KUTV Segment: Simple Decorated Roll Cake

I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting this recipe post, and I thought I would give you something a little fun to play with for the weekend and post it a little early.  The segment will air on Monday at noon, so be sure to tune in!

There are a wide variety of cookbooks for Japanese decorated roll cakes, many of which are very complicated. I have found that complex recipes are necessary for complex design, but for simple patterns, shortcuts can be taken. Design templates can be hand-drawn, printed from the internet, or a piece of decorative scrapbook paper can be used. As you can see in the photos below, I used the po-boy method of marking graph paper in the pattern I wanted since my printer is broken.  To avoid your cake cracking when rolled, be sure to roll it while still warm. Have fun!
4 eggs
 2/3 cup sugar
2 T water
1 cup sifted all-purpose or cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
Extra flour for thickening decorative batter  

You will also need:
Parchment paper
Thin kitchen towel (optional)
Cookie sheet with 1 inch sides
Hand mixer
Design template (printed or drawn)
Food coloring Zip loc bags or cake decorating bags and tips

Line baking pan with parchment paper. Place template underneath parchment paper at one end of cookie sheet (as you roll your cake up, only about 8 inches of cake will show on top). Place prepared baking sheet in freezer. In a small bowl sift together flour and baking powder.

In a larger bowl beat the eggs together with a hand-mixer for 2 minutes.


Slowly add the sugar. Add water and mix to combine.


Slowly add the flour/baking powder mixture and mix only until batter is creamy . Do not over-mix.


Remove a portion of the batter (2-3 tablespoons is usually enough for a simple design) and add food coloring to desired color intensity. Add 1 tsp flour for every 2 T of batter and stir to thicken.
Pour colored batter into bag(s). Remove pan from freezer and pipe colored batter onto parchment, following template.


Return pan to freezer for ten minutes or until piped batter is firm to the touch. For designs where different colors touch each other (as in the center of a flower and its petals) one color can be piped, frozen for ten minutes, then the other and frozen for another ten.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

When oven is preheated (this usually takes about ten minutes) remove the pan from the freezer and pour remaining batter down the center of the pan. Quickly and carefully spread batter evenly across pan. Do not take too long or your design will melt and smear.

 Bake cake for 6 minutes (no longer, or cake will be overdone).

Remove cake from oven and run a butter knife along the edges to loosen any attached sides.
Immediately turn cake out of pan onto parchment paper or flattened towel so the design is facing up. Gently remove parchment from top of cake.
Carefully flip cake over onto fresh parchment so design faces down

Spread filling evenly across cake and add any additional fruits or sweets.

Gently roll cake starting from the end without the design and working your way toward the design end.

P1200137Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. (I have to put that because it’s standard procedure for roll cakes, but if you’re like me, you’ll just eat it!)


    • says

      Hmmm… I just looked back over the last few years of recipes and only found 3 including this one that didn’t use starter.
      Which other recipes are you referring to? This recipe can be made with starter, and is included in the cookbook coming out in August.

    • thebreadgeek says

      A lot of great information is available in my book The Art of Baking With Natural Yeast, and on this website. Check it out!

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