The PERFECT Swiss Roll Cake

Light and fluffy sponge cake with a silky smooth cream filling. This is the guide to creating the perfect swiss roll cake with a milk tea cream!

Creating the perfect swiss roll cake has always been a struggle for me. There were problems rolling it into the perfect shape, problems with cracks, problems with cream oozing… and the list goes on. Well lucky for you I am here to solve all your problems! This swiss roll is incredibly light with a melt-in-your mouth quality, similar to a Japanese swiss roll or one you would find in an Asian bakery. And you can change up the filling as you like, whether that be a simple jam, whipped cream, buttercream or fresh fruit. The world is your oyster!

What is a Swiss Roll?

Every country seems to have their own version of a swiss roll. Whether it is called a swiss roll, jelly roll, cream roll, roll cake, roulade or swiss log they are all the same thing. A rolled sponge cake filled with some type of icing, cream or jam. These’s even one for Christmas, the yule log!

However when it comes to the texture of the sponge cake it differs slightly between countries. I find that the swiss rolls from European countries are significantly drier, most likely due to the use of jams and icings, as well as the nature of the sponge cake being predominantly genoise.

On the other hand Japan and other Asian countries have a characteristic swiss roll which is lighter in texture and taste. Being made from a chiffon base the sponge cake has a softer texture and they are usually filled with a light whipped cream.

Preference comes to personal taste, but who can say no to a fluffy cloud of a cake?!

milk tea hong kong swiss roll cake

Frequently Asked Swiss Roll Cake Questions

Why is my swiss roll rubbery?

The cake can become rubbery if the batter has been over-mixed. Over-mixing the batter increases the development of gluten which in turn increases the cakes gumminess. Over-mixing can also deflate the air bubbles that were created when whipping the meringue, causing the cake to deflate.

How do you roll a swiss roll cake without cracking it?

To ensure the swiss roll is assembled without a crack make sure to roll the cake sheet when warm. The cake has greater flexibility when warm, so it can easily be moulded to your preferred shape. That way later, when it is layered with cream, it is significantly easier to shape.

Why did my swiss roll fall apart?

There are a couple of reasons as to why your roll may have fallen apart.

  • The cake was under-baked: The cake will be very moist and difficult to handle. With the whipped cream it may have too much moisture and will fall apart easily.
  • The cake was over-baked: If over-baked the cake will be a lot drier and more prone to cracks. A crack in your roll can cause the swiss roll to fall apart.
milk tea hong kong swiss roll cake

How to roll the perfect swiss roll

A swiss roll is all about the roll. In order to create the perfect roll cake keep the following tips in mind.

  • Roll the cake in a tea towel as soon as it comes out of the oven
    • This is the most important step when creating a swiss roll.
    • The biggest problem people have with swiss rolls is the shape.
    • When the cake is warm it has the most elasticity and flexibility, and therefore rolling at it’s peak plasticity will allow you to mould it into your desired shape
    • Many recipes will tell you to roll it in baking paper. However, tea towels are much softer and will not causes unsightly lines and wrinkles to form on the surface of your cake
  • Fill the centre of the roll with more cream and the edge with a thinner layer
    • This is important when rolling the cake.
    • The centre of the cake where the innermost roll is will have the most cream.
    • If you apply a thick layer to the outer part of the roll it will almost definitely be squeezed out of the cake when rolled up.
  • Wrap the roll cake in cling wrap
    • Once you have successfully filled and rolled the cake wrap it tightly with cling wrap. This helps to set the shape of the cake while it sets up in the fridge.
  • Slice the cake with a warm sharp knife
    • Trying to cut this cake with a blunt knife may result in the cream to ooze out of the sides. Make sure your knife is warm and sharpened so it can slice through the layers of cake easily.

