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Vanilla Sponge Cake Roll (Basic Recipe)

Vanilla sponge cake roll on a serving board.
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This vanilla sponge cake roll is basic, easy, and quick. With just a few simple ingredients flavored with vanilla, it is perfect for making Swiss roll cakes, Christmas jelly rolls, Yule logs, and Buche de Noel.

Ingredients

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For sponge cake roll:

  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 sachet (4.5 g) vanilla sugar
  • 2/3 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons (82 g) cake flour
  • 2 1/3 tablespoons (35 g) whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 g) unsalted butter

For mascarpone whipped cream: 

  • 3/4 cup (180 g) cold heavy cream, 30% fat 
  • 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon (65 g) cold mascarpone cheese
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (20 g) icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 12 x 16-inch (30 x 40 cm) non-spill baking sheet or a large baking tray lined with parchment paper.  
  2. To make sponge cake, pour milk, place butter in a small bowl, and bring it over a large container with hot water. Check the liquids' temperature at 122-150°F (50-60°C). With a flour sifter, sift cake flour and set aside. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C). 
  3. Place room-temperature whole eggs, vanilla, and granulated sugar in a heat-resistant bowl and beat a few times with a hand whisk. Bring the bowl over a water bath and whisk with a hand whisk until the egg mixture reaches 104°F (40°C). Check it with a cooking thermometer. 
  4. Remove the bowl from the water bath and use an electric or stand mixer with a whisk attachment to beat at high speed for 6-7 minutes. 
  5. Once the mixture thickens and turns white, triples in volume, and the dough falls like a thick ribbon from the mixer beaters, reduce the speed. Beat at low speed for 2 minutes to adjust the batter's texture. 
  6. Sift the flour once again over the bowl with the principal preparation and gently mix with a rubber spatula. Work from the bottom to the top while turning the bowl counterclockwise. 
  7. Take a scoop of the batter in a bowl with milk and butter preheated to 122-150°F (50-60°C), and mix with a spatula. Pour it back into the main preparation and mix by scooping the batter from the bottom and moving upward. 
  8. Pour the batter into the silicone baking sheet about 8 inches (20 cm) above the mold. This helps to pop large air bubbles. If using a large baking sheet with parchment paper, spread the batter into a 12 x 16 inches (30 x 40 cm) rectangle, aiming for a 1/2 inch (1 cm) thickness.
  9. Level the surface into an even layer with a bent spatula or a dough scraper (avoid excessive smoothing in one spot). Tap the pan on the table once to remove large bubbles. 
  10. Bring the baking sheet to the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature from 390°F (200°C) to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 12-14 minutes. Watch out for the cake not to overbake: the top should get slightly browned, and the bottom should stay pale. Check for doneness with a toothpick: it should come out dry. 
  11. Take the cake out of the oven, and while it is hot, flip it on a clean tea towel generously sprinkled with icing (powdered) sugar. Gently remove the silicone baking sheet or parchment paper from the base of the cake and cover it with a clean parchment sheet. Using the towel, roll the cake with parchment paper inside and let it cool for 10 minutes. Unroll it and let the cake cool to room temperature.
  12. To make the mascarpone frosting, pour cold heavy cream and cold mascarpone into a chilled bowl and whisk until soft peaks. Add icing sugar and whisk until medium-stiff peaks.
  13. To assemble, unroll the cake and remove the parchment paper. Spread the cream in an even layer over the cooled cake using an offset spatula.
  14. Re-roll the cake from the short end, tightening it with the help of the towel. Lift the towel, pulling it parallel to the working surface, and continue rolling the cake as you go.
  15. Finish rolling the cake, placing the end of the roll at the bottom. Tighten the roll with a long metal or plastic ruler (or metal baking sheet). Secure the ruler or baking tray against the roll while pulling away the bottom end of the kitchen towel.
  16. Cover the cake roll with the towel, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Gently remove the towel from the cake, and trim the ends with a serrated knife for a neat appearance. Transfer the rolled cake to a serving tray.
  17. To serve, sprinkle the top of the cake with icing sugar and decorate with fresh fruit of your choice.

Notes

  1. Read more about how to make roll cake for useful tips and tricks. Rolling the cake is the most critical step, and mastering it is crucial for achieving perfection in your roll cake.
  2. Roll the cake up in a tea towel while it is warm.
  3. Make sure to cool the cake before applying the cream.
  4. Use this simple cake pan calculator to adjust ingredient amounts for a different baking pan. You will need to enter the length and width of your tin.

Nutrition

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