Sweet and creamy with ‘minimal squish’ while being sliced, Raspberry & Rhubarb Swiss Roll is Spring’s breath of fresh air recipe.
This recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
Have an occasion coming up that you’d like to experiment with a nice dessert for? Not into experimenting, just need a dessert and to “get it done?” Raspberry & Rhubarb Swiss Roll is a splendid Springtime dessert that requires little to no baking expertise. How do I know this? Because I am not a baker. I prefer cheater recipes.
This recipe “cheats” in that it does not require whipping and folding in the egg whites separately. That’s right, this shorted step means you save time while still achieving the spring that a good Swiss roll sponge requires. Oh, and I have added polka dots. Pink polka dots. Seriously, if I can pull off the best Swiss roll recipe ever, so can YOU!
I’ve assembled Swiss rolls that loose their fillings when sliced. Not this one!
For ever and ever, I shied away from recipes that visually looked too involved. A Swiss roll was definitely one of those recipes. That is, until I was gifted a prized easy Swiss roll recipe from my Aunt.
The original recipe was for a raspberry jelly roll recipe. Raspberry desserts have always been among my favorites, so I took an interest in this cake roll because of the ingredients. Fresh raspberries, a wee bit of cream cheese, several tablespoons granulated sugar, some powdered sugar, and a handful of eggs.
I’d watched her do this. Watched her roll cake using a kitchen towel, then unrolling to add the filling. How hard could this be?
I first tasted a Swiss roll at my Aunt Carol’s home in Bernardsville, New Jersey. I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven…
When I was very young, a dinner invitation to my Aunt Carol and Uncle Warren’s house was very exciting. It was hard to believe that adults would willfully request that somebody else’s kids join them at a dinner party.
I remember those dinner parties well. My Aunt would set her beautiful dining room overlooking their vast property for the dinner to be enjoyed in. Only her finest bone china and prized serving pieces went onto her sideboard and table.
My Mom would drive the fear of God into me before we ever left the house on how she expected me to behave. I was always careful NOT to touch anything aside from my fork and my milk glass on Aunt Carol’s table. I understood invitations to visit were privileged.
My Aunt’s impeccable taste was obvious in every thing and every person she knew. Nothing in her chemistry was ever a shortcut. And the first time she prepared and served her raspberry jelly roll with that sweet and creamy raspberry cake filling, my excitement must have spoken to her. It seemed from then on, she set out purposely cooking food that only Martha Stewart was capable of dreaming up.
And her “Jenny, will you assist me in the kitchen” requests began as simple tasks for her to know where my interest in cooking and baking stood. From dolloping whipped cream atop her triple chocolate shortcut mousse that Jackie Kennedy served in the White House, to helping her roll her individual raspberry red rhubarb Swiss rolls recipe, I was good for the elementary step every time. She treated me like I was an adult, and she indulged my senses keeping me a child.
The greatest lessons we learn are almost always attributable to somebody who loved us and made it feel like an adventure instead of a teachable moment…
On a trip to Europe some time ago, I was served a meat Swiss roll. It was out of this world. AND, it was beautiful. Gorgeous really. And immediately upon it being placed on the table in front of me, I thought of my Aunt Carol.
Now many years passed away, her lessons and flamboyancy are still as sharp in my mind as the day I witnessed them. I still had her raspberry Swiss roll recipe in my big tome of recipes, but had never made it. In fact, I’d never even read through it. Suddenly, I was sad.
It make not seem to some that conquering a Swiss roll is a big baking achievement, but…it absolutely is if you are not a seasoned baker. That person? That’s ME.
As I looked down at the beautiful meal I was about to consume, my eyes welled. My Aunt might very well have eaten at this exact café, as I was in her and Uncle Warren’s territory here in France. They spent as much time here as they did in the States after all. I knew she’d be happy that I was experiencing Europe. I thought to myself, if I managed to make it all the way here, surely I could attempt the one thing she baked for me each and every time I visited her home.
Just as this meat Swiss roll recipe had to be learned by our Chef, I too would learn how to make sponge roll for Carol’s raspberry jelly roll cake. And, as it would be, I mastered that raspberry cake roll. I swore it was the BEST EVER Swiss roll recipe. That is, until I made it BETTER!
Celebrating the success of baking a PERFECT Raspberry & Rhubarb Swiss Roll
So, yeah…this began as a raspberry rhubarb Swiss roll, and would end up a quasi painted Swiss roll recipe. That’s because after attending a baby shower for a friend, I was impressed by a raspberry lemon cake with polka dots, rolled like a jelly roll.
When I asked the hostess who’d baked it herself what her one tip would be, she only answered “to allow the sponge to cool completely after rolling the spiral.” Not much to go on, however some minutes after arriving home, I was seeking out my Aunt’s recipe. Now, where had I put that?
I would rate my first go-round with her ‘how to make Swiss rolls’ as somewhere around a 1 on a scale, 10 being the best. Subsequent tries meant “living the recipe.” And so I did, each attempt requiring review from two people who had tasted and LOVED my Aunt’s raspberry Swiss roll, my Mom and Dad. Let’s just say I was advised that I needed A LOT of practice…but, not any more!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Raspberry & Rhubarb Swiss Roll
- 15" x 10" baking sheet with 1" high sides
- parchment paper
- thin kitchen towel
Ingredients for Raspberry & Rhubarb Swiss Roll
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar separated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2 drops red food coloring ** see my alternatives in NOTES
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar plus additional for powdering
- 6 ounces raspberries fresh
- 1/2 cup rhubarb sliced
- 3 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 2/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 15×10-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper. Coat paper with cooking spray. Use a bench scraper to remove air bubbles.
- In a large bowl and using a handheld mixer, beat eggs, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and a dash salt on medium for 2 minutes. Gently increase speed to medium-high; beat 10 minutes or until thick and light in color. This is crucial to reach the viscous stage needed to achieve a springy sponge, so go the whole 10 minutes, longer if necessary.
- Sift flour over egg mixture and gently fold in until no streaks of flour remain. Place 1/3 cup batter in a small bowl. ** Add enough food coloring to tint pink. Place pink batter in a small resealable plastic bag. Snip off one corner. Pipe small circles of batter in a random pattern over bottom of the prepared pan. The circles can all be relatively the same size, or all different sizes. Bake 2 minutes. Spread remaining batter over circles. Bake 8 minutes more or until cake is golden and springs back when lightly touched.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Invert cake onto prepared sheet. Carefully remove parchment from cake. Dust a kitchen towel liberally with powdered sugar. Use parchment to flip cake, pattern side down, onto towel. Roll up cake and towel, starting from a short side. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the filling, in a medium saucepan combine raspberries, rhubarb, and remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring to break up berries. I use a potato masher to hasten the mashing. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until fruit is very well softened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Place in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Press mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove seeds. Let fruit puree cool completely.
- In a medium bowl beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium until smooth. Slowly beat in cream until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and the vanilla. Beat until soft peaks form.
- Unroll cake. Spread the fruit puree. This layer will be rather thin. Spread cream mixture evenly over puree. Carefully reroll cake, using towel to help tightly roll. Place seam side down on a platter. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Before serving, dust liberally with powdered sugar and garnish with additional loose raspberries if desired.