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Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

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This soft and irresistible Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake is rich in chocolate flavor, filled fluffy Chantilly cream and covered in glossy chocolate glaze!

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake - chocolate being poured on top of swiss roll cake

In todays post I want to teach you how to make this deliciously chocolatey cake, how to avoid those dreaded cracks and just how easy it is to make a cake that looks hard to make, but is easy to achieve!

My favorite thing about this cake is just how easy it is to prep the day before you want to serve it and how much nicer it is once the soft cake has had time to soak in the filling. The two almost become one while still giving you that distinct swirl that makes this cake so visually unique!

The flavor combinations are limitless with this cake. I’ve made a Nutella Swiss Roll Cake which is perfect for Chocolate Hazelnut Lovers and a Lamington Swiss Roll Cake too. Both are as delicious as this one!

Ingredients You Need To Make Chocolate Swiss Roll

Note: This recipe uses my Chantilly Cream and Chocolate Sauce Recipe. For a full list of ingredients, including my tips and tricks, check those out on my blog! The whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake - ingredients list
  • Flour – I used all-purpose flour. Make sure you sieve your flour so there are no air pockets inside the cake.
  • Cocoa – use unsweetened cocoa powder. Any type will do. Make sure you sieve this as well so there are no lumps.
  • Baking powder – this will help your cake rise and lighten up.
  • Salt – I used fine salt.
  • Coffee powder – I used finely powdered coffee powder.
  • Eggs – I used large eggs. Make sure you use room temperature eggs, and that you don’t get any yolks in the whites otherwise the meringue portion won’t whip. Speaking of whipping, make sure you whip your meringue and until thick and glossy. Your meringue will be over whipped if it appears grainy and may lead to a flat, rubbery cake.
  • Caster sugar – also known as superfine sugar, this is a much finer sugar than regular granulated sugar which is best for whipping meringues. If you don’t have access to it you can use granulated sugar but make sure your sugar is as dissolved as you can get it without overwhipping.
  • Butter – I used unsalted butter. Make sure you allow your butter to cool slightly before using otherwise it’ll deflate your cake batter.
  • Vanilla ExtractAlways use good quality vanilla extract when baking, it makes a huge difference. I have a great recipe here for it if you’d like to try your own!

My 5 tips to the PERFECT Swiss Roll Cake with NO CRACKS!

Yes, there is that number one concern, cracked cake. Here are a few tips on how to make the PERFECT Swiss Roll Cake

  1. Start with the right recipe – We all know baking is a science, so getting the right ratio of ingredients in your recipe is important. Starting with a great recipe is the first step. Luckily, I’m sharing one with you today!
  2. Measure your ingredients using scales – Measuring ingredients by weight is the most accurate way to get consistent results. I weight mine by weight every time. I offer cup measurements, but Australian cups and US cups vary in size so they’re not reliable.
  3. Spread your batter evenly – Once you’ve made your batter, spread it evenly to make sure everything bakes at the same time. Nice even layers of cake will ensure that when you roll the cake it will be able to support the filling evenly.
  4. Two-step rolling – this cake is rolled twice. The first roll is while the cake is warm. Carefully and slowly roll the cake after it comes out of the oven and let it cool. This will help the cake remember what shape to be when you finish the cake. Once the cake is cooled, very slowly unwrap the cake, fill it and then roll it back up. I’ve got a step-by-step visual guide below.
  5. Use the right filling – Use fillings that are soft but stable. Don’t use liquid based fillings as it will soak into the cake and soften it to the point where it will crack, fillings like buttercream, ganache and Chantilly cream are the perfect consistency for a cake like this!

How to make Chocolate Swiss Roll!

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake - steps 01
  1. Combine your dry ingredients
  2. Whip up your egg whites in a separate bowl until frothy.
  3. Slowly add the sugar with the mixer on high speed.
  4. Until thick, pake and fluffy.
  5. In a separate bowl whip the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract.
  6. Fold into the meringue.
  7. Sieve the dry ingredients in.
  8. Fold gently.
Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake - steps 02
  1. Pour the cooled butter in.
  2. Fold through gently.
  3. Line your jelly roll pan with baking paper.
  4. Pour batter on top.
  5. Spread gently and evenly.
  6. Bake until spring to the touch and use a knife to gently run your knife around the tin to loosen.
  7. Dust with cocoa powder.
  8. Place baking paper on top.
Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake - steps 03
  1. Place a large cutting board on top.
  2. Flip over.
  3. Take the sheet away.
  4. Peel the baking paper away.
  5. Roll up with the baking paper.
  6. Wrap in a clean tea towel to absorb moisture and let it cool at room temperature.
  7. Carefully unroll once cooled.
  8. Spread Chantilly Cream using a spatula.
Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake - steps 04
  1. Roll back up.
  2. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, slice and serve.
Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake - front shot of a swiss roll with no chooclate sauce

Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!

