Limoncello Trifle

So one day a couple of weeks ago, as I was researching ingredients for my lemon vodka pasta, I found myself swigging limoncello at 10 a.m. for inspiration.  That moment led to 2 inspirations actually.  One was that vodka would be perfect in the pasta sauce and the other was that I absolutely needed to make something outrageous with that limoncello.

So from that little (ahem) tasting, was born this trifle and I must say there’s nothing trifling about the flavors in here.  Limoncello, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is an Italian lemon liqueur.  If you love lemon and have never tasted limoncello, I say to you “get thee to an appropriate vendor and buy thyself some limoncello!”  Oh, it’s lovely stuff and it adds an impressive dimension to the lemon flavors in this..

I’m going to do my best to describe the creamy, lemony lusciousness of this trifle, although I doubt very much if I am that skilled in my writing.  But I’ll give it my best shot.

What we have here are layers of cake (I used this one, but pound cake would do as well)


drenched in limoncello and enveloped with a creamy, lemony custard. 

This is topped with crushed coconut macaroons and lemon zest, but a little whipped cream would not hurt this picture one bit.  The first few bites are mostly about that creamy custard, but soon that lickered-up cake kicks in and there’s no goin’ back.  Oh my.


So I leave you with Limoncello Trifle as the Circle B Kitchen heads off into the sunset (literally).  We’re packing up for a couple of weeks and heading off to our Western headquarters on the Central Coast of California, which is sort of like going home for us.  We’ll keep cooking because that’s what we do, and hopefully keep you posted as to the hardships and travails of spending 2 weeks in the sun and sand of California.  I wonder if I could sneak a little lemon trifle in my carry on.

Limoncello Trifle

Printable Recipe

Makes 1 large or 4 individual trifles

Several slices of pound cake or this cake
1 cup of lemon curd (homemade or store bought)
4 egg yolks
1 1/3 plus a tablespoon of whole milk or half and half
1/4 cup sugar
limoncello for drizzling
crispy coconut macaroon cookies, crumbled
lemon zest

You can either do this in one large bowl or in individual parfait or wine glasses.

For the custard:
Warm the milk in a medium saucepan.  In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.  Whisk the warmed milk into the sugar/egg yolk mixture a little at a time and then pour all of that back into the saucepan.  Heat the custard over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened (it will just thicken slightly, but will get very thick as it cools).  Do not let it boil or might separate.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon curd until blended.  This mixture may be quite thin at this point.

Slice the cake into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place a layer of them in the bottom of your bowl. Give that a good drizzling of the limoncello (you want this to soak into the cake), and then cover that with some of the custard. Repeat these layers until your bowl or glasses are full.  Refrigerate until about an hour or so before you want to serve these. 

Just before serving, crumble the macaroon cookies over the trifle and sprinkle with the lemon zest. I think they're best at room temperature or only just slightly chilled as the custard will soften and be more luscious.