Swiss Cake Roll

Filled with creamy whipped cream, this homemade chocolate Swiss Cake Roll is just like the one ate as a kid…but better!

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Filled with creamy whipped cream, this homemade Swiss Cake Roll is just like the one ate as a kid...but better!

The floor of our house is filled with balloon animals.  Granted, it’s been full of toys of some sort ever since Robbie was born 4 years ago.  (4 years flies by fast when you’ve got a little boy in the house!)  For a while, it was Legos.  Then it was stuffed animals that played “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”…in the middle of the night.  Now it’s balloon animals.  In fact, I have to shuffle my feet whenever I head to the restroom in the middle of the night.  Can you imagine stepping on a balloon animal at 3:08am?

You see, a couple of months ago, I picked up a ‘Make Your Own Balloon Animals’ kit at the local toy store.  Robbie was sick at the time, and I was looking for ways to entertain him / cheer him up.  Well this idea worked!  He became obsessed with the balloon animals, and we’ve had to order more balloons on Amazon several times now.

Filled with creamy whipped cream, this homemade Swiss Cake Roll is just like the one ate as a kid...but better!

You might think we’re pros at balloon animals by now.  Don’t let me fool you.  We aren’t.  We won’t be performing at birthday parties any time soon.  I have much respect for folks who can make those huge balloon animal creations.  For some of the fancier designs, you need to be able to blow the balloon up with your mouth instead of a pump.  Have you ever tried blowing up one of those long balloons?  It’s hard.  It’ll make your jaw ache for days.  And you still won’t get it blown up!  So we stick to the basic swords, flowers and dogs without tails.  But Robbie is happy with it, which means we are happy with it!

Filled with creamy whipped cream, this homemade Swiss Cake Roll is just like the one ate as a kid...but better!

Swiss Cake Roll

Switching gears from toys to classic kids’ food, let’s talk about the Swiss Cake Roll.  My Mom used to pack those Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls in my lunch all the time.  Problem was they’d get crushed by my books at some point, so by the time lunch rolled around, I had more of a Swiss Roll Parfait.  That didn’t stop me from eating it.  It just didn’t look pretty.

Filled with creamy whipped cream, this homemade Swiss Cake Roll is just like the one ate as a kid...but better!

Last Spring, I made this Fresh Strawberry Cake Roll (that’s a delicious dessert recipe, by the way!).  As I was rolling that cake up, I thought about making a chocolate version instead.  Then I realized that a chocolate cake roll filled with whipped cream is basically a Swiss Cake Roll.  All that was missing was a good chocolate ganache on the outside. 

It took me a little while to circle back to that idea, but here I am.  This Swiss Cake Roll might take a little longer than buying the store-bought packages, but I promise it will taste way better! The flavor of this Swiss Roll is out of sight good – it’s a crowd-pleaser in the best way possible.

Filled with creamy whipped cream, this homemade Swiss Cake Roll is just like the one ate as a kid...but better!

Baker’s note: If you’re intimidated by the thought of making a Swiss roll cake recipe, don’t be!  Cake rolls are surprisingly easy.  You essentially bake a very thin layer of sponge cake and immediately roll it up (using a large tea towel) as soon as it comes out of the oven.  As it cools, it will hold that rolled up shape.  From there, you can gently unroll it, fill it with whatever you like and then roll it back up.  The chocolate + vanilla whipped cream in this Swiss Cake Roll is a winner if you ask me!  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.  Cheers!

Did you make this Swiss Cake Roll at home?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  Happy baking!

Filled with creamy whipped cream, this homemade Swiss Cake Roll is just like the one ate as a kid...but better!

Swiss Cake Roll

Filled with creamy whipped cream, this homemade Swiss Cake Roll is just like the one ate as a kid…but better!
5 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 494kcal


For the Cake

For the Filling


For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Line a standard 11”x17” jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper; spray paper generously with nonstick baking spray. Set pan aside.
  • Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs and vanilla together on high speed for 4-5 minutes, or until mixture turns foamy and lemon yellow in color.
  • Add sugar to the bowl in (3) separate ¼-cup additions, mixing for 1 full minute after each addition.
  • Add oil and mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Fold flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan. (Tip: Spread batter evenly to edges using an offset spatula.) Tap pan on counter several times to remove air bubbles.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched in center. While cake is baking, lay a large, thin kitchen towel on counter. Sprinkle cocoa powder generously on top of cloth.
  • Once baked, immediately flip hot cake out onto the cocoa-dusted cloth. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting with a short end of the cake, roll up cake (and cloth). Let rolled cake cool completely (1-2 hours) before continuing.

