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Pistachio Lemon Roll Cake

5 from 3 votes

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Pistachio Lemon Roll Cake is a bright and light dessert that is perfect for Spring! Homemade lemon sponge cake is rolled and filled with lemon, cream cheese, and pistachio mixture and then covered in cream.

Lemon Swiss Roll Cake

I’ve been waiting and watching for Spring, but nothing is happening. We’ve gotten a few nice days here and there, but its been mostly miserable SO! I’ve decided to bring Spring into my kitchen. Baking with lemon is one of my favorite things to do, as evidenced with this recipe or this recipe or this recipe. I like lemon more than chocolate. Pretty sure I’m in the minority on that one, but man oh man, ITS SO GOOD!

Anyways, I tested this recipe three times last week and finally got it right so here it is in all its swiss roll glory.

I was going to take step by step photos of this whole process, but after finally finally getting it right (and eating way too much cake in the process), I decided to not make it again and send you over to this post which is a chocolate swiss roll cake. Even though it’s a different recipe, it shows you the method of how to roll a swiss roll cake up in a kitchen towel. I think that might be the most intimidating part of this recipe, but honestly, it should work perfectly well. As long as you roll it warm and let it cool in the towel, you should be good to go. I also didn’t specify in the recipe which way to roll this, lengthwise or widthwise (is that a word?!) because it really doesn’t matter. Totally personal preference. If you want more slices, roll it lengthwise. If you want it to look rounder, roll it widthwise. For what it’s worth, I rolled mine widthwise.

The filling is simply cream cheese with powdered sugar and some lemon zest with a few extracts added in for good measure. It should be very thick so it holds its shape after being rolled. I originally tested this with lemon curd, but quickly rethought that decision because that stuff just is not helpful. Delicious, yes, but not in the construction of a swiss roll cake. It can also be harder to find at the grocery store so I just nixed it.

Below are a few more photos of this dessert with the printable recipe card at the bottom. Maybe, just maybe, Spring will be here sooner than later.

Have a great day, friends! xo

Lemon Swiss Roll Cake

Close Up Lemon Swiss Roll Cake

Lemon Swiss Roll Cake

Lemon Swiss Roll Cake

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Lemon Swiss Roll Cake
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5 from 3 votes

Pistachio Lemon Roll Cake

Pistachio Lemon Roll Cake is a homemade lemon sponge cake that is rolled, filled, and then covered in cream. Perfect for springtime!
servings 12 servings
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins


For the Sponge Cake:

For the Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ground pistachios for decoration (optional)
  • 1/4 cup ground pistachios


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with high sides with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, crack in eggs and stir with the whisk attachment until frothy. With the mixer on, slowly spoon in sugar until it's all incorporated. Whisk 10 minutes or until pale yellow, thick and ribbons form that fall back into the mixture.
  • Sift flour overtop of egg and sugar mixture, add zest and lemon extract on top of the flour and carefully fold in to create an even batter with a rubber scraper.
  • Carefully pour into prepared pan and tilt pan to move batter into the corners and spread evenly. Bake 15-18 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cake springs back when touched gently. (shouldn't be sticky at all.)
  • Let the cake cool 3 minutes or so before rolling: dust a clean kitchen towel generously with powdered sugar. Flip cake onto kitchen towel, peel back parchment paper and roll, folding the kitchen towel in with the roll. Let cake cool completely.
  • For the filling, mix cream cheese with lemon zest, powdered sugar, lemon extract and vanilla. It should be very thick. Stir in pistachios. Unroll cake and spread the filling evenly over cake. Roll back up, wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until filling hardens slightly, about an hour or two.
  • Whip heavy cream together with powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Place unwrapped roll cake onto serving platter. Cover with whipped cream and top with more ground pistachios. Store in fridge until ready to serve.


Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 691IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Roll Cake

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Recipe Rating

18 Responses
  1. Luisa

    I am ready to try this it looks wonderful. My dinner party is tomorrow night can I make it today complete and leave in the fridge or would you recommend just putting fillings in and leaving frostings till tomorrow,, many thanks

    1. Lauren

      Yes! I would probably fill it and wrap in plastic wrap and cover it with cream the morning of. Dairy tends to pick up flavors/scents from the fridge.

    2. Luisa

      5 stars
      Many thanks, the cake turned out very well could not fine lemon extract, used lemon jif, but should have put more in as not very lemony. Also didn’t put sugar in frosting which it did need, so would say to all, to leave that in. The sponge was lovely and light and went down well at my dinner party.

  2. Pat

    Could I use lemon juice in place of lemon extract or just leave the lemon extract out? I did not want to buy the extract, unless this becomes a favorite recipe!😊

    1. Alice Steele

      Pat I was planning on using lemon juice instead of the extract. I like my lemon desserts zingy and not just lemon flavored. ❤️

  3. Amber

    When I read about this being an upcoming recipe yesterday, I could hardly contain my excitement! This will be happening as soon as I can manage it!