Vanilla Swiss Roll (香草瑞士蛋糕卷)

Monday, 1 September 2014

There're a few common problems with making Swiss rolls: (1) The cake is hard and dry. (2) The crust sticks to the paper the cake is wrapped in. (3) The crust cracks when you roll the cake.

Good Swiss roll starts with, of course, a sheet cake that's fluffy. You know what's wrong with a lot of Swiss roll recipes? They have way too much flour.

A cake that's 1-2 cm tall should have very little flour because it doesn't need much structural support. If it has as much flour as a cake that's 5-7 cm tall, it would be dense and hard.

There's no point in baking a cake that's fluffy but dried out. What makes my cake moist? Oil. Water doesn't help make a sheet cake moist. Why? Because the cake is so thin, H2O in the batter evaporates very quickly. It's gotta be fat that keeps the cake moist.

Don't overbake the cake or it'll be dry. Timing is critical because a 1-2 cm thick cake may overbake in 1-2 minutes. Make sure the cake is removed from the oven once the middle is springy when pressed lightly.

How to stop the crust from sticking to the paper it's wrapped in? Easy. Just don't wrap the cake in paper.

A lot of Swiss roll recipes tell you to roll the cake whilst it's piping hot, when it's most flexible and least likely to crack. This (the rolling, not telling) is done after placing the cake on a piece of parchment paper, and then dusting the crust with icing sugar.

The cake is rolled along with the paper, which stops the cake from sticking to itself.

The sugar is supposed to stop the crust from sticking to the paper, in theory. In practice, however, it doesn't because the cake releases moisture as it cools down. The paper traps the moisture that makes the crust wet and, hence, sticky.

How about wrapping the cake in a tea towel which breathes better than parchment paper? That works if the cake is quite dry when it's removed from the oven. But who wants a dried out Swiss roll, right? If it's moist as it should be, it'd still stick to the tea towel.

I let my sheet cake cool down on a wire rack after it's baked, without rolling or covering it.

Is my cake dry after it's cooled down? Not at all, because it has loads of fat and it's not overbaked.

Does my cake crack when I roll it after it's cooled down?

Nope, it doesn't because it's very flexible. The cake can stretch and bend into a roll without breaking. The flexibility is due to the way the eggs are beaten. The whites are whisked to firm peak stage, then the yolks are added one at a time and whisked thoroughly. Compared to the whole egg or chiffon method, this makes a cake that's more stretchable.


Some people wrap their Swiss roll, after rolling, to set the shape. If you want to do that, I suggest you use a tea towel. Parchment paper, if tightly wrapped around the cake for a few hours, will stick to the crust.

I prefer not to wrap the cake. There's really no need to do so provided the filling is firm when I'm rolling the cake.

If you use dairy cream filling, it must be firm when you're spreading it on the cake. And you must work quickly so it's still firm when you roll the cake. If it isn't, put the cake in the freezer for five minutes or so.

Here's how I make a Swiss roll (without pushing him down a mountain):



VANILLA SWISS ROLL (香草瑞士蛋糕卷)
(Recipe for one 13" roll)
Cake
80 g egg whites
60 g castor sugar
60 g egg yolks
35 g cake flour
1/16 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
20 g corn oil

butter for greasing pan
Filling
80 g chocolate spread
      or
215 g whipped cream (click here for recipe)
1 can (312 g) mandarin orange, drained and chilled

1. To make cake, preheat oven to 170°C. Grease 12" x 9" pan with butter. Line pan with parchment paper.

2. Whisk egg whites on medium speed till thick foam forms. Gradually add castor sugar whilst continuing to whisk. Keep whisking till egg whites are at soft peak stage. Reduce speed to slow and continue to whisk till firm peak stage (when whisk is lifted, egg whites form peak that's hooked).

3. Add yolks to whites in 4 batches. Whisk on slow speed till evenly mixed after each addition. Sift half of flour into mixture. Add salt. Mix with whisk till almost even. Sift remaining flour into mixture. Mix with whisk till just even. Add vanilla extract and corn oil. Fold with spatula till just evenly mixed, banging mixing bowl against worktop 2-3 times.

