Saturday, 9 November 2013

Zingy Lemon Swiss Roll

On Monday evening I went to a colourful cakes Clandestine Cake Club event in Reading. After we signed up we were each randomly assigned a colour. I was given yellow and immediately knew I had to make a lemon cake of some description. I went through all of my books looking for something that would be very lemony as it's not often that I get to make lemon cakes as my boyfriend isn't that keen on them. Finally, I settled on a lemon Swiss roll filled with lemon curd from Mary Berry's 100 Sweet Treats & Puds book. I jazzed it up with a coating of lemon buttercream and a small pack of yellow sprinkles that were lurking in the cupboard, I think they came with a packet of decorate your own gingerbread biscuits we bought reduced after Easter. This is only the second time I've ever made a Swiss roll, the first was a white chocolate Yule log last year which cracked a bit, so I was a bit nervous about how well it would turn out. I also have to confess that I didn't make my own lemon curd as I wanted to focus on getting the cake right and didn't want to risk a curdled lemony mess. Now I've got the hang of the technique of rolling the cake I'll be baking more Swiss rolls as they're fairly quick to make and don't need expensive ingredients.

The rest of the cakes at cake club were very colourful, everyone had done a really good job of interpreting the theme. Katy made a purple ombre cake which was absolutely stunning, the cake was almond with a passionfruit filling and was very delicious. A green mint chocolate 'After Eight' cake from Fi and Clara was refreshing with a good minty flavour in the sponge and the icing. There were two velvet cakes, a black velvet from Lisa who blogs at United Cakedom (she has more photos of all these cakes too) and also a red velvet cake from Clare, difficult to choose which was the best! Louise our organiser picked brown as her colour and instead of making a chocolate cake she baked a brown butter cake with frangelico frosting. Very different and very nice, something I will have to try one day. There was also a chocolate orange cake from Siobhan which looked lovely but sadly I don't like chocolate orange as a flavour combination so I can't tell you what it tasted like, everyone else seemed to enjoy it though. Finally for pink there was a raspberry Neapolitan cake made by Becki which was huge, sadly I didn't get to try a piece as I was too full by the time I'd tried all of the others. I did take a piece home but when I went to went to taste it the next day, my boyfriend had pretty much scoffed the lot, so the verdict from him was delicious.

Bottom right is the Neapolitan that I didn't get to try and the rest of my cakey haul :)
Even though my cake ended up being the smallest one there, it stood out with it's zesty lemony flavour and this was the first time that I ended up not bringing any back with me. Don't worry I still had a slice and it was perhaps one of the best lemon cakes I've ever made. Next time I bake it I'll be brave and have a go at making my own lemon curd.

Ingredients - adapted from 'Sweet Treats & Puds' by Mary Berry

For the sponge:
4 large eggs
100g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
100g self raising flour

4 tbsp good quality lemon curd

100g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar
juice of 1 lemon
yellow food colouring - I used Sugar Flair paste in bitter lemon
yellow sprinkles - optional

  • Preheat the oven to 220C and line a 33 x 23cm Swiss roll tin with non-stick greaseproof paper.
  • Use an electric hand whisk on high speed to beat together the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in large bowl until pale and frothy. This will take around 5 minutes and the mixture should leave a slight trail when the beaters are lifted.
  • Sift the flour into the bowl and gently fold it in making sure it is all incorporated. Pour the mixture onto the prepared tray and spread into the corners making sure it is level. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • When the cake is ready remove it from the oven and allow to cool for a minute before inverting the cake onto a clean piece of greaseproof paper, trimming the ends and making a score mark about 1 inch in from one of the short ends, next carefully roll it up in the paper, this makes it easier to roll and fill later. Leave the cake to cool then gently unroll it and spread over the lemon curd evenly before rolling up again and placing on a serving plate.
  • Make the buttercream by beating the butter until soft and fluffy, gradually beat in the icing sugar and the lemon juice until you have a smooth icing. Add a little food colouring to give a lemony yellow colour and mix well. Spread the buttercream over the cake using a palette knife and finish with sprinkles if using. 
I'm linking this up with Bake Fest which is a monthly link up for vegetarian/vegan baked or broiled dishes. 



  1. Replies
    1. It was amazing even if I do say so myself!

  2. wow! YELLOW!!!!!!!!!... that looks amazing and I bet it tasted really zingy... love lemon cake x

    1. Thanks Dom, I love the colour I got for the buttercream and the whole thing was super zingy :)

  3. I remember making swiss roll at school, for a yule log. Still a little scared now to re-attempt it, vaguely recall lots of frosting to cover the cracks!

    Really love the idea of attending a cake club, sounds so indulgent and naughty but nice!! I do love the vividness of your lemon cake really stands out!

    1. Cake club is great fun and if there's one near you why not join them, it's good way to meet new people and pick up baking tips :)

  4. I love all things lemon, so this would be the cake for me. Cake club is such fun. My last meeting was Halloween, but our next hasn't been arranged yet. We had lots of boys at our last meeting too, which was unusual.

  5. This looks amazing, what a great idea.

  6. wicked colour nikki taylor

  7. I'd have used less food colouring - it's very, very yellow!


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