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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 3.23 / 5 (265 votes)

Prep time:
20 min, plus 30 minutes cooling
Cook time:
15 min

Rachel Allen makes easy work of this timeless dessert – lavish the sponge with your choice of cream and jam


1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.

2. For the swiss roll: line the base of a 25 x 38cm swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper, brush the base and sides of the tin with melted butter and dust with flour.

3. Whisk the eggs and caster sugar together in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until light and fluffy, then add the water and vanilla extract.

4. Sift in the flour, about one-third at a time, and fold it into the mixture using a large metal spoon.

5. Pour the mixture gently into the prepared swiss roll tin and bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes, or until the centre of the cake is slightly springy and the edges have shrunk away a little from the sides of the tin.

6. Spread out a piece of greaseproof paper (slightly larger than the tin in size) on a work surface and sprinkle evenly with caster sugar (this stops the roll from sticking to the paper). Turn the Swiss roll tin onto the sugared greaseproof paper, then carefully remove the tin and greaseproof paper from the bottom of the cake.

7. Place a slightly damp, clean tea towel over the cake and leave to cool for 30 minutes – this will prevent it drying out and cracking when you roll it.

8. When the cake is cool, spread it sparingly with raspberry jam, followed by the whipped cream. With the longest side facing you, roll up the Swiss roll away from you, then transfer to a plate to serve. Sprinkle with caster sugar or dust with icing sugar to finish.

Adapted from Rachel Allen, Bake (Collins)

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Latest Comment


Easy,delicious & well explained.


IsabelleM64894 IsabelleM64894  Posted 07 Apr 2012 6:23 PM

This is very similar to my recipe for swiss roll, on my blog here [link]

recipesatrandom recipesatrandom  Posted 18 Dec 2011 8:47 PM

Hi lindaR72914, if you whip the eggs and sugar enough, they become very light and fluffy. The air bubbles in the mixture make the sponge rise. It is really important to be gentle when you add the flour, as you don't want to knock the air out, so you should just lightly fold with a metal spoon. It's a bit like making a souffle mix or something and should be treated with as much care. I hope that helps!

Celia Good Food Celia Good Food  Posted 14 Feb 2011 10:26 AM

did she forget the baking powder? I saw this recipe on tv and when i went to the recipe I double checked the recipe because no levening?I made it as wrote here and it was thin not fluffy like on the show.It tasted good but didn't turn out like I excepted

lindaR72914 lindaR72914 Posted 13 Feb 2011 3:22 PM

This is a beautiful recipe....very easy and delicious....

Flyingfingers Flyingfingers Posted 16 Jan 2011 3:16 PM

I think Rachel was forgetting the baking powder!!

LouiseG45137 LouiseG45137 Posted 04 Dec 2010 1:54 PM

Hey rachel that was a great recipe. Had tried swiss role earlier but it would always crack during rolling.. but the damp towel thing really worked. Scattered few fresh diced strawberries as well. Was really so ymm!

priyankaG63030 priyankaG63030 Posted 19 May 2010 10:37 PM

I made the swiss roll for my mother's birthday meal everyone thought it was amazing. It was so easy to make. Great recipe, Rachel, thanks.

Geedom Geedom Posted 31 Oct 2008 7:54 AM

I need to practice the rolling, but it still tasted really really delicious, so very light!!!

danielB31145 danielB31145 Posted 21 Oct 2008 12:47 PM