May Baking Challenge

May Baking Challenge

I hope your weekend has been all sorts of magical! And hopefully you baked up something magical too.

I worked Friday and Saturday to get ahead on blog content and today I have a baby shower for my dear friend Katie. I’ve never been more excited for a shower! Looking forward to chatting with other moms and getting some baby registry inspiration and advice. Because let’s face it: all the baby gear is overwhelming as a new parent!

But right now, let’s get down to delicious business. Tomorrow is May 1st and you know what that means! May Baking Challenge. 🙂

Let’s review what I’m talking about.

What is the Baking Challenge?

  • On the 1st of every month, I post a new recipe complete with a quick how-to video, plenty of tips, tricks, and photos.
  • I want you to bake the recipe yourself during that month! Come back and tell me how it went.
  • If you’d like, share your photos throughout the month using #sallysbakingchallenge on Instagram or email me, tweet me, or upload a photo of your recipe to my Facebook page. I want you all involved!
  • If you don’t like a particular flavor in that month’s recipe, there will be an alternate Monthly Baking Challenge recipe.

Let’s Recap April

Recipe: Two-Toned Frosting Roses

April’s baking challenge was how to pipe two-toned frosting roses. And MAN was I blown away by the response this month! I’ve never seen more beautiful cake and cupcake decorating artwork in my life. You all have some major talent! Browsing through the hashtag on Instagram, I’m in awe staring at your rose decorated confections. Many of you used Easter as the opportunity to master two-toned roses while others simply shared their work throughout the month– or even two-toned roses they’ve piped in the past. I hope April’s baking challenge inspired you with a new skill or, if frosting decoration was already your thing, enjoyed the process. Check out all the photos using #sallysbakingchallenge hashtag on Instagram! Plus, here are even more:

april baking challenge photos

Inspiring, isn’t it?

May Baking Challenge

I actually went back and forth several times on what May’s baking challenge will be. At first I leaned toward cookies but realized they’d be a little too easy. (I’ll post the cookies later this month!) Instead, we’re going to make deliciously moist and airy sponge cake… cake roll style. This is such a beautiful cake and I adore the sponge cake texture. I’m going to walk you through the process with plenty of step-by-step pictures so you feel comfortable making a cake roll in your own kitchen. The new recipe will be published on my blog tomorrow, May 1st. Since I kept changing my mind about May’s recipe, we don’t have a video ready for tomorrow. However, I’ll share a video on social media later this month and add it to the post. 🙂

If you want to be prepared, here are the items you need.

  1. 10×15 inch jelly roll pan (the ONLY size that will work for the recipe)
  2. some sort of sifter for confectioners’ sugar
  3. thin kitchen towel for rolling up
  4. electric mixer

strawberries cream cake roll-3

 Come back tomorrow for the recipe, tutorial, and the alternate May recipe if you’d rather skip a cake roll. See you soon!


  1. I’ve mastered a lot of baking techniques, but never made a cake roll. I’ve always been kinda scared to. I’m going to try this! Thank you!

  2. Sally, that cake looks gorgeous. I’m super excited to try this month’s challenge, having never made a cake roll in my life. Maybe I can use blue frosting with white sponge cake for Israel Independence Day this Tuesday.

  3. Gosh, Sally, your blog is seriously the one everybody should aspire to have! You are so creative and fun, your photography is great, and your recipes are amazing! The baking challenge is such a wonderful idea…that’s so impressive to see everyone’s beautiful frosting, and I can imagine how most of them probably thought *they* could never do that. But you encourage people to try and believe in themselves, and it’s so sweet! It’s that kind of heart for other people, in small and big areas of life, that makes a fantastic mom <3 (not that I've been one, but I have one :D)

  4. YUM! Cake tastes so much better in rolled form,  you know?! (Or is that just because theres more luscious frosting?) Anyways, looks fantastic! 

  5. I almost squealed when I saw that first photo, I’ve been wanting to try making a cake roll for a while so I think this will be the first challenge I participate in! So excited!

