A light and airy vanilla sponge, filled with fresh raspberries, whipped double cream, and a generous helping of tangy lemon curd. I think you’ll agree that today’s Raspberry Lemon Swiss Roll is quite possibly the best Swiss Roll in the world.
It’s definitely the summeriest ☀️
Okay, fair enough, it does have a crack or two on the outside, but that’s pretty much standard for a homemade Swiss Roll (or Cake Roll, or Jelly Roll, or whatever you call it where you live). It adds to the charm, right?
Did I mention that it’s the first Swiss Roll I have ever made? No? Well. It. Is.
And I’m pretty damn happy about how it turned out.
The first question I know you want to ask, is how do you get those gorgeous pink and yellow stripes? Well, that’s probably the easiest bit of all, save for whipping the cream. You are going to want to make a slightly thicker sponge batter (see the recipe below) and then colour one half pink and one half yellow. Pipe it on to a lined Swiss Roll tin, and pop in the fridge for half an hour. The batter will go pretty stiff, enabling you to add the rest of your light and fluffy vanilla sponge batter on top, without any danger to your pretty little lines.
Pink and yellow was the obvious choice here, but you are only limited by your imagination. Imagine a vanilla Swiss Roll filled with fresh cream and strawberries, with cute little strawberries on the outside. Or how about something green, purple, and orange for Halloween? And let’s be real – the Christmas-themed possibilities are endless here.
As you’ve probably heard a million times from me, and everyone else out there, the best food colouring to use is gel or paste. Liquid food colourings are too weak to get a good colour without ruining the consistency of your batter, and we definitely don’t want our lines being too runny to stay put in the oven. Lately I’ve been using this Wilton set which I picked up from Amazon a while back, and it’s not let me down yet.
To fill this Raspberry Lemon Swiss Roll, you are going to need some lemon curd (make it or buy it, whatever’s good for you), some juicy raspberries, and a cup of fresh double or heavy cream. I whipped the cream by hand – it is possible! – but if you’ve got an electric whisk then save yourself the arm-ache and use it.
I know what you’re thinking: when am I going to get to the elephant in the room? Yes, of course, rolling up a flat sheet of sponge cake is always going to be stressful. I read tonnes of guides online so that I would (hopefully) get it right first time, and I think I pretty much did.
So here goes… My eight tips for a successful Swiss Roll-ing experience:
Make sure you level out the batter in the tray before you put it in the oven, as this stuff isn’t the best at self-levelling. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you just dollop the batter in the tray and leave it, you won’t have a nice even sponge to work with.
Don’t over-bake the sponge. Seriously. Seven minutes might seem like to short a time for anything to actually bake properly, but this sponge is thin enough that if you leave it in the oven for more than eight minutes, you run the risk of it being too dry to roll properly. And that’s a recipe for some serious crackage.
As soon as it’s out of the oven, roll it up, even if that seems like a bad idea. We need to make sure that the sponge cools in the shape of a Swiss Roll, so that when we come to put the filling in, it will want to roll back in to shape again. I like to think of it like curling hair – heat is the only thing that’s going to get your ringlets to hold, and sponge is no different. Make sure you use oven gloves or a tea towel to avoid getting burnt on the hot baking tray.
Trim off the edges, as they will be much firmer than the rest of the sponge, and therefore less likely to bend. I cut the edges off whilst it was still in the pan, which I think helped release the sponge from the tray much more easily.
Sprinkle some icing sugar (powdered sugar) on the tea towel before you roll up the sponge in it. Or the warm sponge is liable to get stuck to the towel. And nobody wants that.
Make sure you roll it up real tight – the warm sponge is much more bendable than you expect. You aren’t going to break it at this stage, unless you’re rough with it.
Leave it to cool all wrapped up tight in the tea towel. This is probably going to take about an hour, so sit back, grab a cup of tea, and catch up your favourite Netflix show whilst you’re waiting.
Be very gentle when re-rolling. Unrolling and filling are easy enough, but remember that even though you followed my advice and dusted your tea towel in icing sugar, it is still probably going to want to stick to the Swiss Roll. As long as you know this, re-rolling the filled Raspberry Lemon Swiss Roll will be a doddle (well, kinda).
