Strawberries ‘n’ Cream Cake Roll

LOVING this light and fluffy strawberries 'n' cream cake roll! Sponge jelly roll cake with delicious strawberry cream filling. Recipe and tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Welcome back to the Monthly Baking Challenge!

Last month we had a lot of fun with cupcake and cake decorating– I hope you feel more confident with your piping skills now! With Mother’s Day this month and spring in the air (dear allergies, thank you for the reminder spring is here) I figured we all need something fresh, light, airy, and PINK. Let me introduce you to this wonderful vanilla sponge cake filled with homemade strawberry cream cheese frosting. May’s Baking Challenge recipe = the strawberries ‘n’ cream cake roll!

LOVING this light and fluffy strawberries 'n' cream cake roll! Sponge jelly roll cake with delicious strawberry cream filling. Recipe and tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I chose a cake roll for this month’s baking challenge because it’s something we’ve only gently explored before. And I want you to feel challenged, yet confident. We’ve actually never touched on sponge cake in the past 5 and 1/2 years, so it’s a wonderful match for a challenge. Today I’m going to walk you through step-by-step photos and careful explanations so you feel ready to tackle this unique beauty. Intimidated by cake rolls or does sponge cake freak you out? This is your time to be fearless, empowered, and assured. I got you covered today!

What is Sponge Cake?

It’s similar to angel food cake in that it relies mostly on egg whites for volume. The texture is relative as well– light, airy, and moist. Unlike angel food cake, however, sponge cake includes egg yolks for a little richness and flavor. They’re still worlds¬†lighter than, say, a yellow cake and pound cake because they contain no oil or butter. That’s right– there is no oil or butter in this cake recipe.

Typical sponge cakes don’t use any chemical leavener, but I prefer a little baking powder for extra lift. Additionally, a little buttermilk for moisture and cake flour to keep things extra soft. I’d steer clear of all-purpose flour which will only weigh it down.

How to make strawberry cake roll on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make strawberry cake roll on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Accuracy is Imperative

The eggs are the most important part of the recipe. Make sure you’re using large eggs (not medium, not extra large) and that the eggs are room temperature. Compared to cold eggs, warmer eggs hold more air and create more volume when whipped. And, like the perm you rocked in the 90s, volume is EVERYTHING. ūüôā

You’ll separate the egg whites and yolks. You’ll use both, but at different stages in the mixing process. See that picture above? That’s after whipping 4 egg whites with a little sugar. Stiff peaks are key. At that point, remove the egg whites from the bowl and set aside. No need to wipe the bowl clean or anything. Then it’s the yolks’ turn. Whip those with a little sugar too, a well as vanilla and buttermilk. I use both vanilla extract and vanilla bean, but you can use just all extract– or even vanilla bean paste. See the recipe note below.

Fold the egg whites back in, then add a sifted mix of cake flour + baking powder + salt. If you don’t have a sifter, now’s the time to pick one up. Sifting flour makes all the difference. If a recipe calls for sifted flour and you skip that step altogether, your baked good will inevitably be heavier and more dense than intended. It’s a must-have tool in any baker’s kitchen!

See the photo on the left below? That’s the batter. It’s creamy and light like whipped cream and that’s because we handled it with care. Do not overmix this batter!

See the photo on the right below? We’re spreading the batter into a lined 10×15 inch jelly roll pan— the ONLY size that works for this recipe. I can usually help with pan substitutions, but not today. You need a 10×15 inch pan. Good news: the really good ones are relatively inexpensive.

How to make strawberry cake roll on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cake roll only takes about 15 minutes in the oven.

How to make strawberry cake roll on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Immediately after baking, invert onto a thin kitchen towel sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. The sugar¬†is used to help prevent the towel from sticking. Peel off the parchment, then roll up in the towel.

How to make strawberry cake roll on sallysbakingaddiction.com

What the heck is the point of the towel? To prevent the cake from sticking to itself. And to make rolling the warm cake 100x easier!

But why are we rolling the cake when it’s warm?¬†Rolling the cake up when it’s warm– before adding the strawberry cream filling– is so that it cools in the rolled up shape. That means no cracks, rips, or tears when you go to roll it up again with the filling inside. Does that make sense?

How to make strawberry cake roll on sallysbakingaddiction.com

LOVING this light and fluffy strawberries 'n' cream cake roll! Sponge jelly roll cake with delicious strawberry cream filling. Recipe and tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cream filling is a strawberry cream cheese frosting. It’s sweet and tangy with strong strawberry flavor (natural flavor!) and glides on oh-so-easily. Just like my strawberry buttercream, we’ll use freeze-dried strawberries for the cream filling. Grind them up and add with the confectioners’ sugar. Freeze-dried strawberry powder offers the MOST strawberry flavor without altering the filling’s texture. It’s nearly impossible to replicate this with fresh strawberries. I chose a cream cheese based strawberry filling because it’s a little lighter than the buttercream¬†and¬†pairs perfectly with the sponge cake’s texture.

Also: it’s a wonderfully thick layer of filling. If you’re a cream filling person (aren’t we all?), this recipe is for you!

LOVING this light and fluffy strawberries 'n' cream cake roll! Sponge jelly roll cake with delicious strawberry cream filling. Recipe and tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

LOVING this light and fluffy strawberries 'n' cream cake roll! Sponge jelly roll cake with delicious strawberry cream filling. Recipe and tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If you’re not into today’s recipe, here is the alternate May Baking Challenge:

After you made the baking challenge recipe or alternative, share your photos throughout this month using #sallysbakingchallenge on Instagram or email me, tweet me, or upload a photo of your recipe to my Facebook page.

