Colorful Pistachio Swiss Cake Roll with Rose Whipped Cream

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Like Diwali is the Festival of Lights, Holi is the Festival of Color. My favorite part about Holi, in India, is that it brings people from all races, castes, creed, be it rich or poor, together to play with colors. Everyone wears neutral colors, to show off the Holi colors that adorn the outfits. There is no competition as to who is best dressed, or who has how much jewelry. It is humbling for sure.

pistachio swiss cake roll

Holi signifies the end of winter, beginning of spring, or new beginnings and new blooms, and harvest. You can read more about the mythological reason for celebrating Holi here. Although I do not like playing Holi in my adulthood, I loved playing Holi with my family and friends as a kid. We would patiently anticipate Holi, because firstly it means that we did not have school that day! And secondly, we got to play with friends, and throw water balloons at them, and colored water using pichkaris or water pumps, to get them wet and have their faces unrecognizable! Those were some really fun times. 

pistachio swiss cake roll

I have been wanting to make a Swiss cake roll for a very long time, with Holi colors to signify new beginnings. To let you into my thought process for decorating, I always turn to images on Google. I put in “abstract Holi” and came across this beautiful artwork that immediately caught my attention and I wanted to create this scene for my Swiss cake roll. 

pistachio swiss cake roll

Ingredients for the Paste to create the design:

I created a paste for the design with 4 ingredients :

  • All purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Softened butter
  • Egg whites

They all have to be the same weight in grams. Egg whites can be slightly more in weight. So if you wanted to make a more elaborate design, you could incrementally increase the 4 ingredients in grams. 

pistachio swiss cake roll

I divided it into 4 bowls, and added Americolor food gel to each bowl, and added them to piping bags with Wilton #2 and Wilton #3 tips so that it can help to create intricate designs such as the one shown here. You could potentially trace out the pattern on the parchment paper, and invert it onto the baking tray, to help you pipe in an easier manner. I simply went free form with my design. 


Once the design is piped, you can put the baking sheet into the freezer for 15 minutes, while you prepare the cake batter.

pistachio swiss cake roll

Swiss Cake Roll Batter:

The Swiss cake roll batter starts with egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. You want to whisk it for a good 4-5 minutes until it can form soft peaks when the whisk of the stand mixer is turned upside down.


Meanwhile, you want to whip up the egg yolks with sugar, until it turns a pale yellow in color. There is no leavening in this batter, so the only leavening is the egg whites and yolks to make the batter light and airy and the sponge moist. I add pistachio powder in the batter, along with all purpose flour and a tad bit of ground cardamom, because pistachio and cardamom are a match made in heaven! 

pistachio swiss cake roll

The batter is super light and airy. You want to ensure that you fold in the egg whites gently, so as not to disturb the airyness of the batter. Is airyness even a word?! The batter is added on top of the frozen pattern and leveled out completely so that it bakes evenly in the oven. The bake is very quick. It takes 10 minutes to bake the cake.


You want to be sure to get everything ready for the next few steps, such as a parchment paper, cutting board, a kitchen towel, sieve and confectioner’s sugar. All the steps happen very quickly since you want to work on the cake while it is still hot, so that it can roll easily.

pistachio swiss cake roll

Once the cake comes out of the oven, put a parchment paper on the top. Put a cutting board on top and immediately invert it, of course using gloves in both your hands because the sheet is hot! Then gently remove the parchment paper to reveal the pattern! It is so pretty! Immediately set the cutting board aside, lay the kitchen towel, and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on it.


You want the design side to be DOWN on the confectioner’s sugar, so this step happens accurately yet quickly! Once you do this step, remove the parchment paper from the plain side, and immediately using the kitchen towel as an aide, roll the cake with the towel tucked into each roll. Go gently, so that you do not break the cake. Keep it aside to cool completely.

pistachio swiss cake roll


Once the cake is cooled, I applied pistachio paste, a thin layer of course, all over the cake. The pistachio cream I used is linked here. It is truly Nutella’s cousin, SO GOOD and SO ADDICTIVE! I could eat it by the spoonful! 


Then I apply the rose whipped cream, which is SO GOOD! I use THIS rose water for the whipped cream. The Indian Rose water is diluted and smells like soap. This stuff is GOOD and a little bit goes a long way!

pistachio swiss cake roll


pistachio swiss cake roll

Roll the cake gently, but firmly to make sure that there are no loose holes when rolling the cake. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. This will ensure that it holds it’s shape. After 2 hours you can cut it into slices and serve.


To serve, leave it out for 15 minutes and then serve so that the cake comes slightly to room temperature.


Another TIP: Always use a weighing scale to measure out the ingredients, it truly helps to achieve successful results.


I loved making this cake and the design. 

pistachio swiss cake roll


I did try making the same cake with Thandai flavors too and rose whipped cream and it turned out really delicious too! You simply substitute the pistachio powder with Thandai powder. Same amount works. 


You can use your imagination and make any flavor that you want! The possibilities are endless!


Hope you have a safe and happy HOLI, from our family to yours!






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