How to Make a Roll Cake

Making a beautiful, perfectly spiraled roll cake is not as hard as it seems! With a good cake recipe and the right technique, it's actually very easy to whip one of these delightful desserts for yourself. The recipe here is a Chocolate roll cake with whipped cream cheese frosting, but really, you can use lots of varieties of sponge cake and chiffon cake once you know how to handle them.

"Photo by Gerda Widjaja"

Chocoalte Roll Cake

Chocolate Roll Cake


  • 1/3 cup cake flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (or your frosting of choice)
  • 15x10 inch jelly roll pan
  • wax paper
  • clean dish towel
  • whisk or electric mixer

Bake the Cake

These instructions are specific to this recipe. If you're using an angel food cake, sponge cake, or chiffon cake, just follow those instructions.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan with waxed paper. Grease and flour the lined pan, and tap out the excess flour.
  2. Combine the the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, mix, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, beat egg whites vigorously until foamy. In small installments, add 1/2 cup sugar, and continue beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until fluffy.
  5. Fold 1/3 beaten egg whites into egg yolk mixture to lighten. Alternately fold in remaining whites and flour mixture.
  6. Pour batter into pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, or until cake springs back when lightly touched (about 14 minutes). *Now would be a good time to make your desired frosting!

Assemble the Roll This strategy works for pretty much every roll cake!  

  1. Dust a clean cloth with the powdered sugar. While the cake's still hot, turn it out onto the prepared cloth and peel off the waxed paper. Trim cake's edges.
  2. Starting with a long side, tightly roll up cake with the cloth.
  3. Transfer cake, seam-side down, to a wire rack to cool. Unroll cake; remove cloth.
  4. Spread your frosting over the cake to within 1 in. of edges. Roll up again and place so that the seam side is down. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving!

Here are a few more Yummly recipes you can try out!

Pumpkin Cream Roll from My Recipes

Pumpkin Cream Roll from My Recipes

"Photo by Flo Braker"

Red Velvet Cake Roll from Leite's Culinaria

Red Velvet Cake Roll from Leite's Culinaria Photo by Flo BrakerPistachio-Chocolate Buche de Noel from Martha Stewart

Photo Credit: Snappetite