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Lime and Passionfruit Charlotte Royale

An impressive old-fashioned British dessert fit for kings and queens! Originally made with berries, we have decided to make a tropical flavoured version for this Christmas! It is a bit of an effort, but if you love baking and have someone special to impress, make our Lime & Passionfruit Charlotte Royale! The stunning exterior and delicious flavours make this an excellent lighter alternative to more traditional Christmas desserts!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 3 hrs 40 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Chilling Time 12 hrs
Total Time 16 hrs
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 10 portions


  • Two baking trays: 39cm x 27cm and 24cm x 24cm
  • electric whisk
  • 2.3-2.5l deep bowl


For the Lime Jelly:

  • 2 limes zested and juiced
  • 3 gelatine sheets soaked in cold water for 5-10 minutes
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • a drop of green food colouring

For Lime Swiss Rolls:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 150 g caster sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste optional
  • 140 g plain flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 270 g lime curd or lemon curd
  • a drop of green food colouring

For the Passionfruit Bavarois:

  • 385 ml whole milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 65 g caster sugar
  • 6 gelatine sheets soaked in cold water for 5-10 minutes
  • 150 g passionfruit puree (see text above for details)
  • 300 ml double cream


Make Lime Jelly:

  • First, place 3 gelatine sheets in a bowl with cold water and let them soak for 5-10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, zest and juice 2 large limes, and place both in a small saucepan with 100g of caster sugar and 150ml of water. Heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil and take off the heat.
  • Drain the gelatine sheets and squeeze out any excess water. Add them to the lime mixture and stir until gelatine dissolves. Pour the jelly mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  • Add green food colouring, drip by drip stirring in between until you arrive at a lovely lime green colour.
  • Line a bowl of a similar size that you will be making your Charlotte in with clingfilm (it will make it easier to turn it out once set) or use a silicone mould. Let it cool slightly at room temperature, then place in the fridge for 3-4 hours until completely set.

Make Swiss Rolls:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Line two baking trays (one small and one large, see equipment list above) with baking parchment.
  • Whisk the eggs, vanilla paste and sugar using an elecric whisk, until pale, fluffy and leaves a ribbon trail when lifted out (see photos above). It may take 7-10 minutes of whisking to get to that stage.
  • Add the sifted flour and fold it in carefully, trying not to knock out too much air.
  • Divide the batter between the two lined trays and level out using a spatula. Make sure the batter gets into all four corners.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. The sponges should be golden brown and slightly risen.
  • Whilst the sponges are cooking, get two large sheets of baking parchment. Place them on the worktop and sprinkle them with caster sugar, ready for the sponges to be turned out on.
  • Spoon lemon or lime curd into a bowl and add some green food colouring. Mix thoroughly. You don't have to use any colouring, but if you want your spirals to stand out on a finished Charlotte Royal, you need your curd to be a significantly different colour to your sponges.
  • When the sponges are baked, take them out of the oven and carefully turn them out onto prepared baking parchment sheets (so they are upside down). Peel off the parchment off the top of the sponges slowly and carefully.
  • Trim the short end of the sponges with a sharp knife to get a sharp edge.
  • Score the sponges on the short end 2 cm from the edge, but don't cut all the way through. This will help to get the roll started.
  • When the sponges have cooled slightly (they don't need to be cooled completely), spread the lime or lemon curd in a thin layer all over, the sponges.
  • Starting from the scored end, roll the sponges tightly, making sure not to squeeze out too much of the curd. You should now have two swiss rolls: one small and one large. Set them aside to cool completely.

Make the Passionfruit Bavarois:

  • Place 6 gelatine sheets in a bowl with cold water and soak for 5-10 minutes.
  • In a pan heat the milk until very hot but not boiling.
  • In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and creamy in a large mixing bowl. Pour hot milk over the eggs whisking vigorously to make sure your eggs don't scramble (reserve the pan for later).
  • Take the gelatine sheets out and squeeze out any excess moisture. Add them to the egg and milk mixture and stir to dissolve.
  • Add the custard back to the milk pan and cook on low heat until the custard thickens stirring continuously. You are looking for a consistency of thick cream that coats the back of the spoon. It can take anywhere between 10-20 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a clean bowl and leave to cool down for 5-10 minutes.
  • When slightly cooled, add your passionfruit puree and mix. Then leave to cool completely.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk double cream to soft peaks and fold it into a cooled passionfruit bavarois (make sure it's cold before you fold the cream in!)

Assemble your Charlotte Royale:

  • Line a deep 2.3-2.5l bowl with cling film all the way up the sides. This will help to turn Charlotte Royale out.
  • Slice the swiss rolls into 1cm thick rounds. Use the small rounds to cover the base of the bowl, then use the large ones to cover the sides. Make sure they are snug so that filling can't seep through to the surface. Reserve enough slices to cover the base, including the edge slices.
  • Carefully turn out the lime jelly onto a plate and peel the cling film off. Lower the jelly inside your swiss roll-lined bowl dome side down. Don't worry if the jelly breaks up a little. Press it in so it more or less covers the base.
  • Spoon the passionfruit bavarois on top, making sure you leave no air pockets.
  • Cover with the reserved swiss roll slices. Press down very lightly, then clingfilm the bowl and leave to set in the fridge overnight.
  • When you're ready to serve, turn the Charlotte out onto a serving plate or a cake stand. You can decorate with tropical fruit or whipped cream if you like.
  • It will keep in the fridge for 3 days.
Keyword Charlote Royale with Passionfruit, Charlotte Royale, Charlotte Royale with Jelly, Charlotte Royale with Lime, Christmas Dessert, Dessert for Special Occasions, Festive Cake, Great British Bake Off, Showstopper Cake, Swiss Roll Cake, Swiss Roll Dessert, Swiss Roll Dome
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