Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake is a classic treat made with light and airy chocolate sponge cake. The cake is swirled with a luscious cream filling and coated with a snappy chocolate glaze. This is a great make-ahead recipe.
- All Purpose Flour: With medium protein content, ap flour makes a sponge cake that is tender but has enough structure to roll without cracking.
- Dutch Processed Cocoa: Dutch processed cocoa makes a cake with a dark brown color and deep chocolate flavor. You can substitute with “natural” cocoa powder and still get a good result if you replace some of the baking powder with baking soda.
- Baking Powder: Because Dutch processed cocoa is less acidic than natural cocoa powder this recipe does not use baking soda for leavening. If you use natural cocoa powder replace the baking powder listed in the recipe with 1/2 teaspoon of the baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
- Oil: Oil helps make a cake with a soft and pliable texture. This makes it possible to roll the cake without a great deal of cracking.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch stabilizes the whipped cream filling so it doesn’t leak water.
How to make a Swiss Roll Cake
- Combine the egg yolks, oil, water and vanilla and whisk.
- Sift the dry ingredients and add them to the yolk mixture.
- Increase the speed to high and whisk for 1 minute to lighten the batter.
- Whip the egg whites to full peak
- Fold the egg whites into the batter just until there are no visible streaks of white.
- Gently spread the batter into the pan. Bake until the center springs back.
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven place clean kitchen towel over the pan until the cake is completely cooled.
How to fill & assemble a Swiss Roll
- While the cake cools make the cornstarch pudding. This will stabilize the whipped cream.
- Flip the cooled cake out of the pan onto the kitchen towel.
- Peel the parchment from the cake then flip it back over onto the parchment.
- Spread the cream filling over the cake.
- Use the parchment paper to lift the cake from the long side.
- Continue rolling. Occasionally use your hands to tighten the roll.
- Wrap the parchment around the roll. Use the side of the sheet pan to push against the cake while you pull the parchment tight. This will tighten the roll. Set the wrapped cake on the sheet pan and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Pour the glaze right down the center of the chilled cake.
- Use a spatula to smooth the glaze over the top of the cake.
- Use the spatula to cover any gaps in the glaze. Set the cake in the refrigerator until the glaze is set.
- Trim each end of the cake on a diagonal. Run a spatula under the cake to separate the glaze from the rack. Use two spatulas to transfer the cake to a serving platter.
Pastry Chef Tips for making a Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake
- When you fold the egg whites into the chocolate base fold just until there are no streaks of egg whites. Over-folding can cause the batter to deflate which results in a dense cake.
- Use a light touch when spreading the batter in the pan. You don’t want to deflate the batter by overworking it.
- Bake the cake just until the center springs back when lightly pressed. Over baking the cake will dry it out and can cause it to crack when rolling.
- Cover the cake with a clean kitchen towel as soon as it comes out of the oven. The towel will keep moisture in the cake so the cake is soft enough to roll easily.
- Your cake roll can be split in two and served as two smaller rolls if you don’t have a serving tray long enough to fit the cake.
- For a lighter cake you can skip the chocolate glaze and just dust the cake with powdered sugar before serving.
How to work ahead
- It is best to bake and assemble the cake on the same day. Once the cake is baked you want to roll the cake before it has time to dry out. To work ahead, the assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- Before glazing, the filled cake roll can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for 2 days or frozen up to a month. Defrost before glazing.
How to store
- The assembled cake can be held at room temperature for 3-4 hours.
- The cake can will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Keep the cut ends covered with plastic wrap to prevent the cake from drying out.
- Leftover cake can be sliced and the slices individually wrapped in plastic wrap. Lay the wrapped slices on a sheet pan and freeze until solid. Pack the cake slices in a freezer bag and they’ll keep for 1-2 months. Defrost in the plastic wrap.
- Double Chocolate – Fill the cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream.
- Coffee – For a coffee flavored cream filling, add a tablespoon of instant espresso powder to the hot cornstarch mixture.
- Orange – Add the finely grated zest of 1 orange or 2 teaspoons of orange extract to the warm cornstarch mixture and add finely grated orange zest to the chocolate glaze.
- Coconut – Reduce the amount of heavy cream to 1 1/2 cups. Use 1/2 cup of coconut milk to make the cornstarch pudding. Use coconut oil in the cake instead of vegetable oil.
- Raspberry – Spread a layer of raspberry preserves on the cake before you spread the cream.
I think you’d love this vanilla Jelly Roll Cake too. Give it a try.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake Recipe
- 1 oz confectioner sugar (¼ cup)
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 16 oz heavy cream (2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 oz semi sweet chocolate (chopped)
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 1 ½ oz light corn syrup (2 tablespoons)
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Mix on medium speed until well combined.2 oz vegetable oil, 3 large eggs, 3 oz water, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Sift the flour and cocoa with ½ cup of the sugar, the baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to yolk mixture. Whip on high speed for 1 minute, then set aside3 ¾ oz all purpose flour, 6 oz granulated sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon table salt, 1 oz dutch process cocoa powder
- Whip the egg whites on medium speed to soft peak. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, increase the speed to medium high and whip to full peak. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture in three increments. Fold just until there are no streaks of white.
- Pour the batter into the pan and smooth until level. Don't overwork the batter while spreading or you'll deflate the air bubbles in the batter. Bake until the middle of the cake springs back with lightly pressed, about 12 minutes. Cover the pan with a kitchen towel and cool the cake completely in the pan.
- To make the filling, combine the confectioner's sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan, whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in ½ cup of the cream. Heat the mixture over medium low, whisking constantly, until it begins to boil and thickens to a pudding-like texture. Immediately remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl. Add the vanilla and cool to room temperature.1 oz confectioner sugar, 2 teaspoons corn starch, 16 oz heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whip the remaining cream to soft peak. With the mixer running on low speed, add the pudding. Increase the mixer to high speed and whip the cream to full peak. Use immediately to fill the cake.
- Run a small knife around the edges and flip the cake out of the pan onto the towel. Peel the parchment off the back of the cake. Use the towel and the parchment to flip the cake back over onto the parchment paper.
- Remove the towel and spread the cream over the cake. Use the parchment paper to lift the long side of the cake then roll the cake tightly. Wrap the parchment paper around the cake and let it overlap at the bottom. Place the sheet pan at the seam of the paper. Push the pan against the cake while you pull on the overlap to tighten the parchment around the cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set the cream and chill the cake.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and remove the parchment. Set the cake on a baking rack over a clean sheet pan.
- Microwave the the chocolate with the butter in 30 second increments until both are melted. Add the corn syrup to the chocolate/butter mixture. Pour the warm glaze over the chilled cake, using a small spatula to fill in any gaps. Allow the glaze to set before moving to a serving platter. Trim both ends of the cake for a clean finish.8 oz semi sweet chocolate, 4 oz unsalted butter, 1 ½ oz light corn syrup
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