inch-by-13-inch clear dish, starting with a layer of ladyfingers, then a third of the whipped cream mixture. Repeat two more times, finishing with the whipped cream mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. Layer blackberries on top of the cake and serve.

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