Decorated Cake Roll Tutorial

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a great weekend! I haven’t forget about my cake pop experiment post, it’s coming 😉

Decorated Cake Roll Tutorial

Yesterday we celebrated my boyfriend’s birthday with my family, he turned 28th on Friday 😀 I decided to make a strawberry cake roll  but I wanted to try to decorate it. I have seen a few of those cakes and they are so amazing! It’s really not that hard (can be long depending on the pattern you choose to do) and the result is spectacular! I really love this technique and I’m looking forward to try it again (Halloween, Valentine’s day, etc)!

Decorated Cake Roll Tutorial

I used this tutorial from Cake central.

You’ll need :

I decided to make some little birthday cakes. I suggest you draw your pattern first so that it is easier to pipe. Here is how I made mine!

Decorated cake roll pattern

Then, put your pattern on a baking sheet and cover with parchment paper.

Prepare the cake (I made a double recipe just in case, but you really don’t need to!) and use the batter to do the decorations. Color as needed.

First you will need some dark brown batter to do the cake icing (if you have too much at the end, keep it for the cakes). You can use a piping bag with a tip or just a Ziploc from which you cut the corner of the size you need. Pipe the icings following your pattern so that it looks like that.

Decorated cake roll frosting

Freeze for about 10 minutes or more if needed, this will prevent your colors from merging.

Now you’ll need just a little blue batter (again if you have too much, keep it to do some green dots). Take the baking sheet out of the freezer and pipe the candles and little blue dots.

Decorated cake roll candles

At this point you could also pipe the cakes, but I did it in two steps because it was really hot here and the decorations were defrosting very quickly.

Freeze again for about 10 minutes. For the cakes you can use your remaining dark brown batter and add some uncolored batter to lighten the brown. Then you can use yellow batter to do the little flames. Finally you can mix the remaining yellow with the remaining blue and do some green dots.

Decorated cake roll complete

Freeze for the last time. When it’s set, remove the pattern drawing from under your parchment paper (so that the parchment paper with your decorations are directly on the baking sheet) and then pour the remaining batter over the baking sheet and the decorations.

Bake the cake for about 10 minutes at 375°F.

Then follow these steps to finish the cake! Updated on 2012-09-16

Don’t overbake because it will be hard to roll and it might crack.

Lay a parchment paper on your counter (or a clean kitchen towel). As soon as your cake is out of the oven take out the cake from the pan with the parchment paper, turn over on the paper laying on the counter then remove the parchment paper it was baked in. Turn the cake again so that the decorations are facing down (the counter), not up. Roll the cake in the paper and let cool. 

When the cake is completely cool, unroll and spread the filling. Roll again and you’re done! 

You’ll be so happy when you remove the parchment paper and you see that it worked 😉

Enjoy 😀 

Decorated Cake Roll Tutorial

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  1. This. is. TOO. Cool!!! <3

  2. Ah ben là, j’en suis bouche bée. Quelle technique! Bravissimo!

  3. This is beautiful and creative <3 😀 it looks fun, thanks!!

  4. I will definitely by trying this!! It looks awesome!

  5. That is soooo coool. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Danielle says:

    This is great! Never would have thought to do this. Thank you so much for your fantastic tutorial.

  7. This is so awesome! I love it!!

  8. Cutest idea EVER! I absolutely love this, and you make it sound so easy!

  9. This is so amazingly creative!

  10. Wow! Now this is amazing!!! I love it! Thank you so much for sharing. Woot! Woot!

  11. You are simply brilliant! nuff said

  12. That’s ingenious!

  13. Monique Klijn says:

    What a great idea, it looks fantastic 🙂

  14. That is the coolest thing!!

  15. Me encanta….lindo…gracias.

  16. WOW!! This is intense!! It almost looks too pretty too eat…almost 🙂

  17. Jenny marsh says:

    Brill i will be trying this !

  18. Wow – that is so amazing!! I can’t wait to give that a go for my daughter’s birthday! You;re so clever!

  19. Thank you for sharing this Lovely unique idea.

  20. OH MY GOD !!! LOVE IT !

  21. This is absolutely amazing!

  22. karen little says:

    fantastic idea but how long have you got before you fill and roll it please and how do you roll it i have only ever made a swiss roll once at school when i was 14 and it was a nightmare it went all hard and not nice looking at all and i have never tried it since and i am 51 now!!!! thanx karen

  23. Hi!! I just want to say that i love the roll cake it looks fantastic!!! I made one before if you want to check it!!

  24. How beautiful. Your boyfriend is very lucky to receive this cake from you. The cake roll is almost a lost art form – do you think there will be a revival now that you have shown how to pretty it up and modernize the look?

    • Marjorie says:

      Thank you very much! We will see but it sure was very liked over the web and a lot of people wanted to try it! Can’t wait to see what people will come up with!

