Irish Coffee Swiss Roll

March 13, 2015

Irish Coffee Swiss Roll

When I was young my sister Zoe used to make a great coffee cake. I used to think coffee cake was incredibly sophisticated as a child. Generally in Ireland coffee cakes were not made with coffee. Just absorb that sentence for a second. You have to remember it was the eighties and coffee hadn’t quite taken off. There was literally no such thing as a take-away coffee let alone a grande skinny frappuccino.  So, we improvised and coffee cake was usually made with a substance called Irel. This strange brown coffee essence came in a jar and was made from chicory. You will have to take my word for it, but it really tasted like coffee when you cooked it in a cake. It’s so good in fact that many use Irel to make coffee cake in Ireland still. For this Swiss roll cake however, I used instant coffee.

Zoe’s coffee cake is in part what inspired this recipe for my Irish Swiss roll coffee cake. It’s a simple light sponge, patterned with some cocoa colored shamrocks and filled with cream (spiked with Irish whiskey). It’s different to Zoe’s coffee cake, but it’s still a sweet reminder of being a child and eating my sophisticated coffee cake – made without coffee!

It’s a little fiddly to make the shamrock pattern, so if you want to make a simple coffee Swiss roll, you can simply ignore the instructions about creating the pattern- the cake will still taste great.

Irish Coffee Swiss Roll


  • 5 eggs, divided into whites and yolks
  • 150g of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of coffee granules mixed with one tablespoon of hot water
  • 75mls of cream
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 110g of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon of cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder


  • 175mls of cream
  • 2 tablespoons of Irish whiskey

Irish Coffee Swiss Roll


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F / 190 C.
  2. Line a baking tray with the paper pattern.  (I used a simple shamrock shape and copied it onto sheet of  paper to create the pattern).
  3. Tape the pattern onto the tray, and cover with a sheet of parchment paper. I found it helpful to tape the parchment to the tray as well, so it would be easier to pipe on.
  4. To make the cake, begin by putting half the sugar and the 5 egg yolks into a large bowl.
  5. Using an electric beaters, beat until fluffy and pale yellow in color.
  6. Next, add the coffee,  cream, melted butter and beat well.
  7. Sieve the flour into the mixture, and gently fold to combine. Leave aside.
  8. In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric beaters until they are white and foamy.
  9. Continue to beat and add in the cornflower and the rest of the sugar.
  10. Beat until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
  11. To make the mixture for the pattern, simply take 3 tablespoons of the egg yolk mixture and add it to 6 tablespoons of the egg whites and mix together in a small bowl.  
  12. Add the cocoa powder to the mixture and stir to combine.
  13. Put this cocoa mixture into a piping bag with a small nozzle . I used a wilton size 2.Irish Coffee Swiss Roll
  14. Use the piped mixture to trace around the shamrock shapes on your baking sheet.
  15. Carefully remove the tape and the bottom layer of paper.
  16. Put the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 3 minutes to set the pattern.  Remove from the oven.
  17. Next gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
  18. Pour the cake batter onto the baking sheet on top of the pattern, and cook for 10 minutes.
  19. Test with a toothpick or cake tester. It should come out clean when cooked.
  20. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes, before removing the cake from the tin.
  21. While the cake is still warm, place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the cake.
  22. Roll the cake, starting from the shortest side,  keeping the layer of parchment in the center.
  23. Leave to cool.
  24. As the cake is cooling, whip the cream. Then, add the whiskey, and stir to combine.
  25. Once the cake is cold, uncurl the cake and remove the inner and outer layer of parchment paper.
  26. Spread the cream onto the cake, and roll again to form the Swiss roll.

Irish Coffee Swiss Roll


  • Reply Brenda V. March 14, 2015 at 2:00 am

    This looks delish. Will have to try! Can I use Woodinville Whiskey instead of Irish! 🙂

    • Reply stastycook March 18, 2015 at 5:18 am

      Thanks Brenda! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and the family. x

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