Cake rolls are a gorgeous way to put a fun new twist on regular layer cakes. You can dress up this easy cake roll recipe for any holiday or birthday by changing up the filling, using a different sponge cake recipe for the cake, or adding mix-ins like sprinkles, nuts, or fruits to the frosting layer. You can try some of our favorite cake roll recipes, or you can create your own!
Why do some call this a jelly roll and others call it a cake roll?
Prepare and bake the cake roll recipe as directed.
Cake roll recipe tips:
Next, dust a clean, lint-free kitchen towel with powdered sugar. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, immediately loosen the edges of the cake from the pan with a flat knife.
Turn out the cake onto the prepared towel. The towel prevents the cake from sticking to itself when rolled, while the powdered sugar prevents the cake from sticking to the towel. Immediately peel waxed paper (if used) from the cake and discard.
Starting with a short side of the cake, roll up the towel and the warm cake together into a spiral. Yes, the towel will be inside your baked cake roll. This step helps to form the cake roll shape later without any cracking.
Roll to the end of the towel. Place the rolled cake in the towel on a wire rack and cool completely (about 1 hour).
Unroll the cooled cake, but leave the cake on the towel. Spread the filling over the top of the cake to within 1 inch of the edges.
Reroll the cake, using the towel to lift and guide the cake into an even roll.
Note: You're NOT rolling the towel inside this time, just use it to help evenly lift the cake as you roll.
Chill the cake roll in the refrigerator as directed in your recipe. Note that some cake rolls, including those filled with whipped cream, are best served within a few hours. Others, such as those with a cream cheese filling, can be stored longer—be sure to follow your recipe's guidelines.
Need a little inspiration for taking your cake roll recipe to the next level? Look no further than these holiday-theme treats! We have cake rolls that are dressed up for autumn, Christmas, and even the 4th of July. To make our patriotic July 4th cake roll, reserve some of the cake batter and use food coloring to turn it red and blue, then create firework bursts in the cake batter. For a Christmas cake roll, try our gingerbread cake roll recipe, featuring a spiced sponge cake, a maple drizzle, and a sprinkling of almonds on top. And for pumpkin-spice lovers, there's no better way to celebrate autumn's arrival than with a pumpkin cake and cream cheese filling. Plus, it gets a little crunch from walnuts baked into the batter. Try all three of our holiday-theme cake rolls, or put your own twist on this classic recipe for any occasion that calls for cake.