French Silk Cake Roll

filed under: Cakes · Dessert on December 2, 2019

If you love traditional French Silk Pie, you are going to LOVE it beautifully rolled up into chocolate cake! If you can’t get enough French silk desserts, give my French Silk Brownies a try!

Note to readers: This French Silk Cake Roll contains raw eggs. And though getting sick from eating raw egg products—particularly if you’re very careful to use very fresh eggs that have been adequately refrigerated and that weren’t cracked in the carton—is relatively unlikely, folks who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems might want to avoid it. You can also opt for pasteurized eggs.

French Silk Cake Roll

This cake is a fantastic combination of chocolate cake and french silk filling. Then, it is topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles of course! It reminds me of an adult version of a ho-ho that I used to love eating as a kid! This French Silk Cake Roll is a bit fancier than serving up a store-bought treat wrapped in plastic. There are a few parts to this recipe to make it all come together–the cake, the French silk filling, and the whipped cream topping.

Sliced into French Silk Cake Roll

How to Make Chocolate Cake

The base layer of the French Silk Cake Roll is the chocolate cake, of course. To make the chocolate cake, you will notice I use coffee in the recipe. Believe me, it’s a game-changer! It will not give the dessert a coffee flavor, but if you are not a coffee drinker, just use hot water in place of the coffee. Bake the cake in a parchment paper-lined jelly roll pan. Leave some parchment paper over the edges of the pan so it is easy to take out of the pan before rolling it. If you are really concerned about the cake sticking at all, feel free to spray the parchment paper with a non-stick spray before baking the cake.

How to Roll Cake

How to Roll a Cake Roll

Once you have baked your chocolate cake for the French Silk Cake Roll, it’s time to roll it! I prefer the dishtowel method when rolling cake. This means that sometimes the less-than-perfect top side of the cake will be on the inside of the roll, not the out. Just follow these few steps.

  1. Take a clean kitchen towel and lay it out on your cooking space. Sprinkle the towel with confectioner’s sugar.
  2. Flip the baked cake, while hot, onto the towel. Be careful when removing the parchment.
  3. Fold the edge of the towel over the short edge of the cake, rolling it into a tight roll.
  4. Let the rolled cake cool for about 2-3 hours. (Yes, the towel will be rolled with it, but don’t remove that until cooled.)

How to Assemble the French Silk Cake Roll

After your rolled cake has had time to cool for a few hours, carefully unroll it, removing the towel. Place the cake on a baking sheet. Spread the French silk topping on the cake, leaving a little room around the edges so it doesn’t squeeze out when you roll it up again. Gently roll up the cake and cover with plastic wrap. Place that in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. When ready to serve, remove plastic wrap and top it off with your homemade whipped cream (or cool whip) and chocolate shavings.


Slices of French Silk Cake Roll

How to Make French Silk Filling

I opted to use the recipe my grandma shared with me a few years ago. Come to find out it’s from an old Martha Stewart magazine!

Here are the ingredients:

  • dark chocolate– I opted for a high percentage of cacao in my chocolate, 65%. You can use any dark chocolate you prefer. I don’t recommend milk chocolate as the final result was not as rich and flavorful.
  • butter– I use unsalted butter as I wanted it to be fresh and I also wanted to control the salt in my recipe
  • granulated sugar – I have also used ultra-fine granulated sugar with success, but it is not necessary
  • vanilla extract – good quality is a must!
  • dark cocoa powder – I used Hershey’s extra dark cocoa, but Dutch-process will also work great
  • eggs – I like my eggs at room temperature and use large eggs
  1. Start by melting the chocolate. You can use a double-broiler or the microwave. You want the chocolate to be melted and slightly cooled for this recipe, so I always start with this step.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to your stand mixer and blend on high for about 1 minute, using the paddle attachment. The butter and sugar should be light and fluffy.
  3. With your mixer on low, drizzle in the melted chocolate. Allow the ingredients to fully incorporate.
  4. Add in the vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix until incorporated. Finally, add in the eggs. Let mix on low for a moment, then turn the mixer to high and mix for 10 minutes. The mixture should turn lighter, increase in volume, and be very smooth.

It takes a little time, but this method is totally worth it! Creamy chocolatey perfection!

