Red Velvet Roll Cake with White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Filling
Less than a week separates February 8th and February 14th, but those days are jam-packed with all sorts of life happenings in my little world. Almost all good life happenings, with a side of bittersweetness thrown in…
February 8th is my Chief Culinary Consultant’s birthday (yay for presents and celebrating and birthday cakes!).
February 10th is my grandma’s birthday. She would have been 94 this year; I miss that lady like crazy.
February 11th is BEB’s birthday! Tomorrow will be SEVEN years since I started this little ol’ blog of mine. (Stay tuned for a big giveaway tomorrow to celebrate!)
And of course, February 14th is Valentine’s Day. While my Chief Culinary Consultant and I never go nuts over the holiday, it’s always fun to try a new restaurant and splurge on some good eats. The week surrounding Valentine’s Day also makes me want to inhale everything that is red, pink or chocolate. Or a combination of all three, preferably… including red velvet (which may or may not have as much to do with cream cheese frosting as it does with red velvet itself).
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with red velvet – if a recipe isn’t spectacular, it usually goes the route of specatularly bad. Dry, crumbly cake that’s only redeeming quality is a pile of cream cheese frosting piled on top.
However, when you get a knock-out red velvet recipe, it can be the stuff of dreams. A moist, fluffy cake with just a hint of cocoa, and then that pile of cream cheese frosting becomes, literally and figuratively, the icing on the cake.
I had to go a few iterations deep to get to a great red velvet roll cake recipe, but it was certainly worth the time and experimentation.
This one is just a slight modification of the same recipe that I use for my favorite red velvet cupcakes, which I have also adapted for my red velvet cheesecake cake and red velvet poke cake. As you can see, it’s one that has definitely served me well.
I opted to switch up the filling and go for a combination white chocolate/cream cheese frosting, which turned out phenomenal.
The white chocolate adds a little more sweetness to the filling, cutting some of the tang from the cream cheese. You could certainly go the all cream cheese route, if you’d prefer, and it would be just as amazing.
Whether you want to celebrate love with your significant other… or love with your mom, dad, brother or sister… or friendship love with your BFF… or a special birthday… or you just want to have coffee with your grandma, this would be a fabulous cake for simply saying…
I love you, you’re important to me, and I’m so happy you’re in my life.
I think everyone could use more of that in their life!
One year ago: Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Two years ago: Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies
Three years ago: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies and Best Buttermilk Pancakes
Four years ago: Icebox Cake
Seven years ago: Italian Wedding Soup
Red Velvet Roll Cake with White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Filling
For the Cake:
- 1 cup (125 g) + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
For the White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Filling:
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 ounces (113.4 g) white chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the pan, tapping out excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla extract and vinegar; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the red food coloring and mix until the color is evenly distributed throughout the batter, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing as needed.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread to the edges of the pan, smoothing the top. Bake until the cake is set and the top springs back when lightly touched with a finger, about 18 to 25 minutes. While the cake is in the oven, place a piece of parchment paper (or a clean kitchen towel that is not terry cloth) on the counter and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.
- When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out onto the prepared piece of parchment paper. Carefully peel off the parchment paper from the top of the cake and discard. Starting with a short end, carefully roll up the cake with the parchment paper. Place the rolled cake on a wire rack seam-side down and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Make the White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Filling: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the melted white chocolate and continue to beat until the chocolate is completely incorporated into the cream cheese mixture, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl at least once. Add the softened butter and beat until the butter is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
- Assemble the Cake: Carefully unroll the cake. Spread the filling evenly over the surface of the cake. Re-roll the cake, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, place the cake roll on a serving platter and dust with powdered sugar. Leftovers should be wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I’ve made any number of “jelly”roll type cakes over the last 50 years. They were all sponge cake method, with lots of separated eggs and stiffly beaten egg whites. Never had a failure. I thought this particular recipe was interesting because the method was so different. I followed the recipe exactly. Batter was very, very thick but I managed to spread it anyway. I did not over bake. Cake came out of pan beautifully and rolled perfectly. But, upon carefully unrolling, the cake broke apart in a dozen places. No way to fix it with the filling, which, by the way, really needs much more sugar. Since I was taking this to a dinner, I added some whipped cream to the filling, opened and flavored a can of cherry pie filling, and layered it all in a pretty glass bowl and called it a trifle. I won’t be trying this recipe again. I’ll stick to tried and true sponge cakes for rolling.
