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Mostly everyone has a fond childhood memory of a “Lil debbie” chocolate Swiss cake roll. There was nothing like that feeling of opening up your lunch box and seeing one of those packaged swirly chocolate cakes. Now, when I make one of these cake rolls I get that same feeling, and now I get to make it myself!
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Decadent Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
I have made all kinds of cake rolls but the original swiss cake roll really can’t be beat! The chocolatey cake with a creamy frosting center coated with chocolate ganache is seriously to die for and a classic that everyone can appreciate.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This recipe is packed with chocolate. The cake itself is a very rich chocolate, filled with cream and then coated with even more chocolate ganache. If you are a chocolate lover this is for you!
- If you grew up eating Lil debbie swiss cake rolls allow yourself to slip into a bit of nostalgia and make one for yourself! (I guarantee this one will taste even better.)
- Cake rolls may seem tricky to make but once you get the hang of rolling the cake, it’s just like riding a bike. Then, you can make cake rolls of all sorts without any troubles!
Ingredients in Chocolate Cake Roll
- Eggs – Large eggs are whaty I used for this recipe.
- Sugar- Granulated sugar is best for this recipe.
- Brewed coffee- You can also use water if you don’t have coffee, it’s just to give moisture.
- Vanilla extract- Pure vanilla is always superior!
- Cocoa powder- Use unsweetened cocoa powder not Dutch process.
- Baking powder – this leavens the cake
- All purpose flour – be sure to measure it correctly
- Heavy whipping cream- Used in the whipped cream filling and in the ganache on top.
- Powdered sugar- To sweeten the filling and also used to roll the cake
- Semi sweet baking chocolate – This is used to make the ganache on top.
How to Make Swiss Cake Rolls
- Make the cake batter: Pre heat your oven to 350°F. Line a 10×15” pan with foil and spray with baking spray (the kind with flour). In a large bowl beat the eggs at a high speed for 3 minutes, until they are dark yellow and frothy. Then, beat in sugar, coffee (or water), and the vanilla extract. Next, in a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: cocoa, salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir into the wet ingredients until you see it start to blend together.
- Bake the cake: Spread the batter into the pan you prepared. The batter will be a very thin layer in the pan (this is normal), so be sure to use a spatula to spread it to all corners of the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes. When it’s done, the cake will slightly bounce back if you poke it lightly with your fingertip. While the swiss cake roll is still baking, get your sheet of parchment paper ready for rolling.
- Roll the cake: As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the parchment paper and remove the foil. Take care during this process as it will be very hot! Use oven mitts and don’t burn yourself. Use the parchment paper to roll the cake up. Roll the paper up in the cake and let it cool completely this way for at least one hour in the fridge.
- Make the filling: In an electric mixer with a whisk attachment beat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Slowly add in powdered sugar while beating, one tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla extract and beat until you get whipped cream. (Mmmm homemade whipped cream is my favorite!)
- Assemble the cake: Once the cake has cooled completely unroll it with care. Spread the whipped cream on the cake leaving 1 inch on either end. Re-roll the cake. If any filling spills out, simply scoop it out. Cover the entire roll with plastic wrap and chill for as least one hour before frosting.
- Make the topping: Place chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat up ⅔ cups heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan over low heat for a few minutes or in the microwave just until it simmers. Pour over the chocolate chips and let it sit for one minutes so it melts. Then, whisk the mixture until it’s completely smooth. Whisk in smalls chunks of butter until it’s all melted together. Then, you have your topping!
- Topping the swiss roll cake: Place the completed swiss cake roll on a wire rack over a cookie sheet. Pour the ganache topping over the cake evenly. Let it chill until its completely set.
This swiss roll cake is all about timing. You have to let it chill for an appropriate amount fo time before each step. This is seriopsuly imperative. It can make the difference between a beautiful swiss roll cake reminiscent of Lil Debbie or a cracked cake. Make sure the initial roll is when the cake is still hot, it really makes all the difference!
Swiss cake rolls will last in the fridge for 2-3 days. Any longer, and the filling will start to get runny and a little strange. This is a treat you will want to enjoy in the next couple days after baking.
Not all cake rolls can be frozen, it really depends on the ingredients. That being said this swiss chocolate cake roll is perfectly fine to freeze! Make sure you keep it in a freezer-safe container.
Cake rolls usually crack because you either over cooked it, under cooked it, or didn’t roll it straight out of the oven when it’s still hot. Make sure to keep a close eye on it when it’s baking and following the appropiate time stamps for rolling and setting.
A “swiss roll” is a variant of a cake roll cake. A cake that uses a special technique in order to roll around an inner-filling of some sort. There are so many different delicious variations of cake rolls, such as a lemon strawberry shortcake roll.
Swiss Chocolate Cake Roll
For the Cake:
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons brewed coffee or water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup (93g) all purpose flour
- Powdered sugar to aid in rolling
For the Filling:
- 1 cup (237ml) heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons (28g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Topping:
- 4 ounces (113g) semi-sweet baking chocolate chopped
- ⅔ cup (158ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter softened
Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll (10×15”) pan with foil and spray with cooking spray (I like to use the spray with flour).
- Beat eggs at high speed for 3 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. Beat in sugar, coffee or water, and vanilla extract.
- Whisk together cocoa, salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir into wet ingredients just until blended.
- Spread in prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done because if you lightly poke the top with your fingertip it will slightly bounce back.
- While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup). As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil carefully.
- Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour (or you can wrap it and chill it overnight).
Make the Filling:
- Beat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Slowly add in powdered sugar during beating, one tablespoon at at time. Add extract. Beat until whipped cream forms.
- Once the cake has cooled, unroll it carefully. Spread the whipped cream on the cake, leaving 1” without filling at either end. Re-roll cake, scooping out any filling that spills out as you roll. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour before frosting.
- Make the topping: place chocolate in a bowl. Heat 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan over low heat for a few minutes or in the microwave for 60-90 seconds until it just simmers. Pour over the chocolate chips and let sit for one minute, then whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Whisk in small chunks of the butter until it’s melted.
- Place cake roll on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet. Pour the ganache over the cake evenly. Chill until set.
Other Cake Roll Recipes
Swiss Cake Roll is an easy chocolate cake roll recipe full of whipped cream and topped with ganache. This is a decadent dessert that is perfect for any special occasion.
Last Updated on November 15, 2022