(Swiss) rolling, rolling, rolling

An variation with a matcha sponge and strawberry whipped cream.

I love a good swiss roll! It’s one of my favourite desserts to make and eat (a convenient and dangerous combination). It’s light, not too sweet, versatile, and pretty quick to make. Better still, it’s proven to be quite popular with both of our families.

This cake recipe is essentially a re-scaled version of one published by Autumn Kitchen on an instagram post. Mine never look quite as perfect as hers, but I’m always very happy with the sponge! I often use a freeze dried fruit flavoured whipping cream à la BraveTart because it’s a nice way to add some fruit flavour to a basic sponge, but for a perfectly plain version we’ll opt for a stabilized whipped cream filling. Stabilizing the whipped cream is important to stop it from leeching water into the cake as it sits. It also makes it freezable which is (very) important when making this much cake!

As far as assembly goes, I still find the actual “rolling” a little tricky some days. I started off with the BraveTart (again!) approach (covered cooling) for the assembly which works pretty well but…also kind of takes too long. If I’m in a rush I opt for a “hybrid” approach: I cool the cake under cover for about 15-20 minutes (which I think helps rolling by sealing in some moisture). Then I take it out and do a quick pre-roll. Uncovering and unmoulding the cake speeds up cooling time immensely, just make sure not to let it cool too much! All of this helps, but in the end I think getting a good final shape just requires a little practice.

Yield: one 18″ long cake



  • 7 egg whites
  • 82g sugar
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 68g oil
  • 135g milk
  • 112g cake flour

filling (option 2)

  • 473g heavy cream
  • 2T powdered sugar
  • 30g gelatin mass (6g gelatin)

Tools Required:

  • small pot (2L)
  • whisk/ spatula
  • stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment
  • 2 half-sheet baking trays, one lined with parchment


For the cake and assembly:

  1. Whisk milk and oil in a double boiler, heat until it reaches 65°C.
  2. Remove pot from heat, then whisk flour into milk and oil mixture. Let cool slightly, then whisk in egg yolks.
  3. Meanwhile, using the stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip whites and sugar to form a meringue with medium-firm (err closer to firm) peaks.
  4. Fold meringue into yolk batter in 3 additions.
  5. Spread batter evenly into prepared baking sheet, being careful not to deflate. Bake at 365°F for 18-20 minutes.
  6. After removing the tray from the oven, invert your second sheet pan over top to act as a cover (if you don’t have a second pan, you can also seal with foil) and let it rest for 20-30 minutes (or until cool enough to handle). Using the parchment paper to lift it from the tray, gently pre-roll the cake*.
  7. Once cooled to about room temperature (too warm and it will melt the whipped cream), spread with desired filling and roll the cake (on the long side), finishing with it seam-side down. Store in the fridge until read to serve.

For the filling:

  1. Add about 100g of the cream to a pot with gelatin mass and powdered sugar. Heat gently over medium-low, stirring until fully combined.
  2. Mix cream/gelatin/sugar mixure back in with the rest of the whipped cream and return to fridge until cold.
  3. Whip to stiff peaks.


  • Substitute some flour (about 40g) for cocoa powder for a chocolate swiss roll.
  • Substitute another flavouring agent (mint or coconut extract would be nice with a chocolate sponge), or steep the cream in tea to add flavour.
  • For another way to incorporate some flavour (and stabilize the whipped cream), we love BraveTart’s method of whipping cream with freeze-dried fruit in the food processor.
  • Extra filling: if you want to to go heavy on the filling (no judgement) you can definitely bump up the amounts but know that the more you add the less of a “swirl” you will get when you roll it.
  • Cake-ception: I haven’t managed to try this yet but a future version of this will be rolled up around a chocolate wafer (icebox) cake.
  • Smaller cake: I love that we can get two cakes out of a single recipe (perfect for big get-togethers) but dealing with a swiss roll that big can be a little unwieldy. If you happen to have a 9×13″ pan, you can use that by scaling the recipe down to about 67%, with 4 eggs as follows:
    • 4 egg whites
    • 55g sugar
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 45g oil
    • 90g milk
    • 75g cake flour

FAQs, Tips, Troubleshooting:

  • Roll the cake on a fresh, full sheet of parchment paper to make transfer (and clean-up) easier.
  • One recipe makes two good-sized cakes (just cut the roll in half). The whole (or half) cake will freeze and thaw very nicely as long as your filling is freezable (i.e., stabilize your whipped cream).
  • To make handling the cake easier, try to leave some parchment overhang (preferably on the side that you will be rolling it).
  • To get a good roll: I wish there was a trick to this but I think it really comes down to practice (and maybe a little luck)! A few things will help, though:
    1. Don’t over bake your sponge. If it’s dry it will be more likely to crack.
    2. Let it cool but don’t let it get cold before you roll it.
    3. Use a little less filling on the edge where you’ll start rolling up the cake and the sides. It will even out a bit as you roll, but if you have too much at the edges you’ll end up losing filling as you roll the cake.
    4. Don’t be too gentle. You need to get a tight roll at the very beginning if you want a swirl. If you’re too gentle you’ll end up with something that looks more like a fold.
    5. Pre-rolling. Does it help? I’m not sure. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. The jury is out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s