September 10, 2011

Red Velvet Cake Roll

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake!  I cannot wait to bring this to some Holiday parties this year.  It is sure to be a show-stopper (once I practice making it perfectly round)!  I have always loved red velvet cake, since the first time I tried it.  I have tried so many different red velvet desserts, including Red Velvet BarsRed Velvet CupcakesRed Velvet Cheesecake Cake and Red Velvet Cookies.  I have many many more to try, but I am very happy to check this cake roll off my "to make" list.  However, everyone out there needs to add this to the very top of their "to make" list and make it right now, because you are seriously missing out.  The cake is so tender and the filling is out of this world.  The two combined are "delicious-ness" at its best!  
Red Velvet Cake Roll
adapted from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe    
*Note: don’t be alarmed by the lengthy recipe. This cake is really not difficult to prepare and assemble but the long instructions really help give detail to rolling the cake tightly to avoid cracks. 
For the cake:
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) milk (I used Buttermilk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider or white vinegar
8 Tbl. (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbl. liquid red food coloring (1/2 fluid ounce)
For the white chocolate–cream cheese filling:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
5 ounces white chocolate, melted
4 Tbl. (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup (1 1/4 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
Powdered sugar for dusting

For the cake:  Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Coat a small area in the center of a 15 1/2 X 10 1/2-inch pan (jelly-roll pan) with nonstick spray. Line the pan with aluminum foil, pressing the foil into the contours of the pan and leaving a 2-inch overhang at each short end (the spray anchors the foil in place to make buttering easier). Butter the foil, then flour it, tapping out the excess flour.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside.  In a small bowl, stir together the milk, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer), beat the butter on medium-low speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and add the granulated sugar in a steady stream.  Continue to beat until light in color and fluffy in texture, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg and mix until combined.  On the lowest speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by 1/2 of the milk mixture, mixing until combined after each addition.  Again, add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the last half of the milk and the last 1/3 of the flour, mixing after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Maintaining the same speed, add the food coloring (be careful of splatters!) and mix well to color the batter evenly.  Without delay, spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula.
Bake the cake until it is set on top and springs back when lightly pressed in the center, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack.  If necessary, run a thin knife blade around the perimeter of the pan to loosen the cake sides.  Then pull up on the foil overhang and carefully transfer the cake to a wire rack. Without delay, place a sheet of foil over the cake and manipulate the foil to make a shallow tent (a tent holds in the moisture as the cake cools, but prevents the foil from sticking to the cake).  Let the cake cool for about 45 minutes, then proceed to assemble the dessert.
To make the white chocolate–cream cheese filling:  In a medium bowl (with a handheld or stand mixer), beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth.  Pour in half of the melted chocolate and beat until smooth, stopping the mixer occasionally and scraping the down the sides of the bowl.  Pour in the remaining chocolate and beat just until combined.  Add the butter and then the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
To assemble the cake:  Remove the foil from the top of the cake.  Transfer the cake on its bottom sheet of foil to a work surface, placing it so that one of its long sides is parallel to the edge of the surface closest to you.  Place another long sheet of aluminum foil on the work surface nearby.
Using an offset spatula, spread the filling evenly over the cake, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the long side farthest from you.  Begin rolling the cake by flipping the edge nearest you over onto itself.  Then, with the aid of the foil that extends beyond the short sides, roll up the cake lengthwise until you reach the far long side.  As you work, wrap the foil around the roll to assist in rounding the shape (otherwise the cake will stick to your hands).  To insure the roll is uniform and round, place the rolled up cake in its foil across the bottom third of a 24-inch-long piece of parchment paper, bringing the top edge of the parchment paper toward you, and drape it over the top of the cake roll, allowing a 2-inch overhang.
Place the edge of a rimless baking sheet or cooling rack or other long edge at a 45-degree angle to the roll and your work surface.  Apply pressure against the roll, trapping the 2-inch overhang, and push while simultaneously pulling the bottom portion of paper toward you.  This push-pull motion creates a resistance that results in compressing the log into a uniform shape.  If any cracks appeared as you rolled the cake, they are consolidated in this compression and disappear from view.
Carefully lift the roll in the aluminum foil and set it, seam side down, on a fresh sheet of foil.  Wrap the cake securely in the foil.  Transfer the foil-wrapped roll to the baking sheet or shallow tray and refrigerate for about 45 minutes - 1 hour to help set the filling.
To serve:  Remove the cake from the refrigerator and peel off and discard the foil.  Carefully lift the roll onto a serving plate with the aid of a long, wide spatula or a rimless baking sheet. (If not serving right away, cover loosely with plastic wrap to keep the cake’s surface from drying out and return to the refrigerator to serve the same day).  Dust the cake with powdered sugar.  Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut the roll into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Jenn's Notes:  This cake was pretty much perfect as is.  I did add buttermilk instead of milk to the cake batter to give it a more traditional red velvet taste.  I also used slightly less cream cheese and a little more butter in the filling and I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract. The filling sets up nicely once refrigerated.   I cut the recipe in half and baked in a smaller sheet pan and I wished I would have made the full recipe, because it was gone in no time.      


