Roll Cake/Swiss Roll/Log Cake (Banh Bong Lan Cuon)

Vanilla Roll Cake with Fruit (Banh Bong Lan Cuon)

Vanilla Roll Cake with Fruit (Banh Bong Lan Cuon)

I’ve had lots of requests for this recipe after I posted the Sponge Cake recipe earlier this year.  I held off on sharing this recipe until now because I was saving it for the holidays!  This roll cake is so beautifully elegant with its fluffy, not-so-sweet layers and swirls of decadent whipped cream frosting.  The wonderful thing about this recipe and why it’s my favorite holiday treat is the cake’s versatility.  Using just this simple recipe, you can make many different cake variations.  I share some different options below including my favorite absolute–Mocha Roll Cake.  So, if you’re in the mood to bake for the holidays, this is the cake to make for your family and friends.  Thanks all for your patience, even those of you who have sent me multiple emails reminding me to share the recipe…lol….  I hope it’s worth the wait and please feel free to share your results!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Do not allow the gelatin to congeal.  It should still be liquid (but not hot) when added to the stiff cream.  If you’ve let the gelatin sit too long and it’s jelly-like or even solid, microwave it for 10 seconds to return it to a liquid state.  Cool it again in cold water and then add to the whipped cream when it’s cool to the touch.

Remove the frosting from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before frosting the cake.  This way it’ll be softer and more spreadable.

This recipe uses a half sheet baking pan which is approximately 12 X 18 inches.  (Please note there’s really no set size for half sheet pans.)

Make a diagonal cut in the corners of the parchment paper to help it lay easier in the baking pan.

Make sure to spread the batter evenly into the pan and smooth out the top as much as possible.  Since the cake is thin and bakes very quickly, there’s not enough time for it to settle and smoothen and so we need to help it along.

Test the doneness of the cake by using a toothpick.  Another way to test doneness is by touching the cake very lightly with your index finger.  The cake should spring back indicating it’s done.

Do not over-bake the cake.  This will dry it out and then it will crack or fall apart when you roll it later.

The amount of frosting to spread on the cake is up to you.  The recipe below is plenty of frosting for the roll cake.  You may want to cut back on the frosting if you wish to have some leftover to serve on the side.

If you’re making the cake ahead of time, store in the refrigerator.  Remove from refrigerator 10-15 minutes before serving.  Cake can be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week.  You can freeze the cake for up to 2 months.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like: Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake and Orange Chiffon Cake with Edible Flowers.


for the Whipped Cream Frosting
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 packet unflavored gelatin (.25 oz or 7 gm)
1/4 cup water

for the Cake
1 Sponge Cake recipe
2 Tbsp powdered sugar for dusting the cake
2-3 strawberries
1 kiwi
1 small mango


Making the Whipped Cream Frosting

Place mixing bowl and whisk in refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes.   Refrigerate heavy whipping cream as well.

Add water into a measuring cup.  Sprinkle gelatin over water and let standard for 1 minute.  Stir until combined.  Microwave on High for 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and stir making sure gelatin powder is dissolved.  Place cup in cold water and allow to cool, approximately 6-8 minutes.

Mix heavy whipping cream on Medium speed until soft peaks form (approximately 4-5 minutes).  Add powdered sugar and mix together for 1 minute. (Cream should start getting stiff.)  Scrape around bowl with a spatula and work in the unmixed powdered sugar.  Add the gelatin and mix on Medium High for 30 seconds.  Increase speed to High and mix for another 1 minute or until cream is stiff.  Do not overbeat.  Transfer frosting to a bowl and refrigerate.

Yields: 4 cups

Making the Cake

Line baking pan with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare batter according to Sponge Cake recipe.

Spread batter into baking pan making sure to distribute the batter evenly.  Smooth the batter with a spatula.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Gently pull the parchment from the sides of the cake.  Allow cake to cool for 5 minutes.

Lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter.  Dust towel lightly with powdered sugar.  Place cake on the towel.  Trim the left and right sides of the cake if they are uneven.  Fold parchment paper under and roll away from the cake.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with more powdered sugar.  Gently roll the towel and cake into a spiral.  Allow the cake to cool for 1 hour with the seam side down.

Cut fresh fruit into thin slices.

Gently unroll the cake.  Spread the frosting on the cake.  Add a row of strawberries, kiwis and mangos slices.   Roll the cake back up again.  Trim the ends and dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Yields:  6-8 servings

Recipe Variations

Mocha:  Add 1 Tbsp instant coffee, 1 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda to dry ingredients and sift together.

Coffee:  Add 1-2 Tbsp instant coffee, 1 Tbsp instant creamer powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda to dry ingredients and sift together.

Chocolate:  Add 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda to dry ingredients and sift together.

Spice Cake:  Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp allspice and 1 cup chopped pecans.  Replace vanilla extract with rum or orange extract.

Chocolate Roll Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting – see above for chocolate cake recipe.  Add 1 cup coconut flakes to whipped cream and combine well.

Dress up the roll cake by adding fresh fruit, chocolate shavings or dusting with cocoa powder.  You can also drizzle melted chocolate on top for a fancier more decadent dessert.

Feel free to share your recipe variations with me and I’ll add here!

Mocha Roll Cake | recipe from

Mocha Roll Cake

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25 Responses to Roll Cake/Swiss Roll/Log Cake (Banh Bong Lan Cuon)

  1. Tata January 11, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi, how does the surface of the cake feel like? Does it leave a few tiny crumbs on your hand if you hold it before you dust icing sugar on it?