  6. Ok. When I was 8 I got my first cookbook and it had a recipe for a cake that looked a lot like that. And since I’ve been 8, I’ve wanted to try a cake like this, but have been afraid. I’m super  excited to read the recipe and then actually try it. I feel like my courage has been bolstered with the roses, the whole making mousse thing… after 3 decades I think I am ready to tackle this sort of cake! Thank you so much for including it! 

    1. YOU CAN DO IT! Here is the new May Baking Challenge recipe in case you haven’t seen it yet 🙂

  7. Making us wait til tomorrow, so cruel. Not being able to make up your mind can be a typical pregnancy symptom. Just wait until you’re thinking of name. Keep us updated on what you crave. My first I craved butter!

  8. Hi Sally! Such a beautiful gallery of photos for the April challenge!! So many pretty cakes & cupcakes (and thanks for including mine!).   I really love the look of the two toned icing.  Will definitely be doing that again.  
    This cake for the May challenge is sooo pretty!!  I’m not gonna lie, I’ve never made a cake roll before & I’m a little nervous about this one.  Can’t wait to try it!! 
    I just (this morning) made a 2 layer chocolate cake with vanilla icing for my nephews birthday today.  I love a piece of good chocolate cake over a brownie any day & your triple chocolate layer cake recipe does not disappoint! 
    Looking forward to this recipe tomorrow.  Happy week!!

    1. Chocolate and vanilla icing– you can’t go wrong with that combination!
      I really hope you try the cake roll recipe this month. So many step photos for you. You can handle it, I promise!

  9. As soon as I saw the photo, I was SO excited and my brain instantly went back to my days of middle school, Home Economics, where I first learned to make a Roll Cake.!  I’m pretty sure that’s the recipe that got me hooked on baking, like a spark went off in my head and realized…..I LOVE TO BAKE !!!  and from then on…..I totally aced all my Home Ec classes right to the end of High School.  All because of a Rolled Sponge Cake….It was Magical…….also, I think…..had a strawberry ?? type filling inside and finished with conf. sugar dusted over the top.
    And in my Mom’s kitchen, I would practice that cake over and over.  My Dad loved being the “guinea pig” for me and always ate whatever I baked.  And it was in my Mom’s kitchen I realized that when I served baked goods, it made people happy.  😉
    As I read your list of “essential supplies” and saw #3 Towel…….I totally remember like it was yesterday, that the towel was the key to success for that cake.  It’s the towel that makes the magic happen.
    Can’t wait for tomorrow Sally !!
    Hope you got all the low down on baby goods.  What a perfect place to be with all the gal pals.  

  10. i’ve made loads of sponge cakes, but never a roll cake, so i’m excited to try this. i did bake this weekend though. i made 4 different batches of scones: lemon-blueberry, cinnamon-apple, citrus (lemon & orange zest), and orange-cranberry. the entire house smelled fantastic yesterday 😀

  11. I have made pumpkin roll cakes for several years, but haven’t made any recently. They require a bit of work, but They look impressive and not that difficult once you get the hang of it.
    I have never tried making a strawberry sponge cake roll !

    this looks yummy. I’m sure I’m out of practice so maybe I will try this !

  12. Followed your blog for some time now, however I have to say this months “challenge” seems to have been decided upon in a rush. It’s just a Swiss roll, this couldn’t be an easier sponge cake to make. Very disappointing this month. Hope next month will be more of a challenge.

    1. “Challenge” is relative to the baker’s skill set and many of my readers and participants have never tried a cake roll before.

  13. I thought of you today Sally when I ate your Choc chip pumpkin bread with fresh pumpkin from my freezer. It is still moist and delicious! 
    I hope my food blog is half as good as yours someday. Your passion and dedication to your readers is evident. Thanks for inspiring women.
    Congrats on your pregnancy. I wish you all the. Happiness. Our baby turned 5 today!

    1. Thank you so much Joanne! Stay passionate, determined, don’t let others bring you down, and work hard for your goals!

  14. I’ve been wanting to get back into baking on a regular basis and this challenge may just be my inspiration!

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With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally