Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

lemon roll 1 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

I realize no one makes roll cakes anymore, but they should, because a) they taste nothing like the sweet jelly sponges that spend altogether too much time wrapped in plastic on grocery store shelves, and b) it will make life easier for anyone who is charged with making birthday cakes on a semi-regular basis. They bake quickly (under 15 minutes!) and are easy to roll and fill, then spread (messily, even) with frosting or lemon curd or jam or Nutella and roll back up. You get a perfect ratio of cake:filling in every bite, and it’s easy to slice and serve, each piece a more reasonable serving size than a slab of traditional cake, without looking stingy. Sold?

Lemon roll Collage 1 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

We got home from Vancouver on Friday afternoon, which was Mike’s birthday, with no dinner or cake plans and a nephew surprising us by installing a dishwasher in the kitchen. (Read: water off.) Which was totally amazing, of course (we’ve been without a dishwasher since last Christmas, and it goes without saying that I generate a lot of dirty dishes), but all added up to not a whole lot of time or space to make a fancy cake. Or rather, an excuse not to.

grating lemon Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

I went through the usual round of cop-out cakes in my mind: sunken chocolate? cupcakes? ice cream? But Mike really loves lemon, and not having enough time to make a lemon meringue pie, the idea of a lemon roll came to mind. I hadn’t made a cake roll in years, but I have a funny story.

It involves squirrels.

The first time I made a roll cake was about a decade ago, when I was foodstyling for Dana McCauley when she came through town to promote one of her books, a holiday baking book that contained a chocolate Yule log made with a coffee cream-filled cake roll. I was astounded at how simple it was – even the decorating part, which was frosting with a fork dragged through to create a bark texture, and flaked hazelnuts and wee meringue mushrooms. We brought it to the morning show, then came home in between for a couple hours’ break before the noon show.

When I went to leave the house for the noon news, I couldn’t find the Yule log. How does one lose a Yule log? I remembered bringing it from the car, and looked all over the house with no success. Finally I went outside, thinking I might put it on the roof of the car? and when I opened the front door, there on the step was the log – I had set it down to unlock the door. The chocolate log, decked out with its toasted hazelnuts and teeny mushrooms, was surrounded by squirrels, who froze in their chocolatey tracks and turned and stared at me. They had devoured the hazelnuts and were starting to dig through the cake itself. All had frosting covered faces and paws.

The story concludes with me refrosting the cake – at that point there wasn’t enough time to start again from scratch – and topping it with more hazelnuts and meringue mushrooms to cover the squirrel tracks. And making sure we kept the TV crew from eating it after the segment. The end.

lemon roll 11 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream
lemon roll 10 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

I thought I’d share a plain vanilla cake roll here because you can use it with so many fillings – frosting, curd, Nutella, preserves – you name it. It’s a spongy cake with very little fat, it’s easy to mix up and pour into a rimmed baking pan to bake for 12-14 minutes. It’s nice and thin, so bakes quickly. I used a silicone mat, but next time will go back to parchment or foil – with so little fat in the cake batter it stuck to the silicone a bit on the edges. (I could also alleviate this by spraying the mat with nonstick spray.) You just want to line it with something so that when you flip it out onto a tea towel it will stay in one piece; you then peel off the parchment or foil or silicone mat. So easy.

Lemon roll Collage 2 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

This is all done while the cake is still warm; you then roll the cake up with the tea towel inside it, then let it cool. It’s like curling your hair – wrapping it around something warm and letting it cool will set the curl. Once cooled, you unroll it, spread it with whatever filling you think will be delicious, and roll it back up. So easy.

lemon roll 12 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

lemon roll 7 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

lemon roll 6 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

lemon roll 5 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

Ta da! The lemon mascarpone cream sounds fancy, but really it was a way of using up a tub that was opened in the fridge; my original thought was to make a quick batch of lemon curd. I was lazy and dusted my cake with icing sugar; alternatively, you can spread it with any kind of frosting, or even top it with meringue and run it under the broiler, like a lemon meringue pie.

lemon roll 2 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream


Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

1 tub mascarpone or cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar (plus extra as needed)
finely grated zest of a lemon
juice of half a lemon

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for 3-4 minutes, until thick and pale yellow. Beat in the water and vanilla. Beat in the flour, baking powder and salt, beating just until smooth.

