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Limoncello & Apple Bundt Cake

This limoncello & apple cake is sweet and fragrant from the limoncello and slightly tart from the apples & lemon glaze, making it incredibly aromatic and delicious. This is such a simple recipe that works well with most firm and tart apples.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 people


To make the cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large lemon (zested, save juice for glaze)
  • ½ cup limoncello (see notes)
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (see notes)
  • 4 large apples (tart apples like granny smith work best in this recipe)
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt

To make the glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered (confectioners') sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice (from the zested lemon)


To make the cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350F/175C. Grease a large (12 cup capacity) bundt pan well with butter and set it aside (see notes).
  • Combine the buttermilk and limoncello in a measuring jug and set aside.
  • Peel and core the apples and chop then into ½" pieces. Sprinkle the apples with a few tablespoons of the measure out all-purpose flour and toss them to coat.
  • Mix together the remaining flour along with the baking powder and baking soda and salt and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with either a spatula or wooden spoon until very light and fluffy. When the mixture is light and fluffy, add the in lemon zest, eggs and vanilla extract and mix well to combine.
  • Into this, add in a third of the flour mixture and mix lightly before adding in half of the buttermilk + limoncello mixture. Mix just until combined. Repeat this process again and finally add in the last ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Don't over mix this batter.
  • Finally, add in the flour coated apples to the batter and fold them in.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake it for about 60-75 minutes or until fully cooked through. Insert a skewer into the center of the cake to check if it is fully done. When there is no wet batter on the skewer, it is fully cooked.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before inverting it onto a platter.

To make the glaze:

  • Mix together the powdered sugar with the lemon juice in a bowl. Initially it will look like the lemon juice is too little for the amount of sugar, but keep mixing and the glaze will become nice and pourable in no time. If you find the glaze too thick, add an extra 0.5 tablespoon of lemon juice to thin it out.
  • Pour the glaze over the completely cooled cake and let it drip along the sides fro a dramatic effect.


  1. If you don't have a large bundt pan, you could do the following:
    • Bake this cake in any large cake pan/baking dish
    • Halve the recipe and bake it in a smaller cake pan
    • Make the entire amount of batter and bake the cake in 2 smaller baking pans.
  2. The cooking time will vary for a smaller pan. Keep checking the cake after 35-40 minutes.
  3. You  can replace the buttermilk with the same amount of milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in this recipe
  4. If you can't find limoncello or don't consume alcohol, you may replace it with the following:
      • Use the zest of 2 lemons instead of 1 in this recipe.
      • Add an extra 2 tablespoons of sugar to step 5 of the recipe.
      • Use ⅓ to ½ cup water instead of the limoncello to thin out the batter.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @LimeThymeRecipes and tag #limethymerecipes
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