Lemon Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Lemon Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

This luscious lemon cake roll is the perfect sweet treat for any occasion. This light and fluffy sponge cake in combination with the creamy lemon filling tastes heavenly. Every bite is sweet but also tangy and refreshing. I serve it with a dusting of powdered sugar, but that is totally optional. You can also save some of the filling and decorate it as you wish.

Lemon Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Why should make this recipe?

This lemon cake roll will turn any ordinary day into a special one. You can prepare this dessert for a special occasion or just to treat yourself and your loved ones. It goes great with your morning or afternoon coffee.

If you haven’t prepared a cake roll before this recipe might look intimidating, but I think that is quite simple to put together.

The lemon flavor in that cake roll comes form actual lemons. I used lemon juice and zest to make this dessert extra fresh. I haven’t used any food flavoring or coloring.

This cake roll doesn’t contain any baking powder or soda. I use the leavening power of the eggs. While I beat the egg whites and yolks I incorporate air bubbles that create the fluffiest sponge cake.

Lemon Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Helpful tips

Helpful tips about making the lemon cake roll

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites by placing them in clean and dry bowls. Don’t be afraid if some of the egg yolk gets into the egg whites. That won’t ruin your cake.

When you beat the egg yolks with the sugar start at the lowest mixing setting or the sugar will fly everywhere. Mix until the granulated sugar is dissolved and the egg yolks are fluffy.

Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Then fold them carefully to the egg yolks. If you whisk them they will lose their volume and you will get a flat cake.

Sift the flour before adding it to the egg mixture. This will create smoother dough and better cake texture.

Lemon Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
Other helpful tips

Use cream cheese and butter at room temperature. I remove them from the fridge before I start making the cake. By the time the cake is cooled off they are at room temperature and soft enough to beat them with the mixer.

Powdered sugar is also called icing or confectioner’s sugar. When you prepare the the cream cheese filling start beating on low and increase the speed once the powdered sugar is incorporated.

Don’t apply the filling on a warm cake or it will melt and soak in it. This will ruin the whole cake.

When you roll the cake some filling might get out. To prevent that leave about an inch around the edge unfrosted.

Store leftover roll in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Print Recipe
1 from 1 vote

Lemon Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Cooling time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: butter, cake, cake roll, cream cheese, Eggs, lemon, lemon zest, roll, sugar


  • Hand or stand mixer


For the cake

  • 5 large eggs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • the zest from one lemon

For the filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese one pack, at room temperature
  • ½ cup butter one stick, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar plus more for dusting at the end
  • 1 Tbsp whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • the zest from one lemon


To prepare the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 355F. Line a baking sheet (14x20in) with parchment paper.
  • Separate the egg yolks form the egg whites in two different bowls.
  • Add the ¼ cup of sugar to the egg yolks and beat them with a mixer until all the sugar is dissolved.
    Egg yolks and sugar mixture
  • Beat the egg whites until you have stiff peaks.
    Egg whites at stiff peaks
  • Add the egg whites to the egg yolks and fold them in carefully. Then add the zest from one lemon and fold it in.
  • Sift ¼ cup of flour in in the bowl with the egg mixture. Fold and mix carefully until the flour is incorporated.
    Dough for the cake
  • Transfer the mixture in the pan. Using a spoon form a rectangle (about 10x15in). It doesn’t have to be perfect.
    Dough before baking
  • Bake the dough for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
    Baked cake
  • Cool down the cake layer for 10 minutes. Place it on another sheet of parchment paper and carefully peel off the parchment paper it was baked on. Then transfer the cake on a cooling rack and cool off for 20 minutes.

To make the filling

  • Add the butter and cream cheese (at room temperature) in a bowl. Then add the lemon juice and one cup of powdered sugar to the same bowl. Start mixing on the lowest speed possible. Then slowly increase the speed and beat until the mixture looks smooth. Next add the milk, the lemon zest and another cup of powdered sugar. Start mixing on low again and slowly increase the spead. Beat until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture looks uniformed.

To shepe the roll

  • Lay the cake on a flat surface and spread a thick layer of the filling evenly over cake leaving about an inch of the corners without any filling. Roll the cake up into a solid roll. Place the cake roll in a plate and dust it with powdered sugar (optional). You can also decorate with leftover filling.
  • Refrigerate the roll for at least an hour before serving. It is best if it is covered with a lid (in a cake stand).
  • Store any leftovers for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
Lemon Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Other lemon Dessert recipes you might like

Almond Cookies with Lemon Glaze (Grain and Gluten Free)

Frozen Yogurt Bark with Blueberries Lemon and White Chocolate

Homemade Lemon Loaf with Yogurt and Honey

2 thoughts on “Lemon Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling”

  • 1 star
    I had to double the cream cheese in order to get any kind of a filling consistency. It still feels super runny. I think 1 tablespoon lemon and more zest might produce better results. This turned out more like icing.

    • Hello Elizabeth. I’m sorry that you had a problem with the filling or the roll. Although, I always used that exact recipe for the filling and didn’t have a problem with it I will adjust the recipe. I think that different brands of cream cheese and butter might create different results. American butter has more water content then European and I’ve always used European butter. I would take your advice in to a consideration and reduce the amount of lemon juice in the recipe. I appreciate your input.
      Also, keep in mind that the filling firms up in the refrigerator after cooling.

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