If you’re looking for a dessert that says celebration, a Vanilla Cake Roll with Nutella Cream is it. This dessert is as delicious and indulgent as it is beautiful.
I dreamed up the combination of flavors in this sweet dessert last year for Thanksgiving. I wanted another celebratory dessert option to serve with the classic pies. Most importantly, I wanted it to be a dessert that would complement the flavors of pumpkin and pecan pie. This one is it! With the combination of hazelnut and chocolate, Nutella is a great match for both of those holiday favorites.
A slice of pumpkin pie + a slice of Vanilla Cake Roll with Nutella Cream + a spoonful of homemade whipped cream = Thanksgiving dessert trifecta.
It’s not particularly complicated, but will take some time, so let’s dive right into the details.
What You’ll Love About a Cake Roll
No matter what you call them, Cake Rolls, Swiss Rolls, Jelly Rolls, or Cream Rolls just feel celebratory. With their light and fluffy sponge cake rolled around a creamy filling, the layered slices are absolutely beautiful. This is a beautiful dessert to serve to guests or just to make as a weekend baking project.
This recipe is:
- Filled with Nutella!
Cake Roll, Swiss Roll, Jelly Roll, or Cream Roll?
Cake Roll, Swiss Roll, Jelly Roll, or Cream Roll are different names for essentially the same dessert in which sponge cake is rolled around a cream filling, chilled, and then sliced to serve. They can be topped with frosting, coated in a glaze, or just dusted with powdered sugar. The flavor combinations are endless with many options to flavor the sponge cake, filling, and topping.
The pan used to make the sponge for a cake roll should be 15x10x1 inches (occasionally they vary by about half an inch on one side or another). These are usually labeled as jelly roll pans. This Nordic Ware Jelly Roll Pan is my go-to and minimizes sticking.
Tips for Making Cake Rolls / Swiss Rolls
- Spray the pan with nonstick spray and use parchment paper. It is incredibly important that the cake releases easily from the pan - be sure to avoid sticking.
- Tap the pan on the counter before baking. This will help to insure the batter sits evenly in the pan and will remove any bubbles that might cause uneven baking.
- After baking, roll the warm cake in a tea towel and parchment. This helps it to cool into a rolled shape and makes it less likely to crack.
- Don’t overfill. It’s tempting to add extra filling but you want just enough that you can easily roll the cake around it without any spilling out the sides.
- Refrigerate before slicing. For clean, beautiful slices, you want the filling and the cake to be fully set and slightly chilled.
More Special-Occasion Desserts
- Slow Cooker Classic Cheesecake
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Easy Apple Crumble
- Easy Apple Tart
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream Bowls
Vanilla Cake Roll with Nutella Cream
- 15x10x1-inch Jelly Roll Pan
- Parchment Paper
- Mixing Bowl
- Stand or Handheld Mixer
For the cake:
- Nonstick Cooking Spray
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 3 Eggs
- 1 cup Sugar
- ⅓ cup Water, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- Powdered Sugar, for dusting
For the filling:
- 6 ounces Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature (be sure to use block cream cheese)
- ¼ cup Heavy / Whipping Cream
- ½ cup Powdered Sugar, plus more for dusting
- ½ cup Nutella (this is slightly less than a 7.7-oz jar)
- 2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
- Spray a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan generously with nonstick cooking spray. Line it with parchment paper (trim to fit) and spray paper with nonstick cooking spray. (This will help it to release easily after baking).
- Make cake: In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a handheld mixer or standing mixer (with the whisk attachment) beat eggs on high speed until very pale and creamy, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Reduce mixer speed to low-medium and slowly add sugar with the mixer running. Once the sugar is fully incorporated, slowly add water and then vanilla and continue mixing until smooth.
- Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing just until batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Tap the pan lightly on the counter to help remove any bubbles.
- Bake just until the edges are light golden and the center springs back gently when pressed, 13 to 15 minutes.
- Immediately after baking, run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it.
- While the cake is still warm, carefully lift the parchment paper and cake out and transfer to a flat surface. Slowly roll cake and parchment paper up from the short end. (I like to use a dishtowel to protect my hand from the hot cake as I roll.)
- Transfer rolled cake to a wire rack and let cool completely (at least 30 minutes).
- Make filling: While cake cools make filling by using a handheld mixer or standing mixer to beat cream cheese and heavy cream on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add ½ cup powdered sugar, Nutella, and cocoa powder. Start the mixer on low and slowly increase speed, beating until the filling is light and fluffy. The filling should be thick and spreadable. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes (this step is important because it will help the filling to hold its shape while rolling the cake).
- Set cooled cake out on a flat surface and gently unroll it. Spread filling over the cake, leaving a ½-inch border on all sides.
- Carefully roll the cake back up to enclose the filling, removing the parchment paper as you go.
- Wrap the cake roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours (and up to a day).
- When you're ready to serve, slice a small piece of each of the ends (this makes it look nice and clean for serving). Lightly dust with powdered sugar.
- Slice and serve!
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