Jelly rolls are part of my holiday heritage – every winter my grandmother and mother rolled a perfectly baked sheet cake into beautiful white and raspberry swirls. As a child, I watched mesmerized from the corner of the kitchen as they worked their magic, delighting in that first delicious bite. I’ve now taken over the duties of jelly roll maker, and this stunning dessert has become a holiday favorite in my own home. Inspired by my family recipe, I’m sharing my simple and easy-to-follow version, so you and your family can also enjoy this sweet and lovely dessert. If the thought of making a jelly roll intimidates you, have no fear. They’re easy to assemble and will make your holiday table look elegant and festive.
To make your holiday baking merry and bright, pick up a Sweet Creations 12×17” Baking Pan, perfect for making jelly rolls and all your favorite holiday cookies. Your jelly roll cake will pop right out, ready to be rolled snugly in a tea towel. Don’t worry – you’ve got this!
Fun Flavor Twists
Enjoy this recipe as written below. Or try these easy upgrades:
- Add a Punch of Color. For a vibrant finish, top the cake with a row of fresh raspberries.
- Get Festive. Our elegant version of red and green – finely chop pistachios and sprinkle on top of the cake to balance out the red raspberry swirls.
- Tangy and Tart. Swap out raspberries for 2-1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, combine in a saucepan with 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup water. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes or until berries pop. Mash berries and strain, returning cranberry juice to the pan. Combine cornstarch and 1 Tablespoon water, adding to strained cranberry juice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Chill.
Get the Tools
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Want even more tasty ideas like this one? Don’t miss these amazing eats:
A classic vanilla sponge cake with homemade raspberry jelly filling. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.
For the Filling
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 24 oz frozen raspberries
For the Cake
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
For the Filling:
Mix all ingredients together in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and nearly reduced in half, about 9-10 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and place in fridge until chilled.
For the Roll:
Heat oven to 350°F.
Spray a Sweet Creations 12x17” baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Line with parchment, then spray parchment generously with baking spray, making sure to coat the edges of the pan. Set aside.
Place egg whites and 1/2 cup of sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer egg white mixture to a bowl.
Return mixer to the stand (no need to clean the bowl) and add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, egg yolks, apple cider vinegar and vanilla to bowl. Beat for 4-5 minutes on high, until light colored and whippy. Slowly add egg white mixture into mixer, beating just until incorporated.
In a medium bowl, whisk or sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt together. Add half of this mixture to the egg mixture, beat just until combined, then add remaining flour mixture to bowl, beat until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
Spread batter into the prepared baking sheet. Tap slightly to even the batter out in the pan. Bake at for 13-17 minutes, or just until center of cake springs back when touched lightly.
While cake is baking, lay a thin dish towel flat on the countertop and sprinkle generously with 1 cup powdered sugar. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, invert atop dishtowel. Gently remove parchment paper. Starting with the narrow end, slowly roll the cake up with the towel. Allow cake to cool completely in rolled up towel. Once cooled, gently unroll the cake. Spread jelly filling across the top, leaving a 1/2” border. Gently roll the cake up again, this time tightly, and without the towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight. Just before serving, use cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer to dust with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
Swap in any frozen berry for the raspberries in this recipe.