Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake Recipe

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This Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake is a show-stopping, ridiculously sweet, and rich dessert that will blow your socks off! Chocolate sponge cake is rolled up in frosting and then covered with a chocolate glaze! What’s not to love? Try my Pumpkin Roll Cake and Pistachio Lemon Roll Cake next!

chocolate swiss roll on a tablescape

It’s Easier Than You Think!

If you’ve never made a swiss roll before, I assure you it’s not as hard as you think. I created my Swiss roll recipe based on the Little Debbie Swiss Rolls, but used real ingredients and made the chocolate ganache extra rich with dark chocolate.

Is a Swiss Roll the Same as Sponge Cake?

Essentially, yes. This chocolate cake roll goes my various names, including “Swiss Roll”, “Jelly Roll”, “Swiss Log Cake” or “Roll Cake”. It is a chocolate sponge cake rolled up with filling in between the layers.

How to Make a Swiss Roll

For full recipe details, including ingredients and measurements needed, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is step by step what to expect when making this Swiss Roll cake:

chocolate swiss roll ingredients

Preheat + Prep

Preheat the oven. Line a jelly roll pan (15 in x 10 in x 1 in) with aluminum foil; generously spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle a linen or thin cotton clean kitchen towel with some powdered sugar.

woman's hand dusting powdered sugar onto a tea towel

Make the Batter

Beat egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form; gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.

In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla on medium speed of an electric mixer. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup of sugar; continue beating for a couple of more minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to egg yolk mixture alternately with water, beating on low speed just until batter is smooth. Gradually fold chocolate mixture into beaten egg whites until well blended.

Bake + Roll

Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake 12-15 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.

Immediately loosen cake from edges of pan; invert onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off foil.

While cake is still warm, roll cake and towel together starting from narrow end; place on a wire rack to let cake cool completely.

Make the Filling

For the filling, we’re basically going to make buttercream laced with plenty of marshmallow creme. So good!

Stir butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together to start incorporating. Add in the marshmallow fluff and whip it really well. Scrape sides and stir again briefly. If you think it’s too thick, add in some milk.

Unroll, Fill + Roll Again

Unroll cooled cake, spread the filling evenly across the entire thing, then roll up again gently. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling firms up. While cooling prepare the chocolate glaze.

Make the Chocolate Glaze

Melt butter, chocolate chips, cocoa, and milk (or heavy cream) together in a small pot. Once everything has melted together, remove from heat then stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.

Pour Over Swiss Roll

Once the swiss roll is cooled remove plastic wrap and place swiss roll onto a cooling rack with foil underneath to catch any drips.

Pour warm glaze over the Swiss roll, using the back of the spoon to spread gently, covering every exposed part of the cake. Refrigerate until the glaze has firmed up. Slice into pieces and serve!

Storage + Make Ahead Directions

To store Swiss roll cake, you should first let it cool completely. Wrap the Swiss roll tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. You can also store it in an airtight container. If you plan to eat the cake within a day or two, you can store it at room temperature. Otherwise, it’s best to store it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. If you store it in the fridge, make sure to take it out and let it come to room temperature before serving, as it will be easier to slice and the texture will be better.

If you need to store it for longer, good news! You can freeze Swiss roll cake! Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then wrap it again in aluminum foil, and place it in a freezer-safe container. Swiss rolls can be frozen for up to 1-2 months. When you’re ready to serve the Swiss roll, simply remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

chocolate swiss roll on a plate with raspberries

FAQ About Swiss Roll Cake

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes! If stored correctly, you can make this Swiss Roll Cake recipe 3-4 days before you want to serve it! See the section above on how to wrap and store Swiss Roll Cake.

Why did my Swiss Cake Roll crack?

Over baking will cause the cake to be dry and probably crack. But also, under baking your cake can cause it to crack from being too wet, heavy and unable to hold its shape. Follow the recipe directions precisely, for best results.

Can I use a cookie sheet pan if I don’t have a jelly roll pan?

A roll cake is synonymous with a jelly roll cake so you will want to use a Jelly Roll Pan which is 15 in x 10 in x 1 in. While it may be tempting to use a larger half sheet pan, if you want a perfect pumpkin roll, I wouldn’t recommend it. There won’t be enough batter to spread across the pan and it won’t bake evenly and/or will possibly burn.

Why does my Swiss Roll cake taste rubbery?

Over mixing. The gluten in flour, when over mixed can create elastic gluten strands in your cake batter. This leads to a rubbery, dense texture. You want your cake batter to be light and airy.

chocolate swiss roll slices on a plate with raspberries and a fork

More Chocolate Cake Recipes!

If you want a show-stopping, ridiculously sweet, and rich dessert, this is your ticket!! It’s a few steps, but really not too difficult at all!! And ohmahgarsh so totally worth it. The printable recipe card below. Enjoy, friends! 🙂

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

chocolate swiss roll slices on a plate with raspberries and a fork