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Pistachio and Cream Swiss Roll - Dinner in Venice

Pistachio and Cream Swiss Roll

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Pistachio Swiss Roll by DinnerInVenice

This week my family and I will observe one of my favorite holiday traditions, that of indulging in creamy dairy treats for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. After all, who am I to say no to extra helpings of lasagna and tiramisu, especially when our sages encourage me?

Another custom typical of Shavuot (and Simchat Torah) is eating preparations that are rolled, a visual reminder of the Torah scrolls that are read in synagogue. It may be a no-brainer to celebrate by smothering your dishes in butter and cream; however, rolling up foods can be  challenging for inexperienced cooks. Take cake rolls, and raise your hand if you don’t end up buying the pre-packaged version rather than risking a disaster.

The truth is that, if you follow  instructions, these guys are not that hard to make. Just don’t cheat on the pan: the only type that works is a  jelly roll pan (usually a 15x10x1-inch pan, regular or disposable).  This is also the kind of recipe that you don’t want to attempt if you have just ran out of parchment paper. Last, but not least, do not over-bake: the cake needs to be a bit flexible and “springy” to be rolled up.

After baking the cake, remove from the oven and loosen the edges from the pan with a knife, then turn it out the cake onto a large parchment sheet. Peel  the existing parchment from the top (what was previously on the bottom of the baking pan) and discard.

Now the tricky part: starting with one of the shorter  sides, roll up the parchment with the warm cake inside into a spiral. Once the cake is all rolled up into the parchment, secure it with tape or by stapling the ends of the parchment, and place it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Unroll the cake, spread with your preferred filling staying within 1 inch of the edges; then roll it up again, but this time use the parchment only to lift and guide leaving it on the “outside’ of the cake roll. Place the roll in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

Pistachio Swiss Roll by DinnerInVenice

Pistachio Swiss Roll


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or ½ tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 shot orange liqueur
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • whipped cream
  • powdered sugar to decorate


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the base of a 10 by 15-inches jelly roll pan with parchment, brushing the sides with butter and dusting with flour.

In an electric mixer, whisk the eggs with the sugar and salt until light and frothy, and then add the zest or vanilla extract; start sifting in the flour and baking powder, gradually, a bit at a time.

When the mixture is well combined, pour into the prepared pan, and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cake is a bit springy and the edges have shrunk a little from the sides.

Spread out a large sheet of parchment on a counter and dust it evenly with powdered sugar to prevent any sticking. Invert the pan onto the parchment, and then carefully remove the pan and parchment from the cake.

While the cake is still warm but not hot, dust it with powdered sugar, cover it with another parchment sheet and roll it up in a spiral leaving the parchment sheet on the inside and outside. secure with tape and allow to cool on a wire rack for about one hour.

Coarsely grind the pistachio. Combine the whipped cream with 1 or 2 tbsp powdered sugar, the orange liqueur or extract, and the pistachios.

When the cake is cool, unroll it and carefully remove the parchment; spread the whipped cream sparingly over the cake, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll up again, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Dust with powdered sugar to finish.



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  1. lovely! i love pistachios in dessert. I have yet to make rolled up cake.

    • Hey Jamie, I don’t particularly tend to gain weight (if I did I would avoid writing about desserts). I also don’t just polish the stuff off on my own, I share with the rest of my family!

  2. This looks incredible! And I never thought of grinding pistachios – great idea…

  3. Very elegant. I imagine delicious and refreshing too.

  4. This looks delicious! I love the lemon flavor in this.

  5. First time I ever made a rolled cake was a disaster. I forgot to line the pan. Imagine my surprise. I never use parchment inside the roll — but will do that next time; seems better than my roll-it-in-a-towel method.

  6. This is making me want to get in the kitchen and bake one. Stunning pics too!

  7. I love the idea of making rolled up food to represent the Torah for shavout. I am going to make that a part of our holiday next year, thank you for the inspiration.

  8. Totally gorgeous! you never disappoint Ale! Now tell us how you stay so thin? Can you do a post on that?

  9. Ale, these look amazing. I’m definitely attempting this for next Shavuot.

  10. I am not a fan of Jelly roll, but this sounds really good, love the pistachio cream.

  11. Anything with pistachios makes me very happy!

  12. What a gorgeous dessert! Love the pistachio cream!

  13. Pistachios are my favorite!

  14. Stunning! Loved all the bright colors!

  15. Gorgeous! You are quite the baker!

  16. Io adoro i pistacchi e queste girelle devono essere spettacolari, non solo di effetto! E’ un piacere conoscerti grazie a Chiara 🙂 Buona giornata, a presto

  17. Che meraviglioso dolce e che brava sei! Ti conosco grazie a Chiara e ne sono molto, molto felice! Complimenti e un abbraccio grande!

  18. Ciao.. arrivo direttamente dal blog di Chiara!!!! Complimenti per il tuo.. e per ciò che fai e la passione che metti… Ottima la tua ricetta.. amo i pistacchi!!! baci e buona giornata 🙂

  19. Grazie a Chiara ho piacere di “conoscerti”.
    Ti leggero con interesse.

  20. Arrivo ora dal blog di Chiara è un piacere fare la tua conoscenza. Complimenti il tuo blog è favoloso, ricco di ricette molto interessanti. Un saluto, a presto Daniela.

  21. che piacere conoscerti. Chiara me ne ha dato la possibilità ed io non me la sono fatta scappare. Complimenti per il blog, interessantissimo, per il rotolo buonissimo e per il tuo sorriso che mi fa molto simpatia.


  22. Ciao mia cara, piacere di conoscerti! Grazie a Chiara mi trovo qui da te, il dolce che hai preparato è meraviglioso, ti seguirò con molto interesse ho tanto da imparare!!! Un bacio e a presto

  23. ciao Alessandra, sono felice che le mie amiche siano passate a visitare il tuo blog, a presto !

  24. Ciao Alessandra, sono arrivata qui tramite il blog di Chiara, piacere di conoscerti. Complimenti per i tuoi manicaretti, ti seguirò con piacere 🙂

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