Crema di Limoncello

Crema di Limoncello

Limoncello di crema is a sweet version of the limoncello digestive prepared with milk! If you adore lemon desserts this one is for you. Best kept in the freezer it is easy to prepare and refreshing to drink either after your meal or to accompany dessert.
My Nonna’s Limoncello recipe is one of my most popular ever posts, and in the video she explains the method to making this Crema, but doesn’t showcase it – so of course everyone asked! You can now carefully prepare this delicious Italian lemon drink with a sweet yet slightly tart flavor.Nonna’s crema di limoncello uses organic lemons to create a light, refreshing, zesty drink with a little kick. If you’ve tried Limoncello before and are looking for something a little sweeter, look no further – make this following Nonna’s method and then gift it in small bottles to friends..if you’re able to share!

Watch the Crema di Limoncello video recipe:

How To Make CREMA DI LIMONCELLO Like an Italian Nonna

Crema di limoncello by nonna

Vincenzo’s Plate Tips

Cut Only the Rind of the Lemons

Be very careful when removing the lemon rinds, as it’s best only to get the very thin exterior of the citrus. Cut slowly in a spiral with a sharp knife to ensure control and as little of the white interior of the lemon as possible to provide the most flavor for the alcohol.

Get The Right Lemons

Make sure your lemons are high quality! Nonna uses lemons from Sicily, but if that’s not possible, just ensure they’re organic and pesticide-free. Farmers’ markets, local trees in your area, or farming acquaintances are good places to source your lemons for crema di limoncello.

What to do With Leftover Lemons

Once you get the rinds, you can use the unused lemons for other recipes! You can make lemonade, lemon chicken, biscuits, lemon pasta, anything! Check my other recipes for suggestions on how to best use your remaining lemons!

Limoncello Freezer vs. Refrigerator

It’s best to freeze the crema di limoncello rather than refrigerate it, because the milk will spoil easily if left in the refrigerator. The mixture will not freeze fully in the freezer due to the alcohol, so it’s the best method for storing the crema di limoncello.

Add Any Kind of Fruits

Though this mixture is prepared with lemons, there are many choices beyond lemons to marinate with the alcohol to provide the flavor of the mixture. You could use oranges, strawberries, basil, mandarins, melon and many others. The choice is yours!

Make Sure The Sugar Completely Melts

After boiling the milk, stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure the sugar is fully melted. Crema di limoncello is best when the final mix is smooth.

Get Every Last Drop!

After pouring the marinated alcohol into the crema, be sure to pour some of the crema mixture into the container with the marinated lemon rinds to get the remaining alcohol. Use a ladle to pour a small amount into the container and then mix before pouring back into the crema.
crema di limoncello recipe

How to Serve Crema di Limoncello

Crema di limoncello is served in tiny shot glasses to best savour the flavour of the final drink. Make sure the mixture remains in the freezer for the best taste! Salute!
crema di limoncello
limoncello cream by nonna

Crema di Limoncello

Here are the instructions on how to prepare Nonna’s crema di limoncello. This drink recipe is more than 40 years old and is the best available to make this creamy, citrusy mixture. If you’re preparing this for a gathering, it will sure go quickly!


  • 1 Container to marinate lemons
  • Glass bottles for the cream
  • 1 knife
  • 1 Pot to boil the cream
  • 1 Spoon
  • 1 Ladle
  • 1 Funnel
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • Small glasses


  • 9 organic lemons
  • 0.26 gallon pure alcohol 1 liter
  • 0.52 gallon milk 2 liters
  • ½ spoon vanilla powder or extract or extract
  • 2.2 lbs sugar 1 kg


To marinate the lemons

  • Slice off the end of the lemons with a sharp knife.
  • Cut the peel off the lemons in a spiral while making sure to cut as little of the white off of the lemon as possible. They should be very thin.
  • Place the rind layers in the container and pour the pure alcohol over the lemon rinds.
  • Tighten the lid to prevent evaporation and let the alcohol marinate for 15 days.
  • Shake the mixture periodically to let the ingredients incorporate then place the container in a dark place.

To make the crema

  • Boil the ½ gallon of milk for 20 minutes and remove milk skin from the surface.
  • Add sugar to the milk and let the sugar melt then stir sugar in with the boiling milk to let it incorporate.
  • Place the lid over the milk and let it completely cool down the milk once the sugar has melted then add a spoonful of vanilla.

To incorporate the alcohol

  • Once crema mixture is cool, pour marinated alcohol through a strainer into the pot to prevent the rind from falling in.
  • Stir mixture together then spoon a small amount into a container to mix around and pour to extract all remaining alcohol.
  • Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon then bottle it with a ladle and funnel before placing them in the freezer.
  • Leave space in the bottle for the mixture to expand – in other words, don’t fill them to the all the way to the top.
  • Let the mixture freeze while periodically moving bottles around to incorporate the limoncello.

To serve the limoncello

  • Remove bottles from the freezer and pour them into small shot glasses.
  • Limoncello will keep in the freezer for more than a year – if you let it last that long.


Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

how to make crema di limoncello

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