Ann Reardon

Patterned Roll Cake Recipe

patterned roll cake

A patterned roll cake is a fun way to make a colourful cake without using fondant.

My boys requested one with the ‘dumb ways to die’ characters on but my favourite is the striped roll cake.


Recipe for pattern on roll cake

50g (1.76 ounces) or 1/4 cup margarine or butter
50g (1.76 ounces) or 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp icing sugar
50g (1.76 ounces) egg whites (approx 1 1/2 egg whites)
50g (1.76 ounces) or 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp plain flour
food coloring

Chocolate Pattern Recipe
50g (1.76 ounces) or 1/4 cup margarine or butter
50g (1.76 ounces) or 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp icing sugar
50g (1.76 ounces) egg whites (approx 1 1/2 egg whites)
30g (1.06 ounces) or 3 Tbsp plain flour
20g (0.71 ounces) or 3 Tbsp cocoa powder

Cream together your margarine and icing sugar using electric mixers until they are well combined. Add your egg whites and beat well then stir in the flour (or flour and cocoa powder if you are making chocolate).
Colour your mixture according to the pattern or picture you are making.

Cut a piece of baking paper to fit your baking tray.

Make your desired pattern by piping it, spreading it or stenciling it onto the baking paper. See the video for more detailed instructions and tips. Then you want to place that on a tray in the freezer for about an hour to go firm.

Roll Cake Recipe
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup or 110g (3.88 ounces) sugar
60g (2.12 ounces) or 1/4 cup plus 1/2 Tblsp margarine or butter
2/3 cup or 100g (3.53 ounces) plain flour

Preheat the oven to 392F (200 degrees Celsius).

Seperate the eggs and put half the sugar in with the yolks and the other half of the sugar and the cream of tartar in with the whites.

Melt the butter either in the microwave or on the stove top.

Whip your egg whites until you get firm peaks and then use the same beaters to whisk up the yolks and sugar until they look pale.

Fold the whites into the yolks in three batches.

Add in half the butter and flour and fold through. Then the remaining butter and flour. Keep folding until there are no more streaks of butter or flour.

Pour the mixture over your frozen pattern and spread it right to the edges.

Bang the tray on the bench a few times to make sure the mixture gets all around the pattern and then bake in the oven for 7 minutes in the centre of the oven.

You do not want to overcook it or it will be too dry and it will crack when you try and roll it.

Simple Syrup Recipe
1/4 cup or 63millilitres (2.13 fluid ounces) water
1/4 cup or 4 Tbsp or 55g (1.94 ounces) sugar
optional – you can add flavour such as vanilla

Heat until the sugar is dissolved, leave to cool.

Once your cake is ready take it out of the oven and immediately trim off the edges using a serrated knife. Cover in baking paper, add another flat baking tray or chopping board on top and flip it over. And then you will be able to just lift off your tray, the edges will stay in the pan and you’re left with a neat cake. Peel off the paper straight away while it is still hot. Then leave it to cool.

Place a clean sheet of baking paper over your cooled cake and flip it over again.

Brush the cooled roll cake with simple syrup, you will not need all of it, you can save the rest for another cake.

Spread your chosen filling over the cake, you can use buttercream, cream cheese frosting, cream with strawberries, ganache.

Then starting at one end using the paper to help you roll up the cake up and transfer it to your serving platter.
patterned roll cake recipe ann reardon
recipe sources: *pattern recipe is a standard decor paste recipe *cake recipe

by Ann Reardon How To Cook That

My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
Stores that sell my book listed by country:
All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

132 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 4.5

    Thank you for posting this, it presented a fun challenge. Mine cracked a bit but I’m still quite proud of the results. I made two. I overfilled the first (cherry blossoms) and got the filling better on the second (sunflowers) but the design was too thick and caused more cracks. I look forward to trying more and perfecting the process.

  2. Rating: 5

    I did the lines using a piping pouch.

    In the process I got confused on the way they should be. So the lines ended up showing horizontally instead of vertically.

    Nevertheless, I think it’s a pretty cute first attempt and it was really easy to follow your instructions.

