Strawberries ‘n’ Cream Cake Roll

strawberries and cream cake roll

A few weeks ago 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 approaching 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… the strawberries ‘n’ cream cake roll!

strawberries and cream cake roll

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. In a pinch, you can use this homemade cake flour substitute.

ingredients for strawberries and cream cake roll

whipped egg whites in a glass stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment

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. 🙂

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.

2 images of sponge cake batter in a glass bowl and spreading sponge cake batter into a jelly roll pan

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

peeling parchment off of sponge cake

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.

hands rolling up sponge cake in a kitchen towel

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?

2 images of strawberry cream cheese frosting in a glass bowl and spreading strawberry cream cheese frosting onto sponge cake

hands rolling up sponge cake with strawberry cream cheese filling

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!

slices of strawberries and cream cake roll on silver plates with a fork

slice of strawberries and cream cake roll on a silver plate with a fork

Remember, have fun and don’t stress. Use my text and step-by-step photos for guidance.

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strawberries and cream cake roll

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


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.


  • 1 cup (118g) 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 (about 25g) 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


  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°F (177°C). 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.


  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 this homemade cake flour substitute.
  4. Buttermilk: I strongly recommend buttermilk for flavor, but you can use whole milk in a pinch. For best taste and texture, I don’t recommend lower fat or nondairy milk.
  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.

Keywords: strawberries n cream cake roll, strawberries and cream cake roll


  1. Andrea @Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    This strawberries n cream roll looks soo good. Thank you so much for all these step by step directions and making it sound simple enough for us to try. Can’t wait to do this!

  2. heather (delicious not gorgeous) says:

    that strawberry cream cheese frosting the last time i made a cake roll was in high school french when we made buche de noels for extra credit, so it sounds like a fun challenge to try again!

  3. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    So pretty, Sally! I love that strawberry cream cheese frosting!

  4. Jenny from says:

    Count me in. However, since freeze-dried strawberries are extremely expensive here in Germany, I will have to substitute with another filling. Really love sponge rolls, thanks!

    1. How about a thick slather of a good quality seedless Strawberry Jam?  
      Then you’ll have a Jelly Roll Cake 😉

    2. I feel like whipped cream with finely chopped strawberries in it would be wonderful– like this whipped cream!

  5. Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It says:

    Strawberries are my favorite fruit, and my birthday is this Friday!!! I think you knew that I’d love this recipe for the May baking challenge. 😉

  6. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Such a perfect recipe for spring/summer!  I’m usually a chocolate person, but will always eat anything with frosting 😉

  7. Hi!
    I’m struggling to find freeze dried strawberrys.
    any substitutions?

    1. I can find them as part of the Simply Balanced (blue ziptop bag) at Target, if you have a Target nearby.

    2. Shari Barnes says:

      try amazon

    3. Hey Emily! See my recipe note I just added 🙂

  8. Kimberli Bean says:

    This looks so fun, I can’t wait to try it, I’m definitely intrigued with using freeze dried strawberries for the first time!! My boys & I do your baking challenges together, so they’ll be excited about this one because we’ve never done a call roll before!! Thanks for these challenges, we love them!!

    1. I’m excited that YOU’RE excited!

  9. Freeze dried strawberries are not available here in Canada at least not anywhere I can find, I would still love to try this, would some strawberry jam work since I know fresh berries may be too runny in the filling.  Or I Amy just try fresh and see if I can add something  to make the filling firmer?  Not sure what to do.  Been loving these challenges and this does look so good 

    1. Have you checked Bulk Barn??  (if you have one where you live.)  I sooo want to try this recipe and hope I can find them there ☺️

      1. Thanks will call them, I’m in the Vancouver area and there seems to be one in one of the suburbs, never heard of it before but will call first to see if they have them

    2. Hey Tracie! Strawberry jam would absolutely work– or try the strawberry whipped cream I added to the recipe notes. 🙂

  10. How can I make this chocolate sponge cake with a different filling? Hubby doesn’t care for strawberries.   

    1. Hi Liz! I’m not sure how to turn this into a chocolate sponge cake without testing the recipe myself– but whipped cream would be wonderful or you can use another freeze-dried berry instead (like freeze-dried blueberries!)

      1. Thank you Sally! I’ll talk to hubby and see what he thinks about me making this vanilla style cake with some kind of chocolate filling instead. Maybe a cookies and cream filling with a drizzle of “cream” on top with crushed oreos? 😉

      2. Oh my goodness yes, what about whipped cream with crushed Oreos stirred in it? YUM!

  11. Where do you find freeze dried strawberries?

    1. Try Target and Walmart.
      Brands: Dole and/or Crunchie
      Also try ordering them online from Walmart and pick them up at your local store – no shipping charge.  They are around $3.75 a bag, enough to make this.

  12. Sharon K (The Farm Chick Bakes) says:

    This looks so fluffy and decadent! Cannot wait to try! Sally, any recommendations on where to find the freeze-dried Strawberries? I shop at Giant and I have found them made by DOLE but you get like 5 in a bag and they aren’t cheap! Any other isle’s I should check?

    1. Hey Sharon! What about Target? They have them with the other dried fruit. 1 small bag is enough!

  13. Sammi Harasymchuk says:

    Yayyy! I’m really looking forward to trying out a cake roll! I was actually thinking of making this for my mother in law’s birthday/mother’s day cake. Just wondering if I could substitute coconut as the flavor instead of strawberry because it’s her favorite?!?! Thanks for the step by steps! Makes it look less scary!

