A simple vanilla Swiss roll made with sponge cake that gets rolled up with whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and covered with a classic chocolate ganache. This recipe is just the right amount of sweet, with an incredibly pleasant texture!
A Swiss roll cake is a truly classic dessert with so many variations to choose from. However, a plain vanilla Swiss roll truly goes straight down to the flavor core. The cake is made with a simple, fluffy vanilla sponge that is light in both color and flavor.
Then, the sponge gets layered with fresh whipped cream and fresh raspberries (or you could do strawberries!) and rolled up to hold in all of that goodness.
Now, you could totally stop there, dust it with powdered sugar, and call it a day! However, I chose to add a blanket of chocolate ganache, which adds just a touch of sweetness and ties everything in together so nicely.
This is a great make-ahead dessert that can feed a crowd and is sure to please everyone's taste buds!
If you'd like to try some other raspberry, vanilla, and chocolate combinations, try my raspberry white chocolate bundt cake, chocolate raspberry mousse cake, delicious raspberry white chocolate cheesecake bars, or these fun raspberry brigadieros!
- Large eggs. Separate the yolks and the whites - no yolk pieces can be in the whites or they won't whip up properly.
- Dry ingredients. Plain flour, baking powder, salt.
- Wet ingredients. Sugar, egg yolks, whole milk, vanilla, vinegar, and vegetable oil.
- Heavy whipping cream. For both the filling and the ganache.
- Instant vanilla pudding. This helps to stabilize the whipped cream - I don't suggest skipping this ingredient.
- Fresh raspberries. Frozen raspberries should not be used.
- Semi-sweet chocolate. Chopped chocolate or chocolate chips can be used.
How to make a Vanilla Swiss Roll
STEP 1: Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the milk, vegetable oil, vinegar, vanilla, salt, and sifted flour and baking powder.
STEP 2: Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold them into the batter in three batches, careful not to deflate the batter.
STEP 3: Spread the batter evenly in a 10x14" Swiss roll pan lined with parchment paper, then bake until it's just set and lightly browned.
Hot tip! Spread the batter as evenly as possible, as this sponge cake does not "spread" like other cake batters.
How to Roll a Swiss Roll: Step by Step
STEP 4: Turn out the hot sponge cake onto a clean dish towel dusted with powdered sugar. Remove the parchment paper, then gently roll the cake into the dish towel from the short side and allow it to cool completely while wrapped.
Hot tip! Wrapping it while warm and in this fashion gives the cake a "memory" and allows it to easily roll back up once the fillings are added.
STEP 5: Once cool, unwrap the cake, then spread on the whipped cream for the vanilla Swiss roll filling. Spread it the whole way to the edge where the roll will start, but leave 1cm bare on all other edges. Sprinkle the raspberries evenly on top.
STEP 6: Starting from the same short edge, roll the sponge cake tightly (don't include the dish towel this time), then wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap. Place it seam-side down in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
STEP 7: Heat the heavy cream and add it to the chocolate, then stir until combined. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to release the heat.
STEP 8: Place a wire rack on a large sheet pan, then add a 2" thick strip of parchment paper on top. Place the Swiss roll seam side down onto the parchment paper (the paper will run along the entire bottom and have an exposed piece on either side).
STEP 9: Slice off ½" piece from either side, then slowly pour the ganache over the cake so it covers the sides and edges completely.
Hot tip! Scrape the excess ganache into a bowl, then dip fresh strawberries into it or add it on top of ice cream.
STEP 10: Allow it to set for 5 minutes, then use the pieces of parchment paper to carefully move the roll to a serving platter. Pull out the parchment.
To decorate the Swiss roll, use a vegetable peeler on a chocolate bar to add curls and shavings to the top of the ganache.
Vanilla Swiss Roll Flavor Variations
- Use chopped strawberries or blackberries instead of raspberries.
- Spread strawberry or raspberry jam onto the cake prior to adding the whipped cream for extra flavor.
- Add one tablespoon of cocoa powder to the heavy cream prior to whipping to create a chocolate whipped cream filling.
