Angel Food Lemon Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling is a light and airy cake with fluffy lemon cream cheese filling, topped with shredded coconut. Impressive and deceptively easy to make, it's the perfect dessert for Easter and spring and summer parties.
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I used to think cake roll recipes looked intimidating. The flipping, the rolling -- I thought surely something would end in disaster. But the first time I made one, it came out perfectly. And so did the second. And the third. Because IT'S SO EASY!
So if you like angel food cake and lemon desserts, you are going to love this angel food lemon cake roll. The cake roll is light as air, the cream cheese filling is bright and lemony, and the coconut on top is sweet and nutty.
Oh, and did I mention? IT'S SO EASY!
You're Going to Love This
- Light, refreshing dessert, bursting with fresh lemon flavor
- Beautiful, impressive lemon cake roll, perfect for Easter and entertaining
- Deceptively easy to make. Simple ingredients and no fancy equipment necessary!
See recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full list of ingredients and exact amounts.
Angel food cake mix. A simple box of angel food cake mix gets dressed up with fresh lemon juice and zest for this easy lemon roll cake. If you have a bunch of extra egg whites, you can also use your favorite homemade angel food cake recipe.
Fresh lemon juice and zest. Lemon zest adds fresh lemon flavor to the cake and the cream cheese filling.
Cream cheese. Use a block of cream cheese softened to room temperature for smooth, creamy filling without lumps.
Sweetened condensed milk. I always have the best luck with Eagle Brand condensed milk. Store brands I've tried tend to be runnier.
Whipped topping. I use Cool Whip, but if you're not into it, I recommend giving Truwhip a try. Real whipped cream will also work, it just won't stay stabilized for as long.
Powdered sugar. Powdered sugar helps keep the cake from sticking while it's rolled up in the towel.
Coconut. If you like coconut, you'll love it sprinkled on top of the creamy lemon frosting. For even more coconut flavor, use toasted coconut.
- Not into coconut? Skip it all together or top the cake with shaved white chocolate or chopped nuts!
- You can also make this with fresh lime juice and lime zest -- it's super delicious!
- For even more fresh flavor, add fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries on top of the filling before rolling it up.
- Add a little lemon extract to the cake batter or cream filling for even more puckery flavor.
- If you'd like a yellow-colored cake or filling, stir in a little yellow food coloring until it reaches your desired hue.
How to Make an Angel Food Lemon Cake Roll
Step 1: In a large bowl, mix angel food cake mix, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for 1 minute. Pour cake batter into an 18 x 13 jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper.
Step 2: Bake cake in preheated oven at 350 for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and the cake springs back when gently pressed. Cool 5 minutes on wire rack.
Step 3: Sprinkle confectioners' sugar onto a clean kitchen towel. Invert cake pan onto towel. Remove pan and parchment paper. Sprinkle a few more tablespoons of powdered sugar onto the cake.
Step 4: Fold short side of the towel onto the cake and roll the cake up with the towel. Place the rolled cake seam side down on the baking rack to cool completely, 1-2 hours.
Step 5: While the cake cools, beat cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Mix in lemon juice and lemon zest. With a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping. Cover and chill for 30-60 minutes.
Step 6: Unroll the cooled cake and spread ½ to ⅔ of the cream filling in an even layer on to the cake, leaving a 1" border. Roll the cake back up and place on a platter.
Step 7: Frost the top and sides of the lemon cake roll with the remaining filling.
Step 8: Place coconut on the top and sides of cake. If desired, sprinkle with lemon zest and decorate with lemon curls.
Chill until ready to serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Lemon angel food cake roll is best served the same day. It still tastes great the next day -- the roll just might settle a bit and not be as round.
- It's also very delicious served frozen! Freeze the whole cake or individual slices. Thaw for a few minutes to slightly soften, then enjoy (we sure did!).
- Rolling the cake in a towel while it's still warm helps it hold it shape, and keeps it from sticking together or cracking.
Store the angel food cake roll -- tented with toothpicks and plastic wrap to protect the topping-- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Yes. You can freeze the entire cake or individual slices for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or enjoy as a frozen dessert!
To keep this lemon roll cake from cracking, roll the cake up in a towel dusted with powdered sugar while it's still warm and let it cool completely.
More Delicious Lemon Desserts
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Angel Food Lemon Cake Roll
Lemon Angel Food Cake
- 1 box angel food cake mix
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
Lemon Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 ounces block of softened cream cheese
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice about 3 lemons
- 2 teasoons lemon zest
- 8 ounces whipped topping Cool Whip or Truwhip
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- grated lemon zest, lemon twists
Lemon Angel Food Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 18 x 13 rimmed half sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, mix angel food cake mix, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and water on low speed for 30 seconds, then 1 minute on medium speed.
- Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake 18-20 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed. Cool cake for 5 minutes on a baking rack.
- While the cake cools, sprinkle ¼ cup powdered sugar onto a clean kitchen towel. Quickly flip cake pan over so the cake is face down onto the towel. Remove the pan and gently peel off parchment paper. Sprinkle a few more tablespoons of powdered sugar onto the cake.
- Fold the short end of the towel onto cake and roll it up. Place roll on baking rack to cool completely, 1-2 hours.
Lemon Cream Cheese Filling
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth. Mix in ⅓ cup lemon juice and 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Fold in the whipped topping with a spatula until creamy. Cover with plastic wrap and chill to thicken, 30-60 minutes, while the cake cools.
- Gently unroll the cake and spread ½ to ⅔ of the filling over the cake, leaving about an inch border on all sides. Carefully roll the cake back up (without the towel) and transfer it to a platter.
- Frost the top and sides with the remaining cream cheese filling. If desired, sprinkle coconut on top of the cake, gently pressing it onto the sides, and add lemon zest and lemon twists. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Lemon angel food cake roll is best served the same day. The roll may settle a bit overnight and not be as round, but it will still taste great!
- Try it frozen! Freeze the whole cake or individual slices. Thaw for a few minutes to slightly soften, then enjoy (we sure did!).
- Rolling the cake in a towel while it's still warm helps it hold its shape, and keeps it from sticking together or cracking.