"Dense and cake-like Limoncello cupcakes topped with whipped cream cheese frosting that's infused with even more Limoncello."
Ever since I made this Limoncello fruit salad a few months back, I’ve had a half full bottle of Limoncello sitting on top of my fridge just begging to be used.
But The Boyfriend and I have managed to save it, and it’s not because I didn’t want to pour a shot and drink it – on the contrary, I so totally did – but I trying to hold out until I found more recipes to add Limoncello to.
For those that might not know, Limoncello tastes just like lemon drop candy, and in my world, that means it’s a prime candidate for accentuating all sorts of sweets and pastries. And after the success I had with these Guinness and baileys cupcakes, I knew just what I wanted to try next: Limoncello cupcakes with Limoncello frosting!
When I was in the planning stages for this recipe, I started out dreaming big.
Like should I add lemon filling?
Should I make the frosting something other than Limoncello?
Buttercream frosting or Cream Cheese Frosting?
There were so many possibilities, but in the end, I kept it simple: the cupcakes are infused with Limoncello, lemon juice, and lemon zest. I also used cake flour as opposed to all-purpose flour – it’s something I’ve always wanted to try, and it gave the cupcakes a very dense, moist, almost chewy consistency that I absolutely loved. It felt like I was eating little gourmet cakes. However, if you’d rather have traditional cupcakes that are super fluffy, there are notes in the recipe for how you can switch out the cake flour for all-purpose flour.
But I think you’d be missing out if you did. Just
The frosting is a classic cream cheese variety, but you can play around with the ingredients to get the right consistency and flavor. When I made these, I kept it to just four tablespoons of Limoncello and it tasted amazing. It was so amazing that I may have made sure that there was a little extra frosting left over, and I may have eaten it straight from the bowl. With my fingers. Possibly. There were no witnesses, so this could all be hearsay.
The only thing that would have made these cupcakes better was if I had complimenting sprinkles, but I was shocked to discover that I do not own yellow sprinkles. And this is in the kitchen of someone who compulsively buys sprinkles whenever she sees them, especially those little holiday bundles that have different styles and types, because they are just too cute not to own. I own so many types of sprinkles that I should really call it a hobby, so seriously, how have yellow sprinkles eluded me this long? I know what I’ll be picking up the next time I go grocery shopping. And hopefully, I won’t forget the milk because I managed to remember yellow sprinkles.
And hopefully, I won’t forget the milk because I managed to remember yellow sprinkles.
What about you?
How do you like your Limoncello?
Do you have a favorite boozy cupcake?
Limoncello Cupcakes with Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 and 3/4 cup cake flour *
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbsp limoncello
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 4 tbsp limoncello to taste
For the Limoncello Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare muffin tin by adding cupcake cup liners. Fill a small bowl with warm water and submerge eggs. This will bring the eggs to room temperature while you complete the next steps.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.
- Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), add in sugar, butter, and cream cheese. Beat on low until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add eggs to butter/sugar mix, one at a time, blending thoroughly inbetween.
- Add in Limoncello, then blend for 1 minute.
- Slowly mix in dry ingredients and milk, alternating between the two until combined.
- Finish by adding lemon juice and lemon zest, then blend for another 15-30 seconds.
- Pour cupcake batter into prepared muffin tin, filling cups 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
- Place muffin tin on a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes, then pop cupcakes out and allow to finish cooling on the wire rack. Wait until cupcakes are completely cooled before applying the frosting. Note: If using cake flour, cupcakes will "shrink" slightly while cooling - this is okay.
For the Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting
- Use a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl) on high speed to beat the softened butter until smooth and creamy, roughly 2 minutes.
- Drop speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Frosting may be and clumpy at this stage - that is okay.
- Keeping speed on low, slowly beat in cream cheese. I'd recommend cutting the cream cheese into 4-5 pieces and mixing in one piece at a time.
- Finally, add in the Limoncello. This frosting is very forgiving and easy to balance to your tastes. You can add up to 6 tablespoons of Lioncello (total) or up to 5 cups of powdered sugar (total) to get the flavor and consistency you'd like.