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    Decadent Chocolate Cake Roll

    This melt in your mouth chocolate cake roll is so light and creamy, you’ll be going back for seconds (and thirds!). A light and airy chocolate sponge is filled with a fluffy whipped cream filling and dark chocolate ganache, which is then rolled into a beautiful log, and coated with more dark chocolate ganache – YUM!

    chocolate cake roll

    Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Cake Roll

    This chocolate cake roll (sometimes called a chocolate Swiss roll cake) is one of the best I’ve had, and here’s why.

    Light & Airy Sponge

    Firstly, the chocolate sponge for this cake roll is super light and fluffy, and it’s due to a few different things. Firstly, I substitute some of the all purpose flour with cornstarch. If you’ve been a member of my blog for a while now, then you’ve probably already noticed that I use cornstarch in a lot of my cake recipes (like my super popular vanilla cake recipe and traditional Swiss roll cake).

    The main reason I’ve used it for this recipe is because cornstarch doesn’t contain any gluten in it, and so by substituting some of the flour with cornstarch, it’ll give you a softer cake.

    For more information on why I use cornstarch in my recipes, click here.

    Whipped Eggs

    The base cake for this cake roll is a sponge cake. Sponge cakes are very light due to the delicate foam created when whipping egg whites and yolks. This recipe calls for whipping both the egg whites and yolks separately, which helps to incorporate heaps of air into the batter, resulting in a super light sponge.

    The Use of Fats

    Most traditional sponge cake recipes do not use any additional fats in them like butter or oil (the only fat is in the egg yolks). I’ve opted to add a small amount of oil to my sponge cake (this is typical for chiffon cakes – a type of sponge), as this adds additional moisture to the cake and helps to create a softer sponge.

    Chocolate Ganache

    One of my favorite elements of this chocolate cake roll is the dark chocolate ganache. Chocolate ganache adds a wonderful pop of flavor to the cake roll, and really amplifies the chocolate flavor. What sets this cake roll apart is that it doesn’t only have chocoate ganache on the top of the cake roll, but it has it inside the cake roll too, so that you’re sure to get a little bit of ganache in every bite!

    How to Make Chocolate Cake Roll

    This cake roll may look intimidating, but I promise it’s not that difficult to make!

    Preparing The Sponge

    Preheat oven to 170 °C (340°F) with the fan on/convection mode and line an 18×13 inch (half-sheet) baking tray. Only line the tray longways, leaving two of the edges of the pan exposed (see video below for demonstration). If your oven doesn’t have a fan option, then you will need to increase the baking temperature to 185°C/365°F. 

    In a bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder (use unsweetened cocoa powder), baking powder and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined (there’s no need to sift it just yet). Set aside for now.

    chocolate cake roll

    In a small bowl combine milk, oil and instant coffee powder. Give it a mix and then set aside for now as well.

    Next separate the yolks and whites from your eggs. Ensure no egg yolks get into the egg whites. Set aside.

    chocolate cake roll

    In a large bowl add in 1 tbsp of warm water, and a ⅓ cup (66g) of white sugar (the portion of sugar assigned for the egg yolks) and mix so that the sugar is coated in the water. Next add in the 6 egg yolks and vanilla extract or essence, and using an electric mixer on a medium speed, whip until the mixture is thick and pale. You should be able to create ribbons with it that settle on the top of the mixture for a few seconds before being absorbed back in. This should roughly take 5 minutes but will vary depending on your mixer. Once done set aside for now.

    In another large bowl add in the 6 egg whites. Using a hand or stand mixer (if using a stand mixer use the whisk attachment), whip for 30 seconds until it’s frothy, and then gradually add in ⅔ cups (133g) of white sugar while continuously mixing. Once the sugar is mixed in, continue to whip until you reach soft peaks. This should take about 7 minutes, but will vary depending on your mixer. We don’t want stiff peaks so keep checking the egg whites to check they aren’t being overwhipped (see video demonstration).

    chocolate cake roll

    Add half of the whipped egg whites into your egg yolk mixture and using a rubber spatula, gently fold until it’s just combined. Fold gently as we want to try and retain as much air in the batter as possible. Next sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and fold until just combined. Once done, add in the remaining egg whites and fold until just combined.

