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. 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.

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¬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.


  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. Hello, do you think the cake could be rolled using paper towels?

    1. I do not recommend it.

  2. The cake was beautiful and turned out perfectly. However, I felt the freeze dried berries made the filling a little gummy – have you ever used fresh berries instead?

    1. The fresh berries curdle the butter– but if you dice them real small, dab them with a paper towel ahead of time– that will help.

  3. Caitlin T14 says:

    I had always wanted to try a cake roll, and got inspired by your post! I was shocked at how straight-forward it was. I was worried it would crack, but I had no problems. The guys at work loved it ūüôā Trying new stuff is the most fun part of baking!!!!

    1. I’m so glad you tried the cake roll! Thanks for reporting back about it.

      1. Caitlin T14 says:

        One quick question, how did you get such a beautiful clean cut? I had some issues squishing it when I cut it. 

      2. Wipe the knife clean between each cut and cut very fast. Don’t “saw” through the cake roll- just squish down and re-shape the slices if you need to.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Strawberry cream cheese frosting, what a fantastic idea!

  5. This is such a pretty mother’s day cake! And it has fruit, so it’s okay for brunch.

  6. Is there any way I could avoid using cream cheese in the icing? What could I substitute it with?

    1. Just an idea – I was telling my mom about this recipe today and she said she’s made a similar one which called for ice cream instead of frosting! She leaves it out to soften a bit and then spreads it on and stores the cake in the freezer. Maybe strawberry ice cream?

  7. I used 12g of freeze-dried strawberries (per recipe), but I only ended up with about 1/4 cup of powder. So I ended up using the whole 36-gram bag of strawberries.

    Anyway, the cake turned out amazing! Everybody loved it! Thanks! ūüôā

    1. Hi Tricia. I too had to use more than what the recipe called for. In my case I had to use 1 1/2 cups to get my 1/2 cup but the odd, OK, great thing was… I was able to get 3- 1/2 cups out of that one bag. Maybe I got lucky and they overfilled the bag, lol. IDK but it worked out great because I was able to use the right amount needed to make Sally’s cream cheese filling once and her marshmallow filling twice.

      I know this is the roll recipe but if you haven’t made Sally’s strawberry cake with the use of reduced fresh strawberries in the batter, I HIGHLY recommend you give it a go. Sally truly hit it out the park!! Nothing but REAL strawberry flavor through and through…. Happy baking…

  8. My cake roll cracked a bit when I unrolled it, so it doesn’t look as pretty but it certainly tastes great! I absolutely love the frosting, I think I will use that as my go-to strawberry frosting from now on! I used a thinner towel, so that might have been my problem, but the frosting holds it together and it doesn’t look too bad all together, just not as pretty. I will definitely make this again! I used gluten free flour (and did the DIY cake flour part) and it worked out well (minus the cracking). My egg whites weren’t at room temperature either, which may have contributed to cracking, as I realized after they would not whip up, I added 1/2 cup sugar instead of 1/4, so now I have 4 extra yolks, which conveniently is what my custard ice cream recipe calls for ūüôā

    1. Thank you for reporting back with your changes to the recipe, Virginia!

  9. Thank you for such clear instructions! I made it tonight and was so impressed by how good it looked, and by how amazing the strawberry filling is…whoa. I was curious though – what is the texture ofthe sponge supposed to be like? I thought it was really chewy, and cant tell if I messed something ¬†up (maybe over mixed? Or was i supposed to spoon measure the flour?) or if i just am not actualy used ¬†eating ‘sponge’

    1. It definitely has a chewier texture– I’m so glad you made and enjoyed it!

  10. Kelly Senyei @ Just a Taste says:

    This cake roll is simply gorgeous, Sally! And it looks delicious, too! 

    1. thanks Kelly!