    • Trang January 11, 2017 at 8:21 pm #

      Yes, it should have just a small amount of crumbs.

  2. Ann August 21, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    What size is your baking pan?

    • Ann August 23, 2015 at 11:40 am #

      Whoops sorry. I didn’t read the post carefully.

      But another question: I made the roll cake and it tasted delicious, but I had a difficult time unrolling it after letting it sit for 1 hour. The top was a moist so it stuck to the kitchen towel and resulted in cracks. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

      • Trang August 23, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

        Hi Ann,

        Try using a lighter-weight kitchen towel and this will allow the hot air from the cake to escape faster. A thicker kitchen towel often holds onto the moisture and makes the cake a bit wet. Instead of a kitchen towel, you can also use parchment paper. This has a nice, non-stick surface. I hope that helps!

        • Ann August 24, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

          I’ll give it a try. Thanks for answering! =D

    • Trang August 23, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

      Hi Ann,

      My pan is approximately 12 inches X 18 inches.

  3. AnneLe February 2, 2015 at 8:12 am #

    Hi Trang,

    At end of this video, you mention the food for the lunar new year. May I have a link or name of it Thanks.

  4. Jenny December 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    Hi Trang, I followed your recipe, but the bottom of my cake come out rubbery and hard every time. Can you help me? Thanks. The cake overall taste so good! Thanks for your recipe 🙂

    • Trang December 15, 2014 at 10:29 am #

      Hi Jenny,

      Hmm…a rubbery bottom? If you’ve followed the ingredients list exactly, over-mixing the batter may cause the cake to be rubbery. It only takes 2-3 minutes to mix the flour with the egg batter and use Low speed. Also, are you using a dark pan? A darker colored pan will bake the cake faster and may result in a the rubbery/hard texture. One other thing to try, perhaps your oven is a bit hotter and the cake is baking too quickly. Try lowering the temperature by 10-20 degrees. Don’t give it, I think you’re really close to perfecting it 🙂

  5. Sheila December 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm #


    This is my first attempt to make swiss roll and I tried it today and it turned out well. Thank you. Am so excited. I followed the recipe exactly, except the frosting, i use buttercream and i use a parchment paper (dusted with icing sugar) to roll the cake. Mine looks just or almost look like yours.Observed the cake still sticks to the parchment paper. The surface of the cake is a bit sticky. Do you know why or is it normal? Am waiting for my food critics (kids) to come back from school to know their opinion. Anyway, I am so happy. Thank you.

    • Trang December 8, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

      Hi Sheila,

      I am delighted to hear you tried this recipe and that it turned out well for you. Regarding the cake being a bit sticky, the parchment paper does not allow the heat to be released as easily and therefore it stays with the cake making it “sweat” and become sticky. I recommend using a clean kitchen towel to roll the cake as this material will allow the heat to escape easily. What did your food critics think of your cake? Hope they enjoyed it as the buttercream frosting sounds decadent! Thanks for taking the time to share your results. 🙂

      • Sheila December 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

        Hi Trang,

        My both food critics love the cake. My son said ” wow, the cake taste so good” then he continued “probably it’s because am very hungry right now”. I still take it as a compliment. Thank you. I will be making this again and use a kitchen towel this time. Thank you again.

        • Trang December 11, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

          Hi Sheila,

          I am glad your kids enjoyed the cake, hungry as they!
          Thanks for sharing your results with me. It made my day 🙂

  6. Ann December 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    Hi chi trang,

    How r you doing? Mind me ask, if I want to have mocha in frosting cream for decorate out side the cake, can you let me know how many spoon that I should put in 2cup of heavy whipping cream,please. Thx. This is my first time to do this cake for this holiday,
    I hope it will good tast


    • Trang December 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

      Hi Ann,

      For a mocha frosting, use Add 1 Tbsp instant coffee + 1 Tbsp cocoa powder. Good Luck and let me know how it turns out for you!

    • Ann December 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      Thanks a lot for quick answer,next weekend I have a Christmas party,
      I’ll let you know later.

  7. Kelly August 16, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Hello! Is there any other substitutes for gelatin? Does agar agar work?

    • Trang August 18, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

      Hi Kelly,
      As I mentioned earlier you can substitute konnyaku powder for gelatin in equal amounts. I have not tried agar agar in this recipe. Some things to keep in mind, agar agar needs to be boiled for at least 5 minutes to activate the gelling agent. Of course, you’ll want to let the mixture cool before adding to the whipping cream. Agar Agar is stronger than gelatin so you’ll want to use just half the amount in this recipe. Good Luck and please feel free to share your results!

  8. Lily March 26, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Hi, my local store doesnt have heavy whipped cream. Is regular whipped cream okay? Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Trang March 26, 2014 at 10:57 am #

      Hi Lily,
      Heavy whipping cream has more fat and therefore will be thicker and fluffier than regular whipping cream but will be just fine for this recipe. Just don’t use half and half. Good luck!

  9. Jo February 16, 2014 at 1:11 am #

    How much is in each packet of gelatin powder? I have a big bottle and like to know the amount required. Thanks.

    • Trang February 16, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

      Hi Jolee,

      The packet of gelatine powder I use is .25 oz, approximately 1 3/4 tsp.

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