I’m made this many times and every time it has cracked so badly!!! And I didn’t over bake it because I check it and it is done at 13 minutes. However it tasted AMAZING!
Made this cake, not the filling. The cake was great. My pan was a little bigger than recommended but the recipe worked. My mom has made me a chocolate yule cake for the past 40 years with whip topping in the center and a chocolate butter cream on the outside. I made the Red Velvet cake roll with whip topping on the inside and a “cooked frosting” on the outside – it was great. I will try with the cream cheese filling next time.
This was not good. I knew when I made the cake mix. There wasn’t enough for the pan. And it was not red. I followed the instructions to a T. Well the cake was good tasting but….. it was too thin and broke and didn’t come out red. I used McCormicks.
I agree, way too dry and cracked terribly.
This looks wonderful…I usually make the traditional pumpkin rolls around the holidays are freeze them so looking forward to trying this as RV is one of our favorites. My pumpkin recipe says to liberally “flour” a tea towel with powdered sugar and roll the cake up in the tea towel to cool (what’s not to love about adding powdered sugar?!) Although the food coloring might discolor the towel, the thickness of the towel helps to “stretch” the cake a bit and also gives it some breathing room to cool faster than using parchment paper. Maybe this could help potential cracking at the unrolling stage for some! Thanks for perfecting the RV cake into a roll recipe!
I just came back to find this recipe, I actually made it at Christmas as alternative Yule log. I had attempted a red velvet cake previously and it was a total disaster.
Your recipe worked perfectly! My rolling wasn’t so great but i covered it with extra frosting to make it log like, so didn’t matter. Anyway it tasted amazing x
Made this recipe for Christmas. Awesome. Should have made two. My family just loved it. Even my young grandchildren. So easy. And so moist. 5 Stars
baked 10 minutes and it was done because it was so thin. rolled it and it cracked. are you sure there isn’t supposed to be more eggs?
Mine cracked a bunch too. It’s weird.
yuck! the batter is so thick I cant spread it in the pan. It didn’t even cover the whole pan.
My cake cracked SO BADLY! But the flavor was AMAZING. Can you tell me why it cracked? I baked for 20 min, and it bounced back. Can someone tell me why it cracked so terribly?
Oh no! :( Did you check it prior to 20 minutes by any chance? Overbaking at all can cause the cake to be too dry and more likely to crack.
What gives Michele? I have made this cake 4 times and all four times it has cracked on me. I have watched youtube videos on how to roll the cake and it is still cracks. I am so frustrated that I don’t know if I will ever make a roll cake again.
Ive made many cake rolls before and because I live in Colorado I’ve had to adjust my recipes due to the altitude. I just tried this roll recupe and I’m not sure what I need to do in order to make it not fall apart on me. Do you have any suggestions on if I should add something like more flour or oil to the recipe to make it work?
The whole thing cracked is what I meant today instead of falling apart.
Hi Christine, Ahhh I am honestly not well versed in high altitude baking, but I would give either of those suggestions a try based on what you’ve done with other recipes successfully.
ur velvet roll is absolutely delicious. 2 x-mas back i made everybody in my family and all my friends one. everybody LOVED it. i love to bake, so i am making this again as my sweet tooth has been craving it.and i want to make some for my family to. my question is can i double the recipe as is and split it equally into prepared pans
Hi Tara, I haven’t tried to double the recipe, but I think it should be okay. Let me know how it goes!