    1. Hi Sammi! Absolutely– what about adding some coconut extract and actual sweetened shredded coconut to the filling? Sounds so good.

      1. Sammi Harasymchuk says:

        That’s exactly what I was thinking!! I was even contemplating piping some roses on the outside as well! I’m excited to try it out!

  14. Such a Spring-filled recipe, it’d be perfect for Mother’s Day 😉 Light & airy or fruity desserts tend to be among my favourites (not chocolate, I know, is blasphemy) and angel food cake with lemon whipped cream and berry glaze is one of the best desserts I ever had. Can’t wait to see how this challenge goes, I’ve personally never tackled a cake roll before!

    1. Fruity desserts are my fave too, I totally get you!

  15. Hi! Would love to try this recipe. But is there any suitable substitute for freeze dried strawberries? Thanks

    1. Another freeze-dried fruit would work! Or use the strawberry whipped cream recipe I link to in the recipe note.

  16. This looks absolutely delicious! Love all the helpful tips too. 🙂

  17. Ohh I love that this is the May challenge! My mom is from Sweden and she bakes these cakes all the time! I used to always get one with a blueberry filling with sweetened whipped cream as the “frosting” for my birthday when I was younger. Can’t wait to make it =)

    1. YUM! That sounds so good.

  18. Excited to try this cake roll recipe. Never have I attempted a cake roll. Not sure if I even have a suitable pan. Thank you for all the detailed tips. 

    Enjoy your friend’s baby shower

  19. That looks delicious! Is it possible to add less the sugar in this recipe? 

    1. Unfortunately no– not without altering the final texture of the sponge cake.

  20. I love cake rolls but have never made them myself, this strawberry cream cheese filling is definitely the motivation I needed!

  21. Sara @ Last Night's Feast says:

    Wow this is gorgeous!!

  22. This looks incredibly good! That strawberry filling …yum!!!!

  23. I would love to make this but with lemon filling. Any recipes for the lemon filling? Your recipes are great!

    1. Ohh I second this, love lemony desserts

    2. How about skipping the strawberry dust and adding an extra 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and zest of 1 lemon?

  24. Stephanie says:

    I just tried making a roll cake for Easter and it went horribly wrong and actually stuck to the towel, it was a disaster.
    I have no idea what went wrong.

    1. It wasn’t my red velvet cake roll, was it? I swear by lots of confectioners’ sugar on the towel.

      1. No, it was a recipe from Taste from Home. I believe it was for a strawberry shortcake cake roll.

  25. This looks daunting but fun! My mom and I made a sponge cake together once and it was a challenging but delicious :). Some lemon zest would be really tasty in the frosting and be reminiscent of strawberry lemonade.

    1. Totally agree– it would be delicious in the sponge cake as well!

  26. Traci Walther says:

    Sally I absolutely LOVE these monthly baking challenges! I’m excited to try this one out because I’ve never made a cake roll before and have always wanted too. Your steps make it look very easy can’t wait to try this recipe out this month! Thank you for all the amazing recipes!

    1. Let me know how it goes and be sure to share a photo with me!

  27. Yehoshua Paul says:

    Sally I am going to be using the Strawberry whipped cream filling you suggested in your note.
    Will that recipe make the correct quantity of cream for the cake roll or do I need to increase it?

    1. Yep– see the note to increase.

  28. Sally, I love baking, but seem to have bad luck whenever whipping is involved. Should the whipping attachment on my food processor work, or do I need to use the stand mixer? TIA!

    1. The whipping attachment will work just fine! Do you have a hand mixer with beaters? Because those beaters work too.

  29. Unfortunately we don’t get cake flour out here…..Sally, can your typical DIY cake flour (flour +corn flour) be used here?….wondering as your footnotes here don’t talk about aDIY version like in your other recipes involving cake flour…..if yes, please share the exact proportions….wld love to try this recipe!

    Likewise cannot find freeze-dried strawberries either but will do with the strawberry jam suggestion above or simply whipped cream.

    Thanks a ton.

    1. Hi Nona– see my updated recipe note.

  30. This strawberries ‘n’ cream cake roll looks delicious! It looks so bright and light and cheery! I can almost taste it now.
    Delicious cake roll aside, I have two questions for you. I recently purchased a food scale, and I love it. However, I have noticed that the weight of a set amount is often much less in quantity than what my measuring cups measure out. It sometimes seems like a lot less than the amount a recipe calls for. I don’t know whether to trust my food scale or my measuring cups. Which should I trust?
    Secondly, I have had this particular problem twice already, but never really before now. Twice when I have baked chocolate chip cookies, my cookies have browned really quickly. I made yesterday your special chocolate chip cookies from the PDF I received after preording, but mine did not turn out (perfectly) for some strange reason. I lowered the oven temp after the first batch came out quite brown, even at the correct temperature and cooking time. Any idea as to why this happened? Any tips? Thanks!

    1. Go by your cup measurements. Do you have an oven thermometer? It sounds like your oven runs quite hot. The cookies shouldn’t brown super quickly in an oven that’s less than 350. Once you get an oven thermometer (or if you already use one), reduce to 325 to see if that helps.

      1. Thank you! No, I don’t have an oven thermometer, but I should definitely get one. Our oven is new, so I think it’s working a little too well. But that would be wise, and I’m seriously considering investing in an oven thermometer so that this hopefully doesn’t happen again. Thanks! 🙂

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