Swiss rolls – part 2 (Sugar rolls!)

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Not quite satisfied with the swiss rolls last week – the pandan coconut became hard once refrigerated (it was overbaked a little!), and the vanilla swiss roll wasn’t fluffy enough for me.

So I dug around at my recipe books, browsed the net for more recipes, and found two other techniques that intrigued me.

1. chiffon cake method – separated eggs, with the egg yolks beaten with the rest of the ingredients, and egg whites whipped to stiff peaks and then folded into the egg yolk mixture.

2. combining the roux and genoise method – whipping whole eggs, melting butter then adding the flour, then folding the whipped eggs in

So after all the egg whipping, for the cakes and buttercream, I’m happy to say… I found my favourite swiss roll recipe. *grin* Both recipes remained soft and fluffy (no more shrinking!) even after refrigeration. However, I’m loving the second recipe which uses method 2 – roux and genoise as it’s the fluffier of the two. The two cakes look similar in the pictures below, but try them, and you’ll know what I mean!

Swiss roll 1 (using the chiffon cake method)

Sugar rolls - recipe 1

This recipe is adapted from Bakertan over at Baking Library!

80g egg yolks, room temperature
25g castor sugar
2tbs + 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbs water
70g cake flour

160g egg whites
65g castor sugar
Additional sugar for

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degree C. Line a 10 x 14 inch / 12 x 12 inch pan with parchment paper.

2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in oil, water and vanilla extract. Sift in cake flour.

2. Whip the egg whites on medium until fluffy. Slowly add in the sugar, increasing to high once all is added. Beat until stiff peaks form.

3. Gently fold in the egg whites into the egg yolk-flour mixture in 3 batches.

4. Pour batter into pan and bake for 8 – 11 minutes. Check with a toothpick at 8 minutes, if it comes out with tiny moist crumbs it’s done!

5. Let the cake cool in pan for about 1 minute, then invert it onto a towel sprinkled with sugar (if using!). Peel off the bottom parchment paper, trim the long sides of the swiss roll. Using the towel, roll the cake up lengthwise and leave it to cool.

6. Once cool, unroll and fill with buttercream. Roll in up again and put into the refrigerator for 30 minutes for the cake to set, before slicing into pretty sugar rolls!

sugar rolls - recipe 1

Yes, the only little issue I had with the chiffon cake method, was the part of the swiss roll skin became crinkly (see above). But with the sparkly sugar they still look pretty, yes?

Swiss roll 2 (roux and whole eggs)

Sugar rolls

The recipe below is adapted from a Taiwanese book. I think it’s part of a series of baking recipes. It’s titled “Fortune Desserts March”. Pictures of the book below!

165g egg whites
165g egg yolks (i used 140g)
100g castor sugar
75g unsalted butter
30g vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
70g cake flour
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Line a 10 x 14 / 12 x 12 pan with parchment paper.

2. Melt the butter, oil and salt in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, sift in the cake flour. Transfer to a bigger bowl and let cool.

3. Whisk the egg whites, yolks and sugar until tripled in size and light coloured. (Whip on high for about 5 minutes, then turn it down to medium low and beat for about 2 minutes more) When you lift your whisk, the batter should fall in a ribbon, and slowly sink back into the remaining batter.

4. Take about 1/4 of the whipped eggs and mix it into the butter-oil and flour mixture. Mix until well combined. If it looks a little curdled, it’s okay (it happened to me!). Add the remaining whipped eggs, and gently fold it in.

5. Pour batter into baking pans and bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs!

6. Let the cake cool in pan for about 1 minute, then carefully (This cake is fragile when hot!)  invert it onto a towel sprinkled with sugar, if using. Peel off the bottom parchment paper. At this point let it cool for about 5 minutes more. After that trim the long sides  of the swiss roll. Using the towel, roll the cake up lengthwise and leave it to cool.

6. Once cool, unroll and fill with buttercream. Roll in up again and put into the refrigerator for 30 minutes for the cake to set before slicing!

Sugar rolls

This recipe uses the same amount of egg yolks to egg whites – that’s a lot of yolks compared to other swiss roll recipes. It also uses two different types of fats, oil and butter. Somehow it works; I’m not entirely sure what keeps it so fluffy and soft. It might be the roux method, it might be additional egg yolks, and the oil in the recipe. Oil, unlike butter, doesn’t harden when refrigerated ;) So recipe 1 stayed soft too, and was less dense than my previous attempt of vanilla swiss rolls made with butter.

It was fun trying out the different recipes and seeing how they each turn out. I’ll probably stick with recipe 2 and play with different flavours combinations next time!

Edit 13 April: As requested, here are the photos of the book where I got the recipe from! I bought it from Popular, the local bookstore. If you manage to get your hands on it, it’s the recipe on page 45. Yes it’s a sushi cake recipe with a savory filing; I just added the vanilla in the cake batter, and filled it with buttercream instead!