Line a shallow rimmed baking sheet – about 10×15 inches – with parchment or foil, and if you use foil, butter it or spray it with nonstick spray. Pour in the batter and smooth it to fill the pan to every edge. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.

Run a thin knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a tea towel that’s been dusted with icing sugar. Peel off the parchment or foil, then starting on a short side, roll up the cake with the towel and set aside to cool completely.

To make the filling, beat the mascarpone or cream cheese with the icing sugar, lemon zest and juice until creamy and spreadable.

Unroll the cake (it’s OK if the inside edge stays curled – don’t try to flatten it) and spread with the filling. Roll the cake back up, transfer it to a plate and dust with icing sugar.

Serve in slices. Serves 8-10.

pixel Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream
button print gry20 Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

October 28 2013 09:52 am | cake

41 Responses to “Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream”

  1. DJ on 28 Oct 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Love the squirrel story! You painted a great picture of the squirrels caught in the act. Can’t wait to make this cake as I too love anything with lemon!

  2. Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony on 28 Oct 2013 at 10:15 am #

    I love lemon, and this looks so good~ I’ve only made cake rolls twice before, but they were pretty simple and very tasty (a pumpkin ginger roulade for Thanksgiving, and a chocolate buche de Noel for Christmas)!

  3. Laura C on 28 Oct 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Julie, this is great. I think a roll cake is almost the first thing my mom taught me to make – because like you said it is quick and easy. She always filled hers with homemade raspberry jam, dusted with icing sugar and Ta-Da! Fancy dessert. She’s gone now, but you gave me a fantastic idea for a dessert to bring to guests on the weekend. Now to figure out how to make a Gluten Free roll cake! And PS the squirrels made me laugh.

  4. PlumGaga on 28 Oct 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Laur C, I recently made a chocolate cake roll for a party. There wasn’t a crumb left. Essentially, it is a baked chocolate mousse. There are recipes all over the internet.

  5. Erica B. on 28 Oct 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Happy Birthday Mike & welcome home Van Rosendaal family!

    Glad to have another lemon dessert for Tony, he loves lemon anything just like Mike. Yay for the new dishwasher and thanks for sharing-the squirrel story is priceless!

  6. Fiona on 28 Oct 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Ohhh. What a great birthday cake! Lucky Mike.

    My mom made a lemon roll cake for Thanksgiving (to appease the pumpkin-pie haters). She put curd in hers, but I think there was mascarpone as well. It was amazing. All the chocolate fanatics can have their chocolate, I’ll take a second helping of lemon anything, please.

  7. Kris on 28 Oct 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    Ok, I consider myself a fairly accomplished baker but for some reason I have always convinced myself that roll cakes were too fiddly, time-consuming, complicated to bother with and have never made one. You have convinced me otherwise now. This is now on my to do list for tomorrow. Thanks!

  8. Sue.D on 28 Oct 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Wow! Exactly the cake I’d love for my birthday. Or breakfast at any time – tomorrow in fact.

  9. Elizabeth on 29 Oct 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Wait, your dishwasher is fixed? Hooray!

  10. Cathy on 29 Oct 2013 at 12:48 pm #


    2. OMG – squirrels!

    3. Happy Birthday Mike!

    4. Halloween is coming…meat hand? Pleeassseee?


  11. Barb on 29 Oct 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Mom used to make jelly rolls from time to time and we all loved them. I have never tried one either but if you say they are easy then they are worth a try. It’s time. Great news about the dishwasher. I know it is easy enough to wash a sink full of dishes but it’s so nice when you don’t have to. You do have to empty them however…… Happy Birthday Mike!

  12. Anonymous on 29 Oct 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    I remember making jelly rolls in junior high Home Ec and thinking they were so fancy. My 9 and 12 year old made this for dessert last night as their grandparents arrived home fro a 6.5 week vacation. They missed the step to add the water and vanilla – but I luckily caught it in time. They used the vanilla bean paste that I bought at Christmas in November. The Lemon Mascarpone filling is so yummy! It was a hit!!

  13. Voula Martin on 30 Oct 2013 at 10:56 am #

    You had me at lemon. Making this today. Keep the lemon recipes coming; I adored the lemon pudding cake!

  14. Leah on 30 Oct 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    I just wanted to send a very grateful THANK YOU for this well timed post. My husband’s birthday is also the week of Halloween and we tend to have cake leftovers when the candy starts rolling in. I hate throwing out good food, but this was a nice small size, delicious and GONE!

  15. Kristiina on 31 Oct 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    How large is the tub of mascarpone? Thanks!!

  16. Mary on 02 Nov 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Yes, please would love to know how much cheese.

  17. ??? ?????? on 03 Nov 2013 at 4:16 am #

    These are really wonderful ideas in concerning
    blogging. You have touched some nice factors here.

    Any way keep up wrinting.

    Also visit my weblog :: ??? ??????

  18. Laura C on 03 Nov 2013 at 8:16 am #

    Julie, I made this yesterday, gluten free, substituting my favorite GF flour and a pinch of psyllium for the flour. It turned out really well (except I discovered that a ‘tub’ of philly/mascarpone must be the 250 g size, as I had way too much filling. No one seemed to mind…! Delicious!

  19. ChristieT on 16 Nov 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Made this cake last weekend – it was absolutely delicious! I was a nervous wreck making the cake, fearing it would crack/split as I rolled/unrolled, but it turned out perfect. I added a raspberry coulis on the side to fancy it up a bit.

  20. industrial painting contractor on 31 Dec 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    I’m pretty pleased to uncover this site. I wanted to thank you for your time
    just for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved
    every little bit of it and i also have you book marked to see new information on your website.

  21. ???? ??? ??? ??????? on 27 Mar 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Fastidious answer back in return of this query
    with solid arguments and explaining everything regarding that.

    Feel free to visit my webpage; ???? ??? ??? ???????

  22. metal roofing materials panels on 31 Mar 2014 at 4:21 am #

    This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.
    Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  23. personal injury attorney denver on 04 Apr 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    As a victim you have the right to complain and claim compensation for your losses.

    They not only handled dog bite cases but all cases involving car accidents,
    medical malpractice, truck accidents and about anything else you could
    imagine. Elevator accidents are rare, but they are able to happen.

    Check out my blog post – personal injury attorney denver

  24. usaha laundry on 29 Apr 2014 at 1:25 am #

    Hi there, I discovered your site by way of Google at the
    same time as looking for a comparable topic, your website
    came up, it seems great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hi there, simply changed into aware of your blog through Google, and found that
    it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out
    for brussels. I will appreciate in case you proceed this in future.
    A lot of people can be benefited out of your writing.


  25. ????????? on 02 May 2014 at 1:40 am #

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before
    but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to
    me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

    Visit my website :: ?????????

  26. Mercedes on 05 May 2014 at 1:54 am #

    Hey! This is the best hosting provider. I have tried personally their
    service and that i waas very impressed from that.

    Theiur rates will also be very affordable and also they are making an effort to
    us due to their best back-up and support worldwide.

    You need to accomplish this hosting provider as is also the most
    effective hostiing provider on this planet..

  27. how do you take garcinia how many milligrams of garcinia on 08 May 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

  28. Ahmad on 14 May 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did
    you download it from somewhere? A design like
    yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme. Kudos

  29. on 14 May 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped

    Feel free to visit my web-site; rp generator (

  30. contoh polis asuransi kebakaran on 16 May 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    contoh polis asuransi kebakaran

    Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream – Dinner With Julie Dinner With Julie Vanilla Cake Roll with Lemon Mascarpone Cream ยป Dinner With Julie

  31. FIFA 14 Ultimate Coins on 27 May 2014 at 9:22 am #

    What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity concerning
    unexpected emotions.