  • Use the right sized pan – this recipe needs a jelly roll pan which measures 15 x 10-inches / 28 x 38cm baking tin. This will allow you to get the correct thickness of cake and a good swirl. Anything small or larger will result in an odd-looking cake that make crack.
  • Make sure you only line your baking sheet with baking paper on the bottom. No need to line the sides.
  • Use a sharp knife to gently cut away any cake that has stuck to the side of your cake before taking out of the tin.
  • Don’t overbake your cake – this can lead to a dry cake that will easily crack. The cake should spring back when touched but appear slightly shiny on the top.
  • Roll the cake as soon as it’s baked – this will help it retain its shape memory, so it doesn’t crack.
  • Let the cake cool in it’s rolled state. Don’t put it in the fridge to cool, let it cool at room temperature completely.
  • Once filled and rolled, the cake can be served immediately but it’s best served once it’s been chilled as the filling and cake become even more moist. If you have time to chill it, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest overnight. Then cover with chocolate sauce.
  • Make sure your bowl is very clean and dry before whipping the egg whites.
  • When folding the batter using a spatula, pay carefully attention to the bottom of the bowl where the dry ingredients will have sunk.
Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake - swiss roll sitting on a baking tray covered in sauce

Frequently Asked Questions about making a Chocolate Swiss Roll

What does it taste like?

Rich chocolate flavor in a soft and scrumptious cake with a melt in your mouth, creamy Chantilly cream filling.

How do I store this?

Store in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can I freeze this cake?

Only if it is unfilled. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, with the baking paper wrapped in the roll and freeze for up to three months. Allow to thaw at room temperature completely before filling.

Why is my baking paper stuck to the cake after baking?

If your baking paper is stuck, your cake may not be baled enough. Bake until the cake springs back to the touch but is slightly shiny on top.

My cake cracked, what now?

It’s not the end of the world! I practiced making this cake loads of times before I learned how to make it with no cracks. You can still salvage a cracked cake, just work gently and slowly, and you can always cover it in frosting or in sauce like I did!

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Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake - thumbnail

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

This soft and irresistible Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake is rich in chocolate flavor, filled fluffy Chantilly cream and covered in glossy chocolate glaze!

Serves 8

5 from 7 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Cool: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 856kcal

Ingredients

Chocolate Swiss Roll

  • 1/2 cup / 75 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, + extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • 2/3 cup / 140 g caster/superfine sugar, (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup / 55 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Chantilly Cream

  • 1 cup / 250 ml heavy cream, cold (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup / 50 g powdered sugar, sifted (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, see notes
  • 1 cup / 250 g mascarpone, cold

Chocolate Sauce

  • 2 cups / 400 g dark chocolate, (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup / 60 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, see notes
  • 1 cup / 250 ml heavy cream, (see notes)


Instructions

Chocolate Swiss Roll

  • Preheat a fan-forced oven to 175C/350F. Spray a 13×18-inch/33x45cm baking tray (half sheet baking tray) with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper. Set aside.
  • To a medium sized mixing bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the instant coffee powder and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • To a separate large mixing bowl, add the egg whites and beat on medium speed using an electric hand mixer until you reach soft peaks, about 1 minute. Begin slowly adding 1/3 cup (70g) of the caster sugar, about 1 tbsp at a time, while the mixer is on high speed. The mixture will thicken and become glossy. Continue beating for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  • Add the egg yolks, remaining 1/3 cup (70g) sugar and vanilla extract to a separate large bowl and whip on high speed for 5 minutes until it becomes thick and pale. Add half of the egg white mixture to the egg yolk mixture and use a spatula to gently fold through until almost completely combined. Add the remaining egg white mixture and repeat until mixture is uniform.
  • Sift the dry ingredients for a second time over the egg mixture. Gently fold through until well combined. Lastly, drizzle the melted and cooled butter over the cake batter and fold through until you can see no streams of shiny butter. This batter is very light.
  • Add the batter to the prepare baking tray and use a spatula to gently spread the mixture as evenly as you can. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and gently run a knife around the side of the tray to help loosen the cake. Dust with about 2 tbsp of cocoa powder. Place a large piece of baking paper over the cake followed by a large chopping board. Flip the cake over onto the chopping board and take the baking tray away. Peel the baking paper away from the bottom of the cake. Tightly roll the cake starting from the narrow end. You will have baking paper rolled up with the cake. This is going to help stop the cake from sticking onto itself as it cools. Allow to cool completely at room temperature.

Chantilly Cream

  • Add all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (glass or metal, not plastic) and use an electric hand mixer fitted with beaters or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to whip until you reach stiff peaks. This usually takes about 3 – 4 minutes to achieve. What you’re looking for is a smooth but stiff whipped cream, not one that looks split. If it looks split or separated, congratulations, you’re on your way to making butter, start again!

Chocolate Sauce (Microwave Method)

  • Add all the ingredients to a large, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high, for 20 seconds at a time, mixing well between each interval until smooth. Allow to cool slightly before pouring on top of some desserts. Goes nicely on top of ice-cream when it’s warm.
  • To thin out your sauce for things like drizzling on cupcake and cakes, simply microwave for 10 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval until it’s thin enough to drizzle.