    To finish off, add in the milk/oil/coffee mixture and fold until just combined. Your mixture should be thick and flowy once done (see video demonstration). If the batter is too thick, it just means you need to fold the batter a little more.

    chocolate cake roll

    Distribute the batter evenly into the prepared pan and using an offset spatula (or anything that has a straight edge), even out the batter as much as possible. Once done, shake the tray to even out the batter further, and then drop the tray on the counter a few times to remove any large air bubbles. I also like to tap the bottom of the tray with my hands a few times.

    chocolate cake roll

    Bake for 18 minutes, or until the top is set. You know it’s ready when you touch the top of the sponge gently with your finger, and it makes an indent which slowly springs back. Allow to cool in the tray for 15 minutes.

    chocolate cake roll

    While it’s cooling, prepare some parchment paper that we are going to be using to roll the cake roll. If your parchment paper isn’t large enough, then overlap two sheets. Lightly grease the parchment paper with unflavoured vegetable oil, by dabbing your fingers into the oil and then spreading it onto the parchment paper. We only want a very thin layer.

    After 15 minutes, run a knife along the edges of the sponge that are stuck to the baking tray to help release the sponge, and then turn the sponge out onto the parchment paper.

    chocolate cake roll

    Roll the sponge up using the parchment paper while its still slightly warm. Set aside to cool (we will unroll it again later).

    chocolate cake roll

    Dark Chocolate Ganache

    While the cake roll is cooling, prepare the ganache. In a microwave safe bowl combine chocolate and cream. Heat in the microwave (or you can use a double boiler) until the cream becomes hot and the chocolate begins to melt. Be sure not to overheat the cream. Mix until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken – I like to pop my ganache into the fridge to speed up the process.

    chocolate cake roll

    Whipped Cream

    10 minutes before assembling the cake roll, whip the cream.

    In a large bowl add in the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip on a medium speed until you reach stiff peaks. Be careful not to overwhip the cream, so keep a close eye on it once it starts to thicken up.

    chocolate cake roll

    Assembly

    Once the cake roll is cool, unroll it gently. Using a serrated knife, trim off the short edges at an angle (see video demonstration).

    Spread half of the cooled ganache evenly over the top of the cake roll. We will save the other half for later. Next spread a layer of the cream on the sponge, leaving a small gap at the end.

    chocolate cake roll

    To roll, lift up the edge of the sponge (that is opposite to the end that has the small gap) with the parchment paper, and push the top edge of the sponge into the cream to create an initial tight roll, and then using the parchment paper, continue to roll the sponge until you reach the end. You want to push gently while rolling so you have a tight roll, but don’t push too hard otherwise you may push too much of the cream out.

    Once you get to the end, use the parchment paper to help lift the cake roll and place it onto a wire rack with a tray underneath. Carefully remove the parchment paper.

    Pour the remaining ganache over the top of the cake roll, using an offset spatula or knife to help spread out the ganache. If the ganache is too thick (this usually happens if it has been setting for too long), simply heat it up a little until it becomes a more spreadable consistency.

    chocolate cake roll

    Allow the cake roll to set in the fridge for 1 hour before transferring to a serving platter. Slice a small piece off of each edge to reveal a wonderful clean chocolate cake roll. Enjoy!

    chocolate cake roll

    Commonly Asked Questions

    Why is my cake roll cracking?

    Keeping a cake roll from breaking can be challenging, but with the right recipe and some careful techniques, you can prevent or minimize cracks. Here are some tips to help you avoid cracking your cake roll:

    Use Correct Ingredient Quantities: The first step is to make sure you’re using the right quantities of the ingredients listed. Baking is a science, and when it comes to roll cakes, you need to create a soft enough sponge that will roll, but still firm enough to hold it’s shape. This key to achieving this is in the ingredients and techniques used. As always, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided for accuracy 🙂

    Don’t Overbake: Avoid overbaking the sponge cake. It should be just set and springy to the touch. Overbaking can lead to a dry and brittle cake that is more likely to crack when rolled.

    Roll While Warm: After baking, roll the cake while it’s still warm. Gently lift the parchment paper with the cake and roll it into a log shape. Rolling while warm helps the cake remember its shape and prevents cracks.

    Let It Cool: Allow the cake to cool in its rolled-up shape. This helps set the roll and makes it easier to unroll, fill, and re-roll without cracking.

    Be Gentle When Re-Rolling: When it’s time to fill and re-roll the cake, be gentle and patient. Don’t rush the process. Use the parchment paper to help lift and guide the cake while rolling. Avoid pressing too hard, as this can cause cracking.

    Chill Before Serving: Refrigerate the cake roll for atleast an hour. Chilling helps the flavors meld and firms up the filling, making it easier to slice without cracking.

    How do you store a chocolate cake roll?

