Vanilla Swiss Roll

Delicious SUPER soft vanilla sponge cake rolled up with whipping cream. The best simple cake you’ll ever have. Vanilla Swiss Roll. Also known as “Jelly roll”.

If you follow me on twitter or instagram, you might know I’ve been experimenting with swiss rolls lately. I was inspired to make these, because I love love LOVE the swiss rolls from Chinese bakeries but the nearest bakery is a 2,5h drive. Both plain and pandan flavored rolls are my favorite. I can’t choose between those two. For today, I’ll be sharing the vanilla flavored one though. I’ve done quite some recipe testing these past few week (I’ve possibly tasted about 6-10 swiss rolls. Seriously, I lost count at 2.) and I finally have the perfect soft sponge recipe for swiss rolls for you guys. I shared these at work and I’ve never had so many compliments before!

If you want to know about the secret of this recipe, keep on reading. If you want to skip right to the video and recipe, this link is your best friend. 😉

The secret to this soft sponge are actually two things: egg whites and water bath. By separating the eggs and beating the egg whites until light and fluffy, you incorporate lots of airbubbles into the cake to make it super soft. When adding the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture, make sure to FOLD rather than stir because stirring can deflate your egg whites. In addition to the egg whites, the water bath creates a humid environment in the oven making the sponge cake even softer. And that’s about it!

You only need a handful of ingredients for this cake but the result is amazing. The secret lies within the technique rather than the ingredients. I love this cake because it’s super simple yet so delicious.  I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love this cake! It’s like eating little pieces of cloud. And should you be lactose intolerant, skip the cream and opt for strawberry jam. It’s just as good. (If you’re not lactose intolerant, you might want to a combination of strawberry jam and whipped cream. So good.)

Vanilla Swiss Roll
Serves 6
Delicious SUPER soft vanilla sponge cake rolled up with whipping cream. The best simple cake you'll ever have. Vanilla Swiss Roll. Also known as "Jelly roll"
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
23 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
23 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Ingredients for the cake
  1. 5 eggs, separated
  2. 150 g caster sugar
  3. 40 mL oil*
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 80 g flour
Ingredients for the cream**
  1. 150 mL whipping cream
  2. 2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C and line a rectangle baking tray (about 30x20 cm) with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix the egg yolks, HALF of the sugar, oil and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. In 2-3 batches, sift in the flour and mix until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Gradually add the other HALF of the sugar and keep beating until soft peaks.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture in three batches.
  6. Pour the batter in the baking tray. Make sure all the corners are filled with batter. Smooth the top.
  7. Tap the batter a couple of times against a flat surface to remove large air bubbles.
  8. Bake the cake 23min at 160C in a water bath.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool.
  10. While the cake is cooling, whip the whipping cream with the confectioner's sugar until just stiff.
  11. Flip the cake onto a baking sheet and remove the other baking paper from the cake.
  12. Spread the whipping cream evenly over the cake and leave about 1-2 cm free at the bottom and top. Roll the cake using the baking paper starting on the shorter side of the cake.
  13. Let the cake set in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before cutting into thick slices.
  1. * Any flavorless oil will do. I used sunflower oil.
  2. ** Read more on whipping cream here
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4 thoughts on “Vanilla Swiss Roll

  1. Hello! I wanted to share that I made this recipe with one variation: I decided to make it chocolate, as my main reason for wanting to make a cake roll was to use up some leftover homemade orange curd. Instead of 80g flour, I weighed up 45g of flour, plus 35 of cocoa powder. I then added 2g of espresso powder to bring out the chocolate flavor. It was still a very light cake and rolled nicely! I spread a thin layer of orange curd then spread the whipped cream on top. I did lower the sugar in the cream to 1TBSP because of the sweet curd, and I added a little vanilla paste. It was lovely! Next time, I am going to try the same recipe but baked in a 10x 15 inch (25 x 38 cm) shallower pan, as it was a bit thicker for a cake roll than I had expected. The water bath was something I had googled for, as I remembered seeing that was part of the technique for those wonderful light spongy Asian cake rolls. Thanks also for the dumpling info – I wish my pleats looked as nice as yours, but I’ll practice!

    Ann, in Florida, USA

    1. Thank you for leaving a reply, Ann! Great idea to make a chocolate flavored cake (and props for adding espresso powder like a pro!). Combination of chocolate, orange curd and whipped cream sounds delicious. I should try it some time. I’m happy to hear you’re going to use the same recipe again. This is one of my favorite cakes. So soft and light. And keep practicing the dumpling pleats, practice makes perfect. Thank you for trying my recipe. Much love, My Linh.

  2. Thank you! Unfortunately I had to throw out many of my saved frozen potstickers, since we lost power in the recent Florida hurricane. So, I guess I get to practice my pleats again soon! I think the next version of your cake will be coffee!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you were affected by the hurricane! Hope you and your loved ones are okay ❤️
      Also, coffee sounds like a great choice! I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I love coffee flavored cakes

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