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 my favorite Driscoll’s raspberries. Go big or go home, right?
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’s 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 (10-15 minutes) and the baking equipment is straight-forward. You just need a standard half sheet pan and some parchment paper.
No need for fancy cake pans or leveling – even if I do love a great layer cake every now and then!
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 confectioner’s sugar and invert the cake confidently and quickly.
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 very 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 lightly vanilla whipped cream. Once the raspberry cream is spread into a thin layer, you add even more fresh raspberries.
Not only do the mashed raspberries naturally tint the whipped cream a beautiful light pink color, but it ensures that you get fresh raspberry flavor in every single bite of this cake.
My go-to berries are Driscoll’s brand, as they are always of the freshest quality. This is particularly important for this cake, where raspberries serve as both a flavoring, filling, and garnish.
Lastly, the roll cake is spread with a final layer of lightly sweetened whipped cream and garnished with even more raspberries and a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
It reminds me of a winter wonderland, but tastes like summer! SO FLUFFY. If you’re looking for a great summer dessert that be prepped ahead of time, this raspberry roll cakeis it!
- 6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120 grams) cake flour, sifted (*to measure properly, fluff the bag of flour well then scoop, then level)
- roughly 1/3 cup (40 grams) confectioner’s sugar, for rolling the cake
- 2/3 cup (210 grams) raspberry preserves (*I recommend Bonne Maman brand)
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) chilled heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons (24 grams) confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 packages (6 ounces each) Driscoll’s Raspberries
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) chilled heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons (24 grams) confectioner’s sugar, plus more for garnishing
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 package (6 ounces or 1 and 1/4 cups) Driscoll’s Raspberries, for garnishing
FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius) with a rack in the center position. Lightly grease a half sheet pan (roughly 18-inch long x 13-inch wide) 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. Slowly sprinkle in 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar and continue whisking over medium-high speed until the egg whites have reached medium peaks. Note: If the whisk attachment is lifted up, the tip of the peak should tip over but still hold. Carefully transfer 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 residue) and combine the egg yolks, the remaining 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Using the whisk attachment, beat over high speed until ribbony and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Add about a third of the egg whites to the beaten yolk mixture, and gently combine together using the whisk attachment. Repeat with two more additions of the beaten egg whites, gently folding them in with a large spatula. Be careful not to deflate the egg whites by over mixing.
- Sprinkle roughly a quarter of the cake flour onto the sponge batter, and fold in gently with a spatula. Repeat until all of the flour has been incorporated and the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients have been incorporated evenly. Transfer the batter onto the prepared sheet pan and spread into an even layer using an offset spatula (the batter should fill the entire pan).
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden in color. As the cake is baking, lay a clean kitchen linen (the long edge of the linen facing you) on your countertop and using a fine-meshed sieve, dust with confectioner’s sugar.
- As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, loosen the edges of the cake from the pan with a knife if necessary. Carefully and quickly invert the sheet pan (long edge of the pan facing you) in one quick motion and cake onto the sugar-dusted linen. Very carefully peel off the parchment paper and discard. While the cake is still warm, roll the cake and linen, narrow end to narrow end, into a tight spiral. The linen should be rolled with the cake, so that the cake does not touch itself as it is rolled. Cool on a wire rack, in the linen, until the cake is room temperature.
FOR THE CAKE FILLING:
- Depending on how thick your raspberry preserves are, you may need to thin them down with up to a tablespoon of water (whisk to combine). You want the preserves to be relatively thin before spreading on the cake – if too thick, you will damage the cake as you are spreading it. Unroll the cake so that it lays completely flat. Using an offset spatula, spread the raspberry preserves into a very thin layer on the cake.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat until fairly thick, starting at slow speed and increasing to medium high, and medium peaks form. In a small bowl, lightly mash one package of raspberries. Gently fold the mashed raspberries into the cream. Spread the raspberry cream into an even, thin layer on the cake, leaving about a 3/4-inch border on all sides. Slice the second package of raspberries in half and press them gently into the raspberry cream layer. Carefully re-roll the cake (without the linen), narrow end to narrow end, into a spiral. Place the cake seam-side down on a long serving platter, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one to two hours (or until just before assembly and serving).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat until fairly thick, starting at slow speed and increasing to medium high, and medium peaks form. Using an offset spatula, spread the cream into an even layer onto the outside of the cake.
- Top the cake with the remaining package of raspberries. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, dust the cake and berries with confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately.