Raspberry Roll Cake
Raspberry roll cake – vanilla sponge roll cake filled with fresh raspberries, raspberry preserves, and vanilla whipped cream. This light summer dessert is a family favorite.
This post is sponsored by Driscoll’s.
Have you figured out what you’re making for Memorial Day? I’ll be in Ocean City next weekend for a friend’s wedding and will be living vicariously through all of you while I’m sitting at the airport.
I feel like true summer is just around the corner and I’ve started to crave all the grilled things, preferably with a slice of this raspberry roll cake for dessert. It is one of my top five favorite dessert and cake recipes – and I don’t say that lightly!
The roll cake is so fresh, so light in texture, and filled with two of my favorite things: lightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Tons and tons of raspberries!
It is no secret that I love a raspberry dessert. Raspberries are my all-time favorite berry, particularly at this time of year – and this cake is stuffed to the brim with fresh raspberries. Go big or go home, right?
If you’re looking for a fun, trendy, and elegant twist on this classic roll cake recipe, be sure to check out this raspberry matcha cake too.
My mom has been making some version of this raspberry roll cake for years and years. It was my most requested dessert growing up. She occasionally made a chocolate version of it for my dad and sisters, but I was a staunch vanilla sponge cake girl through and through.
When everyone else was bringing in yellow cake with chocolate frosting for school birthdays, I was bringing in this raspberry roll cake. [Hi, I’m high-maintenance.] I was (and still am) very picky about cake frostings, and a lightly whipped cream is still one of my favorite cake fillings to this date.
It is light and airy, doesn’t weigh down the sponge cake (very important), and is so fitting for summertime.
Sponge roll cakes have a reputation of being complicated and finicky to make, but I actually consider them to be one of the easiest desserts, particularly if you keep the cake filling simple and straight-forward.
Roll cakes bake up in almost no time at all (10 to 15 minutes) and the baking equipment is straight-forward. You just need a standard half sheet pan and parchment paper.
No need for fancy cake pans or leveling.
Tips for Raspberry Roll Cake Success:
The most important and crucial step for sponge roll cakes is rolling the cake immediately once it is removed from the oven. The cake should be rolled with the kitchen linen (so that the cake is not touching itself). Dust a large kitchen linen (preferably a linen tea towel) generously with powdered sugar and invert the cake quickly and confidently.
Think of this step as cake muscle memory. When the cake is rolled hot from the oven, it prevents the sponge cake from splitting and cracking during assembly later. It makes all the difference, and you will become a cake roll champion in no time!
Once rolled, cooled, and unrolled, the sponge cake is spread with a thin layer of raspberry preserves. It provides a touch of sweetness and moisture to the cake.
The filling for the roll cake is similar to a classic raspberry fool: lightly mashed fresh raspberries folded into vanilla whipped cream. Once the raspberry cream is spread into a thin layer, you add more fresh raspberries.
Not only do the mashed raspberries tint the whipped cream a beautiful light pink hue, but this step ensures that you get fresh raspberry flavor in every bite.
My go-to berries are Driscoll’s brand due to their consistent freshness and flavor. This is particularly important for this cake where raspberries serve as both a flavoring, filling, and topping.
Lastly, the roll cake is spread with a final layer of lightly sweetened whipped cream and garnished with additional raspberries and a light dusting of powdered sugar.
This raspberry roll cake reminds me of a winter wonderland, but tastes like summer. It is so fluffy. If you’re looking for a great springtime or summer dessert that be prepped ahead of time, this raspberry roll cake is it!
Raspberry Roll Cake
Sponge Roll Cake:
- 6 large eggs separated and at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar divided
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120g) cake flour, sifted *if not using metric weights, fluff the flour well, scoop, and level with the back of knife
- ⅓ cup (40g) powdered sugar reserved for rolling the cake
- ⅔ cup (210g) raspberry preserves *I recommend Bonne Maman brand
- ⅔ cup (160 mL) chilled heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons (24g) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 12 ounces (2 packages) fresh raspberries divided
Final Assembly and Decoration:
- ⅔ cup (160 mL) chilled heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons (24g) powdered sugar plus more for dusting
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces (1 package) fresh raspberries for topping
- Make the Sponge Roll Cake: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the center position. Lightly grease a half sheet pan (roughly 18 x 13-inches) with baking spray, line with parchment paper, then lightly grease the paper with baking spray. Set aside.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk over high speed until light and foamy. With the mixer on medium-high speed, slowly sprinkle in ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar and continue beating until the egg whites have reached medium peaks. If the whisk attachment is lifted, the peak of the egg whites should tip slightly but still hold. Carefully transfer the egg white mixture to a large, clean mixing bowl and set aside until ready to use.