  11. Alicia Gray says:

    Sally this was delicious. I love the chewy texture of the cake and the delicious cream cheese frosting. The closest pan size I could find was 9.85″ x 15″ because here in Australia we don’t use inches(for those in Australia the pan was 25 x 35cm. I had no issues with the pan, it worked perfectly. Making the cake was so easy and simple, your instructions made it a breeze. The frosting was the best part of this whole thing, i’m having a moment with cream cheese frosting right now and this one hit the spot. Rolling the cake roll was super intimidating but it was so much easier than I thought. My first bite of this was sooo good. I loved it! The flavours are so perfectly matched between the cake and frosting. This cake is definitely a chewier type but I loved that about it. Thanks Sally, such a great recipe! I can’t wait to make it again so I can perfect it!¬†

    1. I am so glad you said you *thought* rolling the cake would be intimidating. Because truthfully, after you get started– it’s not at all! So happy you tried this out and thank you so much for reporting back!

  12. Curious if you’ve had success freezing this type of cake? We have half of the roll left and as amazing as it was, I have to STOP eating it! Lol. Thanks!

    1. yep! see my make ahead tip

      1. Lordy. Sorry about that. I was speeding through it this morning and TOTALLY missed it!

  13. Dessie Schreuders says:

    Hi Sally, thank you for the fabulous recipe, I had always been ‘shy’ of making a swiss roll but thanks to you it was so easy and rolled up a treat. The first one I made I used marscapone/cream/cream cheese and the strawberries and it was great. However I thought for the second one I should try your frosting filling. I “thought” I had read the recipe correctly but the filling was really runny, where did I go wrong? Regards, Dessie

    1. Hi Dessie! The filling with freeze-dried strawberries? Was that the filling that was runny? Were you using brick-style (the block) of cream cheese? Make sure you aren’t using cream cheese spread. You want a heavy 8 ounce block of full-fat CC.

      1. Dessie Schreuders says:

        Yes the frozen strawberry filling – I cannot believe the intensity of flavour using your method – and yes I did use a block of full fat Philadelphia cream cheese. I know I must have gone wrong somewhere, maybe over-beating??

      2. that could have been it– you are using freeze-dried strawberries, right? Not actual frozen strawberries?

  14. Dessie Schreuders says:

    I think you may have solved it – I am using snap frozen berries as I am unable to locate freeze dried here in Australia. I knew it had to be my mistake as all of your recipes that I have tried have been a success! Thank you for the great web site and the on-going support, it is much appreciated.

  15. Niki Daugherty says:

    I made this for Mother’s Day at work, it was a huge hit! I’ve always had problems with cake rolls though when I unroll them? I sugar my towel, invert and roll ¬†as soon as ¬†get it out of the oven, but the last 2 inches always wants to crack off! Any thoughts on what I could be doing wrong?¬†

    1. Perhaps overbaking– you want to make sure the cake is super moist and warm.

      1. Niki Daugherty says:

        Alright! Thanks for the feedback

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

    Hi Sally, ¬†hi Sally, I just made maze baking challenge‚Ķ Strawberries n’ cream ¬†cake roll! I’m ¬†at the final step of allowing the road back up cake chill in the refrigerator. Cannot wait to unveil this and send ¬†The final presentation to you. I followed the steps exactly and it turned out perfect! let me just tell you the frosting is lick the beaters dry good. Oh my heaven this is so delicious with the freeze dried strawberries! It really packs a great strawberry punch but not too overpowering with the butter and cream cheese in there! It’s so good! This for sure will be my new “go to” for strawberry icing, period! Can’t wait to send to my final results!¬†

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

      Sorry for my typing errors! My hands were full of this deliciousness and I was voice texting! No spellcheck obviously!

  17. Sally, would you recommend adding strawberry puree to make the cake part itself strawberry-flavored? Or would that deflate it too much and lose the “spongy” texture? I want to make this cake an actual strawberry cake with whipped cream cheese frosting for a friend, who has been super-annoyed that all “strawberry cakes” in the stores are not actual strawberry cakes, but vanilla with strawberry filling. Thanks!

    1. I don’t recommend adding puree to the delicate sponge cake– perhaps some freeze-dried strawberry “dust” instead?

      1. Ah, of course! Thank you! Should I remove some flour to make up the “dust”, like you would for a chocolate sponge? Hmm…something to play around with.

