Vanilla Roll Cake – No Crack

Helene

(1)

Wow, this Vanilla Roll Cake is incredibly soft and moist! You won’t believe it until you try this recipe. The method used in making this roll cake ensures an irresistible texture that melts in your mouth and the best, it’s easy to roll without cracking.

a vanilla roll cake, decorated with whipped cream.

The Vanilla Roll Cake is made with a choux pastry, with the addition of oil and a meringue. I know it may sound surprising, but trust me, the end result is worth the extra effort in making it. I definitely should have tried this cake roulade recipe sooner.

Rundown

  • This Vanilla Roll Cake is incredibly moist, so it won’t crack like a traditional sponge cake roll might.
  • You don’t need to roll it while it’s still hot or use a damp towel. There’s no fuss involved; simply allow it to cool and you can roll it whenever you’re ready.
  • The texture is absolutely amazing and it simply melts in your mouth.
  • It does take a bit longer to prepare than a swiss roll cake, but let me assure you, it’s completely worth it. The best part is that you can prepare this vanilla roll cake day before you plan to serve it; it stores wonderfully in the fridge.
a vanilla cake roll on a marble board.

Ingredients

The ingredients are basic pantry products that you’ll find easily in any grocery store. Full measureament at the end.

Vanilla Roll Cake:

  • Milk
  • Water
  • Fine sugar: caster or granulated sugar.
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter: diced
  • All purpose flour – sieved
  • Eggs: you need 3/4 eggs to have 140g. Using a scale is best for accuracy: Crack 3 eggs in bowl, beat them and adjust quantity if need it.
  • Vegetable oil (neutral flavor)
  • Egg whites: about 4 eggs – keep the yolks to make a pastry cream.
  • cornflour to dust

Whipped cream filling and decoration

  • Full-fat heavy cream: Don’t choose a light version; the fat helps to stabilize.
  • Full-fat mascarpone cheese: It ensures the whipped cream holds its shape without adding gelatine or changing the taste.
  • powdered sugar – sieved
  • Vanilla extract: Choose good quality for the best flavors.

How to make this Vanilla Roll cake?

If you’re familiar with choux pastry, it will be easy for you. Otherwise, follow the process. Don’t be intimidated by the long recipe. Here is a step-by-step photo to guide you through making this Vanilla Roll Cake.

Vanilla Roll Cake:

Add the milk, water, sugar, salt, and butter together into a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted. Bring mixture to a simmer.

Remove the saucepan from the stove and add the flour all at once. Stir until the flour is completely incorporated. You should have a thick, clumpy paste.

a saucepan with melted butter and milk on one side and the same saucepan with a dough contained flour on the other side.

Return the mixture to heat and cook over low-medium heat for a couple of minutes, constantly stirring and mashing the dough ball against the bottom and sides of the pan using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. This gentle cooking process helps to dry the dough. When it’s done, the dough should clump into a ball when shaking the saucepan and there will be a thin film on the bottom.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Use a whisk to mix and cool down the dough before adding the eggs. You’ll know it’s cooled down enough when you no longer see steam and the bowl is no longer hot.

choux pastry in process, first in a saucepan, and then in a bowl to let it cool.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Slowly add the beaten eggs to the dough in 3-4 separate additions, mixing well between each addition until fully incorporated. The mixture will initially look curdled, but it will gradually come together as you add and mix in the eggs. You should end with a shiny, thick, and smooth batter.

Add the oil, and mix until incorpated. Set Aside.

In a another large bowl, whisk the egg whites at a low speed with an electric or stand mixer until they foam. Then, gradually add the sugar in three additions, increasing the speed slightly after each. Note: Do not add the next sugar portion until the previous addition has been fully incorporated.

Continue whisking until stiff peaks. The meringue should be glossy, smooth and hold its shape, but not be overly firm.

a bowl with choux pastry on one side and a bowl of meringue on the other side.

Preheat the oven to 170C (340F), fan assisted.

Add one-third of the meringue to the batter and mix it in using a rubber spatula. Next, add the remaining egg whites in two additions, gently folding them into the batter without deflating the meringue and until fully incorporated.

a bowl with choux pastry with added meringue on one side and the same bowl with the final batter on the other side.

On a Swiss roll baking tray, 10 x 15 inch, lined with a baking mat (like silpat), evenly spread the batter using a palette spatula. Tap the tray gently against the counter to release air bubbles.

