Torta de Limão / Lemon Roll

This is one of those recipes from my childhood, a dessert my mother does all the time, and has always been a family favourite. From the moment I learned how to do it, it also became a regular guest at my parties and dinners, very entertaining with its disappearing act. I guess we can call it a best-eater.

Torta de Limão / Lemon Roll

It’s a good thing my mum knows the recipe by heart, because every time I do it, I forget where I’ve written it down (which i probably did about 5 times already) and I can’t seem to memorise it myself.

– Hi mum, it’s me, guess why I’m calling you again…

– The lemon roll recipe??

– Yes, please…

– Will you write it down already?!

So this is it. I’m writing it down. I’m not losing it this time, mum, I promise!

Teresinha’s Lemon Roll

  • 8 eggs
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 50g butter, melted
  • Juice and grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal

In a bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar very well. Add the butter, the lemon zest, the lemon juice and the cornmeal, and mix until even.

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC. Line a rectangular baking tray with parchment paper and pour in the mixture. Bake until the top and sides start to turn golden, but it still jiggles a little bit if you shake it.

On a plane surface, lay a clean damp cloth and sprinkle some white sugar over it. Turn the cake out onto the cloth and strip the parchment paper away. Start rolling the cake, by slowly pulling towards you the edge of the cloth that is furthest away, and folding it over until it takes the shape of a cylinder. Don’t worry too much if it starts to crack.

When it’s all rolled up, use the cloth to help you transfer it onto a long rectangular plate and once it cools down, put it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before serving. Cut it in 1cm slices and then watch it while it mysteriously disappears. Look for finger-licking action for clues on who did it.

A photo from this recipe was submitted to the December edition of DMBLGIT, hosted by The Cooking Doctor and is featured in the gallery. Please visit to see all the great photos in competition this month!
This recipe was published in the late Recipe Book blog in December 2007.


  • You say to add flour but flour isn’t listed in the ingredients…are you referring to the cornmeal? This looks delicious and I’d like to try it!

    • You’re right, I’m sorry! I do mean the cornmeal, I’ll change it right away. Thanks!

  • Only one tablespoon of cornmeal and no flower.

    • Yes, that’s right.

  • 🙂 Fatias de 1cm….para garantir que comemos mais do que uma, certo? 🙂

    • Para fazer render… 😉

  • Thank you for linking this beautiful photo to the DMBLGIT..I love lemons in anything so willgive this recipe a go!

  • I cooked till golden brown and still jiggled…how long to I wait before I flip….When I flipped it it was runny and didnt’ roll correctly…taste was great but did I not cook it long enough or did something else wrong.. followed recipe as stated, please help 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment, I’m so sorry yours didn’t turn out perfect. I’m guessing that maybe the oven temperature is too high. Ovens do vary, and my old oven wasn’t very reliable, so maybe I should recommend a lower one. It’s not a question of waiting after it comes out – I never wait too long – it’s a question of cooking it better inside. It should jiggle, but not too much, and it shouldn’t get golden too fast. I’m correcting the recipe, and if you ever try it again, at 200ºC or less, please do let me know how it turned out.

      • thank you 🙂 will try again on lower temp 🙂