A favourite Filipino dessert, brazo de Mercedes means "arm of our Lady of Mercy". This Spanish-influenced recipe is rich, sweet and sticky, and is one of Luzviminda’s favourites because it’s also spectacular to look at. Best eaten on the day of making.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (70 votes)


  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 395 g condensed milk
  • 1 lime or lemon, zested
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra, melted, for greasing
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence 
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 110 g (½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • toasted slivered almonds, for decorating

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 1 hour

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Combine the egg yolks, condensed milk and zest in a heatproof bowl and sit over a saucepan of just-simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk continuously for 10–15 minutes or until the mixture thickens enough to hold a trail on itself. Remove from heat, whisk in the butter and set aside.
Line a 26 cm x 32 cm Swiss roll pan with foil and grease with the melted butter, making sure to get well into the corners.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites, vanilla essence and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until firm, glossy peaks form.
Spoon the mixture into the tray and spread evenly with a palette knife. Bake for 10–15 minutes or until the meringue starts to lightly brown on top.
Carefully remove the meringue from the tray by lifting the foil and turning it onto another piece of foil.
Spread the yolk mixture evenly over the meringue, leaving a 10–15 cm border around the edges. Reserve a small amount of custard for decorating. With the help of the foil, roll the meringue base up and over itself, starting from one long side, in the same way as with a Swiss roll.
Remove the foil and top the roll with the remaining yolk mixture. Decorate with slivered almonds. Place in the fridge to chill before serving.