Bake it in the oven for 13 minutes or until golden and spring back when pressing genly a finger.

raw batter for a cake roll in a baking tray, and then the cake after baking.

Remove from the oven and place a baking paper, (previously dusted with cornflour) directly on the surface of the cake while it still hot. Then flip the cake, remove the baking mat and let it cool at room temperature.

When cool, flip again the cake.

Cut the sides (shortest edges) to perfect the rectangle shape if needed.

Whipped Cream

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl. With an electric mixer, start to whip on medium speed, allowing the mascarpone cheese to turn to a liquid consistency.

When everything is fully mixed together, increase gradually the speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, gently fold the frosting to remove any air bubbles. Be gentle to avoid the chantilly deflating.

Assembly

Spread 2/3 of the whipped cream evenly on the surface on the roll cake, leaving about a 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) border on one side of the cake (short edge).

a bowl of whipped cream on one side, and then the cream spread on a cake roll.

Roll up from the short edge: start to gently flip the short side (with the filling) and roll tighly.

Place the cake in the center of a new baking paper, ensuring that the seam is on the underside. Flip the baking paper over and tuck it to the side of the cake. With something flat like a long ruler, placing over the paper and against the side of the cake, gently push while simultaneously pulling the paper underneath with your hand, tightly securing the cake.

a vanilla roll cake, just after being rolled.

Place the cake on a tray, (still in the baking paper) and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour. If you plan to chill for more than 1 hour, wrap it in a cling film

After chilling, trim the edges with a serrated knife for nice sides. (Note: pour hot water on the blade of your knife and wipe it off after every cut)

Transfer the cake on a cake board and decorate. Place the remaining whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a closed star tip (Wilton 2D) and decorate the top with spiral. Store in the fridge.

Tips

This vanilla roll cake is easier than it might seem at first glance. While the recipe may appear long, I have included plenty of details to ensure your success. Here are a few additional tips to help you along the way.

  • Read the entire recipe before starting
  • For best results, I recommend using a baking mat like Silpat. While baking paper works, it has a tendency to leave wrinkles on your cake.
  • Use a swiss roll baking tray, with a light color for best result. Dark baking trays tend to absorb too much heat, which can lead to dry cakes.
  • Don’t let the batter rest. If you do, the butter in the choux pastry will soldify again. And then, the meringue will deflate.
  • Use a scale for more accurate results.
vanilla swiss roll on a white cake board.

FAQs 

How to store the Vanilla Roll Cake?

Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Can I make this roll cake in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the cake a day ahead. It stores well in the fridge. If you have something to cover it with, it is better to use it to avoid absorbing any odors from the fridge. Or once filled and rolled, leave the cake in the baking paper, and wrap in a cling film. Decorate the cake the day you plan to serve the cake.

Alternatively, you can freeze it, without the decoration. When you have filled and rolled the cake, cover with cling film, and place in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Simply defrost the cake and then proceed to decorate it.

Variations

This vanilla roll cake is delicious on its own but also the perfect cake base to custom for your taste. Here are a few ideas:

  • Flavor the whipped cream with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or 2 tablespoons of strawberry cordial.
  • Fill with a curd like a lemon curd or a passion cake filling
  • Fill with a pastry cream instead, such as vanilla cream pastry cream or coffee pastry cream.
  • Replace the mascarpone cheese with cream cheese. You may need to adjust the amount of sugar to balance out any sourness
  • Add fresh fruits. Prefer berry fruits or fruits that do not release too much water.
a slice of vanilla roll cake in a dessert plate.

More vanilla cakes recipes to try

If you tried this Vanilla Roll Cake or any recipe on the blog, let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment below or a rating.

Vanilla Roll Cake - No Crack

  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves: 8

This Vanilla Roll Cake is incredibly soft, moist and easy to roll without cracking.

