Anyone up for a slice of cake?? Have I ever told you how much I love cake, as in I actually tell people it was my first love. This probably explains a lot, like why I’m a pastry chef, how I consider bakery hopping a legitimate sport and why I was such a chubette as a child… Anyway, so yeah, cake – birthday cake, layer cakes, ice cream cake, cheesecake, mini cakes, cupcakes, bundt cake and then there’s cake rolls. Why is it that I always get this nervous look on my face as soon as I even think about making a cake roll? And due to the amount of requests I’ve received for a great cake roll recipe plus success tips, apparently I’m not alone!
I actually wanted to make another cake roll since I posted the espresso swiss rolls a few months back, but was waiting for the right time. Inspiration just has to hit me for these things, and inspiration hit with the arrival of meyer lemons. As soon as I made that first batch of meyer lemon curd, aka liquid gold, I knew it was time for the cake roll to make an appearance.
So I dug out my go-to recipe, added some meyer lemon zest for even more flavor and said a little prayer. Dramatics aside, the most important thing when making a cake roll is to roll the cake while it’s warm – as in 4-5 minutes out of the oven. I placed a tea towel on the counter, dusted it with a good amount of powdered sugar, inverted the cake onto it, peeled off the parchment paper and rolled it up. When it cools like that, it takes on that shape as you can see below.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s chat about this filling. Normally when I want to lighten lemon curd, I go for whipped cream, but this time I used mascarpone instead. What a good idea!! The creamy mascarpone mixed with the bright lemon curd is a fabulous combination that you do not want to miss! Once I filled the cake, I popped it in the fridge so it had a little time to set up.
I topped the cake with some raspberry whipped cream and then piled on over a pound of blueberries! This is some serious business here and the end result was awesome! The lemon curd paired with mascarpone all tucked into a light airy cake is like a slice of sunshine in the middle of winter. The instructions for this cake are a bit on the long side, but don’t be intimidated, I just wanted to be as detailed as possible. I also added some helpful notes, and just remember to roll the cake while it’s warm! I hope you enjoy it!
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 & 1/4 cups sugar
- zest of 1 meyer lemon
- 3/4 cup meyer lemon juice
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
- 4 eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup sugar
- zest of 2 meyer lemons
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 16 ounces lemon curd (1 batch)
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- Berries for garnish
- Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened. Do not boil.
- Remove from heat and strain.
- Once curd is cool, cover with plastic and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a half sheet pan with non stick, line with parchment, and spray again.
- Sift cake flour and set aside.
- Whip 4 egg whites with 1/2 cup sugar on medium high till stiff peaks form and set aside.
- Whip 4 egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar and lemon zest till eggs turn light in color & get thick. This will take about 5-6 minutes on medium high speed & I used a hand mixer.
- Add canola oil and vanilla extract to egg yolk mixture & continue to mix till incorporated.
- Add cake flour, baking powder and salt to egg yolk mixture in 2 additions just till dries are combined. You will notice the mixture start to get thick.
- Take 1/3 of the egg whites and stir it in to the egg yolk mixture. This will lighten the egg yolk mixture.
- Next, gently fold in the remaining egg whites in 2 additions being careful not to deflate the mixture.
- Pour batter in prepared pan, spread evenly and bake at 375 degrees for approx. 10 minutes.
- Allow cake to cool for 4-5 minutes max. While the cake is cooling place a tea towel on your counter and dust with powdered sugar.
- Invert cake on tea towel and peel off parchment paper. Using tea towel, roll cake up quickly and allow to cool.
- Mix chilled lemon curd with mascarpone.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes so filling can firm up before you fill cake.
- Unroll cake.
- Spread lemon mascarpone filling over cake in an even layer within a 1/2 inch of edges.
- Roll cake up again and with seam side down refrigerate till ready to serve. Make sure you cover the cake so it doesn't dry out.
- Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with berries.
The key to this cake is to roll it while it is warm.
You can lighten the lemon curd with whipped cream instead of mascarpone if you choose. You can also choose to not lighten it at all, and just use the curd for a stronger lemon flavor.
If you put the filling to close to the edges, or the filling isn't firm enough and starts to peek out the edges, don't worry. Simply place the cake roll in the fridge so it can set up and then trim the edges so it looks clean.