Durian Swiss Rolls

Durian season is just about to end here in Malaysia so…. good job me for posting this durian recipe ages after I made it. I was honestly hesitating on whether to share this because it didn’t look the way I wanted it to. Like every other dish I’ve ever made. Ha! These cake rolls didn’t turn out very neat but then that’s the charm of homemade goodies, right? (see, I’m just comforting myself).

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Either way, it was delicious and that’s all that matters. I am the least patient person when it comes to decorating baked goods. If I can get it into my mouth 5 seconds ago, that would be perfect.
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The cake layer was really quite simple. The regular beating up of sugar with eggs.
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I did think it was interesting how the recipe called for water instead of milk. Makes a lot of sense since we do whatever we can to make this light seeing as there would be quite a lot of creamy filling going on already.
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Also, the flour to liquid ratio is quite small. I believe it’s also to keep the final product as light as possible without compromising on the structure. Very interesting, this recipe.
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I’ve always been really afraid of making cake rolls because of a failure years and years ago. The cake stuck to everything and it was a total mess. This, however, was a much better experience!
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It’s crucial to use a VERY clean tea towel that has no lint for this step. I was thinking of not using a towel but I couldn’t figure out a more effective alternative. Baking paper was way too flimsy to hold the cake together.
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I initially thought that this step can be foregone but nope. The whole point of rolling up the freshly baked hot cake is to set it into shape as it cools. 
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While the cake is still hot, it’s much more pliable. Consequently, as it cools while in a roll, it helps keep the shape so that when you go to fill it later and roll it up, the cake will not crack and crumble into pieces. It also makes rolling the cake up less of a stressful job.
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After the cake has fully cooled down, my favourite step comes in. All that creamy durian filling is slapped on.
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Someone invited himself to the party. Rude. Cute but rude. 😛
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After a good chilling out in the fridge overnight, the cake rolls have melded together and set up. 
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These slices didn’t look Pintrest or Instagram perfect. I was a little disappointed at my skills. Mainly because I had none.
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But, you know, it made a lot of people happy. And I’m all for quality rather than aesthetics 🙂
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 If durian isn’t your favourite, because believe me when I say even some Malaysians consider it their nemesis (although I absolutely disagree), you can stick to basic whipped cream or really any kind of creamy filling you want. I KNOW some chocolate pastry cream would be awesome. I’ve been contemplating making some mango cream for this. Let you know when I’ve tried. Maybe 10 billion years from now considering I have at least 12 backlogged recipes waiting to be shared.

As a good man once said, “Long live the durian!” 😉


 “Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.” {Psalm 144:15}

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Durian Swiss Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 20 thin slices or 10 thick slices
  • 4 large Eggs
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 3-4 tbsp Icing Sugar, to dust tea towel
  • ½ cup Durian Flesh
  • 1 cup Cream
  • 2 tbsp Icing Sugar, optional (depending on how sweet you want this to be. I omitted it)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F or 180C..
  2. In a large bowl or with a mixer, beat the eggs & sugar for 3-4 minutes, until thick and pale yellow.
  3. Beat in the water & vanilla.
  4. Fold in the flour, baking powder & salt, mixing just until smooth. The batter will be quite runny.
  5. Line a shallow rimmed baking sheet – about 10×15 inches – with parchment/baking paper.
  6. Pour in the batter & smooth it to fill the pan to every edge.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden &springy to the touch.
  8. Run a thin knife around the edge of the cake & invert onto a tea towel larger than your cake that’s been dusted with icing sugar.
  9. Peel off the paper then roll up the cake with the towel & set aside to cool completely. If you roll it up from the shorter side, you'll get a shorter cake with more rolls. If you roll it up by the longer side, you'll have more slices to share around but have less layers in each roll. Decide wisely.
  10. While the cake cools, make the filling by beating the cream and icing sugar to soft peaks.
  11. Add in the durian flesh and continue beating until the flesh is immersed into the cream. Keep in the refrigerator while the cake fully cools.
  12. Unroll the cake (it’s OK if the inside edge stays curled – don’t try to flatten it) & spread with the filling. Roll the cake back up.
  13. Store the filled cake in the fridge for about 2 hours (or overnight) to set so that it slices better.
  14. Slice to serve! This goes really good with a cup of tea.

Adapted from: Dinner with Julie


  1. As you know, I’ve never had durian before… and I have no idea if I can get my hands on it in the States… but I kind of want to give it a go. And this is gorgeous — a whole lot better than any rolled cake I’ve made before. (Mine always ALWAYS fall apart or stick to the pan. Maybe this year, I’ll get one right? Haha.) Nice work!

    • Thanks Erin! I was a bit concerned over how the rolls looked because on every single website or blog I went to, they were impeccably perfect! Every loop was of the same thickness, with the filling staying on just nice. Mine was just sloppy. Haha! Then again, that’s part of being real, isn’t it?

      Also durians. I’d forewarn you that the smell… oh the smell. Sweetness to us but a lot of people get put off before even tasting. If you’re brave enough, you might find yourself falling in love with the creamy, sweet, pungent flesh. I read that you can probably only get durians frozen in Asian supermarkets. If you do find some, let me know how you feel about them! 😉

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