For the Filling

  • Using a medium mixing bowl, add whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer for 3-4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
  • Carefully unroll cake and spread frosting evenly on top of cake. (Tip: Make sure to frost all the way to the edges.) Roll cake back up (this time without the towel). Wrap cake roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the Glaze

  • Remove the plastic wrap from the cake and place seam side down on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan.
  • Using a small microwaveable bowl, add chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave in 20 seconds intervals, stirring after each round, until mixture is smooth.
  • Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, or until mixture has thickened slightly but is still pourable.
  • Pour chocolate glaze evenly on top, spreading evenly over entire cake.
  • Refrigerate cake for 20 minutes to allow glaze to set before slicing.
Filled with creamy whipped cream, this homemade Swiss Cake Roll is just like the one ate as a kid...but better!

Looking for other fun cake recipes?  Check out these favorites, too:

This Fresh Strawberry Cake Roll is a fun way to celebrate fresh summer strawberries!  Grab a slice, sit back and enjoy!
These Chocolate Marshmallow Radio Bars feature a chocolate cake base topped with a scoop of marshmallow buttercream...oh yeah, and then they're covered in a chocolate glaze!

Fresh Strawberry Cake Roll
Chocolate Marshmallow Radio Bar

This Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake features 3 layers of chocolate, and it's topped with chopped Baci Perugina chocolate. This cake is perfect for any and all chocolate lovers in your life!

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

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  1. 5 stars
    Lol….I can only imagine the words that would come out of my mouth if I stepped on a balloon animal at 3 in the morning! I bet they’re so fun to put together though! Never saw those kits before!! Now this roll! I’ve never made one before, but I definitely need to try. Don’t know if my roll would be as perfect as yours, though 😉 Just what my Monday needs! Have a great week ahead!

    1. Hah! Oh, the words that would come out of your mouth at 3am after stepping on a balloon animal. I feel like that’s one of those things you can laugh at years later…but years, not days. 🙂 In other news, this cake roll is delicious and surprisingly easy to make. I highly recommend it, Dawn!!

  2. 5 stars
    Have I ever mentioned that I’m terrified of balloons? As a kid, I went to a birthday party that had a substitute clown because the original clown was injured by a balloon popping in his eye. It was very traumatic to hear about. . .but I kind of wonder if it’s true because it sounds pretty extreme. Anyway, save me a slice of cake! This looks SO GOOD!

    1. WHAT!? Keslie. Geez. The clown got injured due to a balloon popping in his eye? That’s tragic. No wonder you’re terrified of balloons. What about clowns? Either way, no balloons or clowns needed to make this Swiss Cake Roll. Phew! 🙂

  3. Balloon animals? Of course, as a kid, I attempted it a couple of times, but I didn’t succeed a lot. Also, I was always afraid the balloons would explode when twisting 🙂 But I am certainly not afraid of rolling up a swiss roll cake. I haven’t made any for a while though, but they’re always a lot of fun. This one looks and sounds delicious!

    1. Even with the instructions, balloon animals are really difficult to make. We’ve managed to sorta make the simple ones, but the ones that the clowns make? Yeah, right. I tried to blow one of those balloons up with my mouth (instead of the pump), and my jaw hurt for 3 days. I’ll stick to making Swiss Cake Rolls instead. They aren’t as difficult!

    1. Oooo…filling that chocolate cake roll with ice cream! Now that’s a good idea, Dawn. I’ll have to try that. I could see it being a little trickier, but certainly still doable. Great idea!

  4. 5 stars
    We used to pop quite a few balloons when we tried to make creatures. Your Swiss roll looks delicious. Usually I get these kind of recipes from a German speaking website or book. Now I can use your recipe and I don’t have to convert the measurements. Thanks!Pinned!

    1. Oh man, I’ve spent many hours (and many failed attempts) at converting measurements over. I do love baking by weight, but that never caught on here in the States. Either way, I can promise you that these measurements work. This Swiss Cake Roll is mighty tasty…and surprisingly easy to make, too!

  5. 5 stars
    The number of times I have managed to step on a stray piece of lego is a pain that I feel only parents with young kids can truly understand! That said, if I had a slice of this swiss roll it would be a welcome relief. I’d happily eat the whole thing!

    1. Oh, those legos. There’s nothing quite like walking along minding your own business when *boom* lego right under your barefoot. I’m glad you understand this pain, too. And you’re right, a slice of chocolate cake would certainly make that pain go away…or at least make me forget about it momentarily! Thanks, Matt!

    1. Yes! That strawberry cake roll is still one of my favorites. But I have to admit that the chocolate version did take me back to my childhood. 🙂 Thanks, Alex!

