Classic Swiss Roll

When I asked Instagram what we should bake next for the grid, I was astonished to find so many people wanted to make a swiss roll. I was a bit dubious. It's an easy enough bake, but there are a couple of bits that just aren't that Small-friendly. The challenge was on to develop a method that would work for out lovely little bakers. Amazingly, it was a hit and Biggest was so thrilled to present the showstopper pudding she made herself after our roast dinner.

You will need an electric mixer or electric whisk for this bake.


4 eggs

100g caster sugar

65g self raising flour or plain with 1 tsp baking powder

40g cocoa powder

3 tbsp jam

300ml double cream


Prepare for the bake by lining a Swiss roll tray with greaseproof paper. Leave extra paper over each edge to help you remove the cake from tray when baked. It will also help you when rolling.

In addition, you need a separate sheet of greaseproof, the same size to turn the baked cake out onto. This should be sprinkled with caster sugar.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until very fluffy. They won't stiffen like when you're making meringue, but will become frothy and when you lift the whisk out it will leave a trail in the mixture. Biggest thinks it looks a bit like melted ice-cream.

Mix together flour and cocoa powder. This mixing isn't strictly necessary, but it lets the little bakers get some good old fashioned stirring in before they need to be much more careful to fold these ingredients into the egg and not knock too much air out.

Shake / sprinkle these dry ingredients into the fluffy sugar and egg mixture. It will sit on the top and slowly sink in. Use a big metal or wooden spoon and try to fold the ingredients into the mixture with big rolling strokes. Encourage little bakers to be as gentle as possible. The idea is to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. We talk about turning a big mixing wheel with the spoon.

Tip the mixture onto your prepared tin. Give it a jiggle to persuade the mixture into all four corners of the tray and give it a wee tap on the table. Bake at 200° for 10 minutes. It works well if you use these few minutes to have a quick tidy up - you can promise cake off cuts as a reward.

When the cake is done turn it out immediately onto the sugared greaseproof. Using a sharp knife trim the edges of the cake to give you a more even (no need to be perfect) rectangle. These trimmings are useful to give as a treat for small bakers to enjoy whilst you take care of the next step.

You now need to roll the cake whilst its still quite hot. No little hands for this. With your sharp knife, score a line (careful not to go through the cake) about 1cm in from one of the short edges of the cake. Use this as the start of your roll and gently roll the cake into a nice, fat sausage shape. The greaseproof paper will end up inside the cake and this is fine. Leave the rolled cake to cool completely.

By now, your small has probably devoured all of the offcuts. Time to mak the filling. Whisk the double cream until thick and pillowy. Pop the jam into a small bowl.

Gently unroll your cake. Little bakers can do this if encouraged to be gently. I like to pretend it's a sleeping caterpillar that needs to be gently tickled awake. As little hands unroll the cake towards them, you can keep a gentle hand on the other end of the cake to make sure it doesn't get damaged.

Spread your jam and then double cream all over the flat cake. Let little ones dollop it on with a spoon, using the aback of the spoon to spread it so as not to puncture the cake itself.

Now for the rolling. The best way to let the smallest children do this is to sit them on your knee or stand behind them. Place your hands at either end of the Swiss roll and theirs in the middle. This way you can guide them if needs be, but they feel like they're in control. Gently roll the caterpillar up into a long sausage shape and you're done. Decorate the top by piping any extra cream in swirls. Add sprinkles. Or simply leave it as the classic sugar coated treat.

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