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Matcha Swiss Roll Cake (Dairy Free)

It's always amazing how memories remind us of not only delicious flavours and textures of our favourite foods, but they also remind us of how we felt in that moment that we indulged in something memorable. Reminiscing about food memories induces an emotional response. One of my best childhood memories is when my mother would treat my brother and me to a Swiss roll cake on special occasions. At the age of 7, I had no idea why or who started this Swiss roll cake craze (ironically, it's apparently not the Swiss). But it's been around for decades, inducing feelings of happiness and comfort to all who indulge. Who doesn't love a delicate, fluffy cake with its gently sweetened, creamy filling?

matcha swiss roll cake with matcha filling icing

This recipe is a perfect balance of sweet and bitter flavours along with a creamy and airy texture. What I love about this dairy-free Matcha Swiss Roll Cake is that you enjoy every bite because it's not overly sweet but it still satisfies your sweet tooth. You're not left feeling sick from an overly sweet dessert.

If you follow my recipes, you know that I'm lactose intolerant. So it's been several years since I've been able to enjoy a tasty Swiss roll cake. Which just meant that I've have to figure out how to make this delicate, decadent dessert into something that I can enjoy freely without worrying about tummy troubles. I've figured it out! And naturally, I had to share it with you, my lactose-intolerant community.

I know what you're thinking. "Will the cake be fluffy without cow's milk?" "Are there extra steps to make this dairy-free recipe?" "Is this going to taste less delicious because it is dairy-free?"

To all of those worries, I can tell you that my lactose-intolerant and -tolerant friends enjoyed it all the same. Amongst those friends I even had a Swiss roll cake fiend, and he really enjoyed this Matcha Swiss Roll Cake. Don't worry. It's going to turn out amazing!

This recipe is an easy one, but it's more focused on technique and timing. I recommend having all of your ingredients measured and prepped before you begin the mixing process. That way, you can focus on timing and technique without missing a beat.

eggs sugar flour baking powder matcha powder

A few things to note before we begin:

  • Egg Whites - These needs to be cold to ensure it will whip with high peaks. Whipped egg whites are essential to the airy, fluffy texture of the roll cake. I place whole eggs in the fridge the night before. Then, when it's time to bake, separate the eggs and keep the egg yolks out to reach room temperature while keeping the egg whites chilled in the refrigerator.

  • Coconut Cream - This needs to be refrigerated at least 8 hours prior to use since that helps the thick coconut cream to separate from the oil. This recipe calls for just the thick coconut cream part only. The coconut oil that remains can be used in another meal to cook or toss it into a smoothie.

  • Matcha Powder - Make sure to use "Culinary Grade" matcha powder. Culinary grade matcha powder has a smooth taste and texture along with a vibrant green color that comes through in baking. It would be terrible to have a sharp, clumpy Swiss roll cake by opting to use anything other than culinary grade matcha powder.

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Step By Step Instructions:

Step One: Preheat the oven at 375°F (190°C).

Step Two: Line a 15" x 10" pan with parchment paper.

Step Three: Separate the cold egg whites from the egg yolk. Leave the egg yolks out to come to room temperature.

separated egg yolks whites

Step Four: Sift the cake flour and matcha powder there times then set to the side.

sifting flour

Step Five: Using a hand mixer, beat room temperature egg yolks at a slow speed while slowly adding half of the sugar and all of the milk. The whipped egg yolk volume should thicken and double in size. Set to the side.

whipping egg yolks adding sugar

Step Six: In a separate bowl, use the hand mixer to beat the cold egg whites starting at a low speed and increasing to a medium speed while slowly adding the remaining sugar. Whip until the egg whites form stiff peaks.

whipping egg whites

Step Seven: Gently fold the egg yolks into the egg whites until uniform. Do not over mix.

Step Eight: Add the sifted matcha powder, cake flour, and the baking powder to the egg mixture. Fold it gently until uniform. Be careful not to over mix or the fluffy texture of the cake will be lost.

Step Nine: Pour the batter into the lined pan. Tap the pan against the counter for the air bubbles to rise to the surface and pop. We want to avoid having too many air bubbles or the result will not be a smooth texture after baking.

matcha green cake batter in pan

Step Ten: Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden and a fork or toothpick comes out clean. I was able to keep my bake time down to 10 minutes and it was perfect. Over baking at this step will lead to a stiff cake that cannot be rolled with splitting and cracking. Be very mindful of this step.

Step Eleven: Remove the baking pan from the oven and onto a cooking rack. Remove the parchment paper immediately. The parchment paper should come off easily if the cake is fully baked.

Step Twelve: Roll the cake while warm. To keep it in its rolled shaped and prevent it from becoming stale, put a dish towel over it and let it cool. Cooling take approximately one hour. The cake needs to be fully cooled in order to prevent the filling from melting within in.

Step Thirteen: For the cream filling, add the cream part of the coconut cream (being careful not to scoop out the coconut oil on the bottom or the can), the icing sugar, the sifted matcha powder, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the ingredients together until smooth (about 3 minutes).

Step Fourteen: Once the cake is completely cooked, gently unroll is, spread the cream filling generously up to all of the edges of the cake, then roll it back up. Cut off the uneven edges. Then, serve immediately.

spreading matcha green icing on cake

It is best to eat the Matcha Swiss Roll Cake immediately. If there are leftovers, keep them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for no more than a day. Unfortunately, this dessert can expire very quickly.

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Baking this childhood Matcha Swiss Roll Cake really took me down memory lane. It checked off all of the boxes for sweet, airy, fluffy and decadent. The best part of it all is that I was able to create wonderful memories for other who ate this delicious dessert, in a similar way my mother created memories for me. Whether you're lactose intolerant or not, you'll equally enjoy this delicate dessert. Let me know how it turns out for you by leaving a comment below. I hope you enjoy it as much as my friends and I did and may you create memories with your loved ones with this Matcha Swiss Roll Cake.

- Esther

The Palette Cleanser

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