  6. 5 stars
    I remember that Little Debbie treat. Your Swiss cake roll looks way better and I know it tastes better. My MIL makes a similar rolled cake with raspberry cream filling, but it doesn’t have a chocolate glaze. I’ll be challenging her to make this one.
    There’s a street performer in Copenhagen that’s amazing at tying balloons. He blows up each ballon while tying his art. I once saw him make an elephant that was amazing.

    1. Homemade always tastes better! The challenge is simply that some recipes are just too hard to make at home. But this Swiss Cake Roll? Not hard at all! So adding in a fruit to the cream filling is a great idea. I’ll have to try that! And, yes, I do recommend the chocolate glaze. After all, more chocolate, more better, right? 🙂

      Also, I have a newfound respect to anyone who can blow up those long balloons without a pump. I tried, and my jaw hurt for 3 days.

  7. 5 stars
    Awwww your post brings back so many memories! (And I am DYING looking at your gorgeous pics of this delicious homemade Swiss Cake Roll!) I totally remember the crushed Swiss Cake Roll at the bottom of my backpack as well haha. And I sooo relate to the years just flying by with our little ones. Happy Birthday Robbie! He is so lucky to be guaranteed an amazing birthday cake with such a fabulous baker and chef for a dad! I am so excited to try this recipe!

    1. Haha! Glad to hear that I wasn’t the only one who ate crushed Swiss Cake Rolls in high school. 🙂 Thank you so much for the kind words, Shannon. You are too kind! Hope you enjoy this recipe. Roll-up cakes are so much fun to make!

  8. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh, David! We had a balloon animal stage here in our house when our son was 3 or 4 too! Crazy! I agree, it’s a good think Amazon sells the party pack of balloons! It didn’t last long, maybe 3 party packs’ worth. But yes, it is tough to blow up those balloons! Anyway, I love Swiss Cake Rolls! One of my favorite little Debbie’s as a kid! But this one looks and sounds so much tastier! Nice job, David! (Hope the balloon stage slows down soon!)

    1. No way! I thought we were the only ones who stumbled into blow-up balloon animals. Hah! Our craze is dying down somewhat (thankfully). We’ve replaced it with marble maze contraptions. At least those don’t make my jaw ache for 2 days! 🙂

      So Swiss Cake Rolls. Talk about a childhood favorite. I haven’t had one of the packaged ones in years, but the homemade version was pretty freakin’ tasty. Thanks, Laura!

  9. I used to eat those little Swiss Rolls as a kid, too. And I haven’t had one since, probably. A homemade version would be wonderful. Yours looks fantastic. Your glaze is gorgeous. And you got such a great spiral on that roll!

  10. 5 stars
    This is the kind of cake that makes everyone happy! I used to have the store bought version of this as a kid, but this is SO much better! Wonderful celebration cake!

    1. Homemade cakes always make folks happy! This is certainly a fun one…and it brings back childhood memories at the same time. Thanks, Marissa!

    1. Oh, don’t even bother trying to make balloon animals. They aren’t as much fun as you might think. Haha! In other news, do try making this dessert. I can promise its more fun than balloon animals!

  11. 5 stars
    I love Swiss roll! It was also a favourite when I was a kid. My mum bought it a lot when she was too busy to make a pudding for my brother and I, and served it with ice cream. It was delicious. Well now I’ve got your recipe to get back all those fond memories. Cheers David!

    1. Sometimes going back to our favorite foods from childhood is all it takes! However, in this occasion, I think the homemade version of our favorite childhood foods is the way to go. A cake roll really isn’t hard to make, and I absolutely love the glaze on this dessert, too. Thanks, Neil!

  12. I just made the cake part and didn’t go any further. The cake is so salty and had not even a hint of chocolate. I am positive I only used 1/4 tsp of salt as the recipe states. If that’s wrong, please let me know because the recipe seems very simple. I hope others have better luck with this recipe. Had to trash the cake and now I’m scanning Pinterest for a different recipe. Very disappointed. ☹️

    1. Hey Dena – I’m not sure what happened there. I can assure you this cake isn’t salty – we make this one at least 2x a year. 1/4 tsp of salt would not yield a salty cake. Did you use coarse (i.e. kosher) salt by chance? Either way, I hope you find another recipe that works well for you!

  13. 5 stars
    I think this is the first real review because no normal person reads the blurbs at the stArt.

    Turned out very well, impressed with the results. A lot of other recipes have additional convoluted steps, this keeps it simple. I used a glass bowl in a pan instead of the microwave for the ganache

  14. Hello, where do you put the sugar —is it beaten with the eggs or placed in the dry ingredients? I don’t see this step listed. Looking forward to trying this!!!

    1. Hey Joy! Well that sure is a typo…I have no idea how that happened. The instructions were there, but “hidden”…which makes no sense to me. Either way, I just fixed it! I do hope you like this recipe. It’s a fun one, and it’s really quite delicious. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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