Hi, this looks fabulous. Have you ever frozen this? I’d like to make a couple a few days ahead of time for a party. Any tips?
Hi Debbie, I have not frozen this, but I don’t see why it shouldn’t work.
I tried this cake roll for the very first time and found it interesting with the white chocolate in the cream cheese frosting. I had a few problems with this cake while it was my first time making a red velvet cake from scratch it certainly wasn’t my first time trying one from scratch. First of all The pan was too big that it called for so it just fell apart when I rolled it up and then even after letting it sit for an hour and 15 minutes. The cake itself had no flavor and the recipe needed to practically be doubled for that size pan. So next time I make it I will either make a double batch or use a 9×11″ pan and for the taste I would add 2 more table spoons of cocoa or try sweetened cocoa and also add more sugar and vanilla. As far as the cream cheese icing goes I liked it with the white chocolate but would probably add more of that and more powdered sugar. It just had no comparison to what I had previously eaten and tried before. Do you have any ideas as to how it could have came out so bland? Please let me know. I’ve been baking for a long time now. Thanks
Thought this would be nice for Christmas. Everything went great until I unrolled to fill – whole thing stuck to t-towel! Will try again!
This cake was a disaster! It was very sticky and hardly rose in the oven. Think it had too much butter and not enough flour. Will not make again. Cream cheese filing was good though. I’m hoping it’ll be salvagable enough to eat after it sits in the fridge for a bit. Not pretty.
Jelly roll cracked a lot. Filling is good.
Realky disappointed in the cake part.
The whole jellyroll cracked!! The filling was wonderful. I followed everything exactly.
I made the red velvet cake roll loved the flavor best I’ve eaten, but it fell apart when I rolled it back out for feeling, do you know, icing was also grannie. Thank you, Wanda
Thank you for the lovely photos and specific directions. Some of your replies to questions have helped me to understand better the complexities of a roll cake, especially the cracking and sticking (both of which I experienced to a moderate degree, but not enough to ruin the presentation, and certainly not the great taste!) It would be nice if bakers could use an instant read thermometer to determine exact doneness as do chefs.
I was slightly surprised as to the viscosity of the uncooked batter; much thicker than the cakes that I have made. Is this a characteristic of red velvet cake batter? It rose nicely; actually a little thicker than appears in your photos.
I wonder if the rolling up process might be aided by rolling onto a 1″ diameter wood dowel. The initial rolling is difficult as one must compensate for the filling (that isn’t there) and that’s where the cracking occurred on my cake.
This looks absolutely lovely! Im planning on making this tonight, and was curious about the number of eggs in this recipe. Is there a reason why you only use one egg?
Hi Adriana, That is all that’s necessary; it’s a very thin cake.
Can these be put in the freezer? I make pumpkin logs and they keep real well in the freezer.
Hi Jennifer, Yes, you can definitely freeze this. Just wrap well in plastic wrap and foil.
How do you prevent the cake from cracking so much? I’ve tried it twice now, and the cake keeps cracking on the outside
Hi Molly, Sometimes there are small cracks (that are easily covered with powdered sugar), but if you’re experiencing large cracks, you may either be over baking the cake, or not turning it out immediately.
Hey Michelle!!wonderful recipe!quick question what if i dont have a jelly pan?can i use regular?also if iam using red gel how much should i put in?
Hi Cassie, The important this is the dimensions of the pan. The closest you can get to 10×15, the better. I have not used gel food coloring, so I couldn’t say how much to use. I would start with a little bit, mix it in completely, and then add more if you want a deeper red color.
This looks so good! I’m going to have to give this one a try. As you can see I’ve made the red velvet cupcakes before;
Can any cake recipe be turns into a cake roll? Also, can it be filled with buttercream frosting?
I ask because I want to make a chocolate cake roll with vanilla buttercream for my sister-in-law’s birthday!
