This giant gluten free Swiss roll cake recipe proves once and for all that it’s not too hard to make a beautiful rolled dessert. Dress up any holiday table with this rich gluten free chocolate cake.
I first published a recipe for gluten free “ho-hos” in 2011. I had been blogging for just over 2 years (a blogging baby!) and I was ridiculously proud of myself for coming up with a copycat recipe for a serious personal favorite treat.
Growing up, my brother and I were obsessed with Yodels. Well, he was way more obsessed than I was. I’ll leave out the details of how I know that but it has something to do with saving the foil wrapper from his very first Yodel but I’m not telling that story to protect the innocent. But when he asked me to bring over a dessert to help celebrate all of the fall birthdays in our family (there are a ton of them!), a giant Yodel was basically a no-brainer.
I made two versions of this lovely gluten free chocolate cake (more chocolate cakes!) to bring to my brother’s house. I think the crowd was kind of split down the middle for favorites. One version was filled with marshmallow creme (the homemade kind has my heart), and the other was filled with no bake cheesecake filling.
In Gluten Free Classic Snacks, the Little Debbie Swiss Rolls are filled with a 7-Minute Creme Filling. That filling is extremely similar to marshmallow creme, as it’s made with egg whites, sugar and water.
To make 7 Minute Creme Filling, rather than cooking the sugar to 240°F on its own and then whipping it with the egg whites while it’s still hot, everything is mixed together and then cooked over a double boiler until it reaches 160°F. Then the mixture is beaten for 7 minutes until light and fluffy. Six of one, half a dozen of the other—except the marshmallow creme recipe seems somehow easier to me.
This general rolled cake technique isn’t new to us here. We’ve made a Pumpkin Cake Roll and a Yule Log, but this is the first time you’re watching me make it in a video, step by step. Sometimes, a bunch of still photos are enough. But sometimes, and I think this is one of those times, you need to see it frame by painstaking frame—especially when the whole video is still super short.
Watch this short video (1 min 30 seconds)
Click play ▶ to watch this video that, in only 1 minute 30 seconds, will show you just how easy it is to make a gorgeous rolled cake.
This is the very same technique you’ll use for any rolled cake. Bake the cake until it’s just done (don’t overbake or your cake will crack!), roll it right out of the oven with a flat weave (tea) kitchen towel, and allow it to cool as coiled. The cake develops a “memory” for rolling. Like a young dog and new tricks, to torture a metaphor.
Ingredients and Substitutions
As always, unless I specifically state otherwise, I haven’t tried this recipe with any of the following substitutions. They’re just my educated guesses!
Dairy-Free: I think that Earth Balance buttery sticks would work quite well as a butter substitute in this recipe. Since it’s so salty, though, I’d leave out the salt in the dry ingredients. Just make sure the chocolate you use for the glaze is dairy-free and you should be all set.
Egg-Free: If you can’t have eggs, I’m afraid I don’t think you can have this cake. My standard “chia egg” substitution recommendation just won’t work when we’re talking about 4 eggs. The egg whites could maybe be replaced with aquafaba, but the egg yolks can’t.
Chocolate-Free: Hahaha you weren’t really going to ask if you could make a chocolate cake without chocolate, were you? 😉