4. Pour batter into cake pan. Spread with spatula as evenly as possible, pushing batter into corners of pan. Jiggle till batter is level. Tap pan against worktop twice. Bake on middle shelf till middle of cake is springy when pressed, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Drop pan from 1' high 3-4 times. Unmould cake onto wire rack. Peel parchment paper from sides of cake. Leave till cool.

5. To assemble, place cake on new sheet of parchment paper, face down. Peel parchment paper from bottom of cake. Spread evenly with chocolate spread or whipped cream. Place mandarin orange, if using, in middle of cake. Roll cake as shown in video.

6. To cut chocolate spread Swiss roll neatly, dip serrated knife in hot water before each cut and wipe dry/clean with paper towel. For orange and cream Swiss roll, chill till cream filling is set, then use a serrated knife that's wiped clean after each cut.

7. Orange and cream Swiss roll is best eaten after an overnight rest in the fridge, when the filling has had time to perfume the cake. Chocolate spread Swiss roll should be chilled or eaten once it's made. Otherwise, oil separates from the spread and seeps into the cake, making it hard.

97 comments:

Nora Nonie said...

How long was the baking time?

KT said...

10 minutes. Sorry I missed that. Cheers.

cookiescorpse said...

*-* it looks very yummy, I love your recipes, I need to try all of them!

Millie said...

I'm so glad you posted a Swiss roll. I've been searching for one where the cake is truly delicious!

Ariel said...

Hi KT! Thanks for this recipe, have been hunting for a good swiss roll recipe for a while now! However, I wish to make a chocolate swiss roll - in this case do I need to make any adjustments to your recipe or can I just add in cocoa powder without affecting the cake's structure?

Wen said...

Thanks for your superb recipe. I've practiced the Swiss roll in my kitchen. Taste was very nice everyone like it. But not yet 100% successful because the crust of the cake stick to the parchment paper when I rolled them, so the roll did not have the crust. I have some question on the baking process. I turn on the heat to 200 degree for 10 minutes but still the cake not brownish enough. But the surface has turned springy. Is it something wrong with my oven or I should also turn on the top burner? I attached my swiss roll photo(sorry about the picture it's still require a great deal of practice)

ashley said...

Can i make a deco roll out of this recipe?

KT said...

That depends. How good is your baking?

KT said...

What cakes have you baked before, successfully?

KT said...

What have you baked before successfully?

josephine said...

Do you have a pandan swiss roll recipe? My boy loves yr pandan chiffon cake recipe and been making it almost every weekend! It will be if there's a combination of pandan cake with the whipped cream! Thanks for the fantastic recipes!

KT said...

The vanilla extract in this recipe may be replaced with pandan extract, maybe 9-10 drops.

Joline said...

Hi KT
Do you know how to do a yummy bake rice?

josephine said...

Thanks kt!! My boy with your pandan cake recipe!

josephine said...

Pic

Hwee said...

Thank you for sharing; first success and have received compliments for tasty roll.

KT said...

Your son looks like he might be a Korean pop star when he grows up. (The cake looks good, too.)

Angela said...

Hi KT
I tried baking the swiss roll following your exact receipt for the sponge and it turned out well. However , when I decided to make the chocolate sponge, by adding cocoa powder say around 20-30g of it...I cant roll it nicely and the sponge crack when I try rolling.
What could be the cause?

fizza said...

How many eggs contain 140g egg whites?

KT said...

The cause of what? Your wishful thinking?

Angela said...

U can't even understand a simple question? How weird!

KT said...

You can't even tell I've answered your question. Oh dear.

Lydz said...

Hi KT!

Just wanted to say thank you for all your great recipes. I am a big fan. Tried your Swiss roll and it was very successful. I made it for dad on Father's Day and the whole family loved it. I placed strawberries in my cake instead (since it's in season) but I reckon any fruit would taste great. Keep up the great baking work!

snoopy said...

I think she (KT) means too much flour, add 20-30g coco powder on 40g cake flour, don't you think it is too much flour? The fat made the cake not crack, not the flour.

snoopy said...

She mentioned above.

lili said...

