Have you ever watched The Great British Bake Off?

It's the most ridiculously relaxing show. My husband and I love watching all the weird creations we've never heard of. One episode featured cake rolls and ever since, my husband has asked for one. I have hesitated.

Only half of the contestants' rolls came out good, so I set my sights on working with yeast instead. Right? Ignore the thing you have been asked to do and go create something else. The knowledge to roll will just appear when it's time -- or at least that is what I was hoping for.

I was scared of yeast. So I figured it's a good start down this road of baking new things in the kitchen.

A hit, but needed work. Cinnamon rolls. YES, but also needed tweaks.

I hadn't followed the recipe exactly on either of these things, so instead of moving on I tried them both again. Nailed one and under-baked the other.

I baked cookies, lots of cookies

After that success, I talked baking cinnamon rolls again, and that's when he hit me with it. "Look, lady, I love you and all that you bake, but I am tired of cinnamon rolls and cinnamon knots and cookies. I am ready for the cake roll and I just can't have you baking all these things anymore until the roll is made. I am holding your baking hostage until you make my roll." It had been a year since he first asked. It was time.

There were a few reasons I hesitated.

  1. I didn't have a clean dish towel to roll the cake. I knew of a few places one might be.
  2. What if I messed it up and wasted all the ingredients?

Those aren't good enough reasons, I suppose, so I found this Lemon Roll Cake recipe and went for it!

The basic cake is pretty easy to put together, but you do have to watch that sucker because my edges began to brown fast. Did I ruin it? Hold on :) I was searching for a dish towel.

One of the secrets to a good roll cake is being able to roll it straight out of the oven. It needs to be pretty hot when you roll it to be able to fill it and re-roll it again later. The cake is now in the oven so with less than 10 minutes left I begin the hunt for a dish towel that is not to be found. I fall back on a really pretty cotton scarf. I have to cover it in powdered sugar anyway so I hope for the best. The cake looks and smells so good coming out of the oven, although due to lack of planning on my part the edges got a little browner than I had hoped. But it's too late -- I gotta flip the cake onto the powdered sugar scarf. I take a deep breath and flip. Success! I used tin foil as my base and have to peel it off super quick while not scorching my fingertips or ripping up my thin but light and lemony delicious-smelling cake. It's actually working! :)

The first roll feels like it's totally going to split, but it doesn't. It kinda flops over heavily, and then I am in and rolling and it's rolled and hot and wrapped in a red scarf and done. For now.

Apparently, I felt it was a disaster at the time because there is no photo evidence I can find. Also, I debated ever mentioning I used a red cotton scarf to roll the cake with. What do you want? I am making a homemade lemon cake with little bits of lemon zest inside and there will even be lemon curd. Why didn't I take the time to buy a new dish towel? Only time will tell if this sucker is going to work out and at this point, we are full steam ahead.

I finally get to surprise him with a cooled cake rolled up in a red scarf and he is laughing but pumped. I make the whipped filling and softly fold in my lemon curd and we unroll together. It looks great, is unrolling beautifully. Only side note: There are red threads all over the cake. They are so small and this thing looks so good. Do we push forward? Hell yeah!

Filling's in and now we are rolling it back up. I am about to wrap it to cool and set in the fridge and my husband says, "You didn't finish the ends." I think he is joking and search the recipe for an instruction. None. "For real, you have to finish the ends with some of the filling." I do one side really well and the other side half as good. I believe he is full of crap. Why would he know that you have to finish the ends of a roll cake? Into the fridge to set and when it comes out guess who was right? Him! Hahaha! Apparently you need to finish off both sides so they don't collapse. Sometimes you have to fight the urge and believe them! Sagged end or beautifully rolled end, this cake is a keeper!

Lemon Roll Cake

It is an incredible cake. The lemon zest gives this tiny little fresh bite to the cake and the filling. OMG! For my first roll cake, it was SUCH a fun experience and honestly with all this snow, what a fun thing to try with the family. Just remember to grab yourself a cloth dish towel before you get started! :)

Happy baking -- and I would love for you to show off your creations. You can find me on social media @sarahjthedj or send me photos via our FREE app