This spongy Lemon Cake Roll is packed full of fresh lemon flavor and it’s filled with a luscious lemony cream cheese/whipped cream filling!  It’s the perfect dessert to make when you’re in the Spring mood and it also looks elegant and impressive!

Lemon cake roll.

Today’s 70-degree weather here in Kentucky has put me in the Spring mood.  And when I’m thinking Spring, I’m thinking lemons!  I actually posted this recipe a few years back, but it’s been in need of some updated pictures and I was in the mood to make it, so here we have it, a spongy Lemon Cake Roll with a lemony cream cheese-whipped cream filling.

Some people feel intimidated by the thought of making a cake roll, however, cake rolls really are easy to make and the end result is an impressively elegant looking spongy cake roll that is equally delicious!

Making the batter

The cake is a sponge cake.  It’s made with cake flour, resulting in a light and airy texture, (spongy), and it has just enough baking powder to make it rise perfectly but not too much.  The cake gets baked in a jelly roll pan, allowing it to be thin enough for rolling, yet thick enough to be spongy and light.


First, you need to line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper, then grease and flour the paper.  Some people leave an overhang of paper on each end, but I don’t feel this is necessary.  An overhang is primarily used when you’re going to lift the baked item from the pan.  In this recipe, you are going to invert the cake onto a lint-free cotton towel that has been liberally dusted with powdered sugar.

First Roll  Once you remove the cake from the oven, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake.  Slightly tap each end of the pan on a counter to ensure the cake is not stuck around the edges of the pan.  Invert the cake onto the powdered sugar towel.  Peel off the parchment paper.  Sprinkle more powdered sugar over the inverted cake.  Now, starting on the short end nearest you, roll the cake and the towel into a roll, rolling as tightly as possible.  Place the roll in the fridge to cool completely.

Second Roll  Once the roll has completely cooled, gently unroll it.  Spread the filling over the unrolled cake, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edges.  If you don’t allow 1/2 inch, the filling will ooze out of the ends of the cake roll when you start rolling it.  Now, roll the cake up with the filling, leaving the towel behind.  Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling is chilled.  Unwrap it, and lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar and slice and serve.


The filling gets whipped up in no time.  It’s made with cream cheese, whipped cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon oil.  If you don’t have lemon oil don’t worry, you can use pure lemon extract.  If you don’t have lemon extract, then omit it.  It will still have a lemon flavor from the lemon juice, but just not quite as tart.

Lemon cake roll.

Check out these other delicious lemon recipes…

Lemon Lush

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

Moist & Tangy Lemon Loaf Cake

Moist Lemon Cupcakes with Mousse Filling

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Cake Custard

Lemon Butter Shortbread Cookies

Sweet Blueberry Biscuits with Lemon Glaze

If you make this recipe please rate it, and leave a comment below on how you liked it. I love getting your feedback! 🙂

Wanna see different recipes each day? Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, & Instagram!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Lemon Cake Roll

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.4 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Cindy Gibbs
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


This soft and spongy Lemon Cake Roll is packed full of fresh lemon flavor and the creamy lemony filling is absolutely delicious!!  It also looks so elegant and impressive when you serve it.


Units Scale


  • 1 cup cake flour, (sift before measuring)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened or slightly melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon oil or extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Powdered sugar for towel and cake


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 softened package cream cheese, 8 ounce
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure lemon oil*



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a jelly roll pan, 15 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ x 1″. Line the pan with parchment paper. Grease and lightly flour the paper and inside edges of the pan.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and lemon zest in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for about one minute until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla, lemon oil, and lemon juice. Mix on medium speed for about two minutes until the mixture is very creamy and lemony. Add the dry ingredients and mix for about 30 seconds, just long enough to incorporate the flour. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared jelly roll pan and bake for approximately 15-18 minutes until cake is spongy on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Run a knife around the edges of the cake roll. Invert cake onto a clean fuzz free towel that has been sprinkled generously with powdered sugar. Peel off the parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, trim off the hard edges of the cake on all sides. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the cake with more powdered sugar. Starting at a short end, roll the cake up, towel and all into a roll, rolling as tightly as possible. Set the roll aside to cool while making the filling.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a separate bowl and place in the refrigerator while preparing the remaining filling ingredients.
  2. Add the cream cheese to the same stand mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and creamy. Make sure cream cheese is free of all lumps. Add the powdered sugar, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and lemon oil. Mix on medium speed until well combined. Using a spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream.
  3. Gently unroll the cake roll. Spread the filling over the surface of cake roll, stopping about 1/2″ from the edges of the cake. Starting with the short end, gently roll the cake with filling from the towel and into a roll. Sprinkle the roll with powdered sugar.
  4. Cover the roll with plastic wrap and refrigerate long enough to chill the filling. Slice and serve.
  5. Refrigerate any leftovers.


  • The amount of lemon oil and lemon juice can be adjusted to your own taste, depending on how tart you want your lemon roll to be.
  • *If you don’t have lemon oil, just use 1/4 teaspoon of lemon extract.  If you don’t have lemon extract, don’t worry.  Omit it.  The cake will still have a lemony flavor, just not quite as tart.