Active Time
35 Mins
Total Time
3 Hours 20 Mins
Serves 10 (serving size: 1 slice)
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Karen Rankin; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 15- x 10-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper; lightly grease parchment. Set aside.

Step 2

Beat granulated sugar and egg yolks with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer on medium-high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes. Stir in poppy seeds, vanilla, 1 tablespoon of the lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice.

Step 3

Beat egg whites in a separate bowl on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir one-fourth of the egg whites into granulated sugar mixture. Gently fold in remaining egg whites. Sift cake flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt over egg mixture; gently fold just until incorporated. Spread mixture in prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven until cake springs back when touched, about 8 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes.

Step 4

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the powdered sugar evenly over cake. Run a knife along the sides of cake; invert onto a parchment paper-lined work surface. Peel off top layer of parchment from cake; discard parchment. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the powdered sugar evenly over cake. Starting at 1 short side, carefully roll cake and bottom layer of parchment together. Transfer to a wire rack, seam side down, and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Step 5

Beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and smooth, about 4 minutes. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon each lemon zest and lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat heavy cream in a separate bowl on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes; fold into cream cheese mixture.

Step 6

Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over the cake, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Starting at 1 short side, reroll cake without parchment. Place cake, seam side down, on a serving platter. Cover and chill 2 hours.

Step 7

Sprinkle cake with remaining 2 tablespoons powdered sugar; garnish with lemon zest.

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