A Swiss Roll that is actually easy to roll thanks to a special trick. Use my cake recipe or your favorite chocolate cake recipe, my trick works on either. Fill with a light cream, and top with a glossy chocolate ganache.
Here is a chocolate swiss roll that is delicious with a deep chocolate flavor and a white airy cream. Another plus? It's easy to roll. Swiss rolls have a reputation for being super hard to roll without breaking.
Not mine. I discovered a solution. It works on my chocolate cake recipe that I provide below, but it will also work with your own favorite chocolate cake recipe, or even a box cake mix probably. My recipe uses some healthier ingredients, including oat flour and a vegetable puree instead of eggs because it is vegan.
What Is A Swiss Roll?
A swiss roll is a light sponge cake swirled around a sweet cream and topped with a chocolate ganache. Its origins are unclear, and despite the "swiss" part of the name, the cake doesn't appear to be a swiss recipe but probably from central Europe. There is similar cake called a "roulade". However a roulade can also be savory whereas a swiss roll is always dessert-based.
If you want to use my swiss cake roll recipe, here are the ingredients.
- Oat Flour - Oat flour is a wonderful healthy flour with protein and fiber, gluten-free yet flavorful, and can be found inexpensively at mainstream grocery stores, at least in the USA. If you want to use all purpose flour, you can! Just use 1 ½ cups of all purpose instead of 2 ⅓ oat flour.
- Cocoa powder - Cocoa powder makes a cake stiffer, so I only added ¼ cup here compared to ½ cup in my chocolate cake recipes to ensure flexibility.
- Sugar - I used organic cane sugar but any white sugar works as well.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder - Necessary for lift.
- Dairy-free Milk - activated with lemon juice - this activated milk reacts well with baking soda to create a lighter crumb.
- Aquafaba - this is the liquid from a can of salt free garbanzo beans or chickpeas. Or use apple sauce.
- Veggie Puree - I used sweet potato puree from a can, but you can also use pumpkin or butternut squash from a can, found in the baking aisle.
Here are the ingredients for the special Swiss roll trick.
- A baked chocolate cake
- chocolate chips - You'll be melting the chocolate chips before use.
- dairy -free milk
How to Make A Fail-Proof Swiss Roll
Here is a quick summary of the steps, but the detailed recipe and video can be found below in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Bake a Chocolate Cake in an 8-inch square pan. Either use my chocolate cake recipe or your own.
Step 2: Let the cake cool until you can handle it.
Next is the fool-proof trick:
Step 3: Use a spoon or your hands to break up the cake and add it to a bowl. Pour in the melted chocolate chips and milk, and use your hands or a utensil to combine roughly until you have a wet doughy mixture that's still a bit cakey.
Step 4: Line a quarter cookie sheet with parchment paper, and press this cake dough into it, pressing into the corners so you have a rectangle. If dough is still somehow warm, allow it to get to room temperature. Make your whipped cream. And spread the cream in an even layer on top of the cake. I spread it about ½ - to 1-inch inch deep, thicker in the center.
Step 5: Now lift the cake with the parchment paper starting at the short end, and roll the cake all the way until you reach the other short end. Use the parchment paper to press and even out the cylinder shape. It can still break a bit but the dough is pliable enough since it is fudgy that you can press it back into shape.
Pro tip: Don't press too hard as you roll or the cream will squish out too much on the sides.
Step 4: Keeping it wrapped in parchment paper, refrigerate it for an hour so it is thoroughly chilled. You don't really have to chill it. I do so I can get clean slices but if clean slicing isn't that important, skip to the next step.
Step 5: Make chocolate ganache and drizzle on chocolate.
Step 6: Store the roll in the refrigerator for 3 days. It can also be wrapped without the ganache and frozen for 3 months.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
There are a few tips I share below to make the best chocolate swiss roll.
How do you avoid cracking a Swiss roll?
By using my trick of baking the cake, then mixing the broken cake up with melted chocolate and milk. This makes the cake pliable and fudgy.
How to fix a crack in a Swiss roll?
Using my trick, you'll hardly get cracks but if you do, it's quite easy to press the edges of a crack together to reseal it.
Why does my cream filling squish out of the sides when I roll the cake?
Your creamy filling is possibly too thin in texture, or you are pressing too hard. Be sure to to make your whipped cream thick in texture and chill if you have to. And try not to squish down too hard as you roll.