If you’ve managed to read all this way, then I salute you. You are obviously destined to become a master Swiss Roll baker in no time. If you want to keep things a bit simple, then by all means don’t worry about the stripes. Just follow the recipe for the sponge, and leave it plain. You could always add some yellow or pink food colouring into the sponge batter, and some lemon extract if you’ve got it to hand. Just make sure you follow the tips above, and let me know how you get on. I will try and answer any questions you have in the comments below!
- 60g (½ cup) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 60g (¼ cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large egg whites
- 80g (1/3 cup) plain or all-purpose flour
- Yellow and pink gel or paste food colouring
- 45g (1/5 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 80g (2/5 cup) caster sugar (US granulated)
- 75g (2/3 cup) plain or all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 240ml (1 cup) double or heavy cream
- 4-6 tablespoons lemon curd
- 250g (2 cups) fresh raspberries, halved
- Preheat your oven to 200°C / 355°F (180°C fan) and grease and line a swiss roll (cake roll) tin with baking parchment or a silicon baking mat, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the icing sugar and butter together using an electric whisk, or stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment, until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites and then continue to whisk for two minutes. The batter may not have combined completely, but that's okay. Put the flour through a sieve, and then add it to the batter. Beat with an electric mixer until fully combined and smooth.
- Spoon a little less than half the batter into another bowl and add yellow food colouring to it. Mix well with a fork, and add a little more yellow if necessary to get a smooth, vibrant colour.
- Add pink food colouring to the other half of the batter, and mix to a similarly vibrant colour as the yellow.
- Using two piping bags, pipe diagonal lines onto the baking sheet. Pipe pink lines first, and then add yellow ones in between. There should be some gaps between your lines. I made my pink lines slightly wider than my yellow ones by chopping the tip off the piping bag slightly higher up (giving a bigger hole). You could also use a larger round nozzle if you are using a reusable piping bag.
- Once you are happy with your design, place the tray into the fridge whilst you make your swiss roll batter.
- Melt the butter in the microwave (or in a saucepan) and then set aside to cool. Grab two fairly large bowls, and separate the eggs so that the three yolks are in one, and the three whites in the other. Add half the sugar (40g) to each of the bowls. Using an electric whisk, whip the egg whites and sugar to stiff peaks, and then whip the egg yolks and sugar until much paler in colour.
- Gently add the egg whites to the egg yolks a little at a time, folding together. Be careful not to beat the mixture, as you don't want to knock all the air out of it. Once combined, gently fold in the flour, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
- Remove the swiss roll pan with the pattern in it from the fridge. The coloured stripes should be quite firm by now - if not, pop back in the fridge for 15 minutes. Once firm, pour the swiss roll batter over the top, and gently smooth out using an offset palette knife, making sure to get all the way to the corners. The batter will not level itself out in the oven, so make sure it is smooth and level now. You may see some of the pink or yellow stripes through the batter, but that's not a problem.
- Pop the sponge in the preheated oven, and bake for 7-8 minutes. Be careful not to overbake, as this will make it more likely to crack when rolling. To test if the sponge is ready, it should spring back when you press down on it gently, and be slightly golden on top. A toothpick or skewer inserted into the sponge should come out clean.
- Once the sponge is baked, remove it from the oven and use a knife to run round the edges of the pan to loosen it. Get a baking sheet covered in a clean tea towel, place on top of the sponge, and then flip it upside down so that the sponge is pattern-side up on top of the tea towel. You need to do this as soon as possible, and whilst the sponge is still warm.
- Gently peel off the baking parchment from the sponge, and then use a sharp knife to cut off all the edges, leaving a nice clean rectangle. Place another clean tea towel down on the work surface and sprinkle it with icing sugar. Carefully flip the sponge onto the tea towel so that it is pattern-side down. Whilst still warm, roll up the sponge tightly with the tea towel inside (where the filling would be) and leave to cool for an hour.
- When the swiss roll has cooled, pour the double cream into a bowl and whisk to stiff peaks. Gently unroll the swiss roll from the tea towel, and cover with a generous helping of lemon curd. Add the whipped cream on top of the curd, and spread out with a palette knife. Press the raspberry halves into the whipped cream, covering the entire surface. Once you are happy with the filling, begin to gently roll up tightly, removing the tea towel as you go. The pattern-side of the sponge may stick a little to the towel beneath it, so be careful. Hopefully the sponge won't crack, but do not worry if it does. It happens to the best of us!
- The Swiss Roll should be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container. It is best eaten on the day of baking, although it will keep for up to 2 days.