Swiss Roll Technical Challenge

Swiss Roll Technical Challenge

A Swiss roll that is sure to turn Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry's heads during the next The Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge! Gluten-free, dairy-free, gum-free, low-FODMAP, oil-free slice of cake perfection.

By, variation of Mary Berry's lemon Swiss roll

"The Great British Bake Off" (BBC) is a City-Ranch standard for baking excellence. Always up for a challenge, my Mr. Wonderful and I have decided to take on classic British baking recipes and make them gluten-free and dairy-free! Here is one of our long-standing technical challenges, Swiss Roll...we have been working on it for years. And finally, today, I am pleased as punch to let you know the secret: my Cake-on-Board Gluten-Free Cake Flour Blend plus my British Self-Raising Flour technique.

A moment about Swiss rolls. They are everything a cake should be. Simple. Delicious. Frosting-less (yes, you read that right!). Another amazing thing about rolls is that they are naturally oil-less! Oh, and not to be overlooked, rolls are pretty as a picture, with a golden sponge cake laced with crunchy sugar on top and sandwiched with a filling, all tightly wound. This perfectly rolled sponge is a thing of beauty with its "Catherine wheel," the hypnotic pinwheel in the center of the cake. Of course, this Katherine loves this look!


For Sponge
For Catherine Wheel
  • ¼ cup caster sugar for dusting parchment
  • ¼ cup strawberry preserves


For Sponge
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Grease rimmed, half-sheet pan (9" X 13") with palm shortening. Line pan with parchment paper, allowing an inch of slack on all four sides. Make slits in each corner of parchment in order to help press paper evenly into pan. Set aside.
  3. Into large bowl, sift together Cake-on-Board Gluten-Free Cake Flour Blend and baking powder. Sift a second time. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer (fitted with whisk attachment), add eggs; mix on low for a few seconds to break apart yolks. Add to bowl caster sugar. Mix on medium-high speed until mix is thick and light-colored; it should form a thick ribbon that holds it shape for 2-3 seconds when the whisk is lifted up and batter is allowed to drip. This process will take approximately 5 minutes.
  5. After eggs and sugar are nice and thick, remove bowl from mixer. Into bowl, gently sift one-third of self-raising cake flour blend. Working gently with a silicon spatula (do not pull out a whisk here, friend), gingerly fold the flour into the egg mixture. Proper folding means moving the spatula from top of the batter at 12 o'clock down through bottom of batter and back up to surface of batter to end at 6 o'clock; then turn entire bowl two hours clockwise; repeat, over and over until all flour has been carefully incorporated. There is no mixing or any vigorous stirring. The goal is to keep the nice fluffy air pockets in tact. Repeat this process with the remaining two-thirds of the self-raising cake flour blend, working one-third at a time. This proves will take approximately 4 minutes...I know! So long, but so worth it for a smooth and fluffy result!
  6. Gently pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Sponge is done when fluffy, golden brown, and when it bounces back when gently pressed with finger.
  8. Remove pan from oven and turn off oven.
  9. For Catherine Wheel
  10. While sponge bakes, place one sheet of parchment paper onto clean countertop. Lightly dust with ¼ cup caster sugar. Set aside.
  11. As soon as sponge has baked and has been removed from oven, immediately turn out sponge onto prepared parchment paper, face down into sugar. Gently peel off and discard original parchment from the sponge (the piece that was baked).
  12. Using a bread knife, carefully score 1 inch from the edge of one of the short sides of the cake (9" side). Do NOT cut through the cake completely.
  13. Immediately, while sponge is hot, wrap sponge onto itself starting at the score mark, rolling the sponge onto itself (with sugared parchment between) until it is completely rolled up into a nice, tight log. Transfer sponge log to cooling rack and allow to cool for 1 hour.
  14. Once cooled, unroll sponge log and fill with filling of your choice. Strawberry preserves are one of my favorite fillings, so that is what I opted to do today for our Technical Challenge. Of course, you may choose anything: Gum-Free Coconut Whipped Cream, chocolate-hazelnut spread, lemon curd, any other flavor of preserves or jam, fresh fruit, etc.
  15. Gently spread preserves over all of one side of sponge, leaving about 3 inches of space at non-scored short end free of filling (no one likes an oozing cake!).
  16. Once filled to your liking, gently roll sponge again, this time leaving behind the sugared parchment paper. Roll into a nice and neat log. Discard parchment.
  17. Using sharp bread knife, slice off the ends of the roll so that the presentation is nice and tidy! Now, look at the ends. There should be a lovely, perfectly round pinwheel staring back at you! This is the Catherine Wheel.


  • This Swiss roll refrigerates surprisingly well. Wrap roll in plastic wrap and then place into large plastic zip lock bag; store in refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Serve with a nice cup of tea and a soft smile.