There is something heartfelt about giving a home baked treat to convey best wishes or thank you; take that a step further by actually baking your message onto a chocolate roll cake and your unique present will surely be appreciated.
You can customize a roll cake with just about any message or design. It is more easily transportable than a layer cake as you wouldn’t have to worry about frosting getting smudged. Here we have three cakes with different messages made with the same chocolate roll cake recipe. I got such a kick out of seeing the message once I flipped the cake, so one cake led to another and I ended up with three cakes.
I really intended to write Happy Birthday, but it had too many letters for a limited space of real estate to work on. The fewer the letters, the larger the font can be and that in turn would make it easier and faster to pipe. The message, Best Wishes, is also pretty generic. It covers just about any occasion, and has fewer letters than Happy Birthday, Congratulations or Happy Anniversary.
Baking your flag on a roll cake is one idea for celebrating a holiday. Writing a name would also be a great way to personalize the cake. But if you want to use any of these templates to make your home baked treats, just print out the following templates on letter size paper and trim to fit your pan.
- In tinting the paste for the design just the tip of a toothpick will go a long way, so don’t accidentally squirt a drop of food coloring, for that would be too much. Pipe your design or message following the template placed underneath your parchment paper. The Home Baked message has an upper and lower template that I taped together.
- Pipe onto the short end of the sheet some kind of marker so you know which end you should start rolling from later on. Freeze the sheet.
- Make the cake batter (see steps below).
- Bake the cake for 16 minutes.
- Flip the cake onto a dish cloth and peel off the parchment paper.
- Flip the cake once again so that the plain side is facing up.
- Before rolling the cake, check to make sure the short end that has your marker is nearest you and start rolling from that end. Keep the cake rolled for about 30 minutes.
- Unroll the cake and spread a thin layer of filling. Evenly scatter optional chopped cherries over the filling, and then spread another thin layer of filling over the cherries.
- Roll the cake. If the filling shifts as you roll, lift the rolled portion slightly so that it sits on top of the filling that’s shifting. Keep doing this until completely rolled.
- Once rolled, transfer the cake onto a serving plate and chill in the fridge. The cake tends to slice better the next day when chilled through.
- For the cake batter, first dissolve the cocoa in hot water. The mixture will be smoother if you add the hot water one tablespoon at a time mixing in between, instead of adding all the water at once.
- Use a hand mixer if you have one, or a wire whisk would also work, to mix the egg yolks, sugar, melted butter and vegetable oil.
- Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla extract and mix well to combine.
- Sift in the cake flour in three parts together with a tablespoon of water for each addition. Mix until smooth and set aside.
- Use a stand mixer with the wire whip for this step. You can make the meringue the conventional way by adding the cream of tartar and sugar then whipping until stiff peak stage. Or you can also use the Italian meringue method: boil the sugar with ¼ cup water and heat in a small sauce pan until bubbly, clear and the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the hot syrup into the meringue with the mixer on medium high. The crumb of a cake baked with basic meringue will be slightly more porous than the texture of a cake baked with Italian meringue, which would have a tighter crumb. Either way, the cake will be delicious.
- Fold the meringue in three parts into the chocolate batter.
- Texture of the batter lightens as you add more meringue.
- Blend in the meringue completely until there are no streaks.
Basically the same steps apply for this Best Wishes chocolate roll cake; just tape the upper and lower templates together. This cake didn’t have any chopped cherries rolled within as I ran out of cherries. I made the meringue the conventional way by adding the sugar directly into the egg whites.
If you look closely, the texture of this chocolate roll cake is more open.
So the texture of the cake appears tighter and less porous.
This Home Baked chocolate roll cake was made with Italian meringue as well.
The only cake made with basic meringue.