- Wipe the stand mixer bowl clean (don’t worry if there is still some egg white residue). Add the egg yolks, remaining ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar, and vanilla extract to the bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture over high speed until ribbony and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Remove from the stand mixer. Add roughly ⅓ of the reserved whipped egg whites to the beaten yolk mixture. Holding the whisk attachment in one hand, gently mix together by hand. Using a large spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites in two additions being careful not to delate the egg whites by over mixing.
- Sprinkle roughly one quarter of the sifted cake flour onto the batter and fold in gently with a spatula. Repeat until all of the flour has been evenly incorporated and the batter is airy and smooth. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients have been evenly incorporated. Transfer the batter onto the greased, parchment-lined half sheet pan. Spread into an even layer using a large offset spatula. The batter should fill the entire pan.
- Gently transfer to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden in color. As the cake is baking, lay a clean kitchen linen (long edge of the linen facing you) on a large working surface. Using a fine-meshed sieve, dust the linen generously with the reserved ⅓ cup (40g) powdered sugar.
- As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, loosen the cake edges from the pan with a knife if needed. Carefully and quickly invert the sheet pan and cake (long edge of the pan facing you) onto the powdered sugar dusted linen in one quick motion. Gently peel off and discard the parchment paper. While the cake is warm, roll the cake and linen - short end to short end - into a tight spiral. The linen should be rolled with the cake, so that the cake surface doesn't touch itself as it is rolled. Set the rolled cake on a wire rack until it has cooled to room temperature.
- Prepare Filling: Note: Depending the thickness of your raspberry preserves you may need to thin them down with up to 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of water; whisking to combine. The preserves should be relatively thin before spreading on the cake – if the preserves are too thick, you will damage the cake. Use your best judgement.
- Unroll the sponge cake so that it lays completely flat on top of the linen. Using an offset spatula, spread the raspberry preserves into a very thin layer over the entire surface of the cake.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the chilled heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Starting at low speed and slowly increase to medium-high, beat the cream until it is fairly thick and medium peaks form. In a separate bowl, lightly mash one package (6-ounce) of fresh raspberries. Gently fold the mashed raspberries into the whipped cream.
- Spread the raspberry whipped cream onto the cake - directly on top of the raspberry preserves - leaving a ¾-inch border on all sides. Slice the remaining package (6-ounces) of raspberries in half lengthwise and distribute them evenly onto the raspberry cream layer, gently pressing them into the cream. Carefully roll the cake - short end to short end - into a tight spiral. Set the cake seam-side down onto a long serving platter, cover the surface tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the cake for a minimum of 1-2 hours to allow the cream to set before preparing the topping and final decoration.
- Final Assembly and Decoration: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the chilled heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Starting at low speed and slowly increase to medium-high, beat the cream until it is fairly thick and medium peaks form. Using an offset spatula, spread the whipped cream into an even, smooth layer on the outside of the rolled sponge cake.
- Top the cake generously with the raspberries. Serve immediately or if prepping ahead, cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Just before serving, dust the cake with powdered sugar. Slice into rounds using a long serrated knife.
Tips for Success:
- This cake is best served the day it is baked and assembled, but it can be covered and refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.
- It is important to invert and roll the sponge cake immediately once it is removed from the oven. This helps create muscle memory in the cake and prevents cracks and tearing during rolling.
This recipe post is sponsored by Driscoll’s. Visit Driscoll’s website for more berry recipes and to enter to win the Sweetest Berry Sweepstakes at Driscolls.com. Thank you for supporting brands that I love and use in my kitchen!
77 Comments on “Raspberry Roll Cake”
Loved this cake!! I’m making it for Thanksgiving but to save time since I’m also making other desserts. Am I able to make the sponge cake and do the filling but leave it covered and refrigerate over night and the day of serving do the cream for topping and decorate it? Or will doing this ruin the cake?
Yes, you can definitely bake the cake and do the filling, cover that with plastic wrap, and put in the fridge and do the remaining portions the day of!
Quick edit just to clarify: you definitely need to roll the cake and fill it, then cover lightly – hope that was clear in my last comment!
