A light and fluffy chocolate sponge filled with soft and creamy whipped buttercream, this Chocolate Roll Cake is always a winner. In this post you’ll find all the tips for the perfect roll cake.

Other chocolate cakes you’ll love are this Black Magic Cake and this Blackberry Chocolate Cake.

A chocolate roll cake cut into slices on a sheet of baking paper.

Why you’ll love this Chocolate Roll Cake

The cake has the perfect fluffy texture and chocolate flavour. It rolls easily and the filling is like sweet vanilla flavoured clouds.

This irresistible cake is also impressive. A roll cake always looks stunning and with my tips, it’s easier than you think.

This chocolate roll cake is based on my favourite supermarket brand from when I was a kid. They’re still available but over time, their filling has reduced and they just aren’t the same.

It took me a bit of testing to work out that filling but I did it when I made these Lamington Cupcakes with Whipped Buttercream Frosting. As soon as I mastered the swiss roll, this recipe came to life.

The chocolate roll cake

Swiss roll or roll cake or cake roll or sponge roll or whatever you want to call it can seem tricky but once you learn the tricks and master it, you realise it’s actually not that hard. Once I mastered the technique, this chocolate roll cake was my first and the second was actually this Peaches and Cream Swiss Roll Cake that I posted first.

Slices of chocolate roll cake stacked againsted one another on a wooden board.

Chocolate swiss roll tips

  1. Start with a great recipe – check. I’ve got your back on this one.
  2. Don’t overbake it (very important- otherwise it’ll just crack when you roll it). If it does crack, don’t worry, it’ll still taste divine.
  3. Roll it up straight out of the oven – use a damp tea towel, sprinkled liberally with superfine sugar. Asbestos fingers at the ready
  4. Be prepared to forgive and forget if it doesn’t look perfect the first time (an extra sprinkling of icing sugar or cocoa can hide many sins)

That’s it. They actually aren’t as tricky as they look. If at first you don’t succeed, hey, eat it anyway. It’ll still taste fantastic. Whoop whoop!

How to make a cake roll

Push it down a hill! haha. Ahem, moving on.

You’ll need to beat the eggs and sugar until really light and fluffy. Now pour it into a swiss roll tin or jelly roll tin and bake it until the sponge just barely bounces back when you dab it with your finger tip.

As soon as you take it out of the oven, carefully but confidently roll it up, releasing paper just at either end, but don’t peel it off. With the short end to you, tuck the end in tightly first, then roll it up, gently but tightly, straight away. Peel back the paper on that last part of the roll so it doesn’t steam while it’s cooling and just let it cool completely (sitting on the seam is best). As soon as it is cool, unroll it (but don’t flatten it out), fill it and roll it back up without the paper and it’s done.

A chocolate roll cake dusted with cocoa on a wooden board.

The Whipped Buttercream frosting

Oh, this whipped buttercream frosting. This just nearly takes the medal from my favourite ermine buttercream. This frosting is fluffy and airy. Light but full of vanilla. It’s soft, creamy and luxurious and exactly how I remember that supermarket Chocolate Roll.

Now roll that roll cake

Once the cake has cooled completely, you can unroll it and you’ll notice straight away that it has some ‘muscle memory’. Just spread your whipped buttercream on the inside and roll it up firmly but carefully again. Tadaaa! You have just made a Chocolate Roll Cake.

Sprinkle with some more cocoa and how beautiful is this cake to serve your friends and family. FYI waaaaay better than the supermarket one.

MAKE AHEAD – Yes, this roll cake can be made 2 days ahead but will last well up to 4-5 days in the fridge. It freezes well too.

STORAGE – Store in an airtight container in the fridge. This cake also freezes well – once cold, wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap, then into an airtight container and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge, then bring to room temperature before eating.

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Closeup of a slice of chocolate roll cake.

If you’ve tried this chocolate roll cake recipe, make sure to come back and leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you.

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A light Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake filled with a whipped vanilla buttercream frosting is just the perfect afternoon tea treat or dessert. Get my tips on how to make the perfect roll cake.

Chocolate Roll Cake

4.39 from 21 votes
A light Chocolate Roll Cake filled with a whipped vanilla buttercream frosting is just the perfect afternoon tea treat or dessert. Get my tips on how to make the perfect roll cake.

Ingredients

For the roll cake

  • 97 g plain (all purp) flour (¾ cup / 3.4oz)
  • 25 g dutch process cocoa (¼ cup / 0.9oz)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • ¾ cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • ¼ cup cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the whipped vanilla buttercream

  • 190 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups icing (powdered) sugar (225g / ½ pound)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons thickened cream (notes 1)

Other

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / 160c fan forced. Grease then line a sponge roll (13×9 inch) tin with baking paper. Now grease and flour the baking paper. (notes)
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix them well to disperse evenly.
  • Beat the eggs on high for about 2 minutes or until they have doubled in volume, have lightened and look frothy.
  • While still beating, slowly add in the sugar.
  • Add the milk and vanilla and beat well.
  • Turn the beater down to low and tip in the flour, a third at a time until combined. Beat for another 30 seconds on low.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared tin, tipping it from side to side to get it into all the corners and level all over.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Immediately, use the edges of the baking paper to lift it out of the tin and onto a flat surface. Have the short edge towards you and start to roll.
  • First, tuck in the edge that's closest to you firmly but gently. Peel about one in of the paper away just to release it, then continue rolling the cake all the way up to meet the other end. Firm but gentle is the key.
  • From the end that is hanging out, peel back the paper, then just fold it away from the cake, this just allows the cake to cool better without steaming.
  • Let the cake cool completely before unrolling and adding buttercream.

For the buttercream:

  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 8 minutes (yes, that long. We’re going for whipped butter here). Scrape down the sides from time to time and during beating.
  • With the mixer on low, add the sugar 1 spoon at a time until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the salt, vanilla and cream and beat for 5 minutes at medium speed until it looks light and thick and whipped.

To finish

  • As soon as the cake is cool,,unroll it very gently (don't try to flatten it out, just unroll enough to add your buttercream). Spread the buttercream over and roll it back up.
  • Roll the cake back up, dust all over with cocoa and serve

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scaleslike these are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  3. Greasing and flouring the baking paper after lining the tin will help to give a smoother finish on your roll cake, however, if this isn’t important for you, you can skip the second grease and flour
CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPES
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