No-Towel Lemon Cake Roll Recipe with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

A Super Easy, Refreshing and Lemon-y Cake Roll that Will WOW Your Guests

Lemon cake roll recipe is a fun way to enjoy a refreshing lemon flavored dessert. It is light, soft and moist. Perfect for any get-together.

Lemon Cake Roll Recipe with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

Total Time: 45-47 Minutes
Prep Time: 30 Minutes  
Inactive Cook Time: 15-17 Minutes  
Serving: 6-8

Lemon flavored dessert is always a big hit in our house. I am not a baker so it always takes a lot for me to figure out a baking recipe to get it right. This recipe is no exception. Before starting this experiment, I even thought of my backup plan in order not to throw it away. Surprisingly, it turned out perfectly. The one great thing about this lemon cake roll recipe uses a couple store bought ingredients which made it easier and tastier. Believe me, you will love how light and refreshing this lemon cake roll recipe is.

As always, I don't use a towel roll up the cake as soon as it gets out of oven. Leave it in the room temperature and let it cool down before rolling it.


How to Roll A Cake Roll?

If you feel comfortable how you have been rolling any cake roll, by all means, stick with the way you have been doing.

If this is your first time or failed a couple times in the past, I highly recommend you to check out these steps of how to roll this lemon cake roll.  Remember, you don't need a stinking towel. Put it aside for other purpose.

  1. Put the sheet of cake topped with cream cheese filling in front of you lengthwise. Remove anything around the baking sheet that will block your movement when rolling this lemon cake roll.
  2. Put a kitchen towel, a wet paper towel, or a couple of pot holders under the baking sheet to stop it from sliding on the counter while you are rolling the pumpkin roll.
  3. Hold the edge of the wax paper in front of you.
  4. Before doing anything, get a good grasp on how to hold the paper so so it won't slip out of your hands.
  5. As you roll, the paper will start peeling off by itself. So, don't worry about peeling it off ahead of time.
  6. When you start rolling up the first 2 inches or so, use the paper to help you apply pressure on the roll to fold it. This step sets you up for success. If it is loose, the cake roll will not form in the good shape. So, make sure you set this up as a solid foundation of your lemon cake roll or any cake roll you make.
  7. Once that little section of the roll folds and sticks together, hold on to the edge of the paper and keep rolling by using your hand movement to push the cake roll forward.
  8. The paper will continue to peel off with the forward movement.
  9. Once the lemon cake roll is formed, apply pressure by squeezing the roll lightly to help create its shape.
  10. Congratulations! You just successfully rolled a lemon cake roll. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.

Click here to see the steps with illustrations.

Lemon Cake Roll Recipe and Directions

Wet Ingredients
1 can (22oz) Lemon Pie Filling (save 1/3 of a can which is about 1 cup for later)
3 Eggs
1 tsp Lemon Extract
1/2 cup Sugar
No-stick Cooking Spray

Dry Ingredients
1 cup All Purpose Flour + 1 tsp for Dusting
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients
8oz Cream Cheese Bar (in room temperature)
Reserved Lemon Pie Filling (you saved this at the beginning before mixing the cake batter)
1 cup Powder Sugar
6 tbsp Butter (in room temperature)
A splash Lemon Concentrate (optional)
1 tsp Lemon Extract
Powder Sugar for Dusting (optional)


  1. Preheat oven at 375F.
  2. Line aluminum foil on a baking sheet first (optional; for easy cleanup later).
  3. Line 2 wax paper on the baking sheet width-wise overlapping with each other. Allow about 1-1/2" extra on the edges.
  4. Line another piece of wax paper on top lengthwise. Allow about 2" on either end.
  5. Coat the paper with cooking spray and lightly dust it with flour.
  6. Mix dry and wet ingredients in 2 separate mixing bowls.
  7. Then, pour wet ingredients mixture into the dry ingredients gradually until everything is blended.
  8. Transfer batter onto the wax paper-lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake 15-17 minutes until cake bounces back when touched.
  10. Cool at room temperature for an hour.
  11. About 15 minutes before rolling the cake, use a hand mixer to combine cream cheese filling ingredients together.
  12. Spread filling out on cake with a butter knife.
  13. Make sure to leave about half an inch around the cake without filling and roll. (Refer to "Chef Notes" section on top of this page to learn the easiest way to roll a cake roll)
  14. Cover the roll with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 4 hours.
  15. Trim both ends where there is no or little filling. (This step is best to do it right after the cake roll comes out of the fridge. It is much easier in cutting it while it is firmer in touch.)
  16. Dust with powder sugar for garnish and slice to desired thickness and enjoy.

Lemon Cake Roll Recipe Steps with Photos

Wax paper on baking sheetLine 2 wax paper overlapping with each other to cover the width of a baking sheet
Wax paper dusted with cooking spray and flourLine another wax paper lengthwise on top and coat with cooking spray and dust of flour
Baking sheet with foil at the bottom; then wax paper on topSame way to line a baking sheet with wax paper. But aluminum foil is at the bottom layer for easy cleanup later. (optional)
Dry ingredientsIn a mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.
Reserved lemon pie fillingIn another mixing bowl, that you will use for making filling later, reserve a cup of lemon pie filling.
Remaining lemon pie fillingUse this remaining pie filling as one of your wet ingredients for the batter.
Wet ingredientsCombine all wet ingredients in a third mixing bowl.
Mixture of all wet ingredientsWhisk to combine all wet ingredients together.
Batter after mixing both dry and wet ingredients togetherMix both wet and dry ingredients to make cake batter.
Batter on baking sheetTransfer batter to the prepared baking sheet and level it out with cake spatula.
Sheet cake from the ovenSheet cake coming out of the oven after 15-17 minutes baking.
Filling ingredientsCombine the rest of the filling ingredients with the reserved pie filling.
Lemon cream cheese fillingUse hand mixer to mix all filling ingredients until well combined.
Filling on top of sheet cakeSpread filling on top of sheet cake evenly.
First step of cake rollingApply a little more pressure on the first section of the cake before rolling.
Lemon cake rollCongratulations! You just made a lemon cake roll. First, chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Lemon cake roll with powder sugarDust it with powder sugar (optional).
Trimmed lemon cake rollTrim both ends. Doesn't it look beautiful and delicious?
Sliced lemon cake rollCut the rest of cake roll into about 1/2" slices.
Lemon cake roll to devourENJOY this gorgeous dessert!

Serve This With: 

  • Hot Tea, such as Orange Pickle

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