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How to make a white Christmas limoncello cake

This showstopping Christmas dessert has sky-high layers of light sponge, limoncello filling, lemon curd and creamy coconut frosting, which will definitely bring festive cheer. For a speedy shop, don't forget to screenshot our handy ingredients list at the bottom.

  1. Make the cake

    Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line 3 x 18cm (7in) loose-bottomed cake tins. In a large bowl, beat together 375g softened unsalted butter and 340g caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add 5 large eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Fold in 325g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 100ml soured cream and 25g desiccated coconut.

    Make the cake
  2. Bake

    Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 mins, until risen and golden or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 mins then turn out the sponges onto wire racks to cool completely.

  3. Make the filling and frosting

    For the filling, beat 75g butter and 75g cream cheese until fluffy then add 300g icing sugar and beat until stiffened. Stir in the zest of 2 limes, a squeeze of lime juice and 2 tbsp limoncello; chill for 15 mins.

    For the frosting beat 150g unsalted butter and 150g cream cheese using electric beaters until pale and fluffy, add 400g icing sugar and beat until stiff, grate in 100g creamed coconut and beat again to combine. This frosting can be used straight away. For best results, ensure the butter and cream cheese are both at room temperature before beating.

    Make the filling and frosting
  4. Slice the sponges

    When the cakes are completely cool, carefully slice each sponge in half (horizontally), using a large, sharp, serrated knife, to make 6 even layers. Stack on a plate for use as required.

    Slice the sponges
  5. Layer the cake

    Put the first layer of sponge on a serving plate and spread with a third of the filling. Top with a second layer of sponge and spread with 3 tbsp of lemon curd. Continue layering up the cake with alternating layers of filling and lemon curd, leaving the sixth tier plain.

    Layer the cake
  6. Ice the cake

    Using a palette knife, spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake, covering the cake completely and smoothing into an even layer.

    Ice the cake
  7. Decorate

    Sprinkle 20g desiccated coconut over the centre, and then press 20g more around the bottom third. Adorn with your favourite Christmas decorations, if you like. To serve, cut into small slices.

    Coconut and limoncello HERO

    Calories 533 (27%), sugar 46.9g (52%), fat 32.6g (47%), saturates 20.2g (101%), salt 0.3g (5%), based on 24 servings.

  8. Get ahead

    Make the sponges the day before – store them in airtight containers until ready to ice, or freeze them for up to 1 month wrapped in baking paper and tin foil. The frosting can be made a day in advance and kept chilled. Remove from the fridge 15 mins before icing the cake and whisk to bring it back to the right consistency. Once iced, the layer cake will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days.

  9. Ingredients

    We've prepared a simple shopping list so you can easily get all you need to make this show-stopping festive bake. Be sure to note down the ingredients or take a screenshot before heading to the shops.

    375g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
    340g caster sugar
    5 large eggs
    325g self-raising flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    100ml soured cream
    25g desiccated coconut

    For the filling
    75g unsalted butter
    75g cream cheese
    300g icing sugar
    2 limes, zested, plus a squeeze of juice
    2 tbsp limoncello
    6 tbsp lemon curd

    For the frosting and decoration
    150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    150g cream cheese, at room temperature
    400g icing sugar
    100g creamed coconut (solid block)
    40g desiccated coconut