Crazy for Crust

Apr 06

Lemon Cake Roll

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You all knew it was coming, right? This should be no surprise?

I have been super addicted to lemon. I love cake rolls. The result? A Lemon Cake Roll!

It's a lemon cake filled with lemon whipped cream. The perfect Lemon Cake Roll!

I love my job. My job is super fun. I get to make cookies and cake rolls for lunch. I get paid to make dessert and ramble onto y’all every day. It’s pretty much a dream come true.

Sometimes I look back on my life BB (Before Blogging) and I think about all the things I used to do:

Clean my house.

Enjoy cooking dinner.

Cut Jordan’s sandwiches into hearts.

Decorate for holidays.

Celebrate holidays on time.

Purchase <insert holiday name> gifts more than 2 days before <insert holiday name>.

Not buy butter in bulk.

Now, my house is a mess, Jordan’s lucky if she gets a sandwich at lunch, and the last time I cared about doing something cute for any holiday was about 3 years ago.

And I’m sorry, people shouldn’t complain if they get Easter treats at Valentine’s Day. It’s just how it is.

I think that list doesn’t look much different than any other mom’s list, actually. Except for the butter in bulk. I buy mine in the form of 4- 4 pound packs at Costco. Monthly.

I don’t have to buy lemons in bulk. Those I get from my mother-in-law. Bless her! And you know what you can make with lemons?

A lemon cake roll.

It's a lemon cake filled with lemon whipped cream. The perfect Lemon Cake Roll!

Cake rolls are about as holiday as I get this year, and you know what? I think that’s okay. They’re pretty much perfect for every single one!

This lemon cake roll is super lemon. It’s got a hidden cape and everything.

It starts with a lemon cake. You bake it in a 10×15 inch jelly roll pan. Make sure you line your pan with foil. I’m giving you a tip: spray the pan with the cooking spray that has flour in it. I ran out and it stuck like crazy to the foil, even with regular cooking spray. I usually use the flour kind, and I was kicking myself I ran out. Learn from my mistake!

The trick to a cake roll is to roll it hot. You turn the just baked cake out onto a kitchen towel that’s been sprinkled with a generous amount of powdered sugar. It will get all over you, your walls, and your kids in the other room. It’s just a fact of life.

You can see my photo tutorial for a cake roll here. And read my rules for good cake rolls here.

The filing for this cake roll is a lemon whipped cream. You mix lemon curd with some freshly whipped cream and spread it  over the cake before rolling it. (You probably have some lemon curd left over from making these lemon cupcakes.) Mixing it gently with the whipped cream makes the whipped cream so good!

The cake is spongey and lemony, the filling is light and lemony. This is the perfect lemon cake roll and it’s perfect for holiday dessert.

Luckily, any holiday.

It's a lemon cake filled with lemon whipped cream. The perfect Lemon Cake Roll!

What? You didn’t want Sopapillas at Easter dinner? Well, too bad. 😉

Lemon Cake Roll

Yield: 10 servings

Lemon in every bite! Lemon cake and lemon whipped cream filling make this the perfect cake roll for any occasion.



  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice (about 1 medium or 1/2 large)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, to aid in rolling


  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd (or pie filling would work too)
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll (10x15”) pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. (Use the spray with flour or actually grease and flour the foil to avoid sticking.)
  2. Beat eggs at high speed for 2 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. Beat in sugar, lemon juice, and zest.
  3. Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir into wet ingredients just until blended.
  4. Spread in prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. Bake for 9-11 minutes (mine took 10).
  5. While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup). As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil carefully.
  6. Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour.
  7. While the cake is chilling, make the filling. Beat the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
  8. Gently fold in the lemon curd. Chill until ready to use.
  9. When cake is cool, carefully unroll the towel. Spread the lemon whipped cream over the cake. (You might have some whipped cream left over.) Gently but tightly, re-roll the cake and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill until it firms up a bit, at least one hour or overnight. Slice and serve. Cake will last covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Perfect Triple Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes (9 of 13)

Lemon Meringue Pie Fudge

Lemon Pie Fudge

Easy Lemon Cream Danish

Easy-lemon-cream-danish (4 of 7)w

Lemon Pound Cake


Sweets from friends:
Lemon Drop Cheesecake Popsicles by Tatertots and Jello
Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon Curd by Shugary Sweets
Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake by Sally’s Baking Addiction
Lemon Chess Bread Pudding by Something Swanky
Or check out my Epic Lemon Round-Up with over 140 recipes!

