Lemon Swiss Roll
This Lemon Swiss Roll is a soft and citrusy cake delicately rolled with a heavenly blend of mascarpone cream and fresh lemon curd filling. A perfect harmony of sweetness and zing, this refreshing treat will awaken your taste buds with every bite!
The filling for this lemon Swiss roll is made complete with my The Most Amazing Lemon Curd recipe! This tangy lemon curd is super easy to make and much better homemade.
Why This Recipe Works
- Sweet creamy mascarpone filling. This lemon Swiss roll is filled with a yummy mascarpone cream filling which helps add substance to the filling and keeps it quite thick and super creamy.
- Homemade lemon curd. This homemade lemon curd recipe is the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness.
- No butter = less likely to crack. The lemon Swiss roll sponge doesn’t include butter in the batter so it is less likely to crack when rolling.
- Large Eggs: As you’ll see in the recipe, there aren’t any leavening agents in the cake batter. So the airy texture of the cake comes from beating lots of air into the egg mixture.
- Sugar: The granulated sugar is beaten with the eggs to create a light and fluffy texture.
- Lemon Zest: The lemon zest is added to the eggs and sugar to help infuse the mixture with the lemon flavor. This gives a delicious lemony sponge.
- Lemon Curd: I used about 1/2 cup lemon curd in the lemon curd Swiss roll. If you use more, you risk the lemon curd seeping out as you roll the cake.
- Cake Flour: Cake flour is a lighter texture and lower protein content, so you’ll want it for this recipe! This is a light sponge cake.
- Mascarpone Cheese: The mascarpone cream adds the perfect touch to the filling.
- Heavy Cream: Beat the heavy cream into the mascarpone mixture to create stiff peaks — it’s like a mascarpone whipped cream filling.
- Prepare the oven and pan. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a jelly roll pan (10 inches x 15 inches) and line with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
- Make the lemon sponge. Add 4 eggs, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest to a large bowl. Mix on medium high speed for 3-4 minutes until light in color and double in size. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine. Add 3/4 cup cake flour and gently fold in the flour with a rubber spatula. Don’t deflate the air in the batter.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Pour the lemon sponge batter into the cake pan. Using an offset spatula or angled spatula, spread batter into even layer.
- Bake the lemon Swiss roll. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden on the top and when the cake springs back when touched.
- Prepare the towel. While the cake is baking, lay a clean kitchen towel on a clean counter. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
- Turn the cake onto the towel. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately (and carefully) turn it upside down onto the towel. Remove the parchment paper and dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.
- Roll the lemon sponge. Starting on the short end, roll the cake and towel into a spiral. Let the cake cool while rolled until room temperature.
- Make the mascarpone cream filling. As the cake cools, make the mascarpone filling.Add 4 oz mascarpone, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract to a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. Slowly add in 1 cup heavy cream while mixing. Mix until the cream is thick and stiff peaks hold.
- Fill the lemon Swiss roll. Unroll the cooled cake and spread the mascarpone whipped cream on top. Drizzle with 1/2 cup lemon curd and spread the lemon curd into the cream.
- Roll the lemon Swiss roll. Carefully re-roll the lemon Swiss roll (without the kitchen towel) from the short side back into a spiral. Wrap the lemon cake roll in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. Unwrap, dust with powdered sugar, then slice and serve. Enjoy!
The cake doesn’t have leavening agents and gets the lift from the mixing (iconic characteristic of a genoise sponge). Because of this, you want to be sure and mix the eggs and sugar for the full 3-4 minutes.
Then be careful to gently fold in the flour so you don’t deflate the batter — you want to keep as much air in there as possible so the cake will rise well.
I used homemade lemon curd and only about 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup. You can use more if wanted, but when rolling it up the lemon curd (if using too much) will seep out.
Flip the cake onto the towel right after removing it from the oven! You want to roll the cake while it is still warm to reduce the risk of cracking/breaking.
Be sure to use enough powdered sugar so that the cake doesn’t stick to the towel when rolling it up.
Letting the Swiss roll rest in the fridge will help it keep its shape and will help the fillings to not ooze out as much when cutting.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
Store any leftover lemon Swiss roll wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To freeze, tightly in plastic wrap then in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove and thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.
To prevent cracking, it’s essential to roll the sponge cake gently and evenly. Be sure not to over bake the cake, as a moist sponge is less likely to crack. While rolling, use a clean kitchen towel or parchment paper to guide the roll, but don’t press too hard. Rolling the cake when it’s still warm (but not hot) can also help maintain its flexibility.
Yes, you can make the lemon Swiss roll in advance and freeze it for up to a month. Wrap the rolled Swiss roll tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil before freezing. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
A jelly roll pan or a Swiss roll pan, typically measuring around 10×15 inches, is ideal for baking a sponge cake for a Swiss roll.
You can use cream cheese.
More Lemon Desserts
Lemon Swiss Roll
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- pinch salt
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a jelly roll pan (10” x 15”), then line with a sheet of parchment paper, then lightly grease the parchment paper once in the pan.
- Place the eggs and granulated sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix on medium high speed for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture is light in color and has doubled in volume.
- Add the vegetable oil and salt and mix to combine. Add the cake flour to the wet ingredients and using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour into the batter doing your best to not deflate the air in the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to spread the batter into an even layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden on top. The cake should spring back when touched.
- While the cake is baking lay a clean kitchen towel on the table. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
- Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and carefully tun it upside down onto the towel. Peel off the parchment paper. Dust the top of the cake with additional powdered sugar, then starting with the short side, roll the cake and the towel together into a spiral. Let the cake cool until room temperature.
- While the cake is cooling make the cream filling.
- Place the mascarpone, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. With mixture on medium speed, slowly add the heavy cream. Mix until thick and it holds stiff peaks. (Try not to overbeat as it can separate).
- When cake is cooled, carefully unroll it, spread the mascarpone whipped cream overtop of the cake. Drizzle the lemon curd over the whipped topping, and then use the back of a spoon to spread the lemon curd into the cream.
- Carefully re-roll the cake (without the kitchen towel) into a spiral. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes prior to serving.
- When ready to serve, remove the cake from the fridge unwrap from the plastic wrap, dust with powdered sugar, slice and serve.