So easy to follow! Followed the recipe exactly (unrolled the cake after ~30min) and mine ended up looking just like the picture and tasting delicious. Thank you!
Very happy to hear this! Thanks for the review!
Made for Easter, cake rolled perfectly. Recipe calls for way too much filling and additional raspberries on top of the filling, I omitted those. As I rolled the cake at least a half cup of filling oozed out .
I have made your cake before and it is fabulous! Question today is how long do you think I can leave the cake rolled up before unrolling it to fill? I’m just trying to manage my time with an active day with family.
Hi Sheila! Honestly, I haven’t tested leaving the cake out for long specifically with this purpose so I can only guess, but I would say probably a few hours or a touch longer? The biggest concern is that you don’t want it to gain a ton of moisture or dry out. The purpose of rolling it quickly is simply to form muscle memory, but it isn’t a food safety concern at all to leave it for a while before you assemble and decorate. Hope this helps!
What are the dimensions of finished cake?
For a beautiful serving.
I’m gonna attempt this for my sisters birthday.
She ❤️ raspberries!
Wish me luck!!
Hope you like it!!!
The cake was awesome! I made it with blueberries for my son’s birthday as the store was out of raspberries. Everyone loved it. Thank you for this recipe, especially the technique around rolling the cake.
This was so fun to make. I scrapped the preserves and used lemon curd, with raspberry and whipped cream filling, so good! Light and airy. Made it for Christmas. Also added liquor. It’s basically the bones of English trifle, which is why I riffed on it, I love a good trifle. Can’t wait to make another rendition next year. Too fattening for a summer dish In my opinion. Great dish to eat right before New Years resolutions! LOl
So I’m not a raspberry lover, so I tried a lemon strawberry version…still working on it for a Christmas party later tonight…I did this with Strawberry, soaked in cognac, draining it a bit before mixing it in the cream, I just some strawberry Christmas jam instead of raspberry preserves and for the sponge I used lemon extract and lemon zest. It’s looking so pretty…can’t wait to try it! Thanks
This sounds wonderful! My mom regularly has made this cake growing up with strawberries as well. It can be a bit trickier because they have a higher water content, but I love all versions! Hope you like it!
This is the best recipe on the internet! I’ve made it several times and my family loves it. This time I had leftover whipped cream cheese and used half to thin the raspberry preserves and blended the rest into the cream filling.
Love this idea! So glad you love this recipe, it is a family recipe and your feedback means a lot! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.
Very exciting making this today. Only my second roll type of cake. The recipe was easy to follow and the sponge tastes really good, not eggy, but a nice vanilla “cake” flavor. I messed up on the whipping cream part and used 1 2/3 cup whipping cream in the filling step, but with the same amounts of vanilla and powdered sugar. I didn’t want to go to the store and start over, so I just proceeded with the recipe, but I took out a lot of the middle filling because I needed it for the outside. The result looked different but tastes very good! I’ll make again, and be more careful next time. 🙂
So glad you enjoyed it!
Hi! I am thinking of making this for my upcoming wedding anniversary, and my hubby who isn’t a cake fan, asked for this. He is requesting yellow sponge. Would your vanilla qualify? I guess egg yolks would give the color. And..along with raspberries, he’d like a light layer of buttercream, but not ABC. He’d like French, which I have made before. Do you think buttercream would work well in this recipe? Thank you.
Hi Paula! Yes, I think my sponge cake would for the most part qualify – it might not be quite as yellow in color, but it is in flavor – and very light. I’m not a big cake fan either, and this is my absolute favorite cake ever.
Also, this cake is not filled with American buttercream (which for me, is way too sweet!) – it uses a lightly sweetened whipped cream as it’s filling, alongside preserves and fresh raspberries. You can substitute a French buttercream if you really wanted to, but I really like how light the whipped cream is in this – especially since the cake is very delicate and could easily weigh it down.
It looks lovely. Thanks for the very clear demonstration clip . I will try today.
This recipe is amazing…total perfection
So thrilled to hear that! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a review. <3
I think I have it figured out, but the ingredient list is a bit confusing. There are ingredients listed under “Sponge Cake,” “Filling, and “Assembly,.” I think jam is the only filling ingredient, and the other ingredients are for the topping. Is that right? The cake looks fabulous, and I want to make it, but I thought I’d better get some clarification first. Thank you!
Hi Sheila – if you look at the recipe box again, the filling of the cake includes jam, as well as a raspberry whipped cream. Technically that’s part of the assembly too – by assembly, I mean the outside decoration prior to serving. If you read through the instructions before starting (which I highly recommend), it will be clearer. I’m simply dividing up the portions of the ingredients so that you know what ingredients are for each step/part. Hope this helps.
Ah, I get it now! Thank you so much for your quick reply!
This is the best roll cake everrrrrrrrrrr !!!!!! Worth the efforts!!!!
Can this recipe be doubled to make two roll cakes at the same time? Or would I need to make it one roll/batch at a time? I would like to make an “L” shape and need more than 12 servings for a party. Thanks!
Hi Deb! Great question. Honestly, I wouldn’t necessarily advise it – I would recommend making it one batch at a time – because it’s a delicate batter and I would worry that either it would be too much batter for most standard mixers or some of the folding could be challenged (and it could easily be deflated). I also think for baking, it would just bake up more evenly if only sheet pan was in the oven at a time. I’m sorry, I know that’s probably frustrating to hear, but that’s my personal advice! You could certainly double the fillings once the cakes are baked though, etc. as those aren’t as delicate.
Ok, I figured it probably wasn’t a good idea but I think I needed someone to convince me, so thank you for the quick response! It would be even more frustrating to have a dozen eggs and all that time go to waste! Looking forward to making it.
Can you make this filling for a regular two-layer cake, or is it too light and will all squeeze out the sides? Thanks!
Hey Alyssa! Great question. It might depend slightly on the cake that you’re pairing it with – if it was a lighter cake (eg. Victoria sponge cake layers or just not super dense!), it would definitely work! Err on the side of a thicker whipped cream than a super delicate softer whipped cream. Does that make sense?
I love this cake so much. Love the flavor profile and the contrast of colors! Gorgeous photos as well!
Thank you for the fast reply. One more question to clarify from which side you roll the cake: “The finished roll is 18 inches long or 13 inches long?”
Hi Ri! This is all covered in the recipe instructions, but the cake is rolled narrow end to narrow end (so it is approximately 13 inches long) – you want to get more spirals out of the cake, which is why it is done that way. Otherwise it would be on the squattier side. Hope this helps!
Thanks for sharing. What brand of raspberry preserves do you use? Is it seedless? Do you remove seeds from the mashed raspberries?
It definitely doesn’t need to be seedless – it is up to you! Both options will be great. I prefer ones that are slightly lower on the sugar content (and a bit tarter). Wilkin & Sons, Bonne Maman, and St. Dalfour are all good ones in my opinion, but Trader Joe’s also sells an affordable option that is great too. I do not remove the seeds from the mashed raspberries. I like the texture, it makes the mash thicker, and prevents weeping in the cream.
As a follow up, the mashed raspberries should be roughly mashed – not totally pureed or crazy smooth!
Just made this roll today and the directions were very easy to follow! However I’m not sure if I’m just a slow baker or what but this took me all afternoon to prepare… I was looking for something quick and easy… it was easy so points there but it was not quick. I would suggest adding the time it takes to prepare each stage just so that ppl are aware of the time commitment required. Otherwise I LOVE This recipe and I thank you for sharing 🙂
Thanks for the feedback Ashley! I’m sorry it took longer than you expected, but I appreciate you letting me know – and am so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the recipe!!! I’ll try to update the time a bit more, it’s always challenging to give those estimates because everyone is always working under different conditions/with a different level of experience, but that’s useful to know.
Just wanted to let you know that every loved the dessert, they divoured it!!
I have been asked to make it again so I’m sure as I get more practice the time will go down.
I delighted a group of ladies when I arrived to our study with this cake. It is beautiful and delicious. I used about double the amount of raspberries and whip cream for the inner filling than the recipe calls for to make it look nice and full. Thank you for the great tips on rolling the cake out of the oven. (It cooks really fast!)
Can I substitute regular flour for the cake flour?
I absolutely love roll cakes and this one sounds incredibly delicious. Does it work well with other types of berries, too?
Hi Laura! I don’t have fresh raspberries or frozen ones available where I live. I do have really good mangoes available. Have you ever tried mangoes and whipped cream? Do you think it could work? If yes, could you please help me out with the substitutions.