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90 Responses to “Lemon Cake Roll”

  1. Becca from ItsYummi! posted on April 6, 2014 at 4:15 am (#)

    Lemon desserts make me smile! So bright and cheery :)


  2. Megan - The Emotional Baker posted on April 6, 2014 at 4:52 am (#)

    I have yet to try a cake roll even after seeing all your delicious varieties. This lemon one might truly be the first one I try! Thanks for sharing :)


  3. Tieghan posted on April 6, 2014 at 6:00 am (#)

    I buy that butter too. Gotta suck up so I never run out. LOL!

    Love this roll. It’s gorgeous and I am really into lemon right now, so I all over this recipe! :)


  4. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent posted on April 6, 2014 at 6:42 am (#)

    You’ve done it again… another amazing cake roll. Love! Love!


  5. Lisa posted on April 6, 2014 at 6:59 am (#)

    Yay! I have been looking for my next cake roll recipe-and of course you deliver THIS! I’ll be making this one for Easter! Love your recipes! Happy Sunday!


  6. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron posted on April 6, 2014 at 7:10 am (#)

    Love the few lemon recipes you’ve had lately! It makes me feel like Spring! I have actually never made a cake roll – I definitely need to give this a try! Pinned :)


  7. marcie posted on April 6, 2014 at 8:23 am (#)

    I always love your cake rolls, and this is such a pretty sunny yellow color! :)


  8. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on April 6, 2014 at 8:38 am (#)

    I was waiting for this! I KNEW you’d do a lemon + cake roll. You are the MASTER! of both! :)


  9. Holly Waterfall posted on April 6, 2014 at 10:43 am (#)

    Oh my yum! you really make the best cake rolls Dorothy!
    The best part is, I have all the ingredients and was wondering what to do with my leftover lemon pie filling.


  10. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life posted on April 6, 2014 at 12:52 pm (#)

    Ok, I had to laugh at your list of things you used to do BB…looks just like my list. Clean the house? What? It’s a good thing my kids are old enough to pack their own lunches now. You have outdone yourself on this cake roll. IT is absolutely gorgeous! It’s perfect for this time of year!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 6:46 am

      Glad it’s not just me! Thanks Jocelyn!


  11. sally @ sallys baking addiction posted on April 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm (#)

    You are officially the QUEEN of cake rolls, Dorothy!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 6:46 am

      Thanks Sally! I just love them so much!


  12. Jenn @ Deliciously Sprinkled posted on April 6, 2014 at 1:55 pm (#)

    Lemon is my favorite and all your lemon recipes have been so amazing! And this cake roll, takes the cake! Ha! I have never made a cake roll before, but I might give it a try because I want a piece of this delicious lemon cake! Pinned :)


  13. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet posted on April 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm (#)

    You are on the roll with the roll cakes! Love love this lemon version! I am crazy about lemon desserts this Spring!


  14. cheri savory spoon posted on April 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm (#)

    A roll cake sounds pretty advanced to me. Looks amazing! I love lemon anything.


  15. Laurie F. posted on April 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm (#)

    Gorgeous! Nothing says Easter dessert like lemon cake, and this will look great on a white plate, on my yellow tablecloth!


  16. Leslie posted on April 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm (#)

    Oh this looks good! I’d love a piece. I hope you’ve had a great weekend!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 6:45 am

      Thanks Leslie! It was great, I hope yours was too!


  17. Aimee @ ShugarySweets posted on April 6, 2014 at 5:07 pm (#)

    What a dreamy dessert. I totally love lemon, would be my first choice over chocolate. And this cake roll? You make them gorgeous!!