Storing and Freezing
Store the vanilla Swiss roll cake at room temperature for one day, then in the fridge for up to two days. Cover any sliced or exposed cake with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
The Swiss roll can also be flash frozen for 30 minutes (completely assembled), then tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, foil, and placed in a ziptop bag for two months. Unwrap completely then thaw in the fridge.
Swiss rolls are traditionally made with a sponge cake and get filled with jam, ganache, curd, or other sweet fillings.
While origins are unclear, the Swiss roll originates from somewhere in Central Europe, and possibly not even Switzerland.
This could happen if the sponge cake was over-baked or if the cake cooled too quickly prior to the first roll. If the edges crack, that's perfectly fine since they will get cut off anyway.
More decorative cakes to try
- Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake (sponge cake)
- Lemon Pound Cake with Blueberry Glaze
- Pear Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
- Orange Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
Raspberry and Vanilla Swiss Roll with Chocolate Ganache
- 10x14 inch rimmed baking sheet
- Stand mixer with paddle and whisk attachment (or hand mixer)
- Fine mesh sieve
- 4 large eggs separated
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100g
- ⅛ cup whole milk 30ml
- ⅛ cup vegetable oil 30ml
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour 120g
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream 240ml
- 1 tablespoon instant vanilla pudding to help stabilize
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 15g
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate 8oz
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream 240ml
- Preheat the oven to 350℉/180℃ and line a 10x14" rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the egg yolks and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat over medium high speed for three minutes until pale and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
- Add the milk, canola oil, vinegar, vanilla, and salt and mix until combined.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder, then add to it the batter and mix on low speed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then clean the stand mixer bowl and dry it completely.
- Add the egg whites to the clean mixing bowl and whip on high speed (with the whisk attachment) until stiff peaks form and clump up in the center of the whisk.
- Add the egg whites into the batter in three batches, folding each addition in gently so it doesn't deflate. It will get thicker with each addition.
- Add the batter to the prepared baking sheet and spread it as evenly as possible so it meets the edges. Be sure the center isn't mounded.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cake springs back when touched and becomes lightly browned.
Preparing the Swiss Roll
- Lay out a clean dish towel and dust the entire towel with powdered sugar. Immediately turn out the sponge cake onto the dusted towel, then remove the parchment paper.
- Begin gently and tightly rolling up the cake from the short side, incorporating the towel into the roll. Allow the cake to cool completely in the rolled form.
Filling and Rolling
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the heavy cream, instant vanilla pudding, and powdered sugar and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Gently unroll the cake, then spread the whipped cream onto the cake, meeting the edge when you'll begin the roll, and leaving 1cm bare on the remaining edges.
- Sprinkle on the raspberries so they are evenly distributed, then re-roll the cake (don't roll in the towel this time).
- Wrap the Swiss roll tightly in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, seam side down.
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
- Heat the heavy cream until just simmering, then pour over the semi-sweet chocolate. Allow it to stand for one minute, then stir until it comes together.
- Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to release some heat.
- Unwrap the Swiss roll and slice ~½" off of each side so it's completely straight.
- Add a wire rack onto a large sheet pan, then place a 2-3 inch strip of parchment paper on a wire rack.
- Add the Swiss roll (seam side down) centered on the long strip of parchment paper, then pour the chocolate ganache slowly and evenly over the top and sides until it's completely coated.
- Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes, then use the parchment paper to carefully transfer the Swiss roll to a serving platter. Pull out the parchment paper strip to remove it.
- Use a vegetable peeler to add chocolate curls and shavings to the top for a decorative effect. Slice, and serve!
-Store the cake uncovered in the fridge for two days. Cover the cut and exposed side with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
-Store the excess ganache and use it to drizzle over fruit or ice cream. Freezing:
The Swiss roll can also be flash frozen for 30 minutes (completely assembled), then tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, foil, and placed in a ziptop bag for two months. Unwrap completely then thaw in the fridge. Flavor variations:
-Use chopped strawberries or blackberries in place of raspberries
-Spread strawberry or raspberry jam on the cake before adding the whipped cream