Hai i wanted to see your roasted pork buns recipe would you post it again. Thank you so much before :)

KT said...

You are welcome. Thanks for the feedback and photo. That's a nice roll!

Selvy Husno said...

Hi KT, I'm a big fan of your work, just learned baking for some months and had tried several of your recipes. I just baked the swissroll last night, following every detail of your recipe above, but the cake did not done, it's still wet and sticky even after I add another 10 min of baking. I just now realized that the recipe in your video is half of the one in your blog, and I followed all in the blog except for the pan size, I followed the your video, I used around 24x24cm. So I guess my pan is too small? Correct me if I'm wrong, thanks again KT.

Judith said...

I used 9x12 pan for this cake recipe, bake 10mins, it turned out so good. You can try.

Judith said...

I used 9x12 pan and baked 10mins, it turn out so good, you can try.

Selvy Husno said...

thanks Judith, will do

Selvy Husno said...

my mini oven can't take more than 26x26 cm pan, so I think I will try again with the pygmy size cake measurement in the video

fiona said...

Thank you for sharringng the recipe. I Itried the recipe for the first time and the cake turns out beautifully, light, moist, and fluffy. I like it a lot. However, I feel like it tastes a little bit drier/not as moist as the chiffon cake. Is this how it suppose to be? I did google the difference in taste of chiffon vs sponge cake, most of it said sponge cake is moist. American cakes were advertised as moist as well but I personally think it is not as moist and soft as Asian cake. Thank you (I hesitate for an hour before posting this question, because I dont want to be called as dumb, but i have to ask because I am very curious).

Annie Tes said...

Thanks for recipe, Never baked cake roll before. Your recipe is simple and easy I have to practice more often.

KT said...

That's your first Swiss roll? Wow!

KT said...

I am too dumb to know which chiffon cake you're referring to.

Alex said...

U shld add only 15g cocoa powder and reduce the flour by the same amt. Hope this helps. Try not to alter the recipes by KT, she's done a lot of research.=)

Manju said...

Your recipes are superb. Very accurate..i have tried a couple of them and i have never failed so far. Thanks a ton for sharing..

Edoardo Cazzulo said...

I love you!

Wish Miracle said...

U n ur cake are amazing. U r generous to share the recipe. I always follow ur recipe!

Crystal Tiong said...

Where did you buy the cake pan from?

Crystal Tiong said...

Its not 5x12x20?

Kk said...

How many white egg is 140g? Can u pls convert your recipe in cups n tbsp.

p said...

4 eggs

Kk said...

Tq p.

Kk said...

KT 1st time I'm trying cake from your blog. Baking the strawberry cake now. Crossing my fingers for the best outcome. It's for my hubby's birthday. Will update the result. Tq for the recipe.

jenny oey said...

hi KT can you make zebra cake in 18 cm cake pan? thanks

Fiona said...

Thanks KT! my first rather successful attempt at cake actually came from this recipe.,I failed once. love your videos and your accurate and clear instructions! strange thing is my batter seems less than yours and cake seems to have risen but not as thick as yours even though texture is okay. rather soft and fluffy though maybe on the dry side. In anycase, I am an amateur. May attempt this again. Thanks much

Joy said...

If 140g of egg white is 4 eggs, then can I estimate that 60g of egg yolk is 2 egg?

Lynnette said...

Hi KT, will there be any difference if I use a 10" x 12" tray for the recipe?

AL said...

Hi KT

Thanks for the recipe. My cake turned out to be thinner and was sticking to the parchment paper. So when I removed the paper, half of the cake was removed as well, leaving just a thin layer. What could have gone wrong? Thanks.

Lim Lanshii said...

KT. I've tried ur recipe and I used Nutella as the filling. It's a successfull one. I'm so happy that my kids love the roll so much. Thanks KT for the 10quan 10 mei Swiss roll.

KT said...

Hi AL, the paper you used wasn't parchment paper.

Haffa Bexi said...

lovelyyy

Lee said...

KT the texture is very nice, but can you tell me why the skin of my cake sticks to the baking paper (definitely baking / parchment paper I am using) when roll?

tenou chan said...

hello , good night ... look it could replace the castor sugar by regular sugar like the fat per melted butter ?
thank you

Grace said...

Hi KT, like always..your recipe never failed me :) I tried all your chiffon recipe and orh kueh and all was a big hit. Thank u KT for sharing. I haven't managed to do your PET right though, maybe my custard temp was wrong. I made this swiss roll few time and always success as well. Btw, I plan to do the orange filling to travel for 2 hours drive, will the cream filling melt ? thanks

Nancy Solomon said...

Can i use Olive oil instead of corn oil?

Jpat said...

I really love your recipes but you have to understand not everyone has a weighing scale on their kitchen. As a result, it's really hard to follow your recipe on an international level. It would be really great if you could make this international friendly and add measurements in cups/tbsp/tsp along with the metric measurements. Thanks.

Island Baker said...

Hi KT, this is how mine looks. Wanna give you a look inside but not patient enough to eat. Anw, thanks for the recipe. My whole family love it. Will definitely make a double batch next week!

Rosa said...

Hi KT... I followed your recipe and the cake turns out wonderful. I used 2 5" round cake tin and I did not frost the top with whipped cream as my family don't really like too many cream. Though mine is a bit wrinkled but the cake is fluffy and yummy... Thank you so much for the recipe and video guidance...

Audrey said...

This recipe is the best so far!!!!! The swissroll is soft and moist!!! Thanks!!!^_^

Audrey said...

Thanks for this wonderful recipe!!^_^

deer said...

Hi KT, how so you scale the recipe to 24x24cm, about 9.4"? Thanks

gemma said...

Here's a q. If the eggs totaled to 160g do you take out the yolk or the white to turn it 150g, or mix them first ?

Grace said...

Hi KT,
Thank you for sharing good recipe with full description and video too. That's very helpful.
My cake turn out quite good. Nice sponge cake recipe indeed.

Noor said...

I've been reading your blog for several months, enjoying your direct, confident and at times.. let's say less diplomatic approach. It's quite refreshing tho can be daunting for new bakers.

Last Sunday I had a chance to try your recipe and I tried this one. I followed it to a T and it came out perfect. I was amazed that the cake didn't domed. It was really flat at first try. Amazing!!! And it was a tasty Japanese cake. So kudos to you. I'm now even more motivated to try other recipes from your blog while at the same time try your techniques on some other recipes I've been using.

KT said...

I understand there's always someone moaning he/she doesn't have something or other.

Yaya said...

Hi KT,

I'm a first time baker and was inspired to bake my first Swiss roll after seeing your step by step video..the outcome wasn't very good cause I think I under whisked the egg white..when I pour into the baking tray, I could feel that the batter still runny and not thick like yours..nonetheless, I would like to say a big thank you for the videos..here I share with you my Swiss roll pic :)

Mariden Ortiz Sollorano said...

this my first baked

VA said...

Hi KT, in you video, the pan size is 11"x8", but in your recipe, it's 13"x10", which one is the suitable pan size for your recipe?

Shirley said...

Hi KT, both my sons love this cake! Thanks for your recipe. I would like to bake it again for my younger boy's birthday and wonder if I can double up the ingredients to make a bigger cake? Shirley

Rola said...

Hello! I watched ur video a while ago and i was wondering, u dont use baking powder for this recipe??

Sake Soju said...

Read most comments. And feel like baking now ! I have stopped reading this blog for a short while....coz....after I made the marble cake....it was so good that I could bake one and finish it up all by myself! My weight is on the rise! Now I am back to this blog and tempted ....very tempted to bake this. And errr....the comments are really interesting and funny. Stay calm and bake on!

Ann said...

hi KT, i attempted this recipe 3 times and all 3 times, cake was nice and soft, however, the cake gave up alot of the height it gain once its out of the oven. I am providing all these details with hope that it would be sufficient for you to help on why the cake shrunk so much when its out of the oven.
My 1st attempt, i used 185degC for 35mins, the cake was very brown and the sides and bottom are browned too. I lower to 175degC for 35 mins and it was slightly better but still quite brown.
For this 3rd attempt, i lowered the temperature to 170degC for 35mins and it browning looks better. I will provide as much details as i can so would give you a better pic and hopefully spot what i have done wrong.

