Birthday Cake Roll – this easy yellow cake roll recipe is filled with sprinkles and the BEST EVER chocolate frosting recipe! Everyone loves the birthday cake but they RAVE about this frosting.
I’ve gone 2 whole months without posting a cake roll recipe, so I felt it was time for another one, ha! This time it’s all about the BIRTHDAY CAKE! With sprinkles, of course.
Last week my mother-in-law turned 80. The entire family flew in from San Diego to surprise her. We had Jordan and the great-grandkids go to her front door to surprise her. I gave Jordan my phone to video tape the look on her face…and she forgot to record. But that’s okay – she was super surprised and even got teary. That’s what big birthdays are all about, right? Well, that and cake!
Since she’s the one who taught me how to make cake rolls, I thought it was fitting to make one for her as her birthday cake. I love a good old fashioned birthday cake: yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I decided to turn that cake into a cake roll and add sprinkles, because sprinkles make me happy.
How to Make a Birthday Cake Roll
The yellow cake base is the one from my Strawberry Shortcake Cake Roll. I have a few chocolate frosting recipes I love but I wanted to try something new; something fluffy and light and rich. This frosting is the PERFECT frosting. I know I say that a lot, but this one is now my go-to frosting recipe. I’m never making regular old chocolate buttercream again! Everyone loved the birthday cake roll, but they especially commented about the frosting and how good it was.
If you’ve never made a cake roll before, don’t worry. It’s super easy, I promise. You just need a jelly roll pan which is usually about 10×15″ with 1-inch sides.
I get asked all the time if you can use a cake mix to make a cake roll, and you can, but you need to edit the recipe a little. My cake recipe tastes better too – but if you really want to use a cake mix, try this recipe with your favorite mix.
If you need tips on making a cake roll, don’t forget to check out the following:
- Carrot Cake Roll – with a photo tutorial
- Zucchini Cake Roll – with some do’s and don’ts
- Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll – with a full video on how to make one.
I’ll be posting a video on Facebook later today for this birthday cake roll, to show you what an easy cake recipe this is.
Tips and Tricks for Making the Birthday Cake Roll Recipe:
- You’ll notice that the sprinkles sunk to the bottom of the cake. That’s going to happen if you stir them in (gravity and all that). To combat this problem, add some more when your batter is in your pan.
- Be sure to use quality sprinkles. I used a cheap grocery bin kind and they somewhat melted. I knew I should have used the good ones but I went against my better judgement. For best results use Cake Mate Jimmies, not nonpareils. They sell tubs of this brand at most grocery stores in the baking aisle and I never have a problem with them melting.
- Don’t be afraid to over bake the cake a bit (over done is better than underdone for rolling) and, as always, roll it while it’s hot. Then let it cool, unroll, then fill.
- You can see there are some cracks in mine. Oh wait, you can’t really see them, right? Unless you look hard? Frosting saves the day, every time. Just keep rolling and press it back together. Why does it crack? It’s not baked enough, it’s baked too much, it’s Tuesday. Some work, some don’t.
- For a fluffy cake, do not scrimp on the egg beating time. I know, it’s a long time to stand there with a hand mixer. JUST DO IT.
- The chocolate frosting is seriously the best I’ve ever had. It makes just enough for this cake, but if I ever make it for cupcakes or a layer cake, I’ll double it.
Birthday Cake Roll
For the Cake:
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sprinkles I recommend jimmies, see note
- Powdered sugar to aid in rolling
For the Filling and Topping:
- 4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- More sprinkles for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 10x15” or 10.5x15” cake/jelly roll pan with foil and spray with floured nonstick cooking spray.
- Place eggs in a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at medium speed with mixer for 3-5 minutes until foamy and yellow. Add sugar and mix for 2 more minutes, until the mixture is thickened slightly. Mix in oil, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, then add flour and mix slowly until just combined. Stir in sprinkles. Pour into prepared pan, spreading as needed with a spatula. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is browned and the cake springs back when touched lightly. (Mine took 12 minutes, but all ovens differ.)
- While the cake is baking, lay out a clean kitchen towel onto the counter. Spread with about 1/4 cup powdered sugar.
- Remove the hot cake from the oven and carefully, using oven mitts so you don’t burn yourself, flip the cake onto the towel. This might make a mess, but that’s okay. Carefully remove the pan and foil (they’re hot!) and then, using the towel, roll up the cake from the short side. The towel will be rolled into the cake. Let this cool completely before continuing.
- Note: you can wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and let it sit overnight before finishing.
- Make the filling: Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool 10 minutes. While the chocolate is cooling, beat the butter with a hand mixer for about 1 minute until it’s totally creamy. Add the powdered sugar and mix until fluffy, then mix in vanilla and salt. Beat in the cooled chocolate until smooth. Use immediately, or store covered at room temperature for up to 3 hours.
- To fill cake: Carefully unroll the cake. Spread with some of the frosting. Carefully roll the cake back up as tight as possible, unsticking it from the towel as you go. Frost with remaining frosting and sprinkle with sprinkles.
- You can serve immediately or chill until ready to serve. Cover with plastic wrap if storing longer than 2-3 hours.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Some great birthday cake themed desserts from my friends:
Birthday Cake Martini, from Living Locurto.
Birthday Cake Funfetti Trifle, from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen.
No Bake Birthday Cake Lasagna, from Wine & Glue.
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: February 12, 2017