I have been making these swiss sugar rolls for the last 25 years. They are the fastest bakes ever, simply because you just spread a sponge batter on a large surface, crank up the oven and in 9 minutes, it is baked. You cannot bake longer without burning the cake.

Every time I bake this, I will remember my mother. She is illiterate and cannot follow recipes. She also cannot operate an oven because it is too complicated. When I was still single and staying with her, I would painstakingly explain the oven settings to her. It doesn’t take long for her to learn. She would patiently learn them. She often tell people I am the only who would teach her anything.

To teach her how to bake, I had to improvise everything, since she cannot read a recipe. I had to simplify all the recipes and reduce them into tablespoons for her, so that she could measure with a spoon rather than weighing things out.

There are two recipes she has been baking since I taught her more than 20 years ago. This sugar swiss roll and the almond biscuits. She would make them and distribute them to her friends, churchmates etc etc. This is her way of telling people she loves and cares.

The secret to making perfect roll


Bake for 9 minutes


Roll the parchment together with the cake.


Empty. Release after that and it will curl up.



To make that perfect roll, I was taught to roll it up with a parchment paper first, and when it is still a little warm, then release it.

After it is cooled, and apply whatever filings you like.

Then reroll it.  That simple and works every single time!

A note about slicing

Freeze it until the filing is really cold before you slice, otherwise, you’ll get really messy rolls.

*If you want more tips on baking and a free baking course, please visit our group at www.facebook.com/groups/pamcooks  Don’t just learn how to follow recipes. Learn how to bake.

Sugar Swiss Roll



  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 to 3 Tbsp Corn Oil the less oil you use, the softer your meringue has to be
  • 3 Tbsp Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Corn Flour
  • 7 Tbsp Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 5 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or replace with salt or vinegar or corn starch


  • 50 g Butter at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar


  • Preheat oven to 190C, line a 12"x10" swiss roll pan with parchment paper..

Make egg yolk batter

  • Beat egg yolks and sugar just a little (I find that if I beat too much, the cake becomes rough).
  • Add the oil, flours and vanilla essence. Mix till just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Set aside.

Make egg white batter

  • Beat egg white until frothy then add the cream of tartar.
  • A squeeze of lemon will stabilize the meringue but optional.
  • Add sugar gradually, and then continue to beat until soft to medium peaks form. If you accidentally or purposely beat it to stiff peaks, then add more oil to the egg yolk mixture.
  • Divide into roughly 3 equal portions.
  • Fold in each portion into the egg yolk mixture.
  • Bake on medium to high rack for 9 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. If you overbake, your cake will crack with you roll it.

Make butter cream

  • Beat butter and cream until almost white.

Make the roll

  • After the cake has cooled for 5 minutes, remove it from the parchment paper.
  • Put it below another parchment paper sprinkled with sugar (if desired).
  • Roll the cake up together with the parchment paper roughly, and then release it.
  • When cake is cooled, apply the butter cream and roll up again, using the parchment to guide, but don't roll the parchment paper in this time.
  • To tighten the roll, use a long ruler to tuck the sides in. (optional)


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