Friday 15 February 2013

Raspberry-Redcurrant Jam Swiss Roll

I love the simplicity of a jam roll. There's something very satisfying about a swirl of light, fluffy cake stained with fruity, slightly sharp jam.

Once you've got the hang of it, they're also very speedy, especially as the ingredients are the sort of things you might have to hand. I can usually go from thought to cake in under thirty minutes.

My first attempt at a Swiss Roll, back in 2010, didn't go well. It cracked badly and the sponge tasted bland and was somehow both sticky and dry. Now I have a much better recipe.

I also found it difficult to picture the techniques involved (and a few others have mentioned the same problem), so last week I decided to take some videos. The first is of me spreading the mixture (sounds absurd, but it is delicate and took me time to get right) and the second is of the whole flipping/trimming/rolling process. I hope they make it clearer.

I've also solved the problem of the cake sticking to the parchment by lightly greasing it with butter and using granulated sugar - the bigger crystals keep it off the parchment, don't turn syrupy or sticky and give the outer bites a satisfying crunch.

In recipes that fill the roll with anything heat-sensitive, like my Chocolate Swiss Roll with Peanut Butter Mousse or Bûche de Noël, you have to roll it up between sheets of baking parchment, let it cool, then unroll and fill as below. If I'm making a jam roll with a different flavour (the raspberry-redcurrant jam already has a slight sharpness), I stir in a touch of lemon juice to loosen the set and balance the sweetness.

I was flustered filming the second video as I knew I'd have to make the cake again if I made a mistake. Thankfully I'd already decided to cut the sound, so you can't hear me swear when the side of the sponge sticks to the tray. But, as Julia Child said - 'never apologise'. Just cut more of the side off and proceed as normal - with an extra snack for the chef...

Jam Swiss Roll
(sponge recipe adapted from David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert)

80g plain flour
30g cornflour
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional*)
pinch of fine sea salt
3 eggs
25ml cold water
120g caster sugar
tbsp or so of granulated sugar
jam to fill (about 150g)

Preheat the oven to 170C/340F. Lightly grease and line a baking tray that's at least 30 x 40cm (the one above was a bit small). Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt together three times. Place the yolks and water into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high for 1 minute. Sprinkle the caster sugar in and whip for 4 minutes until pale, thick and a ribbon of mixture stays on the surface for the count of five. Whip the whites until a peak on the end of the whisk stays stiff. Carefully fold a third of the flour into the yolks with a big metal spoon, then another third, followed by a third of the whites, the rest of the flour, then the rest of the whites. Carefully scoop out onto the tray (but don't scrape any gluey/unmixed bits off the spoon/bowl) and use a big palette knife to confidently sweep it out into an even rectangle of roughly 25 x 35 cm (see video above).

Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden brown, slightly risen and springy to the touch in the middle. While it bakes grease a square of parchment bigger than the cake and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Get a big knife, cake rack and the jam ready (I usually do this on the dining table for space). When it comes out, let it sit on the tray for 1 minute, then flip out onto the sugary parchment. Carefully peel the parchment off the bottom of the cake. Cut a thin slice off the edges to straighten them and stop it cracking as you roll. Spread the jam liberally over the sponge, leaving a cm gap around the edge. At one of the short ends of the rectangle, use the knife to dent (not cut) about 1 cm into the end. Use this to start rolling the sponge up, keeping it tight and peeling off the paper as you go. When you get to the end, tuck the end underneath. Trim the two swirly ends with a serrated knife to neaten them up and leave to cool for a few minutes before slicing.

Best eaten when just cooled. It keeps in a tin for a day and freezes well.

*The baking powder gives it an extra boost - you can easily make it without, but it helps if you're worried about losing too much air when you're folding and spreading.

(Makes 1 roll, 8-10 slices)

A few more posts that involve whipping egg whites:
Pomegranate and Berry Pavlova
Old Fashioned Sponge Cake


  1. Me too. I made this on Monday and it was gone in a day. Might have to make another tomorrow.

  2. The videos are fantastic! I haven't quite worked up the courage to make a swiss roll though have been wanting to try it for some time. I will definitely come here for a refresher when the time comes! They look great!

  3. Loved seeing this pop up in my reader because I have very fond swiss roll memories. My Nana used to buy one on occasion for us and I would enjoy a thick slice of it for breakfast in the days that followed. She would just smile at her giddy grandchild having cake for breakfast.

    I also appreciate your observation on treats that go from "thought to cake" in a snap. These are very important to have in life. And your videos are great! That little sequence when you're spreading that sparkly raspberry jam onto the cake is so great.

  4. Thanks! I promise it's not too tricky, especially once you've got the hang of it and tried it a few times.

  5. Oh no, how annoying. Maybe you could try this instead, if you have a tray. I haven't made a Victoria sponge in ages - I'll have to put it on my to-do list.

