Limoncello Cheesecake Squares

A couple of weeks ago, I turned on the television and became entranced by Food Network Caters Your Vegas Wedding. For those unfamiliar, engaged couples entered a contest in which the grand prize was a wedding reception catered by Food Network. One of the many desserts featured was this one by Giada De Laurentiis. These looked too good to pass up. So, I found the recipe on their website, tagged it at, and anxiously awaited the opportunity to try it out.

Limoncello cheesecake squares

With company coming for dinner, I decided it was time. I got all the ingredients together and headed to the liquor store. Limoncello, I have learned, is a popular Italian liqueur made from lemons, alcohol, sugar, and water. I never dreamed that I would get bad news when I got there. No limoncello. It could be ordered if I wanted, but it would be a MONTH before they would get it. What kind of delivery service do they use?!? Anyway, it was far too late in the day to worry about it, so I headed home to figure out something else to make.

In our freezer, I happened upon a nearly empty bottle of lemon vodka. I don’t remember this, but Quinn says we purchased this a while back for making Cosmopolitans. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, hence the birth of Lemon Vodka Cheesecake Squares.

I followed Giada’s recipe for the most part. I used Nonni’s Original Biscotti, which has anise, almonds, and walnuts, for the crust. In my local grocery store’s less than expansive dairy section, I could only find part-skim ricotta. That brings us to the limoncello. I didn’t have 1/2 cup of lemon vodka. It was more like 3/8, so I used 1/8 cup of water to finish the volume.

I thought I would avoid relating this part, but Quinn has given me permission. I used an 8″x8″ pan instead of a 9″x9″, so I had a little bit of batter left over. I turned around to find Quinn drinking it, using the food processor bowl as a mug. It’s that good.

After chilling in the refrigerator overnight, it was finally time to try them out. Oh, my. They are so good. Light, fluffy, smooth. The biscotti crust was just the right flavor to go with the lemon filling. I think I will try these again (in a month or so) when I can get some limoncello.

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  1. Nicole August 12, 2006 Reply

    I’m totally gonna have to try these. Since I’m in Sicily, Limoncello is available on every corner along with the best ricotta in the world! I’ll let you know when I end up making them!

  2. Author
    Jennifer August 12, 2006 Reply

    I still haven’t procured any Limoncello. I’m anxious to hear about your results.

  3. Bakequery December 26, 2006 Reply

    Hey, was the cheesecake sweet enough? My daughter tried to make me some limoncello but was doubling the recipe and forgot to double the sugar. I now have a big bottle of not very sweet lemon vodka. I’m thinking about making your lemon squares. I think I can figure out how much sugar is missing per ounce and then add that to the recipe but am wondering if I should even bother. If you say they are delicious with lemon vodka then my slightly sweet lemon vodka should be good, too. Right? What do you think?

  4. jennifer December 26, 2006 Reply

    Bakequery, I think it’s worth a shot. If it doesn’t taste sweet enough, you could always sprinkle the bars with confectioner’s sugar. That would add a little sweetness. Good luck!

  5. Lisa January 7, 2007 Reply

    3/8 cup is more than 1/4 cup :) How much lemon vodka did you really use?? It sounds delicious.

  6. jennifer January 9, 2007 Reply

    Lisa, that was a typo that I have now corrected. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of limoncello. So, I used 3/8 cup lemon vodka plus 1/8 cup of water. Thanks!

  7. Donna February 15, 2007 Reply

    I love limoncello from Italy but you can easily make your own: Soak the zest from 6 organic lemons in 750 mm bottle of vodka
    (preferably 100 proof)in a jar with a tight fitting lid for 10 days. Bring 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups sugar to a boil for 3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Strain the vodka/zest mixture (reserving the zest) into a bowl. Stir the zest into the hot sugar syrup and strain into another bowl. When cool stir into the lemon flavored vodka. Discard the zest. Store in jar with a lid for another 5 days before serving. Store in freezer.

  8. jennifer February 16, 2007 Reply

    Thanks for the tip, Donna! I may have to try that one of these days, since my local liquor store still has no limoncello.

  9. KAYLEIGH June 26, 2007 Reply


  10. Chilli Blog UK April 30, 2010 Reply

    This looks fantastic, thank you for sharing…

  11. Tina B June 16, 2012 Reply

    I shared your Limoncello Cheesecake Bar recipe because I snorted laughing when you mentioned your husband drinking the batter. I hope you have made the recipe with limoncello because it is very good!

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