Hi Sara, I’m not sure if that’s possible or not. If you’re looking for a chocolate roll, I made one here, and you could definitely replace the filling with vanilla buttercream frosting: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2013/12/18/yule-log-buche-de-noel-with-espresso-mascarpone-filling-and-ganache-icing/
Thanks! I am so excited actually. I am making little cake rolls (think yodels), but with vanilla buttercream and a white chocolate coating. I am mailing them to my sister-in-law in Scotland for her birthday. I am hoping that the hard coating will keep the cake fresh like in cake balls.
this stole the show from my mom’s “knafa”…
only thing is i couldn’t make it even and that led to a weak area that was broke while folding.
baked it for 18 minutes, next time 16 minutes will do it for me.
the white chocolate indeed makes it special, though personally i still prefer a “traditional” cream cheese frosting.
thanks for the great idea for making a red velvet cake
My cake cracks as well when I unroll it. It tastes good and not dry. I ended up using a 10×15″ cookie sheet and baked it for 20 mins. Did the touch test you suggested. Any idea what went wrong? Now I have the filling and no cake lol
Hi Novita, I’m sorry you had some cracking. Mine cracked a little on the sides when I unrolled it, but not so much that I couldn’t roll it back up.
My second cake was also cracked, only about 1/4 of it didn’t. But I tried to roll it anyway. It was not pretty, I tell you! Lol. But after it was chilled and sliced, you can’t really tell. I’m still curious though as what went wrong, I increased the baking time to 22 mins the second time. Did you bake yours for full 25 mins?
Hi Novita, It was around 23-24 minutes.
Looked so pretty, but as an experienced baker, it didn’t turn out so well with me. I baked 18-19 minutes as there is nothing worse than dry cake. After filling the cake roll with the cream cheese that I tweaked with a little white vanilla powder and a couple extra tablespoons of powder sugar, I began gently rolling the cake up. The cake started cracking left and right. Did an ingredient check and temp check and all were as you said. Hmm? Cut off an end and the cake seemed dry. I do have a temperature gage in the oven also. What do you think?
Hi Marsha, I’m so sorry you had trouble! If you felt the cake was too dry, I would try reducing the time. Mine rolled up very easily and was nice and moist.
Tried this last night and evidently I found something that sticks to parchment paper. Everything went well until it cooled and I tried to unroll it. It was stuck to the paper and tore. I liberally sprinkled parchment with the powdered sugar as directed but should I have sprayed it also?
On a high note though, the cake itself was super tasty and I wax very happy with the recipe. How would I scale it up to make a full layer cake or a couple dozen cupcakes?
Hi Brian, Oh no, I’m so sorry! You should not need to spray the parchment, however, if you under baked the cake at all, it could have been sticky and that’s why it stuck to the parchment (I’ve had this happen). This recipe was an adapted version of my red velvet cupcakes, so if you’d like to make a layer cake or two dozen cupcakes, I’d recommend doubling this recipe:
Thanks, I’m gonna try again. I think u might be onto something with the undertaking. I baked it 18 mins only because I also boosted oven temp to 375 (this is one of my normal high altitude adjustments). Because of higher oven temp I went with low end of suggested baking time. Thinking back, there was really no need to adjust for altitude since were really not trying it get the cake to rise and hold itself. Gonna retry at 350 and maybe 20-21 mins to be safe and sure.
Hi Michelle! I would love to try this recipe for V-day. Never made a roll cake before, so I’m about to shop for a jelly roll pan. But I only found 9×13″ or 13×18″ would the 9″ work for this recipe? Thank you!
Hi Novita, You could use a 9×13″ jelly roll pan, the cake might just need an extra few minutes baking time.
I love this cake, looks delicious =D
Yum! Two of my favorite things…cream cheese frosting and red velvet.
This looks so beautiful and delicious, Happy Valentine’s to you!
