Red Velvet Cake Roll

For Christmas this year, my mother-in-law requested a yule log, which I had always wanted to try but was ever fearful of the rolling.  I decided on a red velvet cake roll in the spirit of being festive for the holiday.  I also needed a recipe I knew I could trust, so I turned to Sally’s Baking Addiction.

The recipe and bake were very easy. I was so nervous flipping the cake out of the pan and onto the towel for rolling! I do think I overthought this step, though. I applied wayyyyyyy too much powdered sugar to the towel (1 cup is too much), afraid that the cake would stick.  I also flipped the cake failing to consider that powdered sugar that would blow every which way when I nervously flipped the cake. I’m sure there’s a better way to do it.

The cake rolled relatively easily, but it did break a little bit at the start, which is probably the hardest part. Once it is rolled and chilled, it was ready to be decorated as a log. I tried to model the ganache as closely as I could to a log, and I think it came out looking okay!

The cake was good and was perfect after a big Christmas dinner, paired with an ample amount of Christmas cookies!


Based on this recipe.

Cake Roll:
1 cup less 1 tbsp. (118 g) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. (15 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 g) light brown sugar
2 tbsp. canola/vegetable oil
2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. liquid red food coloring
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar, for rolling as needed

Cream Cheese Frosting:
6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups (210 g) powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache:
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
Pinch of salt


  1. For the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10″ x 15″ baking pan then line with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat eggs on high speed for 5 minutes.
  4. Lower speed to medium, then add remaining ingredients.
  5. Stop the mixer, add the dry ingredients, then beat on low speed until combined.
  6. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, then bake for 17 minutes or until cake springs back when poked with a finger.
  7. While the cake is baking, lay a clean, thin kitchen towel flat on the counter. Sprinkle with 1 cup powdered sugar. Once cake comes out of the oven, immediately invert it onto the towel, peel off the parchment paper, then roll the cake with the towel (beginning with the narrow end). Let cake cool completely.
  8. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on high speed for 1 minute.
  9. Add butter, then beat until combined.
  10. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, then beat on medium-high speed until well-mixed and creamy.
  11. For the assembly: Gently and slowly unroll the cake. Flatten and spread the frosting evenly over top, leaving a 1/2″ border. Gently and slowly roll the cake back up (without towel), rolling as tightly as possible.
  12. Loosely cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  13. For the ganache: Add chocolate, butter, and salt to a glass bowl.
  14. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream to simmer.
  15. Pour over chocolate, stir until smooth, then let sit at room temperature until it is a spreadable consistency.
  16. Spread the ganache over the cake, then decorate as desired.