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Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake

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a close up shot of a slice of Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake on a spatula
This Christmas vanilla roll cake features a moist vanilla cake wrapped around rich buttercream and topped with white chocolate drizzle, making it the perfect holiday dessert.
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Table of Contents
  1. Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This Christmas, take your love for vanilla cake up a notch by turning it into this show-stopping Christmas vanilla roll cake. You’ll love the sweet flavor of the rich and moist vanilla cake and the pretty red and green colors of this festive holiday treat. 

a close up shot of a slice of Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake with a piece cut off

Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake Ingredients

Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cake

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (divided into ½ cup and ¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1½ tablespoons red and green holiday sprinkles
  • ½ cup powdered sugar for dusting

For the Buttercream Filling

  • ½ cup salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavor
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1½ tablespoons red and green holiday sprinkles 

For the White Chocolate Glaze

  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips (preferably good quality chips like Ghirardelli)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Red, green and white holiday nonpareil sprinkles or red, green, and white decorating sprinkles (optional garnishes)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

SEASONAL: You can serve this cake at any time of the year. You can substitute the red and green sprinkles for any color of sprinkles. You can even eliminate the sprinkles completely. 

How to Make This Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake Recipe

Cake

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 10x15x1 jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.

STEP TWO: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set dry ingredients aside.

STEP THREE: Using a stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites and white vinegar to medium peaks. 

egg white and white vinegar folded in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Continue mixing on high and slowly add the ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Continue beating the egg white mixture to the stiff peak stage. This could take between 5 to 7 minutes. Set whipped egg whites aside

STEP FIVE: Using a stand mixer or a large bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg yolks until they reach a slightly pale yellow color, about 2 minutes.

STEP SIX: Add the ½ cup granulated sugar, milk, vanilla, and almond extract to the egg yolks mixture. Continue mixing for another 1½ to 2 minutes until well incorporated.

sugar, milk, vanilla and almond extract added to the egg white mixture in a bowl

STEP SEVEN: Add half of the flour mixture, and mix just until combined. Add the remaining flour, and mix until completely incorporated.

flour mixture added to the sugar mixture in a bowl

STEP EIGHT: Fold in the egg white mixture a quarter at a time. 

egg white mixture folded in a bowl

STEP NINE: Evenly sprinkle the red and green sprinkles onto the prepared baking sheet.

red and and green sprinkles sprinkled onto the baking sheet

STEP TEN: Pour batter on top of the sprinkles into the prepared pan. Gently tap the baking sheet to release any air bubbles in the cake batter.

cake batter poured on top of the sprinkles in a baking sheet

STEP ELEVEN: Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until just golden.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

cake mixture baked on a baking sheet

STEP TWELVE: While the cake is baking, lay out a thin, clean kitchen towel and dust with ¼ cup of powdered sugar. You will also need a large cutting board for the dusted cake transfer.

PRO TIP:

Do not add fabric softener to the tea towels when washing. The fabric softener will transfer to the cake and will throw off the taste of the cake. Also, do not use a terry cloth tea towel for wrapping the cake roll in. The lint from the terry cloth will transfer to the cake.

STEP THIRTEEN: When the cake has finished baking, run the tip of a sharp knife along the edge of the baking sheet.

STEP FOURTEEN: Carefully flip the dusted tea towel on top of the baked cake, dusted side against the cake. You will need to leave a small “tail” of the tea towel on the short end of the cake for rolling the cake up.

dusted tea towel flipped on top of the baked cake on a wooden board

STEP FIFTEEN: Place a large cutting board on top of the tea towel. Remember, the baking sheet will still be very hot, so be sure to protect your hands. 

STEP SIXTEEN: Quickly flip the baking sheet over so it is now lying on top of the tea towel and cutting board.

STEP SEVENTEEN: Carefully peel off the parchment paper.

STEP EIGHTEEN: Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.

powdered sugar dusted on top of the cake

STEP NINETEEN: Flip the small tail of the tea towel over the short edge of the cake. Carefully begin rolling one end toward the other. Once rolled, transfer to a wire rack to let the cake cool completely.

PRO TIP:

Be very patient when you roll and unroll the cake. It is delicate and well worth the effort. 

rolling one end to the other on a wooden board

Buttercream Filling

STEP ONE: In a medium bowl and using a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and shortening for 1 to 1½ minutes.

butter, almond extract, vanilla, heavy cream and shortening folded in a bowl

STEP TWO: Add the vanilla and almond extract. Continue mixing on medium-high until well incorporated.

STEP THREE: Lower the mixer to low speed. Add the powdered sugar a ½ cup at a time, alternating with the heavy cream. Once all ingredients are added, increase the mixer speed to high and mix until completely combined and smooth.

Assembly

STEP ONE: Once the cake is completely cooled, slowly unroll the cake.

STEP TWO: Using either a silicone spatula or an offset spatula, spread the filling. Be careful to avoid the edges of the cake. 

filling spread with a knife

STEP THREE: Evenly sprinkle the red and green sprinkles over the buttercream.

red and green sprinkles sprinkled over the buttercream

STEP FOUR: Once filled, slowly and with even pressure, begin rolling the cake back up. 

STEP FIVE: Tightly wrap the rolled cake in plastic wrap to ensure the cake holds its shape. Chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours to overnight.

roll cake wrapped in a plastic wrap

Topping

STEP ONE: Just before you are ready to serve the cake, using a microwave-safe bowl, combine the white baking chips and heavy cream.

STEP TWO: Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds, stir, and heat in 20-second intervals until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.

STEP THREE: Remove the cake roll from the plastic wrap and place it on top of a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath.

