Mocha Cake Roll

Mocha Cake Roll is one of my favorite cake recipes. The hint of coffee in the creamy Swiss meringue buttercream makes this cake a perfect after- meal dessert or a snack on its own.

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This mocha cake roll is filled with creamy swiss meringue buttercream . It is a lightly indulgent dessert made with simple ingredients you probably have on hand.

mocha cake roll

I have made this cake lots of times already that I regard this recipe as one of my go-to whenever I need to make a cake for an occasion or even just for those ordinary days that I am craving.

I guess you can never go wrong with a mocha cake roll. It is lightly sweet yet the buttercream is creamy with a perfect note of coffee. Its the buttercream, it is the mocha  Swiss meringue buttercream that always get me!

mocha cake roll recipe

Another nice thing about this recipe is that it requires ingredients that you probably have on hand: coffee, eggs, milk, oil. These are all kitchen staples.

The first time I made mocha cake roll, the thing that intimidated me the most is rolling the cake. In this recipe, I used the towel method where after baking, the cake is turned over onto a clean kitchen towel. The cake is rolled together with the towel while it is still hot and then allowed to cool completely that way.

update added Sept 30, 2016: I find that another method using a parchment paper works just as well as the towel method. The parchment paper method is what I used in this mango cake roll.


For cake rolls , we use 15 x 10 inches jelly roll pan* to bake the batter. The jelly roll pan should be lined with  parchment paper so the cake will not stick to the pan.  After baking the cake, and while it is still hot, we turn it over , face down , onto a clean kitchen towel that is dusted with powdered sugar. As you can see in the photo, we peel away the parchment paper from the cake.

Then, lifting the short side of the cake , gently start rolling it together with the towel and place the seams down. We let the cake cool inside the towel. Once it is cold to the touch, gently unroll the towel so that the cake  is lying flat on the surface again.

Start spreading the filling on the surface, avoiding to put too much icing on the sides to avoid them from oozing out when we roll the cake again. After filling the cake, roll the short side again. Start by using the towel to lift the short side , and gently roll the cake inwards, peeling off the towel as you go along.

how to make mocha cake roll

For presentation purpose, I trim a little from both ends of the cake so that they are nice and even. Then I eat the trimmings . Please eat them too. If you are giving the cake away as a gift, this is also a good way to taste the cake without taking from it .

For serving mocha cake roll, I find it better when it is in room temperature, when the frosting is silky soft and smooth. You can also serve this right out of the fridge, but room temperature is my preference.

I hope you make this mocha cake roll too. It is comforting and lightly indulgent !

Also, try:

mocha cake roll

Mocha Cake roll

A recipe for a lightly sweet mocha cake filled with the creamiest and smoothest mocha Swiss meringue buttercream.
4.67 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Filipino, Western
Keyword: goldilocks bake shop, mocha cake, mocha roll
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 322kcal
Author: sanna


For the cake:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder dissolved in ½ tbsp hot water ( let cool)
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ tbsp baking powder
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup sugar

For the Mocha Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 stick softened butter unsalted
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder dissolved in ½ tbsp hot water ( let cool)


Make the Cake

  • Line a 15 x 10 jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 370 F.
    Sift together flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Whisk the egg whites using high speed of stand mixer. Once frothy, add in the cream of tartar. Once soft peaks form, gradually add the ¼ cup of sugar until the egg whites form shiny, stiff peaks. A good indicator: turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites should not spill or flow.
  • Meanwhile, beat together the egg yolks and sugar using a wire whisk. Once it is thick and light colored, add in the milk, vegetable oil and the coffee . Add in the flour mixture and whisk together until the mixture is smooth.
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk batter in gradual amounts using a rubber spatula. Pour batter into the jelly roll pan and spread evenly to all sides using a spatula.Bake at 370 F for 8-10 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch. A toothpick inserted unto the center of cake should come out clean. Turn the pan down into a kitchen towel dusted with powdered sugar. The top of the cake should now be facing down.Carefully peel of parchment paper from the cake.
  • Lift the short side of the cake and start rolling it inwards together with the towel. Place seams down and let cool. Gently unroll the towel so that the cake is flat on the surface.Spread filling on top. Using the towel, lift the short side of cake again and roll inwards, let go of the towel as you roll. Trim the edges to make them straight.

