Limoncello cheesecake squares

Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy.  Even though there is debate about the origin of this drink, it is said to be at least 100 years old.  Limoncello is very popular in Italy and is only just becoming popular in other parts of the world.  It also happens to be a popular ingredient in cocktails and imparts a strong lemon flavor without the sourness or bitterness of pure lemon juice.  Today I’m going to share a recipe with you using limoncello in a dessert.  A guest that came over for dinner a few weeks back very kindly brought over a bottle, and I’ve been sampling this beauty in a few different ways 🙂 Click here for more information on Italian limoncello liqueur.  


I recall a family trip made to 3 different parts of Italy a few years ago.  My favorite had to be Cinque Terre, a rugged portion of the coast on the Italian Riviera.  It was here that I had my very first taste of this potent potion 🙂  Cinque Terre when translated means Five small villages, they are set amidst some of the most dramatic coastal scenery on the planet, providing enough to bolster the most jaded of spirits writes The Lonely Planet. 


8 ounces biscotti

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons grated lemon zest

1 (12 oz) container fresh whole milk ricotta, drained, at room temperature

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup limoncello liqueur

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray the bottom of a 9x9x2 in baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Finely grind the biscotti in a food processor.  Add the melted butter and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and process until the crumbs are moistened.  Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan.  Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes.  Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack. 


 Blend the ricotta in a food processor until smooth.  Add the cream cheese and sugar and blend well, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping down the sides of the work bowl.  Blend in the limoncello, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon zest.  Add the eggs one at a time, and pulse just until blended.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan.  Place the baking pan in a large roasting pan, pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the  baking pan.  Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour (the cake will become firm when it is cold).  Transfer the cake to a rack; cool 1 hour.  Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours.  Cut the cake into squares and serve.  


And  now, sit back, help yourself to a serving and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Cinque Terre. Buon appetito!



38 thoughts on “Limoncello cheesecake squares

    1. If I used a spring form pan, do you think it would bake the same in a roasting pan with water? I am going to make this dessert for my family this Saturday. I think it will be a hit. I will let you know.



      1. Vilma

        Putting a baking disk inside a roasting tin and half covering the baking dish with water makes the dish cook more evenly.

        Don’t forget to line the springform pan with silver (aluminum) foil so it is waterproof. Then add your mixture.

        Allow for 3 minutes of extra cooking when removed from oven as it is still cooking internally.

        When serving, I use a cake knife run under a hot water tap. It cuts more easily and cleanly and saves arguments on who has that fraction more than them 🙂



      2. Hey Vilma, it looks like Mac already beat me to it. You can definitely use the spring form pan, but remember to adjust the baking times too, also don’t forget to wrap the tin foil around the pan before you put it in the water bath. Good luck! I baked it when our girls were home last weekend too.


    2. You’re welcome Mac, don’t forget to down it with a swig of limoncello the liqueur? :). Loved Florence too, but wasn’t quite crazy about Milan, but we weren’t in Milan long enough.


      1. Sorry Loretta – wordpress flagged it to me as a reply to my comment. Hmmm…

        Loved Sienna too and got tickets for the Palio.

        Try Magdalen Nabb books as they so remind me of Firenze. Even the police station at the Pitti Palace. Never did get to walk between the Pitti and Uffizi walkway though…one day!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. OMG, Loretta! Your recipe is just to die for! I have bookmarked it and think I will plan a party just so I can have an excuse to make this dessert! Thanks a million for bringing this to FF. Don’t tell anyone, but I am working on my second piece! I just couldn’t stop myself! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Juliana, it really is quite good, and when nobody is looking, you might just add a cup of limoncello instead of half a cup :)). Enjoy, and have a great weekend!


    1. It sure is Tracey, and as I wrote that post, I too felt like I was going back in time, and all was right with the world. 🙂 Thanks for visiting.


  2. You’re making me homesick for Italy with these beautiful pics of Cinque Terre. We often used to hop on the train from Florence for some hiking between the villages and a lovely evening spent eating and drinking in one village before doing it all again the next day! I also have a bottle of limoncello waiting for inspiration -I think this is it! Thanks so much for the recipe. Just have to hope I am patient enough to wait 8 hours…!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wasn’t it just the best Anna? I too loved hiking between the villages with a view of the sea in front of you, stopping every so often for some cheese, olives and a crusty loaf and downing all that with limoncello? ha ha!! Thanks for stopping by, here’s to Italy!!


    1. Well a lot of the ingredients are like cheesecake Sue, but with the biscotti and some limoncello, it definitely put a twist on the regular cheesecake. Thanks for stopping by!


    1. Thanks Dimple, no you haven’t invited me yet. Although I’m not fully vegetarian, and probably don’t have a lot of veggie posts, I could surely share some of my dessert recipes and the odd vegetarian. I’ll give it a go anyway, thanks for the invite 🙂


  3. Hi Loretta – had to check out your recipe as I will be posting one this weekend. I don’t think I was following you in 2014. Too bad as I could have been enjoying Limoncello for the past 3 years instead of just in the past few months LOL Looks really good and different from my recipe 🙂


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