  18. Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking posted on April 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm (#)

    Dorothy, it’s official. I NEED to bake a cake roll. I keep putting it off and putting it off (and then forgetting about it until you post a new one). By my birthday in June, please make SURE I have posted a recipe for one!! And yes, I will be meticulously following your tips and tricks. :) And celebrating holidays on the actual date and not 2 months in advance? Totally overrated. The cool (food blogging) kids definitely know how to do it!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 6:44 am

      Yes you must make one! Helthified!! I can’t wait for that recipe. :)


      • Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking replied on April 7th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

        My wheels are already turning… I’m thinking chocolate. Now if Easter could hurry up and be over already so I can quit with the pastels, lemon, and carrot cake things and get started on it! 😉

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  20. Medeja posted on April 7, 2014 at 3:56 am (#)

    Lemony, light and delicious! This roll is definitely a winner!


  21. Jennie @themessybakerblog posted on April 7, 2014 at 4:35 am (#)

    At least I know I’m not the only one with laundry piled up, dust on my furniture, and dishes in the sink. I don’t have time for that :) I’m just happy you put this cake roll first. The house can wait. This looks delish. Pinned.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 6:44 am

      Thanks for the pin Jennie!


  22. Joshua Hampton posted on April 7, 2014 at 6:01 am (#)

    This lemon cake roll looks so bright and cheery. It cheers me up just looking at it.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 6:44 am

      I know right? I think that’s why I love lemon so much!


  23. Julie @ This Gal Cooks posted on April 7, 2014 at 8:23 am (#)

    This is such a beautiful cake roll, Dorothy! Ah, sometimes I think about life before blogging, the time I had to watch more TV shows, not spend lots of money at the grocery store, not having sweets all over my house. LOL. But you know, I wouldn’t change it for anything either. :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks so much Julie!! Me either!


  24. Heather @ French Press posted on April 7, 2014 at 8:31 am (#)

    making lunch? I gave that up months ago…my kids buy nearly every day , and my house is a PIT, but cake makes that all better


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      I wish! She checks the menu and fake barfs, lol. :)


  25. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction posted on April 7, 2014 at 11:11 am (#)

    I had a lemon cake roll for the first time last year and it became one of my favorites! Yours looks amazing!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks Jessica! I remember yours too, it was gorgeous!


  26. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar posted on April 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm (#)

    Of course this was coming! I love it! And I love your list of things before blogging. So accurate. Clean house? Those exist? And I actually bought 2 3lb things of butter last week at Costco – and used it all! Lots of testing going on.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      I like to think of it as a matter of pride that I can go through 4 pounds of butter in less than a month. *pats self on the back*


  27. Shannon @ Bake.Frost.Repeat posted on April 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm (#)

    OOh, this looks wonderful. I love lemon especially this time of year!


  28. Renee @ Two in the Kitchen posted on April 7, 2014 at 7:33 pm (#)

    Oh YES!!! I so love this!!! I mean….it’s LEMON!! This is truly fantastic Dorothy!!


  29. Zainab @ Blahnik Baker posted on April 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm (#)

    My lemon fever is in full force!!! Love this roll cake :) (Before blogging life sounds so normal and distant lol!)


  30. Lashes and Dashes posted on April 8, 2014 at 7:08 am (#)

    I love this recipe! I always love a good cake roll, I have made two so far on my blog and would love for you to check it out!


  31. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes posted on April 8, 2014 at 10:07 am (#)

    Love this, Dorothy! I have made a cake roll twice – both times were chocolate. I never thought about making a lemon one! Pinned this gorgeous and delicious cake! :)


  32. Beauty Follower posted on April 9, 2014 at 8:34 am (#)

    Lemon based desserts are so fresh and delicious!


  33. whatjessicabakednext posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:09 am (#)

    Really can’t wait to try this recipe- LOVE lemon cakes! Perfect Summer recipe!


  34. Renee @ Awesome on $20 posted on April 14, 2014 at 10:14 pm (#)

    I’ve never tried making a cake roll, but this one sounds so outstanding, we may have to change that very soon.