One Slice of French Silk Cake Roll

Whipped Cream: Homemade vs. Store-Bought

I absolutely adore a bite of Cool Whip every now and then. But I have to tell you, homemade whipped cream is really the best way to go for this recipe! Making whipped topping from scratch is easy peasy! I love how wonderfully pure and smooth it is. To make the whipped topping, add 1 cup heavy whipping cream to your stand mixer or use a hand-held mixer and a large bowl. (Heavy whipping cream can splatter quite a bit!) Mix on high for a few minutes or until soft peaks occur. Add in 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar and mix for another minute or until there are firm peaks.

How to Make the Chocolate Shavings

To get chocolate shavings, heat a chocolate bar (I like dark chocolate, you can use whatever you would like) in the microwave for up to 30 seconds and then use a potato peeler to get little chocolate curls. I find that no matter what I do I don’t get perfect curls (trust me, I WILL get there someday!) so the curls on this cake are store-bought.

Bit into French Silk Cake Roll

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French Silk Cake Roll
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
5 hrs
Total Time
5 hrs 32 mins

Filled with a creamy French silk filling, this French Silk Cake Roll has all the flavor of a French Silk Pie rolled up in a chocolate cake!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: French Silk Brownies, French Silk Cake Roll
Servings: 10
Calories: 536 kcal
Author: Amanda
  • 1/2 cup (63g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (29.5g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coffee, cooled
  • 2.2 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (238g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (31g) confectioners sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Line a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Leave extra parchment paper hanging over the 15-inch sides for easy removal of the cake. You can also spray the parchment paper with a non-stick spray, but it is not necessary.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until combined. Set aside.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and granulated sugar for about 1 minute, or until thick. Add in the oil, vanilla extract, and coffee (use hot water if you don't have coffee) until combined.

  5. Fold in the flour mixture and stir until combined.

  6. Pour the batter into your prepared jelly roll pan. Smooth out the batter and gently tap on the counter. 

  7. Bake in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the center no longer appears wet and an inserted toothpick is removed with a few crumbs.

  8. One a clean hard surface such as a countertop, lay out a clean dish towel and generously sprinkle with confectioners sugar or cocoa powder.

  9. Once the cake is done baking, carefully (using oven mitts) flip it over onto the clean dish towel in one quick motion. Fold about 2 inches of the towel over the edge and start rolling the cake up into a tight roll. Allow to cool for 2-3 hours, or until completely room temperature.

  1. (Start this step about 30 minutes before you are ready to assemble the cake.)

    Chop dark chocolate and microwave in 30-second increments until melted. (about 1 1/2 minutes total) Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar. Turn mixer on high for 1 minute. Butter and sugar should be light and fluffy.

  3. With the mixer on low or with the mixer off, pour in the melted (and slightly cooled) chocolate. Allow ingredients to combine for 30 seconds then turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides.

  4. Add vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add in eggs and turn the mixer on high for 10 minutes. The filling should lighten, increase in volume, and appear very smooth and shiny. (The filling will darken after assembly.)

  1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, pour the heavy whipping cream. (Can also use hand-held mixer) Whip for about 2 minutes, or until soft peaks occur.

  2. Add in confectioners sugar and whip until there are firm peaks. (Lift the whisk attachment out and make sure the whipped topping holds its shape.)
  1. After the rolled cake has cooled (2-3 hours), gently unroll the cake, taking care not to tear or crack the cake. It will relax more as it sits unrolled. (If you do not want to get the towel dirty, remove the towel and place the cake on a clean sheet pan.)

  2. Spread French silk filling on top, leaving about a 1/4 inch space on all four sides. It should be a thin, even layer.

  3. Gently roll the cake back into its rolled shape. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

  4. After refrigerating, top with your homemade whipped topping (or cool whip), carefully spreading it on all exposed areas.

  5. Top with chocolate shavings.

  6. Can be served immediately or chilled until ready to serve. (I always cut off the ends before serving, just to make it prettier.)



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  • Sarita says:

    Wovvvvvv… It’s beautifully explain the recipe…
    I have a fear factor…
    It’s sounds good to read.
    Appear to be easy…
    Exectly find it difficult until I tried it, of my own in the supervision of expert like you….

