Lemon Poppy Seed Roll

Author: Canadian Living

Meringue creates a dramatic, golden-textured crust for this lively lemon-filled cake. Whipped cream is an alternative to meringue when appropriate.

  • Portion size 10 servings
  • Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: April 2004


  • 4 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 3/4 cups lemon juice
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup matzo cake meal
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur


In heatproof bowl over simmering (not boiling) water, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar and lemon rind and juice; cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and thick enough to mound on spoon, about 15 minutes. Strain lemon curd into bowl; place plastic wrap directly on surface and refrigerate until cold and thickened, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.)

Cake: Wrap 16- x 5-inch (40 x 12 cm) piece of cardboard tightly with foil. Line bottom of 15- x 10-inch (40 x 25 cm) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the granulated sugar until thick and pale, about 1 minute. Beat in lemon rind. In separate bowl, whisk together potato starch, matzo meal and poppy seeds; stir into egg mixture.

In clean bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining granulated sugar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold one-third into yolk mixture; fold in remaining whites. Scrape into prepared pan; spread evenly.

Bake in centre of 400°F (200°C) oven until top springs back when lightly touched, about 10 minutes. Dust clean tea towel with icing sugar. With knife, loosen edges of cake and invert onto towel; starting at one corner, peel away paper. Beginning at short end, immediately roll up cake in tea towel; let cool on rack.

Syrup: In small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring sugar, liqueur and 2 tbsp (25 mL) water to boil. Unroll cake; trim edges and brush with syrup. Stir lemon curd; spread evenly over cake, leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) border at 1 short end. Using towel as support and starting at other short end, roll up cake without towel. Place, seam-side down, on foil-covered cardboard.

Meringue: In bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form; spread over roll. Using tip of knife, swirl meringue attractively.

Place log and cardboard base on rimless baking sheet; bake in centre of 475 °F (240°C) oven until meringue is golden brown with darker highlights, about 5 minutes. Let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)

Nutritional facts <b>Per each of 10 servings:</b> about

  • Sodium 63 mg
  • Protein 7 g
  • Calories 321.0
  • Total fat 7 g
  • Cholesterol 210 mg
  • Saturated fat 2 g
  • Total carbohydrate 57 g


  • Iron 7.0
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 15.0
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 5.0
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 9.0
  • Vitamin C 15.0
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
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Lemon Poppy Seed Roll