This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure policy.
This Birthday Cake Roll starts with the best yellow cake roll recipe that’s rolled up with creamy chocolate frosting and topped with sprinkles! It’s a fun twist on an old-fashioned birthday cake that everyone will love!
Table of Contents
Video: How to make a Cake Roll
I love a great cake roll recipe, and this yellow cake roll with chocolate frosting is my go-to for birthdays!
This is basically a classic birthday cake made from scratch but rolled up instead. I love the combo of soft yellow roll cake and the rich chocolate frosting. And, of course, sprinkles! It’s me, after all, are you surprised there are plenty of sprinkles? They are my happy makers!
Why You’ll Love A Birthday Cake Roll
The yellow cake base is the one from my Strawberry Shortcake Cake Roll. It’s a super fluffy cake from eggs that are beaten until they are light and frothy. It makes a massive difference in the cake texture.
The frosting really steals the show, though. I have a few chocolate frosting recipes, but for this one, I made one that is really fluffy, light, and rich. It’s the perfect frosting for this cake, and it’s what people love best about the cake.
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’m sharing all the tips so you can make the best birthday roll! Oh, and you don’t need to wait for a birthday to try it – make it for any old reason and call it a funfetti cake roll. That’s what I do!
Ingredients in Yellow Cake Roll
Large Eggs: Be sure to buy large eggs.
Granulated Sugar: Typical for cake recipes
Vegetable Oil: Just a little to keep the cake moist
Baking Powder: To help the cake rise
Salt: For a bit of flavor
Vanilla extract: For the cake and frosting
All-purpose flour: Be sure to measure it correctly!
Sprinkles – I recommend jimmies!
Powdered sugar for rolling the cake and the frosting
Semi-sweet baking chocolate: For the frosting
Butter for the frosting: Room temperature unsalted butter
How to Make a Cake Roll for a Birthday
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) for five minutes or until they are foamy and yellow.
- Add the sugar and beat it with the eggs for two minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened.
- Mix in the oil, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Lower the mixing speed and add the flour and mix until just combined. Stir in the sprinkles.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly. Bake the cake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is browned and the cake springs back when you touch it lightly.
- While the cake bakes, lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter. Sprinkle some powdered sugar over the top. This will keep the cake from sticking to the towel.
- Take the cake out of the oven and, while it’s hot, turn the pan over on the towel with the top of the cake facing down. Carefully remove the hot pan and foil (use mitts!).
- Roll the cake up with the towel like a jelly roll starting at one short end. The towel will be rolled into the cake – that’s what you want. Allow the cake to cool completely.
- While the cake cools, make the frosting. Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes in the microwave. Stop every 30 seconds to stir. Once the chocolate is smooth, let it cool for 10 minutes.
- Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat it with a hand mixer for about one minute or until it’s creamy. Add the powdered sugar and mix until the frosting is light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and salt.
- Add the cooled chocolate and mix until the frosting is smooth. You can leave the frosting out at room temperature for up to three hours while you wait for the cake to cool completely.
- Once the cake is cooled, carefully unroll it. Spread some of the frosting on top and then carefully roll the cake up, without the towel, as tight as possible. Once it’s rolled, frost it with the rest of the chocolate frosting and decorate with sprinkles.
- For a fluffy cake, do not skimp on the egg beating time. I know, it’s a long time to stand there with a hand mixer but just do it. It’s worth it, I promise.
- Don’t be afraid to overbake the cake a bit (overdone is better than underdone for rolling) and, as always, roll it while it’s hot. Then let it cool, unroll, then fill.
- If your cake cracks while you roll it, don’t worry. It’s nothing a little frosting can’t fix! 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. Sometimes cakes crack, and it’s no big deal.
- Be sure to use quality sprinkles because cheap ones will melt. 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.
- How to store a cake roll: If you don’t plan to serve the cake right away, keep it in the refrigerator until you do. You can leave it out at room temperature for a bit to warm it up before slicing and serving.
- The frosting is seriously the best! It’s just enough for a cake roll, but if you want to use the chocolate frosting recipe for cupcakes or a standard cake, you should double it.
- I get asked all the time if you can use a cake mix to make a cake roll instead of homemade, 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.
More Cake Roll Tips
- 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.
Have you made this recipe?
Tag @crazyforcrust on Instagram or hashtag it #crazyforcrust
Birthday Cake Roll
For the Cake:
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (93g) all purpose flour
- ¼ 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 (142g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ⅓ cups (151g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- More sprinkles for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 10×15” or 10.5×15” 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.
Birthday Cake Roll is a fun twist on an old-fashioned birthday cake that everyone will love!
Last Updated on January 19, 2023
This looks so good! A couple of questions – I don’t have a hand mixer. Would I be able to mix the eggs and the frosting by hand? Also, if I needed to transport it (an hour drive), how would you recommend I do that? Thanks!
You can but it will take longer. Once it’s frosted if you chill it you can actually wrap it; it’s pretty stable. I’d put it on a platter and chill it then wrap in plastic wrap and wedge it in the car. Should work just fine!
Is a cake roll pan same as sheet cake pan
It’s a 10×15″ pan with 1″ sides
How fun! I have never actually make a cake roll before!
hey girl- this cake looks amazing!
I’m loving how festive it looks! Can’t wait to try it .
What a great idea! I’ve seen lots of cake rolls, but never a yellow cake/chocolate frosting. Such a great twist on a birthday cake!
This cake roll is so festive and fun! Love it, Dorothy! Your pictures make me want to make one right now–7:30 am isn’t too early for cake, is it?
This looks phenomenal! And I have a birthday coming up! I might have to make this.
Looks wonderful. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for me. 🙂
What an amazing surprise and I would be teary too if my whole family surprised me on my doorstep, at any age! So sweet!
You are the cake roll MASTER! I love all your tips. Sprinkles, noted. And that this is your fave choc frosting. Good to know!