Mary Berry's Swiss Roll (A Tutorial)

Tuesday 28 September 2021


Mary Berry's Swiss Roll  

I have shared a Swiss Roll recipe on here before. You can access my original post here.  Swiss Rolls or Jelly Roll as it is also known is probably one of the favorite cakes of many people. 

My mom didn't bake very often when I was a child. She worked full time, but when she did make a Jelly/Swiss roll, my siblings and I got very excited.  To be honest we were even excited to get a store bought one.  
Mary Berry's Swiss Roll 
Jam and cake, cake and jam, if its jam and cake everyone in my family is in seventh heaven. Simply put they are one of our favorite things, right up there with fish and chips! 

Swiss rolls are the perfect cakes to bake for a weeknight  or afterschool treat.  Completely fat free, they are very easy to make and are one of what I consider to be no fuss, no muss cakes!

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll 
And yet, many people are intimidated by the idea of making a Swiss Roll cake. Today I want to demystify that notion and I wanted to try out Mary Berry's recipe for this beautiful fatless sponge.

She is the doyenne of the Great British Bake Off. I know she is no longer a part of that show, but to be honest in my opinion, she WAS that show and when she left, it lost a lot of its appeal for me.

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll

She was always kind to the contestants on the show, even if she was being critical. Its called taking your medicine with a spoonful of sugar.  Anyways, I like her.

Every recipe of hers that I have ever made has been impeccable.  There have been no duds. I thought it would be fun today to share a tutorial with you on how to make a proper Swiss Roll a la Mary Berry! Her recipe is the best swiss roll recipe and I would expect nothing less!

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll


I took photographs of every step of my baking today's cake so I could show you every step of the way.  One thing I always do when baking is to start with room temperature ingredients. My flour and sugar are always room temperature, but you might want to bring your eggs to room temperature. This is easily done by resting them in a bowl of quite warm (not boiling) tap water for a few minutes. 

Measure your eggs and sugar into a clean, grease free bowl. Using an electric hand mixer (you can also use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) you want to whisk these together for about five minutes. At that point you should have a light  and frothy mixture which is thickish.  Your beater/whisk should leave a trail or a ribbon when you lift it up out of the mixture. This is essential and there is no quick way to get around it.

Once you have achieved the proper consistency, you can start folding in the flour.  You need self rising flour. (I tell you how to make your own in the recipe notes.) Fold this into the egg/sugar mixture using a rubber spatula as you are sifting the flour in. You want it to be thoroughly combined without any dry streaks but you also don't want to knock any air out of your batter that you have just gone to all that trouble of beating it in.

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll

You want to be preheating your oven to 400*F/200*C.  You also want to have a swiss roll pan buttered and lined with baking parchment. A Swiss roll pan is 9 X 13 inches in size.

You can also use a baking sheet of the same size so long as it has a lip around the edge. Your cake will rise approximately 3/4 to one inch.

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll

Spread your batter evenly into the prepared pan, smoothing it out and making sure it gets into all of the edges.  It is a cake that bakes really quickly so don't forget to put on your timer. It should be done in 10 minutes.

While it is baking prepared your paper that you are going to use to roll it up.  Spread a sheet of baking parchment that is slightly larger than your cake tin on the counter and dust it all over evenly with finely granulated sugar. 

The cake is done when it is golden brown and the sides have started to shrink away from the sides of the pan slightly.

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll

You will need to invert the cake onto this sheet of paper as soon as you take it out of the oven.  It should come out very easily if you have buttered your pan properly and lined it. But just in case, I do like to run a sharp knife down the long edge of both sides of the pan.

Once you have tipped the cake out onto the sugar dusted paper, you will need to remove the baking paper that is stuck to the bottom of it from where you baked it in the pan. Carefully loosen and slowly peel it off, discarding it when you are done.

Using a sharp serrated knife, trim the baked edges from all around the cake.  Just cut a tiny sliver. If you have any kids in the house they will love eating these.  Or you can throw them out to the birds. 

While the cake is still warm and once you have trimmed the edges, you will need to make a score mark about 1 inch from one of the short edges of the cake, taking care not to cut all the way down to the bottom.  Let your cake cool slightly and while it is still a bit warm, spread the jam in a thin layer all over the surface.

Using your paper to help you push the cake along, roll the cake up tightly beginning at the scored edge.

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll 
When you are done it will look like this. Don't worry if the jam has not come out evenly at all the edges. Just trim those away, again the kids will be more than happy to help you get rid of them! 

And that's it. Your cake is done and it was reasonably painless I am sure!  

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll 
I think Mary would approve of my cake. I got a nice tight roll on it and there is not too much or too little jam.

The texture is nice as well. Light and fluffy. Not rubbery.

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll 
The last thing you want is a cake that has the texture of an omelet.  This cake is quite simply beautiful.