STEP FOUR: Drizzle the melted chocolate mixture over the cake roll. Sprinkle the holiday sprinkles over the top of the chocolate.

chocolate mixture drizzled over the top of the roll cake on a cooling rack

STEP FIVE: Transfer the cake roll to a serving plate. Slice ½-inch slices of the cake and serve.

How To Serve

This holiday season, impress your guests with this delightful cake roll. Make it ahead of time and add it to your festive dessert table. Serve it alongside our Christmas pinwheel cookies and our Christmas fudge.

Our rainbow roll cake is another impressive version of this decadent dessert, while our chocolate Swiss roll is where these delectable cakes all started.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftover of your Christmas cake roll in the refrigerator well-wrapped or in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the un-topped cake in the freezer for up to 2 months. Once rolled in the cling wrap, wrap in aluminum foil. Allow the cake roll to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before topping and slicing.

a close up shot of a slice of Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake on a spatula

Spirals of creamy buttercream dotted with red and green sprinkles fill this festive cake roll. It is worth the time it takes to make this dessert and is sure to impress your friends and family over the holidays.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is a jelly roll pan the same as a baking sheet?

A jelly roll pan is different from a baking sheet. It’s important to use a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan for this cake as you want it to be nice and thin. A baking sheet will not work for this recipe.

Can I freeze this vanilla Christmas cake roll?

This simple vanilla roll cake roll recipe can be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to two months.

Why did my swiss roll cake crack?

Your Christmas vanilla cake roll needs to be rolled into the towel as soon as it comes out of the oven. When the cake is rolled while warm, the heat and moisture will help give you a crack-free cake. The cake is much more likely to crack if it is rolled when cooled.

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a close up shot of a slice of Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake on a spatula

Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake

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This Christmas vanilla roll cake features a moist vanilla cake wrapped around rich buttercream and topped with white chocolate drizzle, making it the perfect holiday dessert.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 37 minutes
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided into ½ cup and ¼ cup
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • tablespoons red and green holiday sprinkles
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, for dusting

Buttercream Filling

  • ½ cup salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavor
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • tablespoons red and green holiday sprinkles

White Chocolate Glaze

  • cups white chocolate chips, preferably good quality chips like Ghirardelli
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • sprinkles (Red, green and white holiday nonpareil sprinkles or red, green, and white decorating sprinkles for optional garnishes)

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 10x15x1 baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray the baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set it aside.
  • Using a stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites and white vinegar to medium peaks.
  • Continue mixing on high and slowly add the ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Continue beating the egg white mixture to the stiff peak stage. This could take between 5 to 7 minutes. Set egg yolk mixture aside.
  • Using a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg yolks until they reach a slightly pale yellow color, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the ½ cup granulated sugar, milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Continue mixing for another 1½ to 2 minutes until well incorporated.
  • Add half of the flour mixture, and mix just until combined. Add the remaining flour, and mix until completely incorporated.
  • Fold in the egg white mixture a quarter at a time.
  • Evenly sprinkle the red and green sprinkles onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Pour the cake batter on top of the sprinkles. Gently tap the baking sheet to release any bubbles.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until just golden.
  • While the cake is baking, lay out a thin tea towel and dust with ¼ cup of powdered sugar. You will also need a large cutting board for the dusted cake transfer.
  • When the cake has finished baking, run the tip of a sharp knife along the edge of the baking sheet.
  • Carefully flip the dusted tea towel on top of the baked cake, dusted side against the cake. You will need to leave a small “tail” of the tea towel on the short edge of the cake for rolling the cake up.
  • Place a large cutting board on top of the tea towel. Remember, the baking sheet will still be very hot, so be sure to protect your hands.
  • Quickly flip the baking sheet over, so it is now lying on top of the tea towel and cutting board.
  • Carefully peel off the parchment paper.
  • Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.
  • Flip the small tail of the tea towel over the short edge of the cake. Carefully begin rolling one end toward the other. Once rolled, transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

Buttercream Filling

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl and using a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and shortening for 1 to 1½ minutes.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extract. Continue mixing on medium-high until well incorporated.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low. Add the powdered sugar a ½ cup at a time, alternating with the heavy cream. Once all ingredients are added, increase the mixer speed to high and mix until completely combined and smooth.

Assembly

  • Once the cake is completely cooled, slowly unroll the cake.
  • Using either a silicone spatula or an offset spatula, spread the filling. Be careful to avoid the edges of the cake.
  • Evenly sprinkle the red and green sprinkles over the buttercream.
  • Once filled, slowly and with even pressure, begin rolling the cake back up.
  • Tightly wrap the rolled cake in plastic wrap to ensure the cake holds its shape. Chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours to overnight.

Topping

  • Just before you are ready to serve the cake, using a microwave-safe bowl, combine the white baking chips and heavy cream.
  • Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds, stir, and heat in 20-second intervals until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.
  • Remove the cake roll from the plastic wrap and place it on top of a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath.
  • Drizzle the melted chocolate mixture over the cake roll. Sprinkle the holiday sprinkles over the top of the chocolate.
  • Transfer the cake roll to a serving plate. Slice ½-inch slices of the cake and serve.

Notes

  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time.
  • Do not add fabric softener to the tea towels when washing. The fabric softener will transfer to the cake and will throw off the taste of the cake. Also, do not use a terry cloth tea towel for wrapping the cake roll in. The lint from the terry cloth will transfer to the cake.
  • Be very patient when you roll and unroll the cake. It is delicate and well worth the effort.

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 221IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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