I‚Äôm excited to¬†see your cake roll masterpieces this month. Remember, have fun and don’t stress. Use my text and step-by-step photos for guidance.¬†And here’s the video tutorial for the recipe. ūüôā

Print

Strawberries ‘n’ Cream Cake Roll

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 slices
  • Category: Cake Roll
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

You will love this light and fluffy strawberries ‘n’ cream cake roll! It’s a sponge jelly roll cake with a delicious homemade strawberry cream filling.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (110g) cake flour* (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature and divided
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) buttermilk*
  • 1 and 1/2¬†teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean*
  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup (10-12g) freeze-dried strawberries*
  • one 8-ounce block full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to¬†room temperature
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (300g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Read the instructions through before beginning. Make sure you are prepared for step 7 immediately when that cake comes out!
  2. Preheat oven to 350¬įF (177¬įC). Spray¬†a¬†10×15 inch baking pan¬†with nonstick spray or grease with butter, so the parchment paper sticks. Then line it with parchment paper so the cake seamlessly releases in step 5. Spray or grease the parchment paper too. We want an extremely nonstick surface for this cake roll.
  3. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar together on high speed for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl. Using the same mixing bowl you just had the egg whites in (no need to clean it), add the egg yolks, remaining sugar, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean. Beat together on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until light in color.
  5. Add half of the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Beat on low speed for 10 seconds. Repeat with remaining egg whites and beat on low for 10 seconds. Finally, add the flour mixture and beat on low until the batter is completely combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Give the pan a shake to make sure the batter is level and reaches the corners. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cake springs back when you poke it with a finger.
  7. As the cake bakes, lay a thin kitchen¬†towel flat¬†on the counter. Sprinkle with 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar. Once the cake comes out of the oven, immediately invert it onto the towel. Peel off the parchment paper then, starting with the narrow end, begin rolling the cake up with the towel. Do this slowly and gently. The cake will be warm as it just came out of the oven.
  8. Allow the cake to cool completely rolled up in the towel. I stick mine in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to speed it up.
  9. Remove the cake roll from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter for a few minutes to warm up as you prepare the frosting.
  10. Using a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powdery¬†crumb. You should have around 1/2 cup. Set aside.¬†In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese¬†for 1 minute on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Beat in the butter until combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar, strawberry powder, and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy. Taste, then add a pinch of salt if needed.
  11. Gently and slowly unroll the cake. Flatten it out and spread frosting evenly on top, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the cake. Gently and slowly roll the cake back up, without the towel this time. Make sure you’re rolling it tightly. Some frosting may spill out the sides, that’s ok!¬†Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes before slicing and serving. Dust with more confectioners’ sugar and garnish with some sliced strawberries, if desired.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can prepare the cake through step 7 and chill the rolled up cake/towel in the refrigerator for up to 1 day before continuing with step 8. Prepared cake roll, with frosting, freezes well for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before slicing and serving.
  2. Special Tools: Cake Flour | Vanilla Bean Paste | KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5qt Tilt-Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Flour Sifter | Linen Towels | Jelly Roll Pan
  3. Cake Flour: I strongly suggest using cake flour in this recipe. It’s sold right next to the all-purpose flour in the baking aisle. And you use it a lot in my recipes! In a pinch, you can use a DIY version. To do so, measure 1 cup (120g) sifted all-purpose flour. Take away 2 Tablespoons. Add 2 Tablespoons cornstarch. Sift together. Measure 1 cup (you’ll have a little leftover). Use that 1 cup in this recipe.
  4. Buttermilk: I strongly suggest buttermilk. You can use a DIY soured milk if you do not have buttermilk on hand. Simply combine 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar with enough milk to yield 2 Tablespoons. Mix together, then use in the recipe.
  5. Vanilla Beans: If you can’t get your hands on vanilla beans and have a jar of vanilla bean paste, use 1/4 teaspoon in its place. If you have neither, just skip it. 2 teaspoons of *pure* vanilla extract is just fine.
  6. Freeze-Dried Strawberries: I can usually find freeze-dried strawberries at Target, Trader Joes, Walmart, and my regular grocery stores (Giant and Wegmans). If you’re still having trouble finding them, try this delicious strawberry whipped cream as the filling. I suggest¬†making a little more, so using 2 cups heavy cream + 1/4 cup granulated sugar + 2 tsp vanilla + 3/4 cup of the strawberry filling.
EASY light and fluffy strawberries 'n' cream cake roll! Sponge jelly roll cake with delicious strawberry cream filling. Recipe and tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

127 Comments

  1. Hi Sally – any chance you’ve made this recipe with chocolate yet? This recipe worked great for me before, but now I need a chocolate roll for a Yule log and am hesitant to use a different “roll” recipe. Thanks!

  2. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and the family Sally xx
    I‚Äôm a newby in rolls and wanted to ask if I can use either a 10×14 inch or a 10.5×15.5 inch trays instead? Which is better and would this change the baking time?
    Thanks
    Sue

  3. Thanks for a recipe that’s in English and has the grams converted to cups!
    I’ll definitely use this recipe but I would like to use a double filling of 1. A cream cheese filling then 2. a lemon curd filling on top .
    I realize I’ll need to use them both sparingly so I can get a fairly tight role.
    I would like to cover this with a lemon ganache.
    Have you ever done a role and covered it in a ganache?
    This will be for Easter and I then plan to decorate the roll with a few spring flowers and a small border at base of cake.
    What are your thoughts on this roll?
    Thank you, irene (can you email me your response?)

    1. Hi Irene! I’m happy to help. I haven’t covered a roll in ganache yet, but it’s definitely possible. Make sure the ganache cools and slightly thickens before using. Definitely use the fillings sparingly so they don’t spill out. (PS: My comment replies are automatically emailed!)

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