    Feel free to surf to my site – FIFA 14 Ultimate Coins

  32. Redballoon Coupon Code on 03 Jun 2014 at 2:17 am #

    Possibly you have used by getting the Personal Wine
    Coupon Code merely to identify that you can not use this more affordable
    it offers? Any person whom service providers online uncomplicated Personal Wine Coupon Code would’ve expert this difficulty.
    These types of Personal Wine Coupon Code will usually
    be exceptionally cherished simply by internet buyers considering that they make them wind up being issues in addition to knowledge referring to pertinent profits.

    You can stay clear of practically any type of difficulties aside from utilizing a Personal Wine Coupon Code need to you know they
    will certainly to make vital approaches as opposed to they
    will. A bunch of the issues totally consumed with the aid of customers include:

    Acquiring the done Personal Wine Coupon Code: A lot of Personal Wine Coupon Code
    use an event time-frame all over that they might halt used to get a more affordable price or simply simply valuable method.
    Together, an additional specific rather back might acquire
    fortuitous utilizing your Personal Wine Coupon Code which
    contain passed her expiry day when your company have in fact never ever deactivated this sort of reduction.

    Not essentially having a view at the Personal Wine Coupon Code totally.

    Prior to deciding to exactly what specifically kind of Personal Wine Coupon Code have
    to be made use of anybody successfully might well aren’t thrilled to
    found out discover the most from using. You can not think
    virtually all Personal Wine Coupon Code give a created reduced.

    Going down obtaining a specific Personal Wine Coupon Code.
    On the various other hand, you can use software program applications keeping to the real Personal Wine Coupon Code to ensure that you could use them even with
    the truth that vital.

    When you are obtaining online, you could have a big amount great bargains of money on a regular month-to-month basis using the appropriate Personal Wine
    Coupon Code. Getting this kind of Personal Wine Coupon Code may
    not be simple. Have to be honest truth, you’re probably to be spending bunches of unbiased searching for individuals Personal Wine Coupon Code.

    You need to acknowledge using Personal Wine Coupon Code in the accountable method or potentially you carry out discover youself to
    obtain spending a more considerable expenditure for any individual possibilities.
    It does not create simply thinking about that to recognize an instead a lot of aspects being made conveniently available with a little asking expense as a result
    of Personal Wine Coupon Code.

    Maybe you have used by acquiring the Personal Wine Coupon Code simply to recognize that you can not utilize this more economical it supplies?
    Because they make them become issues and also efficiency associating with crucial incomes,
    these type of Personal Wine Coupon Code will usually be exceptionally valued simply by internet purchasers.

    Getting the done Personal Wine Coupon Code: Many Personal
    Wine Coupon Code make use of an event time-frame across
    that they can quit used to obtain a more economical expense or merely merely useful approach.

    Before deciding to just what particularly sort of Personal Wine Coupon Code should be made use of
    anyone very well can well aren’t delighted to learnt discover the
    most from using.

    Perhaps you have used by getting the Personal Wine Coupon Code just to acknowledge that you can not utilize this much less pricey it supplies?
    These kinds of Personal Wine Coupon Code will typically be incredibly cherished merely by net purchasers taking into consideration that they
    make them come to be problems in addition to expertise describing relevant profits.

    Before selecting to specifically just what exactly type of Personal Wine Coupon Code need to be used anyone effectively could
    well aren’t delighted to learned locate the most from
    making use of. When you are obtaining online, you can have a huge amount excellent deals of
    money on a regular regular monthly basis making use of the appropriate Personal Wine Coupon Code.

    Perhaps you have utilized by getting the Personal Wine Coupon Code just to acknowledge that you can not utilize this more affordable it gives?

    These kinds of Personal Wine Coupon Code will usually be extremely valued simply by web buyers assuming about that
    they make them finish up being issues together with know-how referring to relevant incomes.

    Prior to deciding to specifically just what specifically
    kind of Personal Wine Coupon Code need to be made usage of anybody successfully could well aren’t delighted to found out discover the most from using.
    You can have a big quantity terrific deals of cash
    on a routine month-to-month basis making use of the right Personal Wine Coupon Code when you are getting online.

    Obtaining this kind of Personal Wine Coupon Code might not be simple.

  33. ???????? on 06 Jun 2014 at 12:16 am #

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this superb blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.

    I look forward to new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

  34. 1 Like No Other Discount Code on 26 Jun 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it,
    you are a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back
    someday. I want to encourage you continue your great job, have a nice morning!

  35. social media marketing assistant job description on 03 Jul 2014 at 1:04 am #

    Those figures account for the research, interaction, and distraction likely to happen when maintaining your
    networks. True, they grant us freedom but freedom is
    a privilege and that privilege must be used wisely.
    It helps a lot if you tag your videos with the best keywords that
    relate to your business. Would you say interacting using social media is better than using a telephone.
    Biba is the author of “Start Your Dream Business Today. Yes it is true that with social networking sites, you gain access to new friends, new faces to meet. Offers are also an important part of good content, but they should be used sparingly. This will double your marketing efforts from one published blog. Social media is used to create a brand and a loyal tribe of followers. This will help increase their trust in you, which will make them do business with you rather than your competition.

    my homepage; social media marketing
    assistant job description

  36. settlement loan companies on 04 Jul 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    In denver lawyer some cases, because this will seem like all lawyers
    come out of their damages to someone’s negligence, then it’s hard to claim should be power.
    Retain a automobile automobile accident contributed to drivers in the Athens area been injured in a cast.
    Steps to Avoid Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents:In many cases
    brake failure, tire blowout and other vehicles and many
    drivers into carpooling or taking a right decision.
    Extensive experience in motorcycle personal injury lawsuit, because there would not only provide protection for you.

  37. Olympia Moving And Storage Company on 08 Jul 2014 at 7:13 am #

    If you’d prefer to relocate completely hassle-free,
    Professional moving corporations area unit the simplest resort.
    Plus, companies have slowly learned that when they add
    up the costs associated with manufacturing overseas, they might as
    well pay American workers those union wages. A period represents
    the length of time a business operates and is being used to calculate a sales forecast.

    My web blog; Olympia Moving And Storage Company

  38. white plus size bodycon dress on 10 Jul 2014 at 1:30 am #

    Yes, fashion trends are referential and recurring, but at
    the same time new ones pop up, allowing us to visually reflect the
    world around us. You can correct and adjust the ready
    made design pattern at your will. Broadband and problematic stunts are their pastime right now.

    My web blog … white plus size bodycon dress

  39. pompano daytona beach plumbers daytona fl on 11 Jul 2014 at 1:37 am #

    Before marriage, search carefully for compatibility.

    Flat paint is the best choice for hiding rough spots and surface imperfections,
    which makes it perfect for ceilings and walls.
    Sometimes whenever a Berkeley plumbing predicament happens, people make an effort
    to fix the plumbing Berkeley problems with no help.

    my site … pompano daytona beach plumbers daytona fl

  40. Best Wrongful Death Law Firms FL on 19 Jul 2014 at 2:26 am #

    Now we have to sit medical malpractice law
    firm in hialeah, florida and be quiet. Freaky isn’t it His treatment mainly involved reading
    the doctor’s personal diaries, filled with sadomasochistic fantasies and undergoing brainwash treatments, to make him physically a female.
    Ask them to tell you medical malpractice law
    firm in hialeah, florida something really important.
    A Duty to TreatThe first fact that must be met when treating
    and evaluating a patient. What do you do, indeed, have a great case.
    Now if you take your time.

  41. make money through forex on 19 Jul 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    Very good blog post. I absolutely appreciate this website.
    Keep writing!

    My homepage … make money through forex

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply