The Roll Cake Project

Roll cake, or Swiss Roll has always been my favourite since I was a kid. I tried making my own roll cake making times before but I always ended up with a sponge base that was either too dry to roll or cracked after rolling and because of that, for the past few years, I've not been making anything that involves sponge cake.

However, recently I've rekindled my interest in making roll cake again. Perhaps it's the cooler weather that makes me want to spend more time experimenting in the kitchen, or I'm already sick of making muffins and pound cakes. But anyway I thought it's about time to overcome my fear and I should try to make my roll cake a success. I tried several recipes from different cookbooks but the cakes were still a tad too dry. Rolling the cake up was not a problem but I was disappointed with the texture of the cake.

Few weeks ago, I chanced upon a cookbook in a book store that features lots of beautifully made roll cakes. I immediately grabbed a copy and right after I reached home, I made a matcha and azuki bean roll cake. Much to my delight, the cake turned out to be exactly what I was hoping for - soft, moist and it was very easy to roll the cake up too. I brought the cake to class the next day and I received rave reviews from my classmates. It definitely helped to boost my confidence and I went on to make a few more roll cakes using the same recipe but with different flavour combos.

Matcha and azuki bean roll cake

Strawberry and kiwi roll cake with white chocolate frosting

Yujacha (Korean citron tea) roll cake

Over the past two months, I've been making at least 10 roll cakes and as the saying goes, practice makes perfect, so I'm no longer intimidated by roll cake now. If you've never been successful in making roll cake, give this recipe a try, it might work for you too!

Matcha and azuki bean roll cake Recipe
Recipe adapted from ふんわりロールケーキ

Sponge base
6 egg yolks
5 egg white
100g caster sugar
50g cake flour
6g matcha powder
50g butter, melted and cooled

200ml whipping cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
A handful of sugar coated azuki bean (If this is not available, you can use about 100g of canned azuki bean instead)

To prepare the sponge base:
1) Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Line a 30X35 tray with parchment paper. Mix cake flour and matcha powder in a bowl, set aside.
2) Put egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat at high speed until the yolk mixture is thick, pale and when the whisk is lifted, the batter should fall slowly back into the bowl with a ribbon-like pattern. Set aside.
3) In another bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until it is slightly foamy. Add the remaining sugar at one go and continue to beat until firm peak forms.
(Note: Here's a guide showing how to beat egg white into different stages, click!)
4) Pour yolk mixture into the meringue. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the mixture until just combined.
5) Sift flour and matcha over the batter and then fold the mixture lightly but rapidly until the flour has disappeared.
6) Pour melted butter down side of bowl, and gently fold until completely incorporated.
7) Pour the batter into the prepared tray, spread the batter evenly with a scraper.
8) Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
9) Lift cake from baking tray onto a wire rack. Let it cool slightly, cover the cake with a piece of cling wrap to cool completely.

To prepare the filling:
1) Add cream and sugar in a medium bowl, put it into a bigger bowl filled with iced water. Whisk the mixture until stiff peak forms.

To assemble the cake:
1) Remove liner from the cake. Transfer the cake onto a piece of parchment paper with the baked side facing upwards.
2) Spread the filling evenly on the sponge base. Place the azuki bean (sugar-coated or canned) on top of the filling. Roll the cake up and with then tuck in both ends of the parchment paper. Put the roll into the fridge to chill and set. Slice and serve.


Beautiful and so delicious looking!


Elin said…
Wow... looks like you have finally overcome your fear and you have done a great job on them. The sponge roll looks moist and azuki cream filling is a perfect match for the matcha sponge :)
daphne said…
this is a classic and I think you have perfected it! I'm not a fan of sponge cake but I just want to have a slice!
wow! Congrats on your perseverance. It was worth it. :)
Michelle Chin said…
have you tried any sakura/ rose versions?
Stardust said…
You produce the most beautiful homemade cakes darling. Also, your pictures always do them justice. :)

Keep up with it, I like the idea of overcoming hurdles. You've killed the bread thing and sponge cake, nothing you can't do next. ;)
Cakelaw said…
These are all beautiful and creative Swiss rolls - yum!
Anonymous said…
i would love to take a look at the roll cake cookbook. do you mind posting the picture of the book?

Piggy said…
Anonymous @ 29 May - You can click on the name of the cookbook (under the title Matcha and azuki bean roll cake Recipe) and you will be directed to the book's Amazon page.
Unknown said…
To make just a plain roll, do you just take out the 6g of green tea powder??
Also, do you know the english name of the book or author?