Swiss Cake Roll Recipe

Video swiss cake roll recipe

This recipe for the ultimate Swiss Roll Cake delivers a light, airy, and moist cake that strikes the perfect balance of sweetness. This chiffon-style cake is incredibly versatile – fill it with whipped cream, jam, or ganache. And best of all, it’s a breeze to make with my handy tips below.

Slices of yellow swiss roll cake with white cream on a rectangular plate.

What is a Swiss roll cake?

A Swiss roll cake, also known as a jelly roll, cream roll, roll cake, or Swiss log cake, is essentially a sponge cake that is rolled up with a luscious filling of whipped cream, chocolate ganache, or jelly. (During Christmas time, you might come across a version called “Buche du Noel” or yuletide log). Although the exact origin of the name “Swiss roll” is uncertain, it is believed to have emerged from somewhere in Europe.

Why you’ll fall in love with this recipe

This tried and tested recipe has been a staple in our household for years. Here’s why it’s bound to win your heart too:

  • The cake is incredibly light, fluffy, and delicately sweet.
  • The recipe calls for minimal ingredients, and it uses an equal number of egg yolks and egg whites (unlike many other recipes that require more egg whites than yolks).
  • You’ll need a handful of easily available ingredients, including eggs, cream of tartar, oil, whole milk, granulated cane sugar, vanilla extract, and cake/pastry flour.
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Ingredients you’ll need

This Swiss roll cake is based on a chiffon cake, which is a sponge cake made with the addition of vegetable oil. Here are the key ingredients you’ll need:

  • Eggs: Separate the yolks and whites, beating them at different times. The egg whites are responsible for leavening the cake. Remember to take the eggs out of the refrigerator and let them warm up to room temperature.
  • Cream of tartar: This acid helps stabilize the whipped egg whites. If you don’t have cream of tartar, a little lemon juice or vinegar can do the trick.
  • Oil: I prefer using avocado oil, but any light vegetable oil will suffice. It adds moisture and flexibility to the cake.
  • Whole milk: You can use any type of milk you have on hand.
  • Granulated cane sugar: Half of the sugar is used for the egg white mixture, and the other half is for the egg yolk mixture.
  • Vanilla extract: Alternatively, you can experiment with different flavors to switch things up.
  • Cake/pastry flour: This type of flour has less protein and gluten, resulting in a tender cake.

How to prepare the cake

Preparing the eggs

To start, take the eggs out of the fridge and separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. It’s easier to separate them while they’re cold. Remember to let the egg whites reach room temperature to achieve optimal volume when beating.

Pro tip: Ensure that the bowl for beating the egg whites is clean, free from any traces of oil. Oil can hinder the egg whites from forming stiff peaks. Simply wipe the bowl and whisk with a paper towel dabbed in lemon juice or vinegar before adding the egg whites.

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Making the egg yolk batter

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 30g of sugar. Add the oil, milk, and vanilla extract, and whisk again until combined. Sift the cake flour over the egg yolk mixture and gently fold until no lumps remain.

Whipping the egg whites

In a clean stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, add the room temperature egg whites. Turn on the mixer to low speed. Once the egg whites become foamy with bubbles, add a small amount of cream of tartar (or lemon juice/vinegar). Gradually increase the mixer speed and slowly pour in the granulated sugar. Continue whipping the egg whites until they become fluffy, shiny, and reach a soft peak. (The egg whites will form a curved tail at the end of the whisk).

Combining the mixtures

Using a spatula, fold approximately ⅓ of the egg whites into the egg yolk batter. This will make it easier to incorporate the remaining egg whites. Remember, folding is different from stirring. Gently and delicately fold the mixture while turning the bowl about 90 degrees. Keep turning and folding until the batter is almost homogeneous. Add the next ⅓ of the egg white mixture, and continue folding until the egg whites are fully incorporated into the batter. Be careful not to overfold, as this may cause the egg whites to deflate.