Milk Tea Roll Cake Filling

This version is filled with light and fluffy milk tea cream. My dream swiss roll! When it comes to roll cakes the Hong Kong Swiss Roll was always my go to. This is the kind you’ll find in most Asian bakeries. The sponge is incredibly soft and the light cream complements the sponge.

To pair with the sponge I thought a Hong Kong Milk Tea filling would be appropriate.

Where can I buy instant milk tea powder?

Instant milk tea powder is one of my go-to’s when creating milk tea flavoured desserts. Because it is in a powdered form you can create a concentrated milk tea flavour without unnecessary liquids. Instant milk tea powder is widely available and in most Asian grocery stores. If you can’t find it in a store near you there are a lot of sellers online on Amazon like here.

milk tea hong kong swiss roll cake

Customise the Swiss Roll to Your Taste!

If you can’t find milk tea powder, or feel like something different this recipe is extremely versatile. You can customise the cake however you want whether that be jam, fruits, fresh cream or buttercream!

Jam Roll Filling

The easiest of the fillings is jam. Simply spread a couple of tablespoons of your favourite jam on the inside of the cake and roll it up!

Fresh Cream Filling

The perfect amount of cream to fill this cake is about 200g or 3/4 cup of thickened/heavy cream whipped up to medium-stiff peaks. To make any flavour simply add the following to 200g or 3/4 cup cream:

  • Matcha roll cake: 1 tbsp matcha, 3 tbsp white sugar
  • Chocolate roll cake: 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 3 tbsp white sugar
  • Vanilla roll cake: 1 tsp vanilla extract, 3 tbsp white sugar

Fresh Fruits and Cream

If you want to add fresh fruits like strawberries, mango, oranges, etc. Whip up 150g or 2/3 cup thickened/heavy cream with 2 tbsp sugar. Then layer the roll cake with cream and chopped fresh fruits.

milk tea hong kong swiss roll cake

Let’s Get Baking!

I can’t wait to see what kind of swiss rolls you all make!

I hope that this blog post has helped you create the perfect roll cake. If you liked this recipe make sure to leave me a comment and rate this recipe! Don’t forget to tag me on instagram @catherine.justdessertsau and hasthag #cattycakes so I can find and share your creations.

The PERFECT Swiss Roll with Milk Tea Cream Recipe

RatingDifficultyIntermediate

Light and fluffy sponge cake with a silky smooth cream filling. This is the guide to creating the perfect swiss roll cake with a milk tea cream!

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Yields1 Serving
Prep Time20 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time45 mins

Cake
 25 g White sugar (I) (2tbsp)
 85 g Cake flour (3/4 cup)
 50 g Milk (3tbsp 1tsp)
 50 g Vegetable oil (1/4 cup)
 4 Egg yolks
 4 Egg whites
 60 g White sugar (II) (1/4 cup 2 tsp)
Milk Tea Cream
 30 g Instant milk tea powder (2 tbsp)Available at asian grocery stores
 20 g Sugar
 2 g Black tea (1 tbsp)
 1 tbsp Water
 200 g Thickened/heavy cream (3/4 cup 2 tbsp)

Cake
1

Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and line a 25 x 30 cm pan (10 x 12 inches) with baking paper

2

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until steaming

3

Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl whisk the egg yolks, oil and sugar (I) together

4

Slowly add the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture and whisk

5

Sift the cake flour into the milk/yolk mix and whisk until combined

6

In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and sugar (II) until stiff peaks

7

Fold the meringue mixture into the yolk mixture 1/3rd at a time until just combined

8

Pour into the lined cake tin and bake for 25 minutes

9

Remove from the oven and invert onto a sheet of baking paper

10

Remove the baking paper and replace with a clean kitchen towel

11

Flip the cake so the towel is on the bottom and the baking paper is ontop

12

Roll the cake from one short end to the other, place seam side down and allow to cool completely

Milk Tea Cream
13

In a heatproof bowl combine the milk tea powder, black tea, sugar and water

14

Heat in the microwave with 10 second bursts until sugar and tea powder have dissolved, cool completely

