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Recipe for an Ice Cream Cake Roll is simple to make, has minimal cracks and can be filled with any ice cream flavor you like.
Ice Cream Cake Roll makes me a feel a little nostalgic.
One of my earliest food memories is sitting with my dad and sharing a piece of Newlyweds Ice Cream Cake Roll.
It must have been a summer day because I recall the ice cream being a little melty.
It came in a green and pink box.
Sometimes my dad would eat the last piece right out of the box.
It must have saved on dishes or something. Or maybe Mom wasn’t home to put it on a plate for him.
I decided that the photos of this recipe looked the closest to what my mind remembers Newlywed looking like so I started with this one as a base and made some minor adjustments.
Which Pan to Use for Ice an Cream Cake Roll
You will need a large cookie sheet or an over-sized cooling rack for inverting this cake, unless you are far more talented than I am and can flip out
How to Roll an Ice Cream Cake Roll
To keep the cake from sticking to itself when I rolled it I sprinkled the cooked cake with powdered sugar before turning it out onto a large flour sack towel.
Update: I use cocoa powder now, but either one is fine. The cocoa powder produces a nicer finished product.
After removing the wax paper, sprinkle the bottom of the cooked cake with powdered sugar or cocoa as well this will help keep the cake from sticking to the towel when it has cooled.
Then roll it up in the towel.
Just tuck one short end of the towel into the center portion of the roll before you start.
Some of the cake is going to stick to the wax paper or parchment paper, so peel back very slowly to avoid pulling out pieces of the cake.
The easiest way for me to turn the cake out was to put a towel over the cake while it was in the pan, then covering the towel and pan with my cooling rack.
Then I just flipped the whole thing over and grabbed the hot pan with my tongs.
If the edges of the cake are crusty, cut off the edges and eat them. My cake did not have any this time.
Gently roll the hot cake in the towel, starting with the short end.
Set it aside on a cooling rack until it is completely cooled. I usually wait at least 3 hours.
Unrolling an Ice Cream Cake Roll
Once the cake is completely cooled unroll the cake, but leave it on the towel.
You will use the towel later to assist you with rolling it back up.
The end may stay a bit curled and it is OK. I tell you what to do with that part in a minute.
There are a few cracks in the uncurled piece. No worries, it is going to be right in the middle of the cake.
The cake will crack some after it has cooled and you unroll it.
The best you can do is minimize the cracking.
Cover the cracks with some sort of topping and it will be delicious no matter what.
Filling an Ice Cream Cake Roll
Take a “box” of ice cream out of the freezer and open it completely so it looks like a square of ice cream.
Start slicing the ice cream in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices with a large knife. You really want to be able to cut through it in one motion.
You can also allow the ice cream to soften slightly and just spread it on. I prefer to slice and place.
Once the Cake is full, stop slicing.
You may have ice cream leftover, just pop it back in the freezer and eat it later.
This is part of the reason why I prefer the slice and place method.
My ice cream did not have to all go soft and the leftover ice cream doesn’t have a weird texture after re-freezing.
I usually start by filling the tight curl at the end of the cake.
This part has never wanted to unroll for me, so I just go with the flow.
This time I started at the end for the sake of photos, but as you can see, it turned out just fine.
I just cut one of the ice cream slices into smaller pieces that I can stuff into that groove.
Once that is filled, start lining up the ice cream slices along the cake.
Lay the pieces as close together as possible. You can start at either end.
You can leave an inch or so on the sides empty, ice cream will fill that area as you roll it back up.
Some of your pieces may be thicker than the others, this is OK too.
We are going to let this sit for 10 to 15 minutes until it is slightly softened.
Do not walk away during this waiting period, if you forget you have sliced ice cream sitting on a cake roll, it will begin to absorb into the cake as well as melt over the edges running onto the towel and the countertop.
If you aren’t quick enough to remember you left it on the counter you may find yourself mopping the floor. Does this sound like someone with personal experience in the matter?
Any large gaps can be filled with smaller pieces of remaining ice cream slices. I usually don’t worry too much about the gaps.
When the ice cream cake roll has been covered with ice cream and has softened, gently smooth out the ice cream.
Once that is done it is time to start rolling up the ice cream cake roll.
Rolling a Filled Ice Cream Cake Roll
Start rolling the cake up, starting with the end that didn’t want to lay flat. Roll it as tight as you can. This is where the ice cream will work its way to edges of your ice cream cake roll.
Wrap the cake roll in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until the ice cream roll is solid.
It takes at least 3 hours for ice cream cake roll to begin to become solid again.
If your freezer is full or set at a lower temperature, it may take overnight. This really isn’t a dessert you can make and enjoy immediately.
Serving the Ice Cream Cake Roll
Once frozen solid, remove from the freezer 5 to 10 minutes before you plan on serving the cake, it makes it a bit easier to cut into neat slices.
The end pieces will not be as neat as the middle pieces.
I generally cut them off if put them back in the freezer if I am serving company. If we are eating at home and presentation is not an issue, we eat the ends first!
A large kitchen knife is the best way to cut this. If you find it difficult to cut through, heat your knife under hot water, dry off the knife and try slicing again.
You can reduce the thickness of the ice cream if you desire. It will make your cake log thinner. This one had more ice cream than the original cake we photographed.
Cocoa Powder keeps your finished product from having that grey hue and will resolve the off-color and stickiness produced on the finished cake.
Hershey’s Special Dark can be used for a darker ice cream cake roll with a richer taste. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in addition to baking powder.
Ice Cream Cake Roll
- Jelly Roll Pan
- Kitchen Towel
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 10 X 15 baking pan with baking spray.
- Line pan with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Spray paper with more baking spray.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs until thick and light colored.
- Add sugar a little at a time, mixing until incorporated.
- Add water and vanilla, mix until blended.
- Add the dry ingredients that have been previously combined.
- Beat until batter is smooth.
- Pour into cake pan and smooth out the batter.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
- Loosen the edges of cake from the pan.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa over the top of the cake, using up to half. Leftover powdered sugar is fine.
- Place a towel over cake.
- Cover with a cooling rack.
- Invert the cake.
- Slowly and gently remove the paper from the bottom of the cake.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the cake with powdered sugar.
- Cut off edges of cake if crusty.
- Roll the cake, starting with the short end, keeping the towel between the rolls.
- All the cake to cool for several hours on the cooling rack.
- Once completely cool, gently unroll the cake and remove the towel.
- Remove the box of ice cream from the freezer.
- Open the box at all openings so there is a block of ice cream.
- Slice ice cream in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and place on the unrolled cake.
- Re-roll the cake and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
- Place in freezer and allow ice cream to refreeze. Depending on the thickness of the ice cream and freezer temperature this could take 4 hours or overnight.