Baking the cake

Prepare a 9″ by 13″ baking tray by lining it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared baking tray and tap the tray a few times to release any trapped air bubbles. Bake the cake at 375°F for 14-15 minutes, or until the surface turns golden brown, feels dry to the touch, and bounces back. Remove the cake from the oven and drop it gently from a height of 1′ to prevent shrinkage. Let the cake cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes until it’s slightly warm.

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Close up of uncut yellow swiss roll cake with white cream on a rectangular plate, plates with forks in the background.

Making the whipped cream

While the cake is cooling, prepare the whipped cream. Use a chilled bowl for best results. Pour the heavy cream into the chilled bowl, add powdered sugar to taste, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overwhip, as the cream could turn into butter.

How to roll the cake

Place the slightly warm cake on a large piece of parchment paper with the top side down (the browned exterior). Of course, you can choose to roll it the other way if you prefer. Dollop the whipped cream onto the cake’s surface and spread it evenly using an offset spatula. Starting at one short end, gently roll up the cake using the parchment paper. Use the parchment paper to help tighten the roll. Ensure the seam-side is facing downward and seal the ends of the parchment paper. Place the cake on a tray and refrigerate for at least 6 hours to firm up.

How to serve

It’s best to slice the cake just before serving. Remove the cake from the fridge and trim off the ends using a sharp serrated knife. Clean the knife with a warm, damp towel after each cut. Slice the cake into approximately 1″ thick slices and serve as is or with fresh fruit. It also pairs wonderfully with a scoop of ice cream.

How to store

Keep the Swiss roll cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you’re using a filling other than whipped cream, you can store the cake at room temperature for 1-2 days in an airtight container. Additionally, you can freeze individual slices of the cake wrapped tightly. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When serving from frozen, allow the cake to thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before enjoying.

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Close up of yellow roll cake with white cream and mango pieces.

FAQ’s & troubleshooting

Why did my cake crack?

If your cake cracked, it’s possible that you overwhipped the egg whites. Soft peaks are what you’re aiming for, where the whipped egg whites hold their shape but still have a slight tail when the whisk is lifted. Another reason could be that the cake was overbaked. Remember to bake until the top is dry, springy to the touch, and not overly browned. Overbaking can result in a dry cake that cracks.

The top layer stuck to the parchment paper

If the top layer of your cake sticks to the parchment paper, it may need a little more baking time in the oven. The surface should be dry, and when pressed lightly, it should bounce back, rather than leaving an indentation.

Can I roll the cake in a different direction?

Absolutely! You can roll the cake lengthwise or even with the “brown layer” facing inward for a unique presentation.

How much cream do I need for the cake?

You’ll need approximately ½ cup (125ml) of heavy whipping cream for the filling. Feel free to add more if you prefer a thicker layer of cream.

Different flavor variations

This Perfect Swiss Roll Cake recipe serves as a base for various delightful flavor variations. Here are a few ideas to inspire your experimentation:

  • Hojicha Roll Cake
  • Blackberry Earl Grey Cream Roll Cake
  • Snow White Swiss Roll Cake

You can also swap out the vanilla extract for different flavors or play with different filling combinations. The possibilities are endless!

Close up of a slice of yellow roll cake with pink strawberry cream with a fork on a square plate, unsliced cake in the background.

Other cake recipes you may enjoy

Don’t forget to explore these mouthwatering cake recipes:

  • Matcha Hidden Heart Cake
  • Strawberry Matcha Shortcake
  • Matcha Strawberry Fruit Sando
  • Most Delicious Matcha Pound Cake
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This Perfect Swiss Roll Cake is soft, light, and utterly delicious – a true favorite in my household. So why not skip the Chinese bakery and whip up this classic cake at home? My kids are absolutely obsessed with it, and I’m more than happy to oblige! 🙂

Let me know if you give my Perfect Swiss Roll Cake recipe a try. Tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave a comment/rating below!

Close up of slices of yellow roll cake with white cream on rectangular plate.

Slices of yellow roll cake with white cream on a rectangular plate with text overlay.

Remember, if you’re looking for delicious and reliable family cuisine, look no further than Family Cuisine.

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