    Due to the whipped cream filling, it’s best to keep this cake roll refrigerated. You can slice the leftover cake roll and place the slices into an airtight container and refrigerate, or if you prefer to keep the cake roll whole, then either place it into a large enough airtight container and refrigerate, or cover with plastic wrap as best you can and refrigerate.

    chocolate cake roll

    Decadent Chocolate Cake Roll

    This melt in your mouth chocolate cake roll is so light and creamy, you'll be going back for seconds (and thirds!). A light and airy chocolate sponge is filled with a fluffy whipped cream filling and dark chocolate ganache, which is then rolled into a beautiful log, and coated with more dark chocolate ganache - YUM!
    5 from 5 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 18 minutes
    Cooling Time: 40 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
    Servings: 10 slices

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.

    Ingredients
     

    Chocolate Sponge Cake

    • cups (80 g) all purpose flour
    • 2 tbsp (16 g) cornstarch
    • ¼ cup (25 g) cocoa powder - unsweetened, Dutch processed preferred
    • ¼ tsp baking powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 3 tbsp (45 g) milk - full fat, room temperature
    • tbsp (52 g) unflavoured vegetable oil - I use canola oil
    • ½ tsp instant coffee powder
    • 6 large eggs - whites and yolks separated, room temperature
    • 1 tbsp warm water - not boiling
    • cup (66 g) white granulated sugar - for the egg yolk mixture
    • 2 tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • cups (133 g) white granulated sugar - for egg whites
    • 1 tsp unflavoured vegetable oil - for lightly greasing the baking paper after the sponge is cooked.

    Dark Chocolate Ganache

    Whipped Cream

    • cups (400 g) cold whipping cream or heavy cream
    • 2 tbsp (17 g) powdered sugar - also known as icing or confectioners sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla essence/extract

    Instructions

    Chocolate Sponge Cake

    • Preheat oven to 170 °C (340°F) with the fan on/convection mode (see note 1 if you don't have a fan function) and line an 18x13 inch (half-sheet) baking tray. Only line the tray longways, leaving the two long edges of the pan exposed (see video for demonstration).
    • In a bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined (there's no need to sift it just yet). Set aside for now.
    • In a small bowl combine milk, oil and instant coffee powder. Give it a mix and then set aside for now as well.
    • Next separate the yolks and whites from your eggs. Ensure no egg yolks get into the egg whites. Set aside.
    • In a large bowl add in 1 tbsp of warm water, and a ⅓ cup (66g) of white sugar (the portion of sugar assigned for the egg yolks) and mix so that the sugar is coated in the water. Next add in the 6 egg yolks and vanilla, and using a hand or stand mixer on a medium speed, whip until the mixture is thick and pale. You should be able to create ribbons with it that settle on the top of the mixture for a few seconds before being absorbed back in. This should roughly take 5 minutes but will vary depending on your mixer. Once done set aside for now.
    • In another large bowl add in the 6 egg whites. Using a hand or stand mixer (with clean attachments - see note 2), whip for 30 seconds until it's frothy, and then gradually add in ⅔ cups (133g) of white sugar while continuously mixing. Once the sugar is mixed in, continue to whip until you reach soft peaks. This should take about 7 minutes, but will vary depending on your mixer. We don't want stiff peaks so keep checking the egg whites to check they aren't being overwhipped (see video demonstration).
    • Add half of the whipped egg whites into your egg yolk mixture and using a spatula, gently fold until it's just combined. Fold gently as we want to try and retain as much air in the batter as possible. Next sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and fold until just combined. Once done, add in the remaining egg whites and fold until just combined.
    • To finish off, add in the milk/oil/coffee mixture and fold until just combined. Your mixture should be thick and flowy once done (see video demonstration). If the batter is too thick, it just means you need to fold the batter a little more.
    • Distribute the batter evenly into the lined baking tray and using an offset spatula (or anything that has a straight edge), even out the batter as much as possible. Once done, shake the tray to even out the batter further, and then drop the tray on the counter a few times to remove any large air bubbles. I also like to tap the bottom of the tray with my hands a few times.
    • Bake for 18 minutes, or until the top is set. You know it's ready when you touch the top of the sponge gently with your finger, and it makes an indent which slowly springs back. Allow to cool in the tray for 15 minutes.
    • While it's cooling, prepare some parchment paper that we are going to be using to roll the cake roll. If your parchment paper isn't large enough, then overlap two sheets. Lightly grease the parchment paper with unflavoured vegetable oil, by dabbing your fingers into the oil and then spreading it onto the parchment paper. We only want a very thin layer (see note 3).
    • After 15 minutes, run a knife along the edges of the sponge that are stuck to the baking tray to help release the sponge, and then turn the sponge out onto the parchment paper.
    • Roll the sponge up using the parchment paper while its still slightly warm. Set aside to cool (we will unroll it again later).

    Dark Chocolate Ganache

    • While the cake roll is cooling, prepare the ganache. In a microwave safe bowl combine chocolate and cream. Heat in the microwave (or you can use a double boiler) until the cream becomes hot and the chocolate begins to melt. Be sure not to overheat the cream. Mix until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken - I like to pop my ganache into the fridge to speed up the process.

