Swiss roll


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

Swiss roll or Jelly roll originated in the 19th century. Its origins are not entirely certain because many cultures have a similar cake. The British are extra enthusiastic because it reminds them of that other classic, Jam roly-poly. You can experiment with the flavours of fillings and toppings, but my favourite will always be the classic combination of strawberry and cream.


For the cake

  • 4 egg whites
  • 100 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • zest of ½ lemon, grated
  • 45 g ( oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 45 g ( oz) rice flour or cornflour (cornstarch)
  • caster (superfine) sugar, for dusting

For the filling

  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) cream with at least 40% fat
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 4-6 tbsp strawberry jam
  • chopped pistachio nuts, to garnish
  • fresh strawberries and raspberries, to garnish


For a 39 x 27 cm (15½ x 10¾ inch) Swiss roll tin

Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease the Swiss roll tin, line with baking paper and sprinkle with caster sugar.

In a bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and then add the sugar, one spoonful at a time. Keep beating until the mixture forms a meringue. Beat the egg yolks in another bowl.

Add a teaspoon of meringue to the egg yolks, then mix in the grated lemon zest. Transfer the egg yolk mixture to the meringue and mix well. Carefully fold in the flour and rice flour so that the volume is retained. Spoon the batter into the tin and smooth the top.

Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the cake has a golden blush. Remove the cake from the tin and place it on a sheet of baking paper with a tea towel underneath, then roll it up and let it rest until you are ready to assemble. This will make rolling up the filled cake much easier.

Whip the cream with the sugar. Unroll the cake and spread it with the jam, followed by the whipped cream. Re-roll the cake and decorate it with chopped pistachios and fresh berries.