Christmas Cake Roll Recipe

This Christmas Cake Roll is the perfect holiday dessert. The green and red and white swirls are sure to impress everyone at your holiday get-together!

We are always looking for new and fun recipes to serve at Christmas. Some folks may shy away from making a cake roll recipe, but don’t! This technique is much easier than you would think.

If you want a beautiful Christmas cake dessert for your own meal or to bring to a holiday party, you need to make this Christmas Cake Roll! Trust me…people will be thanking you and asking for the recipe.

pin image showing the finished Christmas cake roll recipe ready to eat with title across the middle.

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What is a Christmas Cake Roll?

A Christmas cake roll is a dessert that is usually made from a sponge cake that is filled with whipped cream or buttercream frosting and then rolled up. The outside of the cake roll is typically decorated with icing, frosting, fondant, sprinkles, or other decorations..

What Are the Origins of the Christmas Cake Roll?

It is believed Christmas cake roll is believed to have originated in Europe, although the exact origin is not clear. It is thought that cake rolls were first made in the early 1800s. Cake rolls then became popular in America during the Victorian era (1837-1902.) They were often served at holiday parties and other special occasions.

What are Some Common Variations of a Christmas Cake Roll

There are a variety of flavors of Christmas cake rolls, including chocolate, pumpkin spice, and peppermint cake rolls. Other common versions include adding fruit, and nuts or using different types of frosting or icing.

Featured image showing the finished Christmas cake roll ready to eat

What are Some Tips for Making A Cake Roll?

When making a Christmas cake roll, you must use a very thin layer of sponge cake, making it easy to roll up. You will want to make sure your filling is not runny, or it will leak out when you’re rolling it up. Finally, be sure to let your cake roll cool completely before slicing it or it may fall apart.

Kitchen essentials for tasty recipes for Christmas:

When you head into the kitchen to make some of these great recipes you’ll want to have the best tools on hand.

I like half sheet baking pans that are quality (hello no noisy pops or sloshed cookie dough from twisting), I line my cookie sheets with silicone baking mats. These are great for all kinds of baking and not just cookies! My husband loves them for making biscuits, pizzas, and more!

Of course mixing bowls, a mixerspatula, and some whisks should be on your list if you don’t have ones that you love. I also like to have a set of cooling racks so that my recipes can properly cool before they’re scarfed down by my family!

Are Christmas Cake Rolls Difficult to Make?

No, it is not hard to make a cake roll. You just need to be sure when you unroll the cake once it is cooled to leave the cake in the towel. Then you will add the filling, spreading to about an inch from the edges.

When you re-roll the cake, use the towel to lift and guide the cake so it rolls evenly. This time, you will not roll the towel inside the cake.

Stacked slices of finished Christmas cake roll.

When you make your cake roll (or jelly roll cake as it is sometimes called), you may want to use some kitchen tools to make the process easier.

We recommend a good jelly roll pan to make the baking process easier. In addition, instead of a traditional kitchen towel, it is said a tea towel makes rolling the cake much easier.

Here are the Ingredients for Your Christmas Cake Roll:

You will need a white cake mix, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, milk, and some red/green food coloring gel. It’s a really simple line up that you can grab at the grocery store on your next shopping trip!

ingredients for Christmas cake roll recipe

Here is How to Make Your Christmas Cake Roll

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Prepare a jelly roll pan with shortening and flour or a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside for later.

Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box.

Making the cake batter

Separate batter evenly between 2 bowls. Add red food gel coloring to one bowl and green to the other.

dying the cake mix in two batches

Transfer the batter into 2 Ziplock bags or a prepared piping bag. Cut a small corner off of each Ziplock bag. Squeeze stripes of each color In a diagonal pattern, until the pan is filled, alternating between green and red. Gently tap the pan on the counter to even out the cake batter.

Piping the cake mix onto the jelly roll pan

Using a toothpick, swirl the batter to create a tie-dye look.

Red added to the jelly roll pan

Place a towel on a flat surface like your counter, and sprinkle flour on it. Gently flip the cake out of the pan and onto the towel. Next, sprinkle a small amount of flour on the top of the cake and cover it with another towel. Starting on one end, roll the cake up with a towel on each side, keeping it as tight as possible. Set it aside to completely cool. When cool, gently unroll it.

Swirling the batter together

While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat butter and vanilla together. Add powdered sugar and enough milk (about 3 tablespoons) and mix until the frosting is creamy and smooth.

Cake flipped out

Spread the frosting, covering the top of the cake.

Adding the icing

Roll the cake from one end, using one end of the towel to help guide you.

Spread icing out over the cake

When the cake is completely rolled, wrap the towel tightly around it, helping to hold its form. Place the cake roll in the freezer for 4 hours. Remove from the freezer and cut into slices.

Rolled up cake ready to be sliced and served

Here are More Holiday Desserts you Will Like:

If you are looking for more holiday desserts that you can add to your meal plans and menus for the Christmas season we have got you covered. Here are some other favorites that are perfectly festive and ready to go. You’ll love how easy they are to make and share and of course everyone else will just love tasty they are!

Be sure to let us know in the comments below which holiday desserts you will be serving this holiday season. We cannot wait to hear about your tasty delicacies!

Side view of a slice of the finished Christmas cake roll.

Printable Christmas Cake Roll Recipe:

Yield: 8 slices

Christmas Cake Roll Recipe

Featured image showing the finished Christmas cake roll ready to eat

This Christmas Cake Roll is the perfect holiday dessert. The green and red and white swirls are sure to impress everyone at your holiday get-together!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • ● 1 white cake mix (including ingredients in box directions)
  • ● 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • ● 1 tsp vanilla
  • ● 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ● 3-4 tbsp milk
  • ● red and green food coloring gel

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Prepare a jelly roll pan with shortening and flour or a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside for later.
  2. Prepare the cake batter according to the box directions.
  3. Separate batter evenly between 2 bowls. Add red food gel coloring to one bowl and green to the other.
  4. Transfer the batter into 2 Ziplock bags or a prepared piping bag. Cut a small corner off of each Ziplock bag. Squeeze stripes of each color In a diagonal pattern, until the pan is filled, alternating between green and red. Gently tap the pan on the counter to even out the cake batter.
  5. Using a toothpick, swirl the batter to create a tie-dye look.
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the cake is firm in the middle and bounces back to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  7. Place a towel on a flat surface like your counter, and sprinkle
    flour on it. Gently flip the cake out of the pan and onto the towel.
    Next, sprinkle a small amount of flour on the top of the cake and cover it with another towel. Starting on one end, roll the cake up with a towel on each side, keeping it as tight as possible. Set it aside to completely cool. When cool, gently unroll it.
  8. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat butter and vanilla together. Add powdered sugar and enough milk (about 3 tablespoons) and mix until the frosting is creamy and smooth.
  9. Spread the frosting, covering the top of the cake.
  10. Roll the cake from one end, using one end of the towel to help guide you. When the cake is completely rolled, wrap the towel tightly around it, helping to hold its form. Place the cake roll in the freezer for 4 hours. Remove from the freezer and cut into slices.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 308Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 133mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 0gSugar: 45gProtein: 1g

I am not a medical expert. These calculations are provided as a courtesy.

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