Here goes :
Details :
Pan size : 20x20
Increase recipe by 1.666x
glucose 16.6g, egg 250g, sugar 100g, cake flour 100g, salt 1/10 tsp, vanilla extract 1.5tsp, corn oil 75g.

Have bang several times to remove bubbles in batter.
All cakes was removed when cake tester came out clean and the surface bounced back when touch.

With the pan cover, the thermometer registered only 160degC. After the cover was removed, the thermometer registered only 150degC. Could the problem be my oven?

The center of the cake shrink more than the sides and the top of the cake looks concave. The cake went down to almost the height of the batter

Also the brown skin comes off easily, not sure if that is suppose to be the way.

I forgotten to take a pic of the cake after unmolding, only have the assembled one. We dont really like alot of cream, so the assembled cake is with very little cream, more like a strawberry cake sandwiched. :) It still taste very good nevertheless.

Thank you for going through my steps to identify the problem.
Ann

Ann said...

Hope the attachment will go through..

KT said...

Hi Ann, 1) Did you weigh all the ingredients, including the eggs? 2) Were your eggs weighed without shells? 3) Is the temperature in the middle of your oven lower than the bottom? 4) At what point was your oven at 160C? 5) Are you located in Singapore? If you are, which brand of eggs did you use? Were your eggs stored in the fridge and fresh?

Ann said...

Morning KT,
All ingredients were weight twice using digital scale, eggs are without shell 173g white 77g yolk. The thermometer shown was hanging below the rack and it shown the same temperature as the one standing on the rack. At 160c was constant after 30 mins of preheating with temperature set for 170C and with pan cover. Temperature doesn't go up anymore so i assume it could be due to top cover. Im staying in Malaysia. I bought those eggs from pasar malam 4 days ago and they were kept in the fridge since i bought them. I did the water test and the eggs rested right at the bottom, so they are fresh. Thank you.

KT said...

1) There should be another shelf below the one you use? Put a rack on that shelf. Place a thermometer on the rack, i.e. lying flat. What's the temperature (after it's stabilized)? 2) Place a rack on the middle shelf. Measure the temperature as before. 3) Break one of your pasar malam eggs into a bowl. Take a photo and upload. Thanks!

Ann said...

Hi KT,


1. This is the lowest shelf already, the next level is the base of the oven.
2. I place a rack at the lowest shelf and one and the middle shelf with a thermometer lying flat on each level so we can establish the temperature together. (pls see pic)
Takes about 24mins to each 170C, the lower rack each 170c about 1.5mins before the upper rack.
3. The pan over was placed inside the oven and preheat together. The oven temperature was set for 170C but after temperature stablized, thermometer registered only 160C.
4. Please see pic of the egg. :-)
Thanks you.

KT said...

One last question before I start answering yours. Did your first two cakes also have a top which wasn't smooth, like the third cake in your photo that says "total bake time . . . "?

KT said...

One last question before I start answering yours. Were the top of your
first two cakes less bumpy, or more, compared to your third cake in your
photo that says "total bake time . . . "?

Ann said...

the top of the first 2 cakes were almost the same as the 3rd cake, no significant difference on bump wise. The only difference between the cakes is the degree of brown-ness. All 3 cakes collapse in the same way. There is one thing i noticed on all 3 cake is that, there is a kind of indentation on the top during the initial bake. Somewhere in the center of the cake, not sure if there is anything to be concern about, it can be seen in the picture showing the cake 20mins into baking. Total bake time as in 25mins with cover + 10mins without pan cover, so in total, i bake the cake for 35mins.
Thank you :)

KT said...