    Thank you Ann!!!

  3. 1aluminium

  4. Rating: 4.5

    I tried this and it didn’t come out well I am so sad. I made sure to roll it when it was still a bit warm so that it wouldn’t crack but it still did. What was weird though was that I did the 7min cook time, toothpick test, poke to see spring back test and noted that one side of the tray was already releasing. So by all tests it was done. However, upon unrolling it it looked a bit mushy. This didn’t make sense to me because it had passed a my rigorous done-ness check. I am wondering if maybe I used a different size tray making it come out thicker OR if I rolled it too early and the steam made it soggy.

    Any tips would be much appreciated!

    (PS: I re-watched your video again and noted that you let it cool down all the way. I remember being told I had to roll it into roll form when still warm or else it cracks. That might have been my mistake to begin with because I did that but it cracked anyway hahaah. I need to stop watching so much great british bakeoff.

    I also went to the YouTube comments and noticed you answered that the size of your trays are 15″ x 10″ or 38cm x 25cm mine is 34cm x 24cm so I am not really sure it was a tray size thing.)

    (PPS: I will try again because I was SO VERY EXCITED about the pattern coming out so beautifully that I started punching the air and accidentally punched myself in the nose in the process. I will try to get the cake better next time and not punch when I do my celebratory dance.)

    • Retried it. This time I used a bigger tray and cooked it for 2 more minute… so I definitely overcooked it. Its so weird because the non baking paper side feels so moist that I would assume its under-cooked and it didn’t do the spring back thing but the baking paper side is dry. 10 out of 10 baking confusion. I am going to try again because I WANT to get this right.

  5. Rating: 5

    Lovely recipe, I only used 40g of each for pattern batter as I was only using one colour, there was plenty left over. Filled with jam and cream.

  6. Rating: 5

    Thank you, Anne! This came out way better than I expected!

  7. Rating: 5

    I love this! I am 67 y/o with 4 lovely sisters. Sister Meg challenged us to a roulade contest just this morning. I am using your plaid pattern to blow them out of the water as I’m sure none of them know of this method. Thank you ever so much for providing me the leading edge in this fun contest. We will present our masterpieces at our annual Christmas party. So thankful!

  8. Hello Ann,

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I was wondering how much cocoa powder and how much flour you use for the chocolate roll cake recipe?

  9. Hello Ann, I’ve made this before and it tastes very good.
    I just want to ask that, if I do wanna make a chocolate flavoured cake how much cocoa powder should I add ?

    • Hi

  10. I tried the cake and followed the recipe by measuring the ingredients. I don’t know what went wrong, some of the colored stencil stuck to the paper abd the cake was still mushy in some places. Can you help me?

    • Hi Nas, It sounds like it was just a little undercooked.

      • Thank you Ann, I have left over paste of pattern, can I refrigerate and use later?

        • Hi Nas, as it has egg white in it you really need to refridgerate and use within a day or two.

  11. Thank you Ann!
    Your pattern will give an idea on my roll cakes that I am going to do in our final assessment for Bread and Pastry Production.
    Hope I could have more of your baking tutorial.
    Thanks again!

  12. Do the patterns work on muffins? I LOVE muffins and I wanted to put a design on them so, I would really like it if you could tell me any other thing the design recipe can work on,Thank You

    • I even make my own muffins

    • Hi Alex, Muffins would not be easy to use in this way but you could put surprises inside them. Check out this recipe for inspiration:

      • It might not be easy but if did somehow do it, would it still work?

  13. Hi ann ,i made this cake without the pattern and it tasted so yummy ,thanks for so good recipes,can you make a chocolate swiss roll cake.

    • Looks great Sara. IMakes you want to have a piece with a nice cup of tea.

  14. Hey Ann!
    I tried making this and it turned out well except that when i tried to roll it the pattern started to seperate from the cake. Is it because i piped my pattern on too thick? I made it as a test round as I have to make it for an important function day after tomorrow. I might leave out the patterned part and drizzle it with ganache and nuts on top. Please reply soon

    • Hi Madjah, I am guessing you have made this already. How did you go?

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