Lemon Cake Roll

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 roll recipes 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 & video 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. 😉

If you’re in love with lemon like me, try a Lemon Snack Cake, Lemon Muffins, Lemon Cake Balls or a Lemon Layer Cake.

Did you make this recipe?

Lemon Cake Roll

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

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 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

Filling:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll (10×15”) 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.
All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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Lemon Pound Cake

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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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109 comments

  1. Lemon desserts make me smile! So bright and cheery 🙂

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

  5. 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. 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. I always love your cake rolls, and this is such a pretty sunny yellow color! 🙂

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

  9. 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. 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!

  11. You are officially the QUEEN of cake rolls, Dorothy!

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

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

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

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

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

  18. 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!

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

  21. 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.

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

  23. 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. 🙂

  24. 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

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

  26. 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.

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

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

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

  30. 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! http://lashesanddashes.com/2013/12/15/peppermint-roll/

  31. 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. Lemon based desserts are so fresh and delicious!

    http://beautyfollower.blogspot.gr/

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

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

  35. Mmmmm, looks great!!

  36. 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???

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  38. 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. 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. 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!

    • 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. Which way do you roll it? (hotdog hamburger)

  47. 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. 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 (:

  49. 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! 🙂

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

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

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

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  66. Love it, will be making some treats from your website pretty soon…perhaps when husband goes back to work next week.

  67. Can you freeze this lemon roll

  68. Trying to figure out how to replace filling.I’m lactose intolerant 

  69. When freezing, would you fill it first, or would you freeze the cake only and then fill and roll after thawing?

  70. Easier to make than you would think- absolutely delicious

  71. Lemon rolls are a common bakery item here in Germany. I don’t know how your’s stacks up to the ones here but I’m willing to bet it’s really great! If you want to see what the lemon rolls look like, just type zitronenrolle into google. Usually there is lots of lemon cream. I never liked lemon desserts before this cake…

    When I move back to the States I’ll need to try out your recipe. 🙂

  72. Just made this for my niece’s birthday, it was a hit and easy to make!
    If you have time to freeze it beforehand, slice and plate while still frozen, you’ll be glad you did! Recipe is a keeper!

  73. Some day I will learn how to make a jelli roll with a cake mix and have it turn out. I used your information to make mine but also added in cream cheese to my lemon whipped cream. It tastes awesome. My cake roll though cracked quite awesomely.

  74. HI Dorothy. Can you substitute a white cake mix for the Devils food in the link above?  I would like to use a white cake mix and put the lemon cream in it. Thanks. 

  75. Hi I just made the sponge cake & followed all instructions however when I came to unroll the kitchen towel & release the roll, it all cracked & broke to pieces. It had become too hard like cookie. What did I do wrong & how can I fix it??

    • How long did you bake it? If it was hard like a cookie it was either baked too long or you used too much flour. Can you get the filling to hold it together? If so, you can even try and make layers instead of rolling it, and then frost the outside. Or make it into a trifle with layers of cake and whipped cream!

  76. SO beautiful,SO delicious and SO photogenic as well. I can’t say enough about this WONDERFUL recipe!

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