  35. Kristyn posted on April 17, 2014 at 8:58 am (#)

    Mmmmm, looks great!!


  36. leah reed posted on April 18, 2014 at 5:08 pm (#)

    I just made this- my cake has a crepe-like consistancy, is that how it is supposed to be? Yours looks spong-ier than mine. Wondering if my jellyroll pan was too big???


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 18th, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      I jelly roll pan is 10×15. The cake was a thick sponge, not as light as a regular cake.


      • leah reed replied on April 18th, 2014 at 10:01 pm

        That explains it! My pan is 13×18. Going to double the recipe and give it another try! Thanks!!

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  38. Lashes and Dashes posted on April 27, 2014 at 10:49 am (#)

    Love your recipe! I did my own take on it for Easter Dessert, I would love for you to check it out on my blog!


  39. Shirley R. posted on May 11, 2014 at 8:02 am (#)

    Looks delicious! my mother made me something like this years ago for my birthday but she made the filling out of cream cheese instead.


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  42. Denisse posted on July 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm (#)

    I made this last week, but in lieu of lemons (too expensive at $1 each) I used limes, lime zest and lime juice. I also spread the cake roll with DULCE DE LECHE! and did not use the lemon curd, just the whipping cream + the powdered sugar).
    Took it to a friend’s house as dessert and me oh my! It was the hit of the day! (the argentinian style BBQ was delicious though)
    This website is my go to dessert ideas! I enjoy reading every single one!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on July 12th, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      Thank you Denisse! That’s such an awesome flavor combo – I would never think of lime and dulce de leche. Now I need to try that! Thanks for reading and baking along! :)


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  46. Kiah posted on November 25, 2014 at 8:55 pm (#)

    Which way do you roll it? (hotdog hamburger)


  47. Brandy M Lewis posted on November 28, 2014 at 7:51 pm (#)

    If you skip the foil and use parchment paper to line your pan and you won’t need to use any kind of spray. It just peels off really easily after you dump it on to the kitchen towel. I can’t wait to try this recipe I just love a good lemony dessert.


  48. Danyel posted on December 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm (#)

    Soooo…..I made this. My kiddos really enjoyed it. My youngest said “hey mom-what if you did this with oranges instead. You know-like an orange dreamsicle cake roll?” Well seein’ as how I finally got a kitchen aid stand mixer (I’ve only wanted one for like, a gazillion years)…I needed an excuse to plug it in. I kept to the cake recipe and just switched out the lemony stuff for orangy stuff. For the filling I followed a cream cheese recipe that is commonly used for pumpkin roll and added about 1/2-3/4 tsp of orange extract. It turned out wonderful! Thanks for the inspiration (:


    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 9th, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Yes yes yes!!! Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. I must do an orange version…I have a whole bag on my counter. :)


  49. Sonia posted on December 13, 2014 at 6:06 am (#)

    the lemon roll looks delicious!  This will bey next experiment.  I did not see butter or oil in the cake recipe.  Does it not need any kind of fat?
    Thank you! :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 13th, 2014 at 6:53 am

      No – no fat needed! Many cake roll recipes don’t contain any oil or butter. It keeps them slightly drier and able to roll! Enjoy!


  50. Rachel Majeno posted on December 29, 2014 at 11:44 am (#)

    Can you freeze these cake rolls? I made a couple as gifts, and the recipient is out of town.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 30th, 2014 at 7:20 am

      Yes you can! My MIL always used to make tons of pumpkin rolls as gifts and she would freeze them!


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  52. Jan Maratty posted on February 8, 2015 at 5:23 pm (#)

    Can’t wait to try this, I like you love anything Lemon. Thanks for all the recipe’s.


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  63. Ariane posted on May 2, 2015 at 11:34 am (#)

    YUM!!!!! I just made this cake for my birthday. It is delicious! Thanks Dorothy. This recipe is definitely a keeper.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on May 2nd, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Happy Birthday Ariane!! :)


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