1) The recipe says "Place pan in bottom of oven. Place baking tray in top of oven." That means your pan cover should go into the oven immediately after the cake pan. If the cover is preheated, it serves no purpose because it can't block heat effectively once it's thoroughly heated.
2) The bottom of my oven is 195C when the middle is 185C. Yours has the same temperature as the middle. For you, it doesn't matter which shelf you use.
3) My bottom of my cake gets 195C; the top gets a much lower temperature to start with but the heat increases as my baking tray gets hotter, and when the cover is removed. Your cake gets 160C, top and bottom, from beginning till end.
4) 160C seems OK judging from your cake's colour, baking time, and how much your cake rose. I assume the moisture is OK?
5) So what made your cakes collapse? I suspect it might be the eggs. What other cakes have you baked with the pasar malam eggs? What was the outcome?
6) The indentations in your cake look like "landing marks", i.e.
where the batter lands when it's poured into the cake pan. Your batter
was probably unevenly mixed. Batter that doesn't have enough flour
and/or eggs doesn't rise well, resulting in a bumpy top.

I'll test the recipe at 160C and see if it works with my eggs. Give me, say, a couple of weeks.

Ann said...

Morning KT,
Thanks for the advise. will be doing it again.
I will put in the pan cover with the came. To clarify, the cake pan should be placed on the base on the oven, and not the lowest shelf, correct.
I baked chiffon cake with the same egg, the cake was Okie. .
The sponge cake was soft and most. Tasted very good actually.
This time round i will be careful and be more thorough with the mixing for it to be even.
Thank you for taking time to do the experiment.
I will update the results with these new input.
Thank you.

ShirleyBerry said...

Hi KT,
Thank you for sharing your valuable recipes. Been looking for this and I m glad I found your blog. Have baked this twice and to me I am happy enough. It's nice and yummy although it is not fluffy and light as yours. Thank you so much for your recipe and all the detailed instructions.
However, it would be great if I can have a word or two from you on how should I improve further from my picture. Thanks KT and have a nice day.

KT said...

Practise.

ShirleyBerry said...

Noted with many thanks

Ann said...

Hi KT,
DId another round of trial. With a few factor changed, the result is still the same.
Things i change :
1. Preheat oven till 180degC, without pan cover
Placed batter at lowest shelf of oven and place pan cover in oven together with cake batter.
2 & 3 & 4. Observation : Temperature shown on bottom shelf shows 160 and stayed that way all the way till the pan cover was removed and the temperature shows 150 until the cake was done.
5. Will go get another type of egg to try. Perhaps sakura egg or something
6. Batter was well mixed, no indentation.


Will wait for the results of your trial.
Thank you

KT said...

For ovens which have a vertically uniform temperature: preheat to 195C; place cake on bottom shelf; place baking tray on top shelf; remove tray after 20 minutes; bake another 4.5 minutes or so, testing cake as detailed in recipe.

Anupa said...

Hi KT, can i use glucose powder instead of liquid glucose or, can i make it from the glucose powder?

Ann said...

Hi KT,

This is the result with your suggestion. Totally have no clue what could i have done wrong. The cake starts to pull back the moment is is out of the oven. The thermometer register 195'C before i place it in oven. (thermometer is hang on the rack of the bottom shelf)

Thermometer registered 170'C. After opening the oven the 2nd time to remove the pan cover, the thermometer registered 160'C. Not much change in temperature during the last 4.5mins of baking.

I recently made cream puff with choux pastry using the same eggs from pasar malam, the puff came out good.
Totally clueless now, and thank you for taking the time to do the experiment. I will go get "branded" eggs with indication of expiry to bake this again. Will update again on the result.

Kim Dang said...

Another awesome recipe KT. I didn't have any glucose so substituted it with honey. Came out soft and fluffy. Possibly the best sponge recipe I have seen so far. Thank you so much!

alethea said...

Hello ! Is it possible to subtitute cake flour to self raising flour or plain flour?
and can we use any other oil, other than corn oil?

Tpham said...

I got mine at Walmart. Right at Wilton section. Make sure to check online first to ensure the product is in stock. Hope u still want to buy it to bake this cake after A year :)

Adeline Ng said...

Hi KT! It's really easy follow your recipe to make a wonderful cake! My daughter can't wait to share the yummy cake with friends. Thanks for your shares!

Anonymous said...

HI KT, thanks for this video. it's very delicious and easy to make. By the way, can I use olive oil or vegetable oil instead of corn oil?

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