Chocolate Sauce (Double Boiler Method)

  • To make the chocolate sauce over a double boiler, simply add the ingredients to a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl on top of a pot of gently simmering water making the sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Stir until melted. Take off the heat and allow to cool completely.

Let’s put it together!

  • Slowly and gently unwrap the room temperature Swiss roll. Keep the baking paper underneath as it will help us roll it back up. Add the chantilly cream and spread around evenly leaving about an inch gap on one end of the cake. Begin rolling from the end that has the gap. Do this slowly whole rolling tightly. Using the baking paper to do this make it a really easy process. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for one hour or overnight so that everything sets.
  • Once chilled, unwrap the Swiss Roll Cake and carefully transfer onto a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath. Drizzle the chocolate ganache on top, completely covering it. Allow to set, slice and serve.

Notes

Caster Sugar – is also sometimes known as superfine sugar is best for making meringues because it dissolves quicker than granulated sugar without risking overwhipping. You can use granulated sugar if you don’t have caster, but I would recommend caster for the very best results!
Cream – make sure you use cream labelled heavy cream for this recipe. Whipping cream will work but won’t be as stiff as heavy cream. Low fat cream will not work.
Powdered sugar – I don’t like my cream too sweet, but if you like yours on the sweeter side you can use up to 1/2 cup. Make sure you sift it!
Mascarpone – is an Italian cheese that is similar in flavor to sour cream, but more creamy and less sour. Opt in for a better brand one as they tend to be thicker and make sure it’s cold straight out of the fridge!
Vanilla – I have a great recipe for Vanilla extract here on the blog which is alcohol based. It can be used for most recipes. However, I would advise against using it for whipped creams (yes, even stabilized ones like this one) or meringues as it can muck around with the air whipped in the mixtures. Instead use a syrup based vanilla extract. I find vanilla bean paste is best.
Chocolate – make sure you use good quality dark chocolate. Something with at least 70% cocoa
solids in it. I use the Nestle Bakers’ Choice Dark Choc Melts. A Lindt chocolate would also work but it’s much more expensive.
Brown sugar – you can use dark or light in this recipe. Both will work. If you’re making a white
chocolate sauce with this recipe using white chocolate, swap the brown sugar out for caster sugar or leave it out.
Storage – This Chocolate Swiss roll cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
Nutrition – is based on per slice. This makes 8 slices.
A note on measurements – all ingredients in this recipe are offered in Australian cup measurements and weight measurements. Weight measurements are created by me, in my kitchen here in Melbourne Australia. The best way to get recipe success is to measure ingredients by weight, using kitchen scales.

Nutrition

Calories : 856kcal
Carbonhydrates: 53g
Protein: 11g
Fat: 67g
Saturated Fat: 40g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g
Monounsaturated Fat : 15g
Trans Fat : 0.5g
Cholesterol: 220mg
Sodium: 272mg
Potassium : 439mg
Fiber: 5g
Sugar : 36g
Vitamin A: 1770IU
Vitamin C: 0.4mg
Calcium: 160mg
Iron: 6mg
Nutrition Disclosure
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10 comments

Lyndal July 30, 2023 - 2:17 am

5 stars
Seriously great recipes from Nick I make most of them. The new French Macron is another perfect example of how fabulous your recipes are. This roll fabulous.

Reply
Nick Makrides August 6, 2023 - 2:48 am

Thanks so much Lyndal! N x

Reply
Carol September 20, 2023 - 7:44 pm

5 stars
Made this roll today exactly as instructions state and have a lovely chocolate roll to look forward to eating. It turned out wonderfully and It smells just so chocolatey that I can hardly wait to dig in but I will wait for it to set a bit. I will defintitely be making it again.

Reply
Nick Makrides September 28, 2023 - 10:29 am

Yay! so glad to hear this! N x

Reply
Michelle February 18, 2024 - 2:48 am

5 stars
I’ve made this a couple of times, it tastes great but how do I stop it from cracking when I un roll it

Reply
Nick Makrides May 30, 2024 - 8:49 am

Hi Michelle! Hmm, I’ve made this recipe a couple times and it’s never cracked on me. I would say make sure it’s cooled down properly (fully) and unroll slowly. Also, dust with cocoa powder to stop it from sticking to the baking paper before rolling up.

Reply
Megan April 13, 2024 - 6:49 pm

Your instructions say to “drizzle the melted and cooled butter over the cake batter and fold through until you can see no streams of shiny butter.” But I don’t see what melted chocolate you are referring to? There doesn’t seem to be any chocolate other than cocoa powder in the cake portion.

Reply
Nick Makrides April 17, 2024 - 5:55 am

Hi Megan, I’m a little confused by your comment. Which portion says to use melted chocolate?

Reply
Stacey May 7, 2024 - 2:26 am

5 stars
This was outstanding and so delicious. Thank you for the recipe

Reply
Nick Makrides May 30, 2024 - 12:43 am

Thanks Stacey!

Reply

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