  25. Wow!!! I can’t wait to try this out for my friends, they will love it! Thanks for this since I have never seen a cake roll decorated like this! Can’t get over how great it looks!

  26. This is GENIUS. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  27. Coolest thing ever!

  28. Awesome idea! Love it!

  29. OMG! Love it! This is so cool! I would love to do it for my husband’s birthday next week!
    Thanks for sharing it:)

  30. This is way way waaaay to cute! Thank you so much for sharing ^-^ its really inspiring.

  31. Marjorie says:

    Thank you so much everyone 😀

  32. I am so happy to find you … this is absolutely amazing … thank you so much for sharing!

  33. I love the creativity here! What a fun cake project. Thanks for sharing. ; )

  34. Oh man, this is amazing! This is the first time you’d tried this? Unbelievable! I’m completely inspired.

    • Marjorie says:

      I had done Cake Rolls before, but never decorated! I’m always stressed out when I do a new recipe/technique and I have to bring it somewhere! Well this turned out ok didn’t it?? 😉 I want to see your cake too when you do it 😀 Thank you 😀

  35. Marie-Claire says:

    Ça y est, je l’ai essayé. Il n’est pas aussi beau que le tien par contre, je crois que ma deuxième couleur n’était pas assez gelée quand j’ai mis le reste de la pâte…
    J’ai voulu écrire “Bonne fête!” pour qu’il soit sur le dessus du gâteau et j’ai mis des ballons autour… Cependant, j’ai oublié un détail… il fallait que j’écrive les lettres en miroir hihihi. Alors, la portion avec des lettres se retrouvent maintenant au milieu du gâteau :-). Les ballons ne sont pas extraordinairement beaux, mais ce n’est pas la fin du monde.
    Après tout, c’était ET mon 1er gâteau roulé ET mon premier gâteau roulé décoré 😉 Mais je vais certainement réessayer dans le future

  36. Hi Marjorie,
    I made this cake roll today but it didn’t turn out as nice as yours 🙁
    I mixed each colour and froze between each colour added it looks like the cake absorbed the colours and you can’t tell what the picture is. is there any hint you can give?

    Thanks so much,
    Paula @ randomcakes

    • Oh sorry it didn’t work out 🙁 Hum maybe the colored cake batters weren’t frozen enough? Or they defrosted too fast and then they mixed with your cake batter? Maybe the thickness of the decorations has to do something too. If it was very thin maybe it defrosts faster and could mix more easily with the cake batter. I’m in no way an expert, it was my first try too. But that’s my insights! 😀 Keep me posted!

  37. So to clarify (sorry!), after makign the design (freezing after each colour so it doesn’t merge), you freeze it once more. Then you take the decorations off the parchment paper, lay it out on a new one that you’ll bake the cake in and pour the rest of the batter on it, and then bake?
    Sorry, i really want to make sure this is 100 percent clear!

    • No problem at all! Yes you have to freeze it one more time! Else the cake batter will merge with your cake batter and maybe the other colors would have had the time to defrost and mix with the rest too!

      I’m sorry if the next part wasn’t clear! Don’t take the decorations off the parchment!!! Please don’t! 😉 In fact what I had is 2 sheet of parchment papers, I had one with my drawings and on top I had one with the decorations. What I meant is if you have a parchment paper with your drawings on it, take it off, you don’t want to bake your cake on top of two sheet of parchment paper! But, if you did the drawing on one side and the decorations on the other side, you’re good to go! Keep me posted 😀

      • oh goodness gracious, I shall NOT transfer the decorations. Ok!!
        Another question- will this work with an egg-white based roulade? The batter is really airy and light so I’m not sure what dying, mixing, piping will do to the batter.
        I will try it out with this recipe first though!! 😀 thanks so much

        • Hum I really don’t know! I must try that myself because I would very like to have a with batter, could be fun and pretty 😀 If you do tell me how it turns out 😀

  38. I am saving this for sure, my boys would love this except I think I will make a lego pattern instead of cakes !!

  39. I have a question for you, if you follow the directions that say to turn cake over onto towel or waxed paper and then roll, won’t your decorated side be up and then you are rolling it and it won’t be seen? I would think you need to maybe flip it out of pan but then back over again and then roll??? Thanks

  40. How clever are you !!! This is awesome !!! I love it, thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  41. I just had to come by to tell you how much I love your Halloween cake roll too! Pinned both.

  42. Excellent!!! I will try to make a strawberry shape for my bf’s birthday 😀 You’re SO GREAT!!! Thank you for the trick!!! Enjoy baking =^_^=

  43. Linda Revell says:

    Clever girl, this is beautiful!