Baking book



26 thoughts on “Swiss rolls – part 2 (Sugar rolls!)

  1. Hi Cass,

    Pls pls can you upoad a picture of the book ‘Fortune Desserts March’ and can I know where to find this book? Thank you so much! :)

      • I look forward to trying it, right after my exam this week. And will definitely let you know about the results :) I have a feeling that it will be a challenge for me because of the high liquid proportion. Usually it is hard to keep genoise batter from deflating when adding the oil, hence most recipes use a minimal amount. You must have very good baking technique to make it turn out so nice. I’ve been trying out a whole bunch of sponge cake recipes in the past. Here is a thread on it. I’m “CW”

  2. I tried the recipe tonight. It turned out more dense than your pic, maybe because I did not whip up the eggs good enough. I used half the portion just in case I don’t do it right. It was not bad, only a little heavier than I prefer. It also tasted a bit like a sweet pancake. Besides my whipping technique, I think it was because the flour to egg proportion was relatively low. But overall, this cake was fun to try and the concept of using a roux in the batter was interesting. It did make the texture softer than normal genoise. Thanks again for sharing the recipe!

    • Hey CC,

      Thanks for the update! Yes, for most sponge cakes whipping the eggs well is important… And it’s especially so for this recipe where as you mentioned, the egg ratio is much higher than the other ingredients :) Having a stand mixer really helps (i love my kitchenaid haha) Glad you had fun trying out the method though; I have fun too trying different techniques and seeing the outcomes!

      Also, I just saw your post on the freshloaf… interesting thread! Are there any recipes you would recommend? :)

      • I used a hand mixer, maybe that’s one of the reasons for it not turning out ideal. I don’t think my egg mixture ever got to the ribbon stage. =P
        That freshloaf mini-project was from a long time ago, when I was really looking for a good recipe. After all that trial-and-error, I realized that it was nearly impossible to have a smooth and fluffy genoise. Usually they turn out dry and coarse, even in the rare cases that it rises correctly. So I think I’ll stick with the egg-separating/chiffon method of making sponge cakes. Chiffon cakes are much easier (and safe) to make. They turn out softer and smoother most of the time. To me, the downside is that they have more of an eggy taste and they’re more bouncy than fluffy. I like this recipe and had altered it for my own preference I added vegetable oil (about 10g or so per egg) to the recipe and it is pretty good.

  3. Hi the sugar rolls look really delish! I would love to try making them but what did u add in for vegetable oil? will canola oil work? :)

    • Hi Joanne! Canola oil will work, any oil that doesn’t have too strong a flavour (e.g. olive oil will be weird, unless you want the taste in the cake! haha) will work :)

    • Hello :) sorry to hear about that… how was the texture at the end? I use about 7 egg yolks in total (about 140g). You have to make sure the eggs are beaten till about triple in size (it’ll be pale yellow and fluffy!). If it’s not whipped enough, the cake will not bake up properly…

  4. Hi Cassandra,

    Thanks for sharing the recipe (roux / whole eggs) which I tried yesterday for half portion. Couple of things that I did different was replace the vanilla essence with lemon juice + zest of half lemon. Also, applied a single (light) coating of sugar syrup before applying whipped cream.

    The sponge was undoubtedly very very soft and fluffy with a fantastic citrusy flavour.

    The sponge did not brown as yours did. Also, it was a bit greasy – it was sticking to the parchment paper – not sure if this happens if sufficient castor sugar is not applied to parchment paper. Because it was so soft, it did not have a perfect round roll – slightly squished but no cracks. I used equal amount of yolks & whites as specified in the recipe.

    Any thoughts on why this could have happened?

    Thanks again

  5. Hi.. I tried this recipe today ( I use 125g egg yolk instead) and the Swiss roll came out moist and soft indeed. My bro-in-law even commented that it tasted like polar cake.:)
    Anyway just to share my experience.. It took me about 15min all together including addition 5 min with top heat to brown the skin. The whole process was pretty smooth until removing from the baking tray as the cake is very soft and fragile. It would be great if you could share how you remove and roll up the cake? By the way what is the tin size you using?
    Besides the above comment, it is really great tasting cake with super moist and soft texture like polar cake. I recommend all people in doubt to give it a try.

    • Hi Angel, Apologies for the late reply! I’m using a 10 x 14 inch tin.

      As for how to remove the cake, I place a towel on top of the cake (this is for rolling the cake later!) while it is still in the pan, followed by the cooling rack. Holding both the pan and rack, I flip the pan over so that the cooling rack is on the bottom. Remove the pan; the cake will easily come off the pan if you lined it with parchment paper :)

      Once the cake is out of the pan, use the towel to roll up the cake. Hope this helps :)

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