May 27, 2018


lemon and elderflower roll

There was much talk about the wedding cake for the Royal Wedding earlier this month.  In fact many versions of the lemon and elderflower Royal Wedding Cake appeared on the internet for us to bake ourselves.  I was not inspired until I spotted a recipe for a lemon and elderflower Swiss roll and with guests coming for dinner that evening, I thought it would be the perfect dessert and homage to the big event (and big cake) on the day.

lemon and elderflower roll2

I used the Mary Berry recipe that I have used before and adapted the recipe for the occasion by adding elderflower cordial to the sponge mixture and elderflower liqueur to the filling.

lemon and elderflower roll3

It went down a treat at our little dinner party.  I simply dusted it with icing sugar before serving and put a little pot of whipped cream flavoured with the elderflower liqueur on the table alongside the cake.  We also toasted the bride and groom with a small glass of the same liqueur on cutting the cake!

I love these fat free whisked sponges.  They are so light and fluffy and ideal for a dessert.  The idea of making a Swiss roll used to have me quaking in my shoes but the more often I make them, the more I realise that although they look really clever, they’re a doddle to make.


for the cake:

4 large eggs

100g caster sugar

finely grated rind of 1 lemon

1 tblsp elderflower cordial

100g self raising flour

for the filling:

2 tablespoons lemon curd

1 tblsp elderflower cordial

200ml whipping cream

1 tblsp St-Germain liqueur (or elderflower cordial)

icing sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 220°C / 200°fan / gas mk 7.  Grease a 33cm x 23cm swiss roll tin and line it with baking paper.

Using an electric whisk, whisk the eggs, sugar and lemon zest together until you have a very thick, pale mixture.  It is whisked enough when the beaters leave a trail as you lift them out of the mixture.  Whisk in the elderflower cordial.

Sift the flour into the mixture and fold it in gently using a metal spoon.  Pour the mixture into the prepared swiss roll tin, tipping it a little to encourage the mixture to flow into the corners.

Bake the sponge for 10 minutes until the cake is golden brown, shrinks away from the sides of the tin and springs back to the touch. 

While it’s in the oven, cut a piece of baking parchment bigger than the tin, spread it out on the worktop and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Also prepare the filling by putting the lemon curd into a small bowl and beat in the elderflower cordial to make it looser.  Whisk the cream with the elderflower liqueur until thick but not too stiff.

Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert the tin to tip it upside down onto the sugared paper.  Remove the paper from the bottom (now the top) of the cake.  Use a sharp knife to trim the edges and score a line 1cm in from one short end, without cutting through the cake.

Allow it to cool slightly, spread with the lemon curd then the whipped cream, saving any excess cream to serve separately in a small bowl with the cake.  Turn the cake so that the scored short end is nearest to you and, using the paper to help you manoeuvre the cake, take a deep breath and roll it up.

Transfer to a serving plate and dust with icing sugar. 

Cuts into 12 slices.


  1. I agree. Once I discovered the damp tea towel trick for rolling them I was delighted with the results. They are fun and easy. I have two lots of elderflower on the go at the moment, festering in syrup in preparation for cordial and sorbet.

    1. Susan, now that you have reminded me, a damp tea towel is probably even better for rolling up than baking paper. I shall try that next time.

  2. I love a Swiss roll and yours looks just the way they should be. Elderflower and lemon is a fine spring combination. Personally I think Swiss roll would make a good wedding cake - I've never been impressed by fancy wedding cakes but I suppose I'm not showing quite the right spirit.

  3. That looks so good! And what a lovely flavour combination. You could even decorate it with elderflower clusters frosted with egg white and icing sugar.

    1. Veronica, what a lovely idea. I shall try that next time - next year in fact, as all the flowers are now gone on my elderberry tree.