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
- 1 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 (18g) 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 (18g) 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!