For the Mocha Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Fit a heat proof glass bowl on top of a pot with simmering water. Add the egg whites and sugar and start whisking continuously using a wire whisk. Once the mixture turns frothy and white, and reaches a temperature of 160 F, turn off heat. That should take about ten minutes or so. 
  • Pour the egg whites mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, and start whisking on high speed until the mixture forms shiny and firm peaks. The bowl should be cold to the touch. Add in the softened butter to the mixer and continue whisking. The buttercream might turn lumpy or might curdle for a moment. Keep whisking until a thick, fluffy icing takes form. Add in the coffee mixture and continue whisking until combined. Store in a tightly closed container or use icing right away.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 204mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Nutrition Facts
Mocha Cake roll
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 322 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 128mg43%
Sodium 147mg6%
Potassium 204mg6%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 495IU10%
Calcium 58mg6%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Hi Ms. Sanna! I’ve been making this recipe for 2 years now. And I use you’re other mocha cake recipe to make 9 inch round cakes. It makes 3 pans. So that’s 3 layers. I baked it at 325°F for 30 minutes. The mocha cake roll to me now is like rolling lumpia I’m totally nailing it. Thank you so much for your recipe. Merry Christmas and have a Bountiful New Year to you and your family! ❤️

  2. Hi Ms. Sanna! I tried making this using an 8 inch round cake pan. I bake it at 350°F for 15 minutes first and keep adding 5 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean which totaled to 25 minutes. It turns out pretty good. But a friend of mine said the cake was dry. Any tips to avoid it getting dry? I was thinking about putting a pan with water at the very bottom rack. But was afraid it might turn out wet like it was steamed. Thank you so much in advance.

    1. Hi Syra! Thanks for the feedback! I am thinking of adding a bit more oil/butter to the batter, about a tablespoon or two to add some moisture and tenderness 🙂 Please let me know how it turns out 🙂

  3. Hi Ms. Sanna! I just wanna ask if this will make a full roll or half? I wanted to make this for my daughter’s first birthday and I need to make it a day or 2 ahead. This is for the guests. I’m planning to buy a container for it like the one they use in bake shop. I’m also planning to cover it with mocha cream and not just stuff it with the filling.

    1. I forgot how many times I made these now. And it’s always a hit.
      The first time I made this is for my daughter’s birthday and I didn’t read the instructions through and through so I end up with a hardened cake and unable to roll it. Is I just let it be and make 3 layers but the buttercream Oh my, it was heavenly. Now whenever I make it, it always split but I try to press them together and let the buttercream hold it together. And if the crack is very obvious I cover it with buttercream frosting. Also, whenever I make this I always make the the frosting twice of the recipe.

      1. Hi Syra! You are doing great. I do the same when the cake cracks on me too 🙂 Thanks a lot and continue all your wonderful baking!

  4. I found the mix rose too much and when I tried to unroll it due to its thickness I think it split. 1/2 tablespoon baking powder??? Most other recipes for roll batter don’t use any?
    Other than the fact it fell apart and was held together by the buttercream…totally yum.

    1. Thank you for trying the recipe, Donna. I am happy that you liked the taste. I am so sorry that the cake split. It happens to me sometimes, too.

    1. Hello! I just separate 4 eggs for the first part of the recipe. Then for the buttercream, I separate 2 more eggs to get two whites. You will have an excess of 2 yolks because yolks are not needed to make the buttercream.
      Thank you and happy baking.

      1. Looks delicious !!!
        But could you tell me about the butter ?
        How much should I put it? In gr. ,please

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