What is the difference between a Swiss roll and cake roll?
They are the same thing. A swiss roll or cake roll is a rolled sponge cake filled with jam, whipped cream, or icing. They are also called jelly rolls and cream rolls.
Is a Swiss roll same as a Yule log?
A Yule log is a swiss roll cut and angled to resemble burning logs in a hearth
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Swiss Cake Roll (Easy Trick)
- Quarter Cookie Sheet, 13 Inch x 9 Inch
- 2 ⅓ cups oat flour (or 1 ½ cup all purpose flour)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup dairy free milk
- teaspoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree or sweet potato puree or unsweetened apple sauce
- 3 tablespoon aquafaba liquid from a can of chickpeas, or 3 tablespoon of apple sauce
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
Swiss Roll Trick
- Entire baked cake broken up and in a mixing bowl.
- ½ cup chocolate chips melted in microwave at 60 seconds
- 1 cup dairy free milk
Coconut Whipped Cream filling
- 3 cans full fat coconut milk Use only the solid portion in each can.
- ½ cup powdered sugar (You can add up to ¾ cup if you want the cream to taste sweeter and be thicker.)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips melted in microwave at 60 seconds
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk room-temperature and the can shaken
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Activate your milk by adding lemon juice to it and stirring so it curdles.
- Line an 8-inch by 8-inch pan with parchment paper, and line a quarter sheet cookie pan with parchment paper.
Bake Chocolate Cake
- To large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and combine.2 ⅓ cups oat flour, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup organic cane sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Add liquid ingredients to the dry, and again combine. I used a hand mixer.1 cup dairy free milk, tsp lemon juice, ⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree or sweet potato puree, 3 tablespoon aquafaba, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, pinch salt
- Pour the batter evenly into prepared 8x8 pan.
- Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
The Swiss Roll Trick
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool so when you tear it apart with your hands you don't get burned.
- Tear baked cake apart with hands or fork and add to a mixing bowl. Melt the chocolate you need for the trick.Entire baked cake broken up and in a mixing bowl.
- Add in the milk and melted chocolate and combine with a fork or your hands.½ cup chocolate chips, 1 cup dairy free milk
- Press this fudgy cakey batter into the quarter cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press into corners so you have a clear rectangle.
- Spread your whipped cream or frosting about ½ inch thick across the rectangle, leaving about ½ inch empty around the border. (my coconut whipped cream recipe is below)
Roll Swiss Roll
- Lift the parchment paper along the short end of the pan and roll the cake slowly, using the parchment paper to help lift and roll. You still might get a few cracks but the dough is so fudgy you should be able to press cracks away by pressing over the parchment paper.
- Don't press down too hard or the whipped cream will squish out the sides.
- Keep the roll wrapped in the parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour if you want to be able to slice it cleanly.
Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe
- You can use any frosting or whipped cream for the center of this cake but if you want to make mine which makes about 3 cups, here are the steps: First, chill the cans of coconut milk overnight so the solids separate out. Then remove the solids and put them into a chilled mixing bowl, and store the water for a different recipe or smoothie.3 cans full fat coconut milk
- Next, add in the powdered sugar and hand mix for about 3-4 minutes or until you see peaks forming. To make them even stiffer, add 2 tablespoon of tapioca flour or arrowroot powder and mix again. Add vanilla.½ cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Finally, chill the whipped cream in the bowl covered for 2 hours if you want it to be thicker. I used mine unchilled and it was thick enough to spread but here is a trick if yours is not.
Glaze the Chocolate Swiss Roll
- Melt the chocolate chips in a pyrex measuring cup at 60 seconds. Pour in the milk and stir until smooth.1 cup chocolate chips, ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- Unwrap the cake and pour glaze over and set in refrigerator to set.
Store Swiss Roll
- This cake is best refrigerated, uncovered or covered, and can last about 3 days. If you choose to freeze, I suggest you freeze it before pouring on the chocolate glaze.
So glad it worked out!
Great to know!
Thank you for your tips and kind words!
What should I add to the broken up cake to make it fudgy if I wanna make a vanilla cake, without the chocolate? 🤔
You could probably use a creamy milk such as coconut or oat. I have a vanilla version coming soon!
Dee! you've done it again! The perfect holiday recipe. I always wanted to make a swiss roll but never dared. Will certainly make this one.
Thank you Tara!