Whether basic or Italian, if you decide to give this a try, just make whatever meringue you’re most comfortable with. The chocolate cake will be delicious, regardless.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (70 g)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (54 g)
- 1 egg white
- ½ cup cake flour (54 g)
- ⅛ teaspoon cherry extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (20 g)
- 4 tablespoons hot water
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar (104 g)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (42 g)
- ½ cup canola or any light vegetable oil (98 g)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour (114 g)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 egg whites
- ½ cup granulated sugar (104 g)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- For Italian meringue variation: ¼ cup water (57 g) – you don’t need water if you are making just a basic meringue
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (169 g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar (212 g)
- ½ cup marshmallow fluff (60 g)
- 1 teaspoon cherry extract
- 5 – 8 teaspoons milk
- Optional: 1 cup finely chopped cherries
- Beat the butter until smooth. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar. Add the egg whites. Mixture will slightly curdle but will smoothen once the cake flour is added. Gradually add the cake flour mixing until very smooth. Blend in the cherry extract.
- Divide the paste into however many colors you would like to use, allowing slightly more for the letters. Tint the pastes with just the tip of a toothpick and mix well.
- Place the pastes into plastic bags. Use tip 47 or 48 if piping letters. Use any small round tip such as #3 or #5 for circles or flowers.
- Line a 10-inch x 15-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip a rolled up sheet of paper towel in vegetable oil and lightly wipe the parchment paper to coat. Place template underneath parchment paper.
- Pipe desired message and pattern onto the parchment paper. Make sure to pipe a marker on the short end that you should start rolling from later on so that the message ends up in front of the cake. Slide out the template from underneath the parchment paper, and freeze the baking sheet while making the cake batter.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Dissolve the cocoa in hot water. The mixture will be smoother if you add the hot water to the cocoa one tablespoon at a time mixing in between with a silicon spatula, instead of adding the water all at once.
- Mix the egg yolks with a hand mixer until light and thick. A wire whisk will also work but I find a hand mixer works well for this step.
- Gradually mix in the sugar. Add the melted butter mixing thoroughly, then slowly add the vegetable oil mixing until thick and well blended.
- Mix in the cocoa mixture, and then add the vanilla extract.
- Mix in the cake flour in 3 parts together with 1 tablespoon of water for each addition of cake flour. Mix batter until smooth.
- Whip the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer using the wire whip attachment. When the meringue starts to take shape add the cream of tartar in pinches so it is evenly distributed. Gradually add the sugar and whip until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks.
- Italian meringue variation: the cake will have a tighter crumb when made with Italian meringue. If you want to take this extra step, combine sugar with ¼ cup water in a small sauce pan. Swirl the water to dampen the sugar but do not stir. Heat in medium heat until the syrup is clear and bubbly and the sugar is all melted. When the meringue looks like shaving cream, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream into the meringue with the mixer on medium high speed. Whip until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks.
- Fold the meringue in 3 parts into the chocolate batter using a silicon spatula. Cut and fold until well blended and there are no more streaks of meringue.
- Remove bake sheet from freezer and pour the batter over the design. Gently spread the batter evenly with an offset spatula. Drop the bake sheet from a height of just about 2 inches onto your work surface to release any large air bubbles.
- Bake for 16 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the cake onto a dish cloth. Peel away the parchment paper.
- Flip the cake again onto another dish cloth so that the blank side is facing up. Check underneath the cake to make sure the correct short end with your piped marker is nearest you so that your message ends up in front of the cake when rolled.
- Roll the cake sandwiched between two dish cloths. Set aside while you make the filling. After 30 minutes, unroll the cake and cover with a dish cloth if you are not yet ready with the filling.
- Make ahead: if using optional cherries, chop and store them layered between paper towels to absorb as much moisture as possible.
- On medium speed, beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer using the flat beater attachment. Mix in the salt. Blend in the powdered sugar. Add the marshmallow fluff. Add the cherry extract. Add the milk one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Spread a thin layer of filling all over the cake. If using optional cherries, evenly scatter the cherries over the filling then spread another thin filling over the cherries.
- Roll the cake and transfer onto a serving plate. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.
Home Baked Best Wishes Thank You Chocolate Roll Cake