I think mangos could definitely work! It might be a tad sweeter though. I prefer champagne mangos to regular mangos, and would recommend those if you have them. The texture is a bit more silky. You could substitute the raspberry jam (do you have that?) with a marmalade of some kind. Lime or orange might be nice. I can’t say for sure how much mango you’d need to use – perhaps 2 large mangos total? I would just add it to taste. Personally, I would mash the mango and fold it into the whipped cream for the filling – and then finely chop some more and add it to the top as a garnish. Hope this helps!
Thank you so much!
Then should there be a total of one a total of three 1/2 cups of sugar? Two 1/2 cups in step 2 and one 1/2 cups in step 3? Thanks for your input. I don’t know how the cake tastes yet but the filling is so good!
I just realized after you posted this (and in my jetlag haze) that I had a terrible typo in step one (there should be no mention of sugar in step one, which is why it was very confusing for you). The egg whites should be whipped, then the first amount of sugar is slowly added. Then the yolks and second amount of granulated sugar are mixed together. I just edited the recipe to clarify. I’m so sorry for this mistake and I really hope the cake turned out!
Thank you Laura! It actually was very good even doing it the other way. Although it took about 20 mins with the mixer until the egg white made stiff peaks by throwing the eggs and sugar together at one time. I can’t wait to try it again. Thanks for clarifying the recipe. Hope you had a great trip
I’m so happy it worked out despite my HORRIBLE error. I seriously hate when that happens, and feel awful! Ugh, the worst thing I want people to do is experience a recipe fail because of a typo on my part. Thanks for being so understanding! Yes – it would definitely take more time if the egg whites/sugar were all whipped together at once. My fault, not yours!
I am making this cake for Easter and I find your directions confusing. As stated in step 2, I combined the egg whites and the first amount of sugar. Whisk over high speed until light and foamy. Then it states to slowly sprinkle granulated sugar and continue wisking until egg whites have reached stiff peaks. Did you mean to write whisk the egg whites alone and then add sugar? Unfortunately, I had started baking the cake when I realized something was wrong. I just continued following the recipe with the egg whites and sugar together as initially stated. Can you please clarify this for me? Hopefully, it tastes the same.
So sorry for the confusion! And not getting back to you sooner (I’m traveling overseas). By that, I meant whisk together the egg whites and first amount of sugar (first amount listed) – THEN slowly add the remaining amount of granulated sugar in the next step. I can totally see how you found that confusing – and I will edit/clarify the recipe. Thanks for the tip!
Please let me know how it turns out.
I’m hoping to make this for Christmas dinner but I know that Christmas Eve and Christmas is going to be busy. If I make ahead of time and wrap as you suggest, how long should it stay fresh for? Would You recommend freezing or is refrigerating ok? Thanks!
Can this be made ahead and refrigerated? Planning to bake this tonight for a dinner tomorrow night.
So sorry for only just getting back to you!! You CAN make it ahead of time. I’m clearly getting back to you a bit too late – but for anyone else, I would recommend baking and rolling the cake (with filling), wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap, and then decorating the outside before serving (or a few hours before). Sorry for the tardy reply Rachel! I hope you are still trying it and enjoy it!
Hi Laura, I saw this roll cake shared on FB today and had to stop by. This cake is SO stunning! I love how light and summery it is and the raspberries are just gorgeous! <3
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Have been loving me some Driscoll’s for many, many years!
Me too! Thank you!
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This cake is GORGEOUS! Seriously, those berries look like jewels. Perfect, perfect.
Love this Laura! Have a great time at the beach!
This is such a beautiful cake, and one that is definitely way easier to make than it looks!! Definitely need to save this recipe 🙂
Gorgeous, Laura! Much prettier than mine! Driscoll’s are the best!
Such a stunning cake!! I LOVE fresh raspberries and would eat them all day long if I could.
Laura, this cake is beautiful! I’m so impressed with how perfectly you rolled it, too!! YUM!
Oooooh yes please!! I’ll take raspberries all day everyday in the summer time. Love the photos!
That’s so pretty! How light and beautiful for Summer!
I love that description – winter wonderland that tastes like Summer. Totally agree! I haven’t made a roll cake in a long time. I think I need to change that ASAP! Love those big, beautiful fresh Driscoll’s raspberries!
Almost too beautiful to eat!! So lovely, Laura!
mmm, one of my favorites!
Wow, so beautiful. I can’t wait to take this to a cookout this summer!
That fluff makes me dream about hot summer nights. Nothing like having some nice grilled things and then top it off with a dessert like this, like you mentioned in your post. Love it!
Thank you so much!!