Charlotte royale cake recipe


This fancy and pleasingly retro dessert can be made ahead of time – it’s great for a grown-up.


For the charlotte

  • 1 pack raspberry jelly
  • 400g/14oz raspberries
  • 25g/1oz icing sugar
  • 150ml/5fl oz milk
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 6 sheets leaf gelatine, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drained
  • 300ml/10½fl oz double cream

For the Swiss roll

  • 8 free-range eggs
  • 150g/5½oz caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 150g/5½oz plain flour
  • 150g/5½oz raspberry jam

To serve

  • 4-5 ripe strawberries, halved
  • 2-3 fresh mint sprigs


  1. For charlotte, prepare the raspberry jelly according to the packet instructions, and leave to set in a small round bowl in the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. Blend the raspberries and icing sugar to a purée in a food processor, then strain the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the seeds.
  3. Heat the milk and half of the sugar in a saucepan until just simmering. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining caster sugar and all of the egg yolks in a bowl until pale and thick.
  4. Pour the warm milk over the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time, until well combined.
  5. Return the custard mixture to the saucepan and cook, whisking well, until it thickens just enough to coat the back of a spoon — make sure that it doesn’t boil. Add the drained, squeezed gelatine to the custard and stir until dissolved.
  6. Whisk the hot custard with the raspberry purée until smooth and well combined. Set aside to cool, then chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, for the Swiss roll, preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Line 2 x 25x38cm/10x15in Swiss roll tins with baking parchment.
  8. Whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla bean paste in a large bowl until very light, fluffy, and thickened. Fold the flour into the mixture using your hand, carefully lifting and mixing until it has all been incorporated.
  9. Divide the Swiss roll mixture between the prepared tins and smooth the top until evenly spread out. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until springy and just firm to the touch.
  10. Wet 2 large clean tea towels and wring them out. Place them on a work surface and dust with caster sugar. Turn the sponges out onto the tea towels, then peel away the parchment.
  11. Spread the raspberry jam all over the sponges, leaving a 2cm/1in the border at one of the narrow ends. Tightly roll up the sponges, starting with the end with a border and using the tea towel to help you.
  12. Grease a large pudding or trifle bowl with a little vegetable oil and line it with 3 sheets.
  13. Slice the Swiss rolls into 1cm/½in-thick slices and use them to line the sides and base of the pudding bowl, starting at the bottom, and working your way up to cover all of the insides of the bowl, making sure there are no holes.
  14. Add the set jelly to the pudding bowl, breaking it up if necessary.
  15. Whisk the double cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Fold the cream into the chilled raspberry custard, then spoon the mixture on top of the jelly. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  16. To serve, upturn the pudding bowl onto a serving platter. Remove the cling and decorate with the strawberries and mint. Serve in slices.