15

In a medium sized bowl whip the thickened/heavy cream to soft peaks

16

Add the cooled tea mixture and continue whipping until medium-stiff peaks

Assembly
17

Unroll the cake, then remove the baking paper and kitchen towel

18

Spread the cream evenly over the cake, then roll following the curl of the cake

19

Wrap the rolled cake in cling wrap and let rest in the fridge for minimum 2 hours

20

Remove, dust with cocoa powder and serve

CategoryCake

Ingredients

Cake
 25 g White sugar (I) (2tbsp)
 85 g Cake flour (3/4 cup)
 50 g Milk (3tbsp 1tsp)
 50 g Vegetable oil (1/4 cup)
 4 Egg yolks
 4 Egg whites
 60 g White sugar (II) (1/4 cup 2 tsp)
Milk Tea Cream
 30 g Instant milk tea powder (2 tbsp)Available at asian grocery stores
 20 g Sugar
 2 g Black tea (1 tbsp)
 1 tbsp Water
 200 g Thickened/heavy cream (3/4 cup 2 tbsp)

Directions

Cake
1

Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and line a 25 x 30 cm pan (10 x 12 inches) with baking paper

2

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until steaming

3

Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl whisk the egg yolks, oil and sugar (I) together

4

Slowly add the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture and whisk

5

Sift the cake flour into the milk/yolk mix and whisk until combined

6

In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and sugar (II) until stiff peaks

7

Fold the meringue mixture into the yolk mixture 1/3rd at a time until just combined

8

Pour into the lined cake tin and bake for 25 minutes

9

Remove from the oven and invert onto a sheet of baking paper

10

Remove the baking paper and replace with a clean kitchen towel

11

Flip the cake so the towel is on the bottom and the baking paper is ontop

12

Roll the cake from one short end to the other, place seam side down and allow to cool completely

Milk Tea Cream
13

In a heatproof bowl combine the milk tea powder, black tea, sugar and water

14

Heat in the microwave with 10 second bursts until sugar and tea powder have dissolved, cool completely

15

In a medium sized bowl whip the thickened/heavy cream to soft peaks

16

Add the cooled tea mixture and continue whipping until medium-stiff peaks

Assembly
17

Unroll the cake, then remove the baking paper and kitchen towel

18

Spread the cream evenly over the cake, then roll following the curl of the cake

19

Wrap the rolled cake in cling wrap and let rest in the fridge for minimum 2 hours

20

Remove, dust with cocoa powder and serve

The PERFECT Swiss Roll Cake

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5 Comments

  1. KStep February 27, 2021 at 1:09 am

    Hey Catherine!!!

    Hope our favorite baker is doing well! Can’t wait to give this recipe a go! This looks so perfect and delicious thank you for sharing with us! Hope your new adventure brings you much happiness you deserve it!!! 🥰🥰

    As always,
    Kindest regards,
    KStep

    Reply
    1. Catherine February 28, 2021 at 4:48 am

      Hi KStep,
      Nice to hear from you again! I’m doing great and hope you are too. Thank you for your comments as usual 😭
      Hope you like this recipe, it’s one of my favourites!
      Catherine

      Reply
      1. KStep March 2, 2021 at 4:09 am

        Rated 5 out of 5

        You’re very welcome!! This is definitely top 3 (brownies, ice cream and this one)! However mine didn’t turn out looking anywhere near as good as yours 😂 but it is soooo good!!!! Thank you!!!

        Until next time

        Kindest regards,
        KStep

        Reply
  2. Tot March 4, 2021 at 2:08 am

    Thank you for the recipe! Currently baking it right now, but I noticed that you may have forgotten to include the step to add the oil in the instructions.

    Reply
    1. Catherine March 4, 2021 at 6:00 am

      Sorry about that, thank you for letting me know. All fixed up now, hope you added it!

      Reply

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