  18. Hi, Sally!
    I’ve never made a cake roll before, it was a great challenge!
    Thank you so much for your recipe, it worked really well. I loved the idea of adding the strawberry powder to the filling. It gives a really nice strawberry flavor.
    I’ve made this delicious cake and posted it on my blog, with (of course!) a reference to your post. Hope you like the photos.
    Thanks again and keep doing great work! =)

    1. I’m so glad you gave the cake a try and enjoyed it!

  19. Jenny from says:

    Hey Sally,
    I made the roll again. Since frozen-dried strawberries are super expensive here, I like to use a pudding-based filling with fresh strawberries. Thanks again for the inspiration. Sponge cake is the best!

    1. That’s a wonderful sub for the filling!

  20. Hi Sally!

    While I’ve been a huge fan of your blog for years now and have made dozens of your recipes, this is the first time I’ve commented on one. I made this cake roll as one of the desserts (also made your cake batter chocolate chip cookies and used red, white and blue sprinkles – so yummy!) for my family’s 4th of July BBQ, and it was out of this world!! I got so many compliments, especially on the intense but wonderful flavor of the strawberry filling. Even my sister, who normally doesn’t care for cream cheese-based icings and fillings, loved this! The whole thing disappeared. I’ll definitely be making this again, and it really was a synch to make! Your step-by-step guidance was spot on and perfect. Thank you so much!

    1. I’m so happy to read this today! Thank you so much for reporting back about the cake roll and I LOVE hearing how much everyone enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to write!

  21. Will this work as a round cake?

  22. I am planning to make your strawberry cupcakes but wanted to try it with the cream cheese strawberry frosting from this recipe. Do you thing this frosting will be stiff enough to pipe or should I stick with the strawberry buttercream?

    1. It should be just fine to pipe, but won’t hold its shape as nicely as the strawberry buttercream. If you chill the cream cheese frosting in the fridge before piping, that helps.

  23. Hi Sally! I am obsessed with your recipes and I am desperate to find one for a chocolate roll cake for my husband’s birthday. Can I adjust this recipe to make a chocolate roll? Thanks for the help!

    1. Hi Kendra! A chocolate cake roll would be a bit different from this one, obviously– and I’d have to test it out. I can’t say for sure without trying myself. Let me know if you find a chocolate roll cake recipe you like.

  24. Sally how can I make this cake more white than yellow? Is there a way to do this? Hope you have a Merry Christmas.

  25. If i wanted the cake to be lemon, how much lemon juice should i add?

  26. I made this cake and it came out well. I found that I needed to crush an entire 34 g bag of strawberry preserves in order for it to yield the 1/2 cup of strawberry dust. My family and guests really enjoyed it! But for me personally, the filling is not my favorite because mine came out a bit too “gluey” and heavy. Maybe I did something wrong, or maybe it’s just personal preference. I think if I try this recipe again I would look for a whipped-cream type of filling.

  27. Hi Michele! I recommend whole milk.

  28. I was happy to finally try making a cake roll since seeing a few on some of the baking shows I’ve been watching, and it’s all thanks to this great recipe and the instructions. If you have never attempted one, this is certainly a great guide and how-to! I know next time that I’ll need to roll the cake tighter for the final roll to produce the nicer swirl, but for a first attempt it turned out great! I had leftover mascarpone frosting to use, so I chopped up some very fine strawberries and folded that in for the filling.

  29. I made this yesterday and it’s another hit Sally!! Even though I’ve made three pumpkin rolls (your recipe of course) a few weeks ago I was so nervous making this one. It wasn’t the fear of rolling. Conquered that on the pumpkin rolls. My fear had to do with mixing or over mixing this batter but as usual, it was unwarranted. After leaving this review I’m off to make three more with different flavor combos…

    One with half lemon curd/half strawberry… One with half blueberry/half raspberry… One with ALL lemon curd. All three will also be filled with a layer of whipping cream on top of the homemade jams/curd. Whew! I’m already tired, lol.

    Thanks again Sally for yet another great recipe. Have a great day/week. Happy baking to all…. ūüėČ

  30. Unfortunately, this roll cake was dense, tough, and dry. I put an amazing peppermint frosting into it, but the cake….

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