How much powdered sugar in the filling???? my husband and daughter are both red velvet freaks, so I am going to make this for valentines day! Thanks
Hi Laura, ½ cup of powdered sugar, it is the last ingredient in the list.
The cream cheese frosting is always the huge plus for any red velvet cake, this frosting look delicious!
red velvet is my favorite. this looks delish!
You make preparing this roll so easy! I’ve tried but my cake always tears. Ugh. Great recipe and beautiful roll!
It’s perfect! Love the red and white color combo, especially all the powdered sugar on top!
This looks so yummy I may brave making it! One quick question-when “rolling” the cake to cook, do you roll it with the parchment paper IN the roll, so it helps with the un-rolling, or does it remain outside? Just got some white chocolate today thats calling my name to be used…..
Hi Kristin, I assume you mean when rolling the cake to cool? If so, yes, I roll it with the parchment inside the roll. Enjoy! :)
Red Cake Roll – GET IN MY BELLY! Happy BEB Anniversary tomorrow!
The red and white swirl looks so whimsical, such a pretty roll cake. I do love roll cakes, mainly because of the awesome frosting to cake ratio! But, I’ve never tried red velvet cake, not hugely popular here in Oz. I do adore cream cheese frosting, and adding white chocolate sounds like the best thing since sliced bread. :)
What lovely twists on the classic red velvet cake — I love the addition of white chocolate in the frosting and that the cake is rolled! Thank you for the inspiration!
This red velvet roll looks absolutely delicious. I most definitely will have to give it a try.
I just want to thank you for your site. Last week I went in to the OBGYN for my 10 week appointment with my first baby and found out that it stopped growing a few days before and there was no longer a heartbeat. After several heartbreaking days of crying I had a DNC on Friday and was laid up in bed all weekend with the IPad and spent some time looking at some things that I hope to make in the near future to take my mind off of things out of my control.
Jackie, I’m so sorry for your loss :( I hope that baking provides some therapy for you and that there are some delicious baked goods in your future. xo
Could you do a “red velvet week”?? (It’s the week before valentine’s day) I’ve seen them on a couple other blogs and a red velvet roll cake sounds like a perfect way to start a red velvet party :)
Your roll cake is gorgeous! What a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s day! I have always wanted to make one, but they intimidate me. I need to try your recipe!
Beautiful twist on red velvet cake, and I love white chocolate with cream cheese frosting!
Red velvet and white chocolate! Yum!
This looks so yummy. I am thinking peppermint cream cheese filling would be tasty too! I used to be so put off by rolled cakes but once I tried making pumpkin rolls they are really not difficult. Have a good week Michelle.
This looks amazing!!! I’m having a galentines day party on Friday (Parks and Rec reference, anyone??) and this cake will be making an appearance!
My sister and her girlfriends have a galantine’s day party every year, they just had theirs on Saturday :) (Also, I love Parks & Rec!)
plz mention the size of pan iz it
by length or what
Hi Bilal, The pan size is in step #1 – you should use a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan.
Happy Birthday to you and your CCC. May this year be the best ever.
This is one beautiful roll cake!! I love the combination of white chocolate and cream cheese :)
I have yet to make a jelly roll cake and I really need too. Your Red Velvet Cake with the frosting looks so amazing!!!! I don’t think I would be able to keep my hands off it! :)
This looks seriously amazing! Like, I want it right now for breakfast kind of amazing. That white chocolate cream cheese filling? I just died.
Michelle this is truly one of the most beautiful RV cake rolls I’ve ever seen! I’ve made pumpkin rolls and I admit that I don’t find them to be super easy to do :) You clearly have a knack for them because yours is perfect! And that white choc + cream cheese filling…pass the spoons! pinned
What a perfect “roll”! I’ve had less-than-stellar outcomes with roll cakes before, but this one looks so good I may have to give it another go. I’m a fan of cream cheese frosting to a point, but if the cream cheese flavor is too prominent, the whole thing becomes off-putting. Love that you cut the cream cheese with white chocolate!