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. 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!

    1. Hi Tricia! I actually haven’t yet, I’m so sorry. Let me know if you find a chocolate roll that you love.

  2. Can I use Nutella as filling?

  3. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and the family Sally xx
    I’m 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?

    1. Hi Sue! The bake time will be the same in either pan– the dimensions are very similar.

  4. Irene Barker says:

    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!)

  5. Worked perfectly. I used raspberries and lemon for the filling. Delish!!

  6. Virginia Tyler says:

    I find freeze dried strawberries at my Dollar store where everything is a dollar. It takes 3 packages to make a cup. I made your Strawbeet cake on Friday 1/2 cake and 1/2 cupcakes. I have a lot of the icing left over. So today I found your cakeroll recipe so in the kitchen I will go and take it to a little bible study tonight. I soooo love your recipes Sally. Thank you from my HEART♥️♥️♥️

    1. Perfect! So glad you’ve been enjoying making strawberry frosting from the freeze-dried strawberries.

  7. My cake cracked when after I unrolled it to spread the frosting. I chilled it in the fridge for about 4 hours, then removed it from the fridge for 10 minutes before trying to unroll and frost. The cracks are pretty big but didn’t ruin the whole cake. Is there a trick for the roll that I missed? I removed the cake from the oven at about 15 minutes right when it was spongy and immediately rolled it into the towel.

    1. Hi Russel, I’m so glad you tried this recipe and love hearing your feedback. So sorry it cracked on you. There aren’t really any tricks, but I wonder if the roll was simply too cold and not ready to “unroll” quite yet. If you ever decide to try it again, let the cake sit at room temperature for a little longer before unrolling next time. And, as always, follow the recipe exactly. Cake rolls are pretty finicky!

  8. Hi Sally,

    I want to make this for a morning tea. Do you think it is appropriate to make for that time?

  9. Hi Sally! I love your blog. As a new baker, it is so easy to follow and guarantees yummy results! I was wondering if I could use kitchen paper towels instead of a regular kitchen towel to roll the cake? Please let me know!

    1. Hi Lucy! Thank you so much. You can try it, but the next best option is parchment paper.

  10. Hi Sally. It’s been a while since I’ve left a comment but I just had to tell you what my plans are for this roll. I’ve made the original a few times and have been successful. Today I came to the site to see if you created this recipe in a 17×11 like the chocolate roll but only found this size. Hopefully one day you’ll be able to get around to making that recipe but until then I’ll be using this one. This time around I’m going to fill it with a little bit of cream and Banana Fosters. I can not wait to put these flavors together but most importantly. I can’t wait till I get to share it with my family. So far they’re going to be enjoying your German chocolate cake, gingerbread cookies with chocolate ganache and this beauty this weekend. Thanks for all of the recipes you’ve created and shared. Hope all is well with you and your family….

  11. martha Weiss says:

    I’d like to somehow incorporate lemon or lemon curd into the recipe. How could I do that?
    BTW, The blueberry lemon cake of yours was the biggest hit of all!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Marcha, We haven’t tested the cake recipe with lemon, but let us know if you try! You can definitely make a lemon filling by skipping the strawberry dust and adding an extra 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and zest of 1 lemon.

  12. Hi Sally!

    Thank you for always sharing these wonderful recipes and I love your blog! Would it be possible to convert this recipe to the vertical cake recipe? The vertical cake concept is great but I was curious if we can use strawberries instead of blueberries.

    1. Hi Ellie! I honestly haven’t tested it, but I fear this cake’s texture will be too light and the filling will be too heavy. Instead, I recommend following the vertical cake recipe but swapping blueberries for 1 cup of chopped strawberries. Chop up the strawberries into small pieces before using in the filling.

      1. Thanks so much! Will definitely try it 🙂

  13. Charlotte Exton says:

    Can you substitute strawberries with raspberry filling? Would you just replace the freeze dried strawberries? Would everything else be the same?

    I love your recipes! I use them all the time!! Thank you!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Charlotte! Yes, you can definitely use freeze dried raspberries instead of strawberries with no other changes. Enjoy!

  14. How long will this cake last? Can I make it a day or two ahead of time? Or should I plan on serving it the same day I bake it? I am hoping to make this cake and then travel with it, serving it a day or two later. Thank you!

  15. This recipe is unbelievably good, and so simple it’s almost too easy! I used the alternate strawberry whipped cream filling but with the freeze dried berries. So, so good! The powdered berries help stabilize the whipped cream so it holds up as a filling. My family is already asking when the next version will be made- they are hoping for lemon sponge and blueberry whipped cream filling. Best sponge cake ever (and no cracks when rolled)!!

  16. Sally,
    You are simply amazing. I’m from Brooklyn where there are Chinese bakeries all over the place with this amazing, light, roll “sponge” cake that is unlike any recipe I have found. It isn’t overly sweet neither is the frosting they put inside. Can you please please please do a recipe like that?

  17. Welllllll…. i have no idea what went wrong..I followed this to the letter and everything went great until I made the frosting and it turned into a running watery blob. Worse than toothpaste. I stuck it in the freezer to try to set it a little thicker but when I rolled the cake up it all came oozing out of the sides and turned the cake itself into a soggy collasped mess. I used the room temperature butter and the room temperature cream cheese but after adding the powdered sugar it just dissolved into the consistency of flood cookie icing. X.X have no idea what I messed up on. This was a LOT of work and ingrediants to bin the whole thing. Wish i knew where it all went wrong. Dont want to leave negative stars cause it had to have been something i did.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cchan! 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. Thank you so much for giving this recipe a try!

    2. Linda Jennings says:

      Perhaps the cream cheese had been frozen. I’m far from an expert and cannot definitely say how it changes, but I do know that freezing the cream cheese alters the texture. At least it did in my experience.

  18. Linda Jennings says:

    I’ve made this recipe several times, always in one day. This time, I opted to refrigerate the rolled cake overnight. How long would you suggest I remove it from the fridge before unrolling it to fill?

  19. I’ve tried so many recipes for cake rolls from well known and respected chefs, tv cooking shows, online fool-proof methods that seem to fall short of what one wants in a cake roll – a sturdy, fat cake roll that won’t collapse and will hold a good filling – yours is perfection! I believe all your detailed instructions are what sets you apart and even a novice can have great success by simply following to the letter your instructions and suggestions.

    Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Thank you so much for this kind review, Doris! We’re so glad you loved this cake roll recipe.

  20. KAREN L JONES says:

    Wow. Such a lovely cake xo. I have yet to make a roll cake ever in my life. Guess what, I’m using your guidance because it is so straight forward for my brain. Thank you, lovely person for sharing this!! PS. I found you through different searches for roll cakes and went down a rabbit hole of images on pinterest… and voila.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We would love to hear how it turns out for you, Karen, happy baking!

  21. Can this strawberry cream cheese filling be used to pipe on cupcakes? Looking for a berry cream cheese recipe that would look pretty atop your yellow cupcakes for Mom’s birthday (I’m imagining a star tip). I’d really rather use one of your tried and true recipes than look elsewhere for one that likely won’t be as good. Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Wendy, absolutely! Our strawberry cream cheese frosting would be delicious on top of yellow cupcakes. Hope your mom enjoys them!

      1. Thank you!

  22. hi sally! can mascarpone be used instead of cream cheese? if so, any changes? ty;)

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sonny, We haven’t tested it but it should work without any other changes. Let us know if you give it a try!

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