Blueberry + Lemon-Thyme Roulade Cake
This Blueberry + Lemon-Thyme Roulade Cake recipe goes way back to my days cooking at the Red Mountain Spa in St. George, UT. I used to make this cake as part of one of the cooking classes I taught at the spa. Yeah, can you believe it? They actually trusted me to go out in front of people and talk. I do pretty well when it comes to writing, but the moment I actually have to speak to a human being, I become a blubbering idiot. It’s like the direct link from my brain to my mouth is missing a few wires and half the things I say makes no sense at all, haha.
It was quite painful and terrifying to get up there and attempt to instruct others on cooking… and I have no doubts the pain went both ways. Those sweet souls that attended my classes were always so wonderful to me, despite my lack of motor skills.
I couldn’t have been more lucky that they would actually pay to learn from me. What a time of growth that was for me. I was straight out of culinary school when I interned at Red Mountain Spa and then eventually took a permanent position with them. Moving away from my family in Minnesota was not easy, but I had the time of my life.
Working alongside some great chefs at the spa, I learned more than I could have imagined. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the challenge of cooking healthy, low-fat meals to all of the guests that stayed at the spa. And if that wasn’t enough, just being in such a breathtaking place was mind blowing to me. The resorts encouraged us to take all of the different activities and classes they offered, so on my days off I would go horseback riding, hiking in Zions and all over the various state parks, yoga, Pilates, mountain biking, pottery, etc. Talk about a dream job right out of college!
This Blueberry + Lemon-Thyme Roulade Cake has a few steps and multiple components that may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s actually a rather easy recipe.
I feel it just evokes everything about spring and even the upcoming Easter holiday. At the same time, the flavors of this cake can easily change based on your preference. For example, substitute the thyme in the cake with poppy seeds for a Blueberry + Lemon-Poppy Seed Roulade Cake. You can also leave out the blueberries altogether or switch them out for strawberries or raspberries. The options are really endless.
Oh, did I mention the best thing about this cake? This Blueberry + Lemon-Thyme Roulade Cake is relatively low in fat, especially when using Neuchâtel cream cheese and light sour cream. I hope you enjoy making this cake recipe as much as I enjoyed teaching our guests to make it at my beloved and greatly missed Red Mountain Spa.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- ¾ cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon zested lemon peel
- Powdered sugar
- 16 oz. Neuchâtel cream cheese (can substitute with full-fat cream cheese)
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon zested lemon peel
- 1 pint blueberries, washed and dried.
- 8oz. Neuchâtel cream cheese (can substitute with full-fat cream cheese)
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe above)
- 5-6 Lemon and/or vanilla macaroons, purchased from a local bakery
- Fresh blueberries
- Edible flowers, such as spray roses
- Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 16 x 12 x 1 in sheet pan with parchment paper and grease generously.
- In a small bowl sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl beat eggs until thick and light in color (about 5-6 minutes). Gradually add in sugar. On low speed, add in water, then flour mixture until smooth. Gently fold in thyme and lemon zest. Pour into prepared sheet pan and smooth evenly.
- Bake for 7 minutes, rotate pan in oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes. Top of cake should be light golden and spring back when gently pressed into. While cake is baking, lay out a towel on a flat surface. Dust towel with powdered sugar. When cake is finished, quickly loosen edges from sheet pan and flip onto towel. While hot, remove parchment paper and carefully roll cake and towel up starting from short end of cake. Allow to cool to room temperature. While cake cools make lemon-blueberry filling.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat Neuchâtel cream cheese until smooth. Add in sour cream, powdered sugar, honey, and lemon peel until fully combined. Set aside until cake is completely cool.
- Once cake is cool, carefully unwind cake from towel. Evenly spread lemon filling over the entire cake. Sprinkle blueberries over entire cake. Starting at the short end, roll cake and filling back up (without the towel). Place cake on serving plate and gently cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge to chill while preparing garnishes.
- Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in sifted powdered sugar until smooth. Add in vanilla extract until fully combined. Place frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large round frosting tip. If you don’t have a decorating bag and frosting tip, frost roulade cake by hand in a nice even strip down the top.
- Remove cake from fridge. Using prepared piping bag, gently squeeze out quarter sized rounds of cream cheese frosting down the length of the cake (or frost by hand). Decorate as desired. I alternated every 2 macaroons with roses, and then filled in extra spaces with fresh blueberries.
- If you want to keep things simple, leave out macaroons and edible flowers and sprinkle the cream cheese frosted top with blueberries and a few sprigs of thyme.
- Serve cake immediately or store in fridge, carefully wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 1 day.
With love from my kitchen to yours,