  • Krista says:

    Whole uncooked eggs in the silk? Wont that possibly make people sick?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Feel free to use pasteurized eggs. And no, most do not get sick. As I mention in the post, if you are hesitant, simply don’t make it.

  • Mahlin says:

    Can’t wait to try this 😍

  • Yvonne Yirenkyi says:

    I really love your baking, thanks

  • Linda says:

    I liked the recipient and saved it.

  • Jane Lee says:

    I actually make this but leave our eggs Make filling with melted chocolate mixture and stuff whipped cream filled together yummy

  • Jane Newkirk says:

    can i make cake and freeze ahead of time

  • Michelle says:

    Where do you get your chocolate? Is there a brand you prefer?

  • Linda L Hottle says:

    This looks yummy, I’m going to try it for Christmas. Thanks for the wonderful recipes!!!

  • Charlotte Pratt says:

    This recipe looks delicious but before I make it I have a question. I love coffee but if it doesn’t make it have any coffee flavor then what does it do to enhance it?

    Also so you know, in How to Assemble., you said “in the refrigerator for a couple of house”. I think you mean hours. That auto correct is a pain in the neck.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Charlotte! You can add a teaspoon of espresso powder if you would like to enhance the coffee flavor! As for as the typo… WHOOPS!!! lol Thanks for catching that.

  • Pamela Fink says:

    Making this for my hubs birthday cake. Filling is delicious. Think it is going to be a perfect foil to the texture and flavor of the cake corner I tried…and what can go wrong when adding whipped cream?!? Yum!

  • Monica M Mickey says:

    Can this be frozen

  • Laura Frangiosa says:

    Prior to assembly, how long can the French silk filling be kept in the fridge?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Quite awhile… just needs to be stirred before pouring into pie crust.

  • Jeannette says:

    Hi. Thank you. I will enjoy eating this and making it for others!! My only question is: I do not drink coffee. What kind do I buy? Is there such a thing as instant coffee I can boil water on the stove and add a bag, like tea?? I drink tea. Thank you again.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      ou can buy a single serving (a packet) and add hot water. 🙂 Any regular roast will do, even a light roast. 🙂

  • Idalia says:

    The eggs that you put in the filling are they raw? Is that ok.? They are not cooked…

  • Mary says:

    printed the recipe to try sometime, sounds delicious!

  • Cristina says:

    😍 😍 ¡¡¡OMG!!! 😍 😍

  • Jan Nichols says:

    Only half cup of flour?

  • Angela says:

    Hi, I was just wondering, in the filling, it calls for 2 eggs. These eggs remain raw. Is it safe for pregnant woman and children to eat? Delicious recipe! Thank you

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, I made note of that. 🙂 “Note to readers: This French Silk Cake Roll contains raw eggs. And though getting sick from eating raw egg products—particularly if you’re very careful to use very fresh eggs that have been adequately refrigerated and that weren’t cracked in the carton—is relatively unlikely, folks who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems might want to avoid it. You can also opt for pasteurized eggs.”

  • Aliya says:

    Attempted a swissroll for the first time ever. It turned out so well – thank you for the simple and straightforward explanation.

    I just cannot get enough of the filling!!! Ohhh my it’s delicious

  • Kassie McCool says:

    Be sure to whisk the egg and sugar for way more than one minute if you want a fluffy sponge. Like whisk until thick and super pale yellow.

  • Penny says:

    Hello! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’m anxious to try it. When preparing to roll the cake in the dish towel should I remove the parchment first? 😊

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Penny! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Yes, carefully remove the parchment paper before rolling the cake in the clean towel. Have a great day!

  • Barbara Stafford says:

    French silk roll: It says use coffee in the batter but I don’t like the taste, can it be substituted for something else or just omitted.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Barbara! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. The coffee flavor is not noticeable in the taste of the cake, but you could substitute hot water for the coffee. Have a great day!

  • Diane says:

    The French silk filling has 2 eggs. They are not cooked. Is this safe to eat?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Diane! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Although getting sick from eating raw egg products—particularly if you’re very careful to use very fresh eggs that have been adequately refrigerated and that weren’t cracked in the carton—is relatively unlikely, folks who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems might want to avoid it. You can also opt for pasteurized eggs. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Deanie Ennie says:

    Is it safe to use eggs in the filling uncooked? I want to try but worried about getting sick

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Please read the disclaimers in the post.