  44. Sigh, spent an hour getting all the little cakes just so, then they smeared when I poured the batter over them after they’d been in the freezer for an hour. Next time I won’t try to spread the batter from side to side by tipping the pan, but it wouldn’t spread otherwise. I’ll probably make a bit more batter next time to compensate for this. But the colors are really pretty, just more abstract than I’d intended. 🙂

  45. I just dont have words to say…How creative can one be??? This work is really amazing !!!

  46. I just love this! I found your blog on pinterest and I am now obsessed with Swiss rolls. The first one I tried with red and green polkadots and it worked perfectly. And then I wanted to try something more complicated with stripes and writing and when it was done I went to peel the wax paper off everything I piped got stuck on the paper. Then I tried it again, but this time instead off freezing each time, I baked it for minutes at a time and it did it again and got sick on the paper. I don’t know what I did wrong, I greased everything like the first time. Any suggestions?

    • Thank you!!! Hum, it never happened to me, were your stripes and writing very thin? Maybe if they were you could try surronding them with batter and freezing again. I’ve never try the baking technique so far, but it seems to work well. Did you use the same king of paper both times?

      • Yes, same exact wax paper, I’m going to use parchment this time and see how that works, and yes I did pipe some batter around the thin writing first

        • Sorry I couldn’t help, I’ll look a little more around the web to see if I find someone who had the same problem and fixed it!

        • clarebear says:

          Hi Czianya,

          I just had the exact same problem as you. I spent ages piping perfect little teddies and they all just stuck to the wax paper once it was baked. So disappointing. Have you had any success using parchment paper?

          • 🙁 So frustrating! I find it strange that it would work with parchment paper and not with waxed paper. I’ll try next time with both, just a test, we will be fixed once and for all 😉 Very sorry for you 🙁

  47. This is so ingenious and creative. I am just in awe! I have an idea to use your technique in a cake order I have this weekend. I can’t wait to try it!

  48. That is FRIKKIN amazing! I will never get that right!

  49. I have never seen anything like this! So cool!!

  50. I love this tutorial. I have to prove it as soon as posible! *_*

  51. it looks amazing !!
    i have always loved ur page and have kept coming back for a lot of encouragement… that cake is absolutely mouthwatering, i had tried this cake roll with this same design ,the design came perfect but …the cake was quite hard and i had a doubt while designing the leftover batter should we keep it in the refrigeretar or should it be left outside .
    when u are free pls reply back so i can make it again ^ _ ^

    • Awww thank you so much Neema <3

      Oh really sorry to hear that 🙁 it was hard once baked? Did it crack? Ahahaha I love that you are still wanting to do it again! Way to go girl!

      I kept it in the fridge because it took me like 2 hours (or more? :P) to do the design, I don't feel comfortable leaving a batter with raw eggs at room temperature for that long in summer. But you can leave it at room temperature when you finish your design and it stands in the freezer. That way it won't be too cold. I wouldn't think that this is the cause of the hard cake though. It could be that it was overbaked or maybe something different with the ingredients? Give me more details on the "hardness" of the cake!

      Thanks again Neema!

      • hi, sorry for the late reply ,as i had tried baking it again ,i found out my mistake right after i messaged u it was because my oven was newly bought and i didn’t know how to control it !! 🙁 as the heat was too much my cake had hardened ,the ingredients are the same as urs , my second cake turned out to be perfect and spongy , and i have a request tht next time when you post these types of cakes could u pls suggest different variety of fillings ^ __^
        thanks a lot ,

        • Marjorie says:

          Very happy you found the problem Neema! Of course I can suggest different fillings! Generally you can fill it with any frosting or fruits!


  52. I see this everytime, I’m motivated to bake. Thank you for such a lovely step by step tutorial and sharing the exact trick of the trade.

  53. Hello!!I’d like to try this cake roll, would you please tell me how many flour and sugar do you use in GRAMS?and is it granulated sugar?
    thank you 🙂

  54. Myranda says:

    Seriously? this is awsome!!! I never would of thought to do this!!! So making one!!!

  55. monique says:

    heel hartelijk bedankt dat je dit met ons wil te delen ik vroeg me al af hoe doen ze dat zo en nu heb ik het en ik kan het dank zij jou uit proberen want binnen enkele dagen wordt ik 50 jaar en dat mag gevierd worden he

  56. WOW!!!

  57. I spent ages making a pretty design but then my Swiss roll turned golden by the time it was cooked (12 mins but it was golden before that) so You couldn’t see anything other than the golden outer crumb.I’m so disappointed 🙁 Do you have any advice? I want to get it right!

    • Hello Erika!

      I know that it is very disappointing, it happened to me a couple of times too. The times it happened to me, the batter wasn’t spread evenly on the design and beside it. So the part with the design baked very fast compared to the rest of the cake 🙁 Was it the case for yours? So spread the batter evenly and check the cake while baking, sometimes it takes less time to bake than others.

      Hope this helps!

  58. Thanks for this tutorial! Your cake turned out amazing!
    I tried your recipe, it worked well for me and was easy to roll. I kept my design much more simple though! You can see a photo of it on my blog. (I referenced your site as the recipe source!)
    Cassandra recently posted…{Oh My Stars! Deco Roll Cake}My Profile


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