A jelly roll cake is daunting. Delicious, dainty, but daunting. I decided to take a leap of faith last weekend when I was home for Memorial day and make a lemon filled jelly roll cake as the lemon dessert I had promised. Let me give a big shout out to my Mom who served as sous-chef on this one, especially when it came to the lemon filling (the first batch of which flopped, because the sauce pan I used to make it in was too big. How was I supposed to know this would affect the chemistry of the whole thing? I am a literature major, not a sciency person, thank you).
The cake is only about 1/4 of an inch thin, and is spongy, allowing it to be rolled up in a powder sugar covered towel after coming out of the oven, unrolled, and then rolled up again after being filled with lemony goodness.
Although I couldn't resist having two slices in one night, you will notice that there is only one slice on the plate (don't let convention stop you from eating the whole thing though!) It was paired lovely with some freshly made whipped cream with a topping of lemon zest. Oh, the recipe also called for two drops of yellow food coloring in the lemon filling (which is very much like a lemon curd), but I thought that was kind of gross. So maybe it looks like you're eating Vaseline; I think what matters most is that it doesn't taste like Vaseline.
For both the lemon filling and cake I used recipes from the Betty Crocker cookbook. Gotta' love Betty.