Ingredients

Vanilla Roll Cake

  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) milk
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) water
  • 30 g (2 Tbsp) unsalted butter - diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fine sugar
  • 65 g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour - sieved
  • 140 g (3 to 4 eggs) beaten eggs
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) vegetable oil - neutral flavor
  • 120 g (4 eggs) egg whites - for the meringue
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) fine sugar - for the meringue
  • cornflour - to dust

Whipped Cream

  • 300 ml (1 cup + 1/4 cup) heavy cream - 36% milk fat minimum
  • 150 g (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp) mascarpone cheese - full fat
  • 75 g (3/4 cup) powdered sugar - sieved
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Equipments

  • small saucepan
  • rubber spatula
  • whisk
  • large bowls
  • electric mixer
  • swiss roll baking tray - 10x15 inch
  • baking mat (silpat)
  • baking paper
  • pipping bag + tip

Method

Vanilla Roll Cake

  • 1)

    Add the milk, water, sugar, salt, and butter together into a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted. Bring mixture to a simmer.

  • 2)

    Remove the saucepan from the stove and add the flour all at once. Stir until the flour is completely incorporated. You should have a thick, clumpy paste.

  • 3)

    Return the mixture to heat and cook over low-medium heat for a couple of minutes, constantly stirring and mashing the dough ball against the bottom and sides of the pan using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. This gentle cooking process helps to dry the dough. When it’s done, the dough should clump into a ball when shaking the saucepan and there will be a thin film on the bottom.

  • 4)

    Transfer the dough to a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) Use a whisk to mix and cool down the dough before adding the eggs. You’ll know it’s cooled down enough when you no longer see steam and the bowl is no longer hot.

  • 5)

    In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Slowly add the beaten eggs to the dough in 3-4 separate additions, mixing well between each addition until fully incorporated. The mixture will initially look curdled, but it will gradually come together as you add and mix in the eggs. You should end with a shiny, thick, and smooth batter.

    Add the oil, and mix until incorpated. Set Aside.

  • 6)

    In a another large bowl, whisk the egg whites at a low speed with an electric or stand mixer until they foam. Then, gradually add the sugar in three additions, increasing the speed slightly after each. Note: Do not add the next sugar portion until the previous addition has been fully incorporated.

    Continue whisking until stiff peaks. The meringue should be glossy, smooth and hold its shape, but not be overly firm.

  • 7)

    Preheat the oven to 170C (340F), fan assisted.

    Add one-third of the meringue to the dough and mix it in using a rubber spatula. Next, add the remaining egg whites in two additions, gently folding them into the batter without deflating the meringue and until fully incorporated.

  • 8)

    On a Swiss roll baking tray, 10 x 15 inch, lined with a baking mat (like silpat), evenly spread the batter using a palette spatula.Tap the tray gently against the counter to release air bubbles.

    Bake it in the oven for 13 minutes or until golden and spring back when pressing genly a finger.

  • 9)

    Remove from the oven. Dust a baking paper with cornflour and place directly on the surface of the cake while it still hot. Then flip the cake, remove the baking mat and let it cool at room temperature.

  • 10)

    When cool, flip again the cake.

    Cut the sides (shortest edges) to perfect the rectangle shape if needed.

Whipped Cream

  • 1)

    Add all the ingredients to a large bowl. With an electric mixer, start to whip on medium speed, allowing the mascarpone cheese to turn to a liquid consistency.

    When everything is fully mixed together, increase gradually the speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, gently fold the frosting to remove any air bubbles. Be gentle to avoid the chantilly deflating.

Assembly

  • 1)

    Spread 2/3 of the whipped cream evenly on the surface on the roll cake (use a palette spatula) leaving about a 1/2 inch border on one side of the cake (short edge).

  • 2)

    Roll up from the short edge (with the filling): start to gently flip the short side and roll tighly.

    Place the cake in the center of a new baking paper, ensuring that the seam is on the underside. Flip the baking paper over and tuck it to the side of the cake. With something flat like a long ruler, placing over the paper and against the side of the cake, gently push while simultaneously pulling the paper underneath with your hand, tightly securing the cake.

  • 3)

    Place the cake on a tray,(still in the baking paper) and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour. If you plan to chill for more than 1 hour, wrap it in a cling film.

    After chilling, trim the edges with a serrated knife for nice sides. (Note: pour hot water on the blade of your knife and wipe it off after every cut)

    Transfer the cake on a cake board and decorate: Place the remaining whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a closed star tip (Wilton 2D) and decorate the top with spiral.

Notes

–  US/UK standard Baking Spoons:  teaspoon: 5ml / tablespoon: 15ml / cup: 240ml

– Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

– Scroll back to read tips, suggestionsstep-by-step photos and FAQ within the blog post that you might find helpful.

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