A chocolate Swiss roll cake that's filled with either whipped cream or cream cheese filling & covered in dark chocolate ganache. A light & fluffy chocolate roll cake made with cocoa powder!
This chocolate Swiss roll cake is one of my favorite cakes to have when I'm craving chocolate cake. It's made with a light and fluffy chocolate sponge cake flavored with dark cocoa powder and covered in a dark chocolate ganache.
I adapted this recipe from my family's Asian roll cake recipe that’s used to make Korean and Japanese roll cakes. It has more volume than the typical roll cake as you can see from the height of the cake. Beating the egg yolks and egg whites separately allows the cake to have more volume in the final product.
You can choose between two fillings: a rich and creamy cream cheese filling or a light and airy whipped cream filling. Both fillings are wonderful in this chocolate cake roll.
Whenever I glaze this chocolate roll cake, it reminds me of my childhood when I would snack on Swiss rolls from Hostess or Little Debbie. They were a favorite of mine growing up and this chocolate roll cake looks exactly like a giant Swiss roll cake from Hostess.
A Note on Cocoa Powder
This chocolate roll cake is made using cocoa powder. I used a dark cocoa powder to get a rich, dark chocolate color to the cake. Some brands label this as black cocoa powder. You can use regular cocoa powder if you'd like but the color will be a much lighter brown.
How to Make Chocolate Roll Cake
Start by lining your pan with parchment paper. It's important the parchment paper properly fits the pan because it helps the chocolate cake roll bake in an even layer which helps rolling it up later.
Next, beat the egg yolks and sugar into a pale yellow batter. Then beat the egg whites into a stiff peaks. The yolks and whites are beaten separately so the chocolate roll cake achieves more volume.
After combining the egg yolks with half of the egg white meringue, sift in the dry ingredients. Afterwards, add this batter to the remaining half of the egg whites.
Gently fold the batter until it's combined and pour it into your baking pan and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the center of the sponge springs back.
Rolling the Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake
Once the chocolate cake is out of the oven, let it cool slightly until it can be handled. You still want the cake to be warm to the touch because it helps it roll up.
How do you roll a Swiss roll cake?
To roll a Swiss roll cake, first invert the warm cake onto a damp kitchen cloth and lift up the edge of the short side using the cloth. Carefully roll it up and don't press down too hard otherwise you'll end up with big cracks. You can use a rolling pin to roll back the cloth and hold the roll cake in place to keep it from unraveling. Meanwhile, prepare the filling while the chocolate roll cake cools completely.
Filling the Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake:
If you prefer a light and fluffy filling, use whipped cream to fill your cake. If you'd like something more rich and decadent, fill it with the cream cheese filling. Both filling recipes are provided below.
It's important to allow the cake to cool completely before adding any filling. Don't rush this part as it can cause your filling to melt.
The whipped cream filling will be easier to spread but you'll want to be more gentle rolling the cake back up as the whipped cream can get pushed out if you press too hard.
The cream cheese filling will be harder to spread compared to the whipped cream but will hold its shape better. You can always thin out the cream cheese filling by adding a little bit of milk at a time.
How to Glaze the Chocolate Roll Cake with Ganache
The chocolate ganache glaze is what makes this look like a giant Swiss roll cake from Hostess or Little Debbie. It's an easy, two ingredient glaze that takes less than a minute to make.
Simple add the dark chocolate and heavy cream to a microwave safe bowl and heat for 20 second intervals until you get a silky, smooth ganache glaze.
Slowly drizzle the ganache glaze over the center of the chocolate roll cake. It should spread evenly and drip over the sides of the cake. Using an offset spatula, cover any areas that are missing and allow the ganache to set.
How to Serve and Store the Cake
To serve, I prefer to allow the ganache and filling to set in the fridge for about 1 hour so that it's easier to slice through. After slicing, allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.
You can store the cake in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Can you freeze a Swiss roll cake?
Yes you can freeze a Swiss roll cake for up to a month in the freezer. I recommend wrapping it in plastic wrap and storing it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing any odors and protecting it against freezer burn.
I hope you enjoy this chocolate Swiss roll cake recipe! Please share, rate, and comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
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Chocolate Roll Cake - Swiss Roll Cake
Filling (Choose one of these fillings):
Cream Cheese Filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped Cream Filling:
- 1¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate bar I used 60% cacao
- ½ cup plus 1.5 Tablespoons of heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Egg Yolk Mixture:
- In a medium bowl, add together egg yolks, ½ cup of sugar, salt, corn syrup, vanilla, and water. Set this bowl inside a larger bowl filled with warm water and beat on high until pale yellow with ribbons form. Remove from the warm water bath and set aside.
Egg White Meringue:
- In a large bowl, add the egg whites and beat on high until soft peaks form. Start adding the ⅓ cup of sugar in three equal parts, beating each time to incorporate. Beat the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.
Roll Cake Batter:
- Add ½ of the egg white meringue to the egg yolk mixture and gently fold it in until it's mostly mixed in. The batter should be light and airy. Next, sift the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together and add this into the batter in three equal parts, gently folding after each time.
- In a small bowl, microwave the oil until it's warm to the touch. Take out ¼ cup of the combined batter from the previous step and completely mix this into the warm oil. Fold this back into the combined batter. Next, add the entire batter to the remaining egg white meringue and fold it in gently.
Baking & Filling the Roll Cake:
- Pour the batter into a parchment lined pan. Bang the pan twice to remove large air bubbles and bake for 15 - 18 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when it's done. If it's over baked, the cake will be difficult to roll and may crack.
- Take out the cake, invert the pan onto a clean, slightly damp kitchen cloth, and remove the parchment paper from the bottom. Roll up the cake and hold it in place. You can also roll up the cake with the parchment paper used to bake the cake.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, unroll it and fill it with whipped cream or the cream cheese filling and roll it back up. Next glaze the roll cake with the ganache and serve.
Filling (Choose One):
- Whipped Cream filling: Add the cream, sugar, and vanilla to a medium size bowl and beat on medium high speed until you get stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.
- Cream Cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a medium bowl until it's well combined. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to the bowl and continue beating until it's smooth and creamy. Add more milk if it's too thick to spread.
Glaze with Ganache:
- Break up the chocolate bar into small pieces and add it into a microwave safe bowl along with the heavy cream. Microwave this in 20 second intervals until the chocolate starts to melt and the cream has warmed up. Stir this together until you get a smooth ganache.
- Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and lay the roll cake on top of the wire rack. Slowly drizzle the ganache on top of the cake so that it's entirely covered. Allow the ganache to set and serve.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.