  6. I'm so pleased you think they're helpful. I think it's a really good idea to try tackling the recipes that intimidate you - you might be surprised at how well they go.

  7. Thanks for the videos and descriptions. I've never made a sponge roll before, but it's definitely on my to-do list. I'd been looking forward to make my very first Victoria sponge cake this weekend, but alas, the tins I had ordered arrived with scratches. *sigh*

  8. What a lovely image - I can just picture the scene at your breakfast table. My granny used to buy these frozen victoria sponges when I was little and I loved them - I think partially because they were so different from the cakes I ate at home. Glad you like the videos too - they're fun to make and I hope they'll be useful.

  9. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen16 February 2013 at 15:42

    I haven´t made a vanilla jelly roll in years! It has always been such a common thing here, filled with dulce de leche, that I never bother. But it looks wonderful Emma!

  10. My need for baking therapy overcame my scruples about the scratched tins (they're only scratched on the outside after all), so I baked a Victoria sponge this afternoon. Thanks to your foundation posts I knew I needed to cream the butter and sugar for quite some time to make the whole mixture as fluffy as possible. I'm happy to say that my cake turned out beautiful. (Even if I kept hearing Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood's faintly disappointed voices in my head, "You've overworked the dough." "It's overcooked." Or worse, "The cake is underdone." - Geez, that's what you get from watching too much TV!)

  11. Gosh, dulce de leche sounds good - is the cake flavoured too or plain?

  12. Thanks in favor of sharing such a nice opinion,
    article is good, thats why i have read it completely

    My homepage -

  13. Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory17 February 2013 at 20:14

    I love the simplicity of the Swiss roll, too - it's simple in look and presentation, yet so exquisite in taste. Thank you for the how-to video. I now feel more confident in tryingy hand at it! Perfect timing for the long wkd!

  14. I love swiss rolls but I don't think I've had one since I was a child! Yours looks absolutely perfect!

  15. How neat that it spilt into three even pieces! I think the recipe makes a lot of difference to how easy they are to deal with. So pleased the videos help. It's satisfying to have jam from last summer to brighten up the spring when there's not much around.

  16. Thanks Kate! I don't think I really had them as a child, so they're not really nostalgia food for me - but I love them in their own right.

  17. It's great to hear that you feel more confident now - that's what I was aiming for. I hope you get time to try it out.

  18. I hadn't realised that so many people associate swiss rolls with childhood. I hope you get to experience one again soon - they're too good to only eat as a child!

  19. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen17 February 2013 at 23:06

    Just plain vanilla, it´s one of our oldest cakes and a bakery staple. And if you need another tip for unmolding the sponge, do it onto a clean, damp kitchen towel dusted with sugar. It also helps when you roll it with the filling.

  20. It sounds lovely, I'll definitely try that. Do you make dulce de leche from scratch or condensed milk or buy it? I've been wanting to try making it from scratch for ages.

    I've tried the kitchen towel thing but I prefer to use the greaseproof paper - partly laziness as I don't have to wash a tea towel and partly because I find it easier!

  21. I love the videos, Emma! I'll definitely try this recipe!

  22. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen18 February 2013 at 11:15

    You´re so right about the towel! I buy my dulce de leche. I live In Buenos Aires, it´s everywhere, it´s supposed to have been originated here...

  23. I bet it's everywhere, that's amazing - you can buy it in the UK (haven't seen it in Switzerland) but I've always made it from condensed milk.

  24. Thanks Zita! I hope you do get to try it, it's such a fun and delicious recipe.

  25. Lovely look and simply delicious... Well done! Ostriche

  26. Thank you Ostriche, I'm glad you like it.

  27. This is a wonderful recipe Emma. Last time I tried to make Swiss roll it cracked so badly it was pretty much flat. This one rolled up beautifully and tasted delicious. The videos were a great help too.

  28. I'm so pleased that you tried it, that it went well and that the videos helped! I really love this recipe.

  29. Annabelle Reid6 March 2013 at 09:41

    Brilliant, tasted great and was not difficult to make. I can be rather clumsy at cutting whipped egg white into things and was worried I would knock a lot of air out but in the case all was well. Will definately make again.

  30. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 09:49

    I think this sponge recipe is really forgiving (especially with the touch of baking powder) - great to hear that it worked well for you! Thank you for commenting - I love hearing how things have gone.

  31. Baked this today. Good texture, soft.. was super easy to roll. However, can't really compare to those specialised japanese type of swiss rolls that taste and feel like clouds.

    Good fail-proof recipe though.

  32. poiresauchocolat3 May 2013 at 09:58

    I'm glad it went well. I've never had a Japanese version - this is definitely a British recipe!

  33. You should really try some. Matcha swiss rolls with red bean is a popular one.

    I just followed your instagram. Loveeee your blog!

    - @bakedinchelsea


If you would like to leave a comment or question, please do - I appreciate every one and will reply as soon as possible.