  1. You had me at you blog title. Oh, does this look delicious. I'm a new follower. I see so many yummy recipes here.

  2. looks really tasty! Would love for you to come and share this Tuesday at my tasty Tuesday party!

  3. Oh yum! Red Velvet Cake is one of my favorite desserts! And adding the buttermilk was a great choice!

  4. Wow, Looks super YUM!! Book marking this one. My Mom and I always make a Yule log cake for Christmas, but this may be a wonderful variation. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I found this post thru I Heart Naptime's party. I was drawn to it by the great photo you took of this yummy-looking cake. I'm struggling to better my photography skills and find food, the hardest subject master so far. Kudos to you! I love to swap out buttermilk for regular milk as well.
    Your newest follower,
    Rikka J.
    Ricochet and Away!

  6. This is so very pretty, I have to try it! Your pictures are lovely.

  7. So glad you loved this! (Lovely pictures!)

  8. These look great! I've seen so many recipes for red velvet cupcakes, but this is the first jelly roll I've seen. Great idea (:

  9. This really sounds delicious. I am new to your blog, so I've just spent some extra time browsing through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. You have created a really nice place for your readers to visit and I enjoyed the time I spent here. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. YUMMY!!! Hello there.. I'm following ya officially from made by you monday blog hop today..Lovely blog you have here.Can't wait to read more.. Hope you can stop by & visit me sometime / follow back.. TY So much.. Have a great week.Marilyn from . Great creativity here. :))

  11. WOW! My husband would LOVE this! Red Velvet is his fave!

    Sweet Stella's

  12. Oh my word - I found you on StumbleUpon and I am so glad! This cake looks so good it hurts!

  13. I am DROOLING all over my laptop right now. I am completely obsessed with all things Red was even my wedding cake! This just looks perfect!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Wow, this looks really yummy! Love red velvet cake!

  15. Red Velvet is one of my favorite flavors of cake, so I'm totally pinning this!! Hopefully I'll get around to trying it out soon!! Thanks for sharing!

  16. oh my are you kidding me???? This looks CRAZY good. Good call on the buttermilk. In my opinion. red velvet HAS to be made with buttermilk

  17. This roll looks toooo yummy!!! Red velvet is the best! I hope you will link up with me here:

  18. That looks amazing. We love red velvet cake, buthave never seen a recipe with white chocolate cream cheese icing. Yummy

  19. Found you on Tip Junkie. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to try this soon. I just love making cake rolls.

  20. Putting vinegar into milk "sours" the milk this is the old stand by for making buttermilk in baking :)

  21. Omggg i love this blog so much!!.. lol your recipes are on point!

  22. I was wondering if you think I can use the same technique of baking the filling and cake together for the red velvet recipe, like you do for your banana cake roll. Also, I have gotten very confused in your directions for the red velvet at the point where you start with the wax paper and the cookie sheet at 45 degree angle. Can you elaborate?

    Thanks for all of the great recipes. I am a big fan and have tried nothing of yours that I didn't really love!

  23. Hi, Emily! The filling for this roll is a creamy frosting and would NOT work to be baked, it would just melt everywhere. The filling for the banana roll is a cheesecake filling and has that egg in there to bind everything together. You could use the banana roll filling in this red velvet roll and I think it would be fabulous. The only thing is you will have to bake it longer, so I'm not sure if the red velvet cake would overbake. I think it is worth a shot and I'd like to try that too.

    If you click on the printable recipe link up above the recipe there are step by step pics. So see if that will help with the instructions. I obviously wasn't very good at that part because my roll ended up uneven. Oh we'll, it still tasted divine. Let me know if you still have questions. Thanks.