You can also easily vary the recipe and fillings if you want. Its just as lovely filled with lemon curd. You can also make a buttercream icing to fill it with, varying the flavor of that.  Coffee buttercream is quite popular.

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll 
For a simply coffee flavored buttercream icing simply beat together 3 ounces (75g) of butter, with 1 3/4 cup (225g) of sifted icing sugar, 2 tsp milk and 2 tsp of coffee flavoring. (Camp is good for this)

You can make any kind of buttercream icing you enjoy. Strawberry. Lemon. Orange. Or even use a combination of vanilla butter cream and your favorite jam.

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll 
People also like to fill them with whipped cream and fruit. Strawberries or raspberries (or both) are very nice!

In this case I don't sweetened the cream, as the cake itself is pretty sweet. I do fold a bit of sugar into the sliced berries. 1 cup or 1/2 pint of cream whipped is generally sufficient.

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll

For the holidays you can fill it with a thin layer of spiced buttercream and fruity mincemeat.  Always nice, or you can fold some chestnut cream into some whipped cream and fill it with that. Yummilicious!

Its beautiful just as is however, for an every day teatime/afterschool/ treat.  Swiss Roll. Its a good thing, and Mary Berry's recipe for it is excellent and fail-proof!

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll

Mary Berry's Swiss Roll

Yield: 8
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 25 Min
This delicious fat-free sponge cake with its jam filling makes a delicious tea-time treat!


  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100g)fine granulated sugar (caster sugar)
  • 3/4 cup (100g) self raising flour ( see note)
For the finishing and filling:
  • 4 TBS finely granulated sugar
  • 4 heaped TBS strawberry or raspberry jam


  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F/200*C/ gas mark 6.  Butter a 9 by 13 inch cake tin or rimmed baking sheet/jelly roll pan and line the bottom with baking parchment.  Set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs and the sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and leaves a trail/ribbon in the bowl when you lift out the beaters. This will take a good five minutes.
  3. Sift the flour over the mixture, folding it in with a spatula as you do so. Take care not to knock the air out of the batter.
  4. Spread the batter in the prepared tin, making sure you get it in all of the corners.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and the edges the cake are beginning to shrink from the edges of the pan. Do not over bake.
  6. While the cake is baking place a sheet of  baking parchment slightly larger than the cake tin on a counter top. Sprinkle the 4 TBS of sugar over top evenly. 
  7. When the cake is one invert the cake onto the sugared baking parchment. Carefully peel the baking paper from the bottom of the cake and discard.
  8. Using a sharp serrated knife, trim the edges from the cake, and then make a score mark 1 inch away from one short edge, taking care not to cut all the way through.
  9. Let the cake cool for a few minutes to lukewarm.  Spread the jam over the surface of the cake evenly. (Don't do this when the cake it too hot or it will absorb the jam which you don't want.)
  10. Working from the short edge that you made the score mark in  roll the cake up firmly. Using the paper to push it along really helps.
  11. Cut into thick slices to serve.


You can easily make your own self-rising flour by adding 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt to every cup of flour. I make mine up by 4 cups and it always gets used.

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Mary Berry's Swiss Roll
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  1. I've never made a jelly roll so perhaps it's time I did. This looks so pretty. You've made it almost seem easy. Thanks for the tutorial, Marie. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. It is really very easy Elaine, and fat free. Unfortunately not sugar free, but once in a while a treat like this doesn't hurt! Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. I love swiss rolls and they were a big favourite when I was growing up. My nan showed me how to make one when I was quite young and she used the same technique as you (and Mary Berry). I've never had a failure doing it that way. My favourite filling is of course lemon curd, but I love raspberry jam as well.

    I hope the tutorial demystifies it for people as it's a fabulous cake for afternoon tea.

    1. Oh yes, lemon curd is a favorite of mine also, but I am also very partial to strawberry jam! Heck, I just love Swiss roll full stop! Its all gone now because I sent most of it over to my Sister's so I guess I will have to bake another one! xoxo

  3. Yes ! I love making Swiss Rolls too and yes again to Mary Berry's method . I love to do the chocolate one , but whatever it never fails to impress does it :) I love your tutorial , nice and clear with great photos too .

    1. I have never made the chocolate one. I will have to look it up and try it next! Thank you so much. I tried to take good photos! xoxo

  4. I've often made pumpkin rolls, which is the same concept (cream cheese frosting) -- I used to sell them until I got sick of making dozens of them! But I've never done a "plain" one and I think I would prefer it. The lemon curd sounds like a great idea! Thanks, Marie!

  5. Made this today, Marie, and it is so good but not as sweet as we Americans like our cake…..however, it is perfect with a cup of coffee in the afternoon or with a cup of tea!
    Please can you give us the Swiss roll recipe when you find one as easy as this one!


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