Mum’s Cherry Bakewell Swiss Roll

What a SORT!

This week’s dedication goes to…my very own mother! Because… it’s her BIRTHDAY!

Let’s head back to the spring of 1994. There my mater was, creating a full on human (i.e me) and eating a whole pack of cherry bakewells at the same time. What a woman!

Nowadays she’s much more of a savoury (i.e wine) person, but she’s always kept her love of all things bakewell related.

To celebrate her turning 35 yet again, she tasked me with making a bakewell-inspired swiss roll. Considering she made me, I figured it was the least I could do really.

Here it is: a fatless almond-flavoured sponge, filled with morello cherry jam and softly whipped vanilla cream, topped with a dollop of icing and a sprinkling of flaked almonds and fresh cherries.

Let’s hear it for all the mummas out there!

Cherry and Almond Swiss Roll


  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 130g plain flour
  • 300ml double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 170g morello cherry jam
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 10-15 fresh cherries to garnish


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (fan) and line a swiss roll tin with baking paper (it should roughly measure 30 x 20cm.
  2. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the caster sugar. Whisk on a high setting for around 10 minutes until it is thick enough that you can lift the whisk head and draw the number 8 on top of the mixture without it sinking straight away – this is called the ‘ribbon stage’. Now add the almond extract and whisk again for a few seconds.
  3. Sift in half the flour to the mixture and gently fold until it is combined, repeat with the other half. Be careful not to knock any of the air out.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and carefully level out the top with a knife. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until the top is firm to touch and lightly golden. While the sponge is cooking, lay out a sheet of baking paper that is larger than the sponge and sprinkle it with some caster sugar.
  5. Once the sponge is cooked, turn it straight out onto the baking paper. Trim the tough edges with a sharp knife, then score the sponge a couple of centimetres from the edge of one of the shorter sides (this will help you get a tight spiral). Now tuck the edge of the baking paper into the scored side and roll the sponge up while it is still warm into a tight spiral, keeping the baking paper inside the spiral. Leave it to cool in the spiral position.
  6. Whisk the double cream and vanilla extract on a medium setting until it forms soft peaks. If you’re a bit concerned about over-whipping it, make sure you reserve a few tbsp of the cream before you whip it. That way, if you do over-whip it, you can just add the remaining cream and gently fold it in to rescue it.
  7. Heat the jam on a low heat to loosen it up a bit. When you’re ready to assemble, gently unroll the sponge and spread your whipped cream over the sponge, followed by the jam. Now roll up the cake again (without the baking paper), being sure to keep a tight roll all the way through.
  8. Sieve the icing sugar into a small bowl and add one tbsp of water at a time until you have a thick, stiff icing. Spread it over the top of the roll and allow to drip down the sides. Leave it for 30 minutes to set, then top with the flaked almonds and fresh cherries.

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