Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Dan Becker
Total Time
1 Hour 15 Mins
Makes 12

Limoncello is an Italian liqueur tradionally served as an after-dinner libation. Here the limoncello gives mini upside down cakes a sweet and moist texture.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray ramekins with cooking spray. Cut 12 parchment paper circles to fit ramekins; set 1 in each.

Step 2

Bring brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 cup water to a simmer in a large frying pan and cook until reduced slightly and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and submerge lemon slices in syrup. Let sit, turning occasionally, until rind and pith have begun to turn translucent, 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 3

Beat oil, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, salt, eggs, remaining sugar, and limoncello in a bowl with a mixer on medium speed until well blended.

Step 4

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Gradually add to wet mixture and beat on medium speed until just blended. Stir in pine nuts.

Step 5

Pour 1 tbsp. syrup from lemon slices into each ramekin. Using tongs, remove lemon slices from syrup and put one in each ramekin; reserve remaining syrup. Evenly divide batter among ramekins and set on a rimmed baking pan.

Step 6

Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a rack 10 minutes, then run a small, thin knife or spatula between cakes and ramekin edges and invert cakes onto plates or a platter. Remove parchment from cakes and brush with more syrup if you like.

Step 7

Note: Nutritional analysis is per cake.

Ratings & Reviews

deannelc's Review

December 30, 2010
These cakes were excellent! I made them for an Italian-themed Christmas Eve dinner & they were a big hit. The individual cakes make for a great presentation. One caution...portion the batter conservatively between the ramekins. I ended up with just 11 cakes because I ran out of batter before I got to the 12th...

SusanHixon's Review

December 20, 2010
These are sweet (but not too sweet), moist and lemony! These were quite impressive. I made all four varieties of mini-cakes featured in Sunset Magazine and packaged them in tins for presentation to my clients. They loved them!

Aaroninla's Review

December 12, 2010