    Whipped Cream

    • 10 minutes before assembling the cake roll, whip the cream.
    • In a large bowl add in the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip on a medium speed until you reach stiff peaks. Be careful not to overwhip the cream, so keep a close eye on it once it starts to thicken up.

    Assembly

    • Once the cake roll is cool, unroll it gently. Using a serrated knife, trim off the short edges at an angle (see video demonstration).
    • Spread half of the cooled ganache evenly over the top of the cake roll. We will save the other half for later.
    • Next spread a layer of the cream on the sponge, leaving a small gap at the end (see note 4).
    • To roll, lift up the edge of the sponge (that is opposite to the end that has the small gap) with the parchment paper, and push the top edge of the sponge into the cream to create an initial tight roll, and then using the parchment paper, continue to roll the sponge until you reach the end. You want to push gently while rolling so you have a tight roll, but don't push too hard otherwise you may push too much of the cream out.
    • Once you get to the end, use the parchment paper to help lift the cake roll and place it onto a wire rack with a tray underneath. Carefully remove the parchment paper.
    • Pour the remaining ganache over the top of the cake roll, using an offset spatula or knife to help spread out the ganache. If the ganache is too thick (this usually happens if it has been setting for too long), simply heat it up a little until it becomes a more spreadable consistency.
    • Allow the cake roll to set in the fridge for 1 hour before transferring to a serving platter (see note 5). Slice a small piece off of each edge to reveal a wonderful clean chocolate cake roll. Enjoy!

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. In this recipe I use an oven with the fan function turned on. The fan forced function cooks food faster, so if your oven doesn't have a fan option, then you will need to increase the baking temperature to 185°C (365°F) so that the sponge cake bakes at the same rate as mine 🙂
    Note 2. There should be no fat residue on the attachments of your mixer or in the bowl you mix the egg whites in as any fat will prevent the meringue from whipping up properly. 
    Note 3. Greasing the parchment paper is so that the crust of the cake roll doesn't stick to it when we come to rolling the sponge. By using your fingers to grease the parchment paper, it helps with achieving only a very thin layer of oil, which is harder to achieve when using a pastry brush.  
    Note 4. Leaving a small gap at the end of the cake roll will ensure that the cream doesn't seep out the cake roll when you're rolling it. 
    Note 5. I like to use two offset spatulas to help me move the cake roll onto a serving platter. Two knives should do the trick too. Simply slide the spatulas or knives under the cake roll, and lift it off the rack and place onto your serving plate. See video for visual demonstration. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 660kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 136mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 1186IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: cake roll, chocolate cake roll, chocolate cake roll recipe, chocolate log roll, chocolate roll cake recipe, chocolate swiss roll, swiss roll
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

     

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    10 Comments

    • sherri

      5 stars
      beautiful cake! 4 days later and it is still moist. I followed every direction in the recipe!

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So happy to hear you enjoyed it Sherri 🙂

    • Amama Naveed

      5 stars
      Assalamoalikum ! my name is Amama naveed and i am from pakistan.i have tried so many recipes since 2019 and failed at most but i tried your recipe of red velvet cake and this chocolate swiss roll and they turned out so amazing soft and yummy i am so thankful to you for the recipe and full guidance . i am gonna try more recipes soon inshaallah .

      • Cakes by MK

        Wassalaam Amama! So happy to hear you’ve been finding success with my recipes 😀 really appreciate the feedback and hope you enjoy the other recipes just as much 😀

    • Paula

      My cake sticks to the parchment paper once I unroll it. Parchment paper is oiled. My cake also cracks. What am i doing wrong?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Paula! 🙂 Hmm there could be a few reasons as to why the cake is cracking, and could also be the same reasons causing the cake to stick to the parchment paper. The most common reason for cracking is either to do with the meringue being under or over whipped, or the sponge being over baked. I would recommend checking the consistency of your meringue against the recipe video, and also perhaps check the cake roll slightly earlier than the stated cooking time when baking. You also want to retain as much air in the batter as possible so overmixing can cause a more dense, less bendable sponge. Lastly, I would also recommend using the gram measurements if possible (if you didn’t already) as a bit too much flour can cause a drier sponge which results in cracks. Hope that helps! 🙂

    • Ielhaam

      The best Swiss roll ever!

      • Cakes by MK

        Thanks so much! So happy you enjoyed it 🙂

    • Linda

      5 stars
      Can’t wait to make this at Christmas! Well | might have a trial run before just for me!

      • Cakes by MK

        Haha thanks Linda! Hope you enjoy it 😀

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    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

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