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Make A Wish!! Limoncello Cake

August 5, 2011

Today is my sister’s birthday!  If I could make a wish, I wish that we were together to celebrate her birthday.  In fact, I wish we lived closer to share every birthday, every holiday and all the days in between!  Just over 10 years ago, I left my home town to start a fresh new life with my two young children.   I have no regrets except….missing my family.  Coming from an Italian family where every event was celebrated with nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, you name it they were invited; to small, shall I say “intimate” gatherings of three, my children and I.

My sister and I are 10 years apart from each other; yes I’ll say it, I am the younger one.  We always were close in a little sister / big sister way but as we got older and both had families and children, the closer we became.  Now, with our children pretty well grown, I miss her the most.  Once a year visits, if that, are just not enough.  But…

Today is your birthday!  And here, my sister, is your virtual birthday cake!  We all know you are not one with a passion for cooking or baking.  If my sister was ever asked to bring the dessert, we always knew a bundt cake was on its way!  She’d whip up that box cake mix; pour it into the pan, no layering or frosting required!

These adorable little bundt cakes were baked with love for you.  Made from scratch with lots of light, citrus flavor and a shot or two of Limoncello over the warm baked cakes absorbs even more lemony tipsy goodness!

The candles were lit and I made a special wish just for you.  Happy Birthday!

Limoncello Cake

2 1/3 cup cake flour

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 pinch salt

½ cup butter, softened, room temperature

½ cup mango/banana puree *

1 cup sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

Lemon zest from 2 large organic lemons

½ cup milk

½ cup Limoncello

For the glaze:  ¾ cup powdered sugar, 1 -2 tablespoons Limoncello

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a bundt pan.  Combine the cake flour, baking powder and sea salt together and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.  Mix in the mango/banana puree and sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in the lemon zest.

Alternate mixing in 1/3 of the flour, 1/3 of the milk and repeat until all is mixed in.  Do not overmix.  Pour into the prepared pan, leveling the mix.

Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow the cake to cool about 1 hour.  Flip the cake over onto a cake plate to release the cake from the pan and then return back to the pan.  Generously poke holes throughout the cake and pour 1/3 of the Limoncello over the cake.  Allow it to seep in for about 10 minutes, then pour another third repeating until all Limoncello is used.  Let cake set in pan to soak up all the Limoncello, then flip over to plate.

For the glaze:  gently warm 1-2 tablespoons of Limoncello and mix into the powder sugar until smooth.  Pour over cake and allow to set.

*Note:  My mother’s recipe used 2 sticks of butter.  I like to replace 1 stick with a fruit puree.  I purchase organic baby food in natural fruit flavors to substitute for the butter.  Works great, adds another flavor and is less fattening!  p.s.  I also use baby fruit to add to my oatmeal, fruit pies, quick bread, muffins or cobblers!

26 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2011 9:05 am

    My wife is comes from an Italian family as well and I know what you mean about the importance of everyone coming together to celebrate events. :-) The cakes look fantastic!

  2. August 5, 2011 9:28 am

    These little cakes are adorable! They sound divine! I am also 10 years younger than my sister and love her to pieces! Even more coincidental, her birthday is in 3 days :)

    • August 5, 2011 10:14 am

      Wow, that is truly so coincidental!! Hope she has a wonderful birthday too!

  3. August 5, 2011 9:30 am

    Beautiful little lemon cakes! And happy birthday to your sister! You must miss her terribly – I would be lost without mine close by!

  4. August 5, 2011 9:54 am

    Great story, and great cake inspiration! Love the butter replacement suggestion–I’ve used applesauce in the past, but baby fruit really opens up fruit/flavor options!

  5. August 5, 2011 9:54 am

    Beautiful cakes and a wonderful tribute to your sister on her birthday! Happy birthday to your sister!

  6. August 5, 2011 10:04 am

    What a sweet post. I hit like before I even opened it! I love that you are wise to the greatness of limoncello. Hope you see your sister soon.

  7. August 5, 2011 10:33 am

    What a lovely post – I felt all emotional reading it as I can relate completely to your feelings. What a fantastic cake(s) to make for her…although whenever I hear the words Bundt Cake I think of the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” tee hee!!!

  8. August 5, 2011 11:39 am

    What a beautiful post! Wishing your sister a very Happy Birthday.
    Have a happy weekend.
    :-) Mandy

  9. August 5, 2011 11:40 am

    I read your post and spent the last 10 minutes reminiscing about my family’s get-togethers. I love my life here but nothing will ever replace those family celebrations. I hope it’s not too long before you can spend some time back home.

  10. August 5, 2011 12:47 pm

    Tanti auguri a tua sorella!! (Happy Birthday to your sister!). Lovely recipe!! I love the idea of making a cake out of Limoncello! Great post!!

  11. August 5, 2011 1:04 pm

    This is too cute. Wish you could be with your sister too, but happy birthday to her! I’m sure she wishes she could have a bite of one of these cakes. Limoncello!? Amazing.

  12. August 5, 2011 3:22 pm

    That is so sweet..
    Happy birthday to your sister
    and I hope you’ll celebrate her next birthday together

  13. August 5, 2011 4:54 pm

    Awww! That is so cute! I just love how you baked these bunt cakes in honor of your sister. I’m sure she loved it from miles away. I know I am! Sisters are the greatest!

  14. August 5, 2011 4:56 pm

    Happy birthday to your sister! What a fun (virtual) way to celebrate!

  15. August 5, 2011 9:41 pm

    The cakes are so beautiful as is this post! Distance aside, you are lucky to have each other.

  16. August 6, 2011 2:12 pm

    What a sweet way to remember your sisters birthday. It’s hard when we are apart from family celebrations. The little cakes are so cute and delicious sounding. I like the tip about the baby food. Thank you!

  17. August 6, 2011 2:48 pm

    You can always find a bottom of limoncello at our house. Therefore this looks like perfect cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Kirsten

  18. August 7, 2011 6:22 pm

    Happy Birthday to your sister – I can so relate to the sadness of distance. I have a dear sister across the country and often wish that we could live closer together. I like the lightness and simplicity of bundt cakes too and the lemon glaze is just – sorry, it has to be said – the cherry on the cake! Beautiful tribute to your sister.

  19. August 8, 2011 8:24 am

    The cakes look amazing and so pretty and i love the addition of the limoncello. One of my favorite drinks and flavors! Your sister is one lucky sister to have you. Hope she has a great birthday

  20. August 8, 2011 9:45 am

    Beautiful post! And a lovely cake. Your sister and you sound lucky to have one another.

  21. Gloria permalink
    August 8, 2011 7:07 pm

    Sorry it took so long to write a post. I am so happy and grateful for this beautiful tribute! When I first saw this I could not stop crying!! It was such a wonderful surprise and birthday wish…especially with those lemoncello bundt cakes! I wish I could have been there in Florida eating them with you. I am so blessed to have a sister like you! You’re amazing Linda!! I would also like to thank all of those who wished me a Happy Birthday on your blog!

    • August 8, 2011 8:52 pm

      Aw, thanks Gloria! Near or far, you’re the best sister, Hope your birthday was very special!

  22. August 10, 2011 4:51 pm

    I’m hearing an awful lot about limoncello these days from you and Greg as well… Time to check it out for myself finally I think. The cakes looks wonderful! I wish I lived closer to my family too. I love celebrating events with family and it’s difficult these days :(


  1. Make A Wish!! Limoncello Cake (via Savoring Every Bite) « OceanDawn

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