Jelly Roll Cake – The Recipe Critic


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Jelly roll cake is a classic dessert that you need to make at least once! The chiffon cake is rolled with a delicious sweet jelly inside, and all of the flavors scream holiday cheer. You are going to love this easy-to-make dessert that looks stunning on the dinner table!

I can never pass up a soft and moist cake! Especially one with LOTS of frosting. If you love cake, you’ve got to try this Better Than Anything Cake, this unique Oatmeal Cake, and this rich and delicious Eclair Cake.

Jelly roll cake cut up and assembled on a plate.

Jelly Roll Cake

If you have never tried a jelly roll cake, you are in for a treat! I got tired of seeing them on baking shows and not being able to taste them! They always looked so soft, fluffy, and full of flavor. And let me tell you, the finished product does NOT disappoint. It’s just as scrumptious as I imagined, and the flavor combinations are endless.

I am a big fan of cakes with fruity flavors, like this Chantilly Berry Cake and this Strawberry Poke Cake. I would never say no to a rich chocolate cake, but this jelly roll cake is so refreshing and light! It’s a chiffon cake which means it’s made with vegetable oil which makes it easier to beat air into the batter. This makes the cake really light and fluffy, perfect for rolling into a beautiful log! Don’t be intimidated by rolling it up, I’ll share all my tips below so you’ll get it perfect every time!

Ingredients

I mentioned earlier that you will use vegetable oil in this jelly roll cake. The better quality ingredients you use, the better your cake will taste! Especially since this cake is only a few simple ingredients. I added almond extract, but if you don’t like it you could use another flavor, or leave it out all together. You can find exact measurements below in the recipe card.

  • Eggs: I always use large grade A eggs in my recipes.
  • Granulated Sugar: Your pantry sugar will work great.
  • Vegetable Oil: This is important because it helps the cake get nice and airy. You will need to use vegetable oil to get the cake the right texture to roll.
  • Water: I know, just trust me. Use water!
  • Vanilla: Vanilla extract adds a really nice flavor and helps to bring out all of the other flavors in the cake.
  • Almond Extract: I really like almond extract so I added it here. You can leave it out or add another extract instead.
  • All-Purpose Flour: It’s just easiest to work with for the texture of the cake you want.
  • Baking Powder: This helps the cake to rise, you need this!
  • Salt: Salt brings out all of the really delicious flavors in this cake.
  • Powdered Sugar: This is for dusting the top. It’s optional!
  • Jelly or Jam: I used homemade blackberry jam, and it was INCREDIBLE! You could use a strawberry jam, or peach jam would be amazing. I think you should use your favorite jam because it is going to taste exactly the way you like it.
Process photos showing the batter being made, poured onto a pan, rolled into a towel, and then jelly spread on the inside.

Jelly Roll Cake Recipe

I used to think a jelly roll cake was impossible to get right, because I saw a lot of people mess up on television. It’s actually easier than I thought, and I had a lot of fun making it! The key is the right texture of sponge cake so that you can easily roll it up, and making it the right thickness so that you get delicious jelly in every bite.

Prepare Jelly Roll Cake Batter

  1. Prep: Preheat your oven to 375℉ and line a half baking sheet (18”X13”X1”) with parchment paper and spray generously with nonstick baking spray.
  2. Beat: In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer, beat your eggs until they are thickened, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in your sugar. Once sugar is well combined, add in your oil, water, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well.
  3. Sift: In a separate bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, and salt. On the lowest speed of your hand mixer, gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Beat until the batter is smooth.

Bake and Roll

  1. Bake: Pour the batter into your prepared pan, spread evenly, filling each corner. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 12-15 minutes. While cake is baking, prepare a clean towel on a flat surface dusted with powdered sugar.
  2. Cool and Trim: Once your cake is ready, allow it to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan and turn over onto your towel. carefully remove the parchment paper and trim the edges so you have clean straight sides.
  3. Roll: While your cake is still very warm, roll the cake and towel, width wise, into a log. Allow the log to cool for a while, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Add Jam: Carefully unroll your log and remove the towel and prepare your jelly by mixing it with a fork to make it easier to spread. Spread the jelly or jam evenly onto the inside of the unrolled log, and gently roll back into a log, keeping the end tucked slightly under the log.
  5. Garnish: Sprinkle with more powdered sugar and serve.
Jelly roll cake cut up an laid out on the counter with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

Tips for Making Jelly Roll Cake

I’m about to blow you away with how easy this cake is to make. It’s also really pretty, and I know your guests will be so impressed! You don’t have to tell them how easy it is, it will be our little secret. Here are a few tips to make this jelly roll cake.

  • Sift Dry Ingredients: I won’t lie, I usually skip this step in baking. I know, it’s horrible of me. The reason you REALLY should in this recipe is because sifting your flour will make it lighter and fluffier. This is key to the jelly roll cake being able to roll up. So just do it, you’ll be glad you did!
  • Rolling the Cake: Be sure to roll your log while the cake is still warm to avoid cracking. Allowing it to cool in the log shape will help you when your jelly is spread and you roll it into its final form.
  • About the Jelly: You want a generous amount of jelly spread evenly across the cake, but be careful not to use too much or your cake will slip on the inside and become misshapen. I find that jam or jelly work the same, so don’t stress out about which one is better to use. You want to be able to taste it, but not too much that you can’t keep your log rolled up nice and tight.

Pieces of cake on a plate with blackberries next to it.

Storing Leftovers

Jelly roll cake is a great make ahead dish because it keeps really well. I like to make it the day before so it has time to cool and get all of those lovely flavors nice and strong. Here is how you should store your jelly roll cake.

  • On the Counter: You can keep your jelly roll cake on the counter in an airtight container for about 3 days, probably longer but it may begin to dry out.
  • In the Refrigerator: Storing your cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator will keep it fresh for about a week.


  • Preheat your oven to 375℉ and line a half baking sheet (18”X13”X1”) with parchment paper and spray generously with nonstick baking spray.

  • In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer, beat your eggs until they are thickened, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in your sugar. Once sugar is well combined, add in your oil, water, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well.

  • In a separate bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, and salt. On the lowest speed of your hand mixer, gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Beat until the batter is smooth.

  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan, spread evenly, filling each corner. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 12-15 minutes. While cake is baking, prepare a clean towel on a flat surface dusted with powdered sugar.

  • Once your cake is ready, allow it to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan and turn over onto your towel. carefully remove the parchment paper and trim the edges so you have clean straight sides.

  • While your cake is still very warm, roll the cake and towel, width wise, into a log. Allow the log to cool for a while, about 20-30 minutes.

  • Carefully unroll your log and remove the towel and prepare your jelly by mixing it with a fork to make it easier to spread. Spread the jelly or jam evenly onto the inside of the unrolled log, and gently roll back into a log, keeping the end tucked slightly under the log.

  • Sprinkle with more powdered sugar and serve.



Serves: 8

Calories405kcal (20%)Carbohydrates92g (31%)Protein5g (10%)Fat2g (3%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat0.4gMonounsaturated Fat1gTrans Fat0.01gCholesterol61mg (20%)Sodium193mg (8%)Potassium155mg (4%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar60g (67%)Vitamin A89IU (2%)Vitamin C6mg (7%)Calcium49mg (5%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert

Cuisine European

Keyword jelly roll cake



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