A healthy Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll that is actually easy to roll, as well as vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free. Easy to make using a cookie sheet, your own filling or mine, and topped with a glossy chocolate ganache. Check out my video below!
Healthy Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
A Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll that is easy to roll. Swiss cake rolls have a reputation for being super hard to roll without breaking. Not mine. After making this recipe several times, and having the cake crack each time, I discovered a solution.
And you'll love this recipe because I used healthy oat flour, a veggie puree and aquafaba to replace eggs and oil. Although you can use your own favorite cake recipe if you prefer. And you don't have to buy a special jelly roll pan, a quarter-sized cookie sheet works just fine.
Plus choose your inside cream. I used a simple fluffy coconut cream but you can use your favorite cream recipe or even a store bought whipped cream, or even a frosting if you want a sweeter roll.
What Is A Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll?
A chocolate swiss cake roll is a light chocolate 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. There is similar cake called a "roulade". However a roulade can also be savory whereas a swiss roll is always dessert-based.
A swiss cake roll can be made larger as is popular during holidays, or even in smaller form, as mini swiss cake rolls. In small form, they will be a healthy version of commercial snack cakes of past decades including hohos, swiss roll cakes, and yodels.
Why You'll Love This Swiss Cake Roll Recipe
My chocolate swiss cake roll recipe differs from traditional recipes and the commercial varieties because I use wholesome ingredients. I even avoid all purpose flour and gluten free flour blends to make it GF, and instead use oat flour, a more nutritious flour that brings essential nutrients, and fiber to the cake. And is inexpensive, as opposed to say almond flour.
My recipe also differs from traditional chocolate swiss cake roll recipes in a big way.
It is dependable and won't break while rolling. That is the big challenge with swiss roll recipes in general, but not mine. But it was an especially big challenge for me because I am not using eggs and I am using a oat flour which makes the cake less pliable.
I can't wait to explain how I do it. But first I want to tell you about the ingredients.
Ingredients in A Healthy Chocolate Swiss Roll
These ingredients are simple now because I figured out how to make this roll without cracking the cake.
Before that however, I was testing the addition of different flours, the addition of xanthum gum, and other less healthy ingredients. Of course all purpose flour or GF flour is fine to use in baked goods, but my daughters feel much better eating oat flour as opposed to all purpose or GF flours, so I fought to make this roll vegan and with oat flour. Here is what is in the roll:
- 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 added ¼ cup here compared to ½ cup in my chocolate cake recipes.
- Coconut palm sugar - in a future rendition, I'll try using date paste, but dates are hard to find and more work-intense so I went with coconut palm sugar today. I am sure cane sugar also works but of course is less healthy.
- 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.
- 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. Or you can microwave a sweet potato, scoop out the "meat" and blend with a tsp or 2 of milk to make a fresh puree.
- Vanilla and a pinch of salt - for flavor
- Chocolate chips - melted
- Dairy Free milk - not activated
- Whipped Cream or frosting for the filling. I provide my Coconut Whipped Cream recipe below. The recipe makes about three cups when properly whipped.
How to Make A Fail-Proof Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
Here is a quick summary of the steps, but the detailed recipe can be found below in the recipe card.
1. Prepare ingredients for cake batter, such as adding lemon juice to milk . Line a 8 inch x 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper.
2. Mix up the cake batter and pour it in the 8x8 pan. Bake for 350 F for 35 minutes, no longer.
3. Let the cake cool until you can handle it. If you are using my recipe for the center filling, make the whipped cream now and set it into the refrigerator to chill.
4. Spoon or use 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 fork to combine roughly until you have a wet doughy mixture that's still a bit cakey.
5. Line a quarter cookie sheet with parchment paper, and press this cake 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.
6. 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.
7. Don't Press TOO hard as you roll or the cream will squish out too much on the sides.
8. 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.
9. Make chocolate ganache and drizzle on chocolate.
10. Store the roll in the refrigerator for 3 days. It can also be wrapped without the ganache and frozen for 3 months.
Q & A for Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
There are a few tips I share below on how to troubleshoot your chocolate swiss roll. Also, my recipe uses oat flour and has no dairy or eggs, many of the questions associated with baking a chocolate swiss roll don't apply. For instance, Google asks:
Why is my Swiss roll rubbery?
A swiss roll is only rubbery if you over-mix all purpose or wheat-based flour. Since we use oat flour the only risk you have is cracking as you roll the cake.
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 and mold them back together.
How do you fill a Swiss roll?
Simple. Just spread on filling, and roll.
What is the raising agent in a Swiss roll?
Traditional swiss rolls use eggs and sugar as their raising agent. This vegan swiss roll depends on the veggie puree and aquafaba for moisture, and baking powder to rise.
Why does my cream filling squish out of the sides when I roll the cake?
First, be sure to to make your whipped cream thick in texture and chill if you have to. Second, spread it on thickly. I spread it about ½ - to 1-inch inch deep, thicker in the center. Third, try not to squish down too hard as you roll.
Why is my coconut cream filling too watery?
You can use your own favorite filling but to use mine basically you need to make Coconut Whipped Cream. Tricks to make coconut whipped cream from being runny include making sure the coconut solids are chilled out of the can and be sure to drain away all liquid, add a bit more powdered sugar if while you are whipping you don't see peaks, also you can add 2 tbsp of arrowroot or tapioca flour or cornstarch. And you can chill the whipped cream for 2 hours before spreading it on the cooled cake. I did not need to but it's an option.
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Healthy Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll Recipe (fail-proof)
- 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 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup dairy free milk
- tsp lemon juice
- ⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree or sweet potato puree or unsweetened apple sauce
- 3 tbsp aquafaba liquid from a can of chickpeas, or a flaxseed or chia seed egg (mix 1 tbsp flaxseed or chia seeds with 3 tbsp of water and let it sit for 5 minutes)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
Swiss Cake 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
- 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.
Make cake for Swiss Roll Cake
- To large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and combine.
- Add liquid ingredients to the dry, and again combine. I used a hand mixer.
- Pour the batter evenly into prepared 8x8 pan.
- Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Make Swiss Roll Cake
- 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.
- Add in the milk and melted chocolate and combine with a fork or your hands.
- Press this fudgy cakey batter into the quarter cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press into corners so you have a clear rectangle.
Make Coconut Whipped Cream
- 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.
- 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 tbsp of tapioca flour or arrowroot powder and mix again.
- 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.
Roll Swiss Roll Cake
- 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.
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.
- Pour glaze over cake 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.