Tiramisu Swiss Roll

I’d say this was a cake fit for a king, but I suppose that should really be a Battenberg. If you’re looking for a recipe for the Coronation weekend, though, you could do worse than this luscious Swiss roll, with its tiramisu flavours of coffee, hazelnut and chocolate and rich, creamy mascarpone filling.

This is a Genoise sponge (see how we’re dashing all over Europe, here? You’d think Brexit had never happened. It’s better than a holiday, visiting Mrs Portly’s Kitchen). This means its aeration comes not from baking powder but from lengthy beating of eggs and sugar. A stand mixer is handy, an electric hand mixer is fine. I’ve never timed how long it would take with a manual whisk, I’m too impatient and not that much of a masochist.

Having said that, patience is required here. It takes longer to make than to bake but you’ll be rewarded with a light, airy sponge.

A couple of notes: I didn’t sweeten the cream for the filling as I felt everything else was sweet enough. If you want to, add a judicious amount of sifted icing sugar, a teaspoon at a time, until you have the desired sweetness. Mine (unusually) was booze-free but a tablespoon of coffee liqueur or Marsala in the cream is a good addition.

You can make the sponge and filling ahead of time but don’t fill the cake and dust it with cocoa powder until shortly before you want to eat it.

Tiramisu Swiss Roll

Image of tiramisu Swiss roll, sliced, on a blue and white plate with pear blossom


140g caster sugar, plus more for dusting

4 large eggs, room temperature

140g plain flour

45g melted butter

1 tbsp espresso coffee powder dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

For the filling:

200g mascarpone

75g double cream

1 tbsp espresso coffee powder dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

About 1/2 a 350g jar of chocolate/hazelnut spread (I used Biona)


Optionally, extra cream and fresh raspberries, to serve

Image of tiramisu Swiss roll, sliced, on a blue and white plate with pear blossom


Heat the oven to 200C/180fan/Gas Mark 6. Butter and line with baking paper a Swiss roll tin 34cm x 22cm.

Break the eggs into a large bowl, add the sugar and beat until doubled or even trebled in volume – this will take 8-10 minutes with a stand mixer on medium or electric hand mixer. Don’t cut this short. When you lift the beaters, you should see the batter ribbon on the surface for a few seconds before disappearing.

Sift the flour into the bowl a few tablespoons at a time, gently folding it in with a metal spoon, taking care not to knock all the air out. Once all the flour has been incorporated, gradually fold in the melted butter and the dissolved coffee powder.

Holding the bowl close to the lined tin, carefully spoon in the mixture. Tip the tin gently to get it into the corners. Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly springy to the touch – take care not to overbake or the sponge will be dry and tough.

Lay a large sheet of baking paper on your work surface and scatter it generously with caster sugar. While the sponge is still hot gently turn it out, upside down, onto the parchment, supporting it with your hand. Carefully peel off the lining paper. Trim the edges of the sponge with a sharp knife, then score a line along the short end nearest you about 2cm from the edge. Don’t cut all the way through.

Using the baking paper, roll up the sponge as tightly as you can, so you’re rolling the parchment inside it as you go. Set it seam-side down and leave to cool completely.

Whisk the mascarpone, cream and second lot of coffee together until you have soft peaks. Refrigerate if you’re still waiting for the cake to cool. Once it’s cool, carefully unroll it, spread it first with hazelnut spread (a palette knife is useful here) and then with the mascarpone cream, before rolling it back up and arranging it seam-side down.

Dust with cocoa powder and eat straight away, with thick pouring cream and (ideally) raspberries.

14 thoughts on “Tiramisu Swiss Roll

  1. This would make an ideal birthday cake for me. What everyone else at the party would be eating, I’ve no idea.

  2. This looks and sounds absolutely delicious.
    Moving to the top of ‘must bakes!’
    2 questions:
    What is the purpose of scoring the line along the short end?
    Do you roll up from the short side or lengthwise?
    Many thanks.

    • Thanks very much, Brenda. You score the line to make it easier to roll tightly and to stop the sponge breaking. As mentioned in the rather lengthy method, you roll it from the short end nearest you. Easiest if the baking paper you’ve laid it on is about 5cm bigger all round than the cake. Hope this helps!

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