Japanese Strawberry Roll Cake Recipe Swiss Roll

In my experience with Japanese patisserie, the strawberry roll cake stands out as a delightful dessert that captures the essence of Japanese baking. This light, airy treat combines the tender sponge of a roll cake with the bright, sweet flavors of fresh strawberries. Often compared to the famous Japanese strawberry shortcake, the strawberry roll cake encases succulent slices of strawberries within a pillowy soft cream, all rolled into a flawless cake. The contrasting textures make it a favorite among those who appreciate a less-sweet, refreshing dessert.

A table with ingredients for a Japanese strawberry roll cake: flour, eggs, sugar, strawberries, and whipped cream

Creating the perfect Japanese strawberry roll cake is a matter of precision and balance. Achieving the sponge’s delicate texture requires gentle handling and a careful eye, ensuring it’s just right to hold the luscious whipped cream and strawberries. The roll itself is an art, a tight spiral that when cut, reveals a pattern of cream and fruit in harmony. With a Japanese strawberry roll cake recipe, one embarks on a culinary adventure that showcases the elegance of simplicity in Japanese desserts.

Part of the charm of this dessert lies in the use of fresh strawberries, which not only add a pop of color but also a natural sweetness and slight acidity that cuts through the richness of the cream. This balance is crucial to the strawberry cake roll’s success, and with each bite, it’s clear why this delightful confection is a standout in the realm of Japanese sweets. Whether enjoyed at the end of a meal or as an afternoon treat, a well-crafted Japanese strawberry roll cake is a testament to the finesse of the country’s dessert culture.

Preparing the Cake Batter

In this section, I’ll guide you through each step of preparing the cake batter for a Japanese Strawberry Roll Cake, from mixing the dry ingredients to cooling the cake once it’s baked. Attention to detail is crucial to achieve the perfect texture and taste.

Mixing the Dry Ingredients

I start by sifting together the cake flour as well as the baking powder in a mixing bowl. It’s important to sift these components to prevent any lumps for a smooth and airy cake. Ensuring I have precise measurements of the ingredients is key.

Creating the Egg Yolk Mixture

I then prepare the egg yolk mixture by combining the egg yolks, vegetable oil, water, and part of the sugar in a separate bowl. I whisk them thoroughly until the mixture is homogenous and slightly pale.

Whipping the Egg Whites

Using my electric mixer, I whip the egg whites until they form a soft, white meringue. I gradually add the remaining sugar until the mixture reaches stiff peaks. This step is crucial for the cake’s lightness.

Combining Ingredients and Baking

Next, I carefully fold in the beaten egg whites softly into the egg yolk mixture, making sure not to deflate the air bubbles. I then gently pour the batter onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. I then use a tea towel to tap out any remaining air bubbles. I bake it in the oven preheated to the correct oven temperature until it’s golden brown.

Cooling and Releasing the Cake

Once baked, I immediately wrap the cake with cling wrap and a damp tea towel to keep it moist. After it has cooled, I release it gently onto parchment paper to prevent sticking, ensuring a smooth roll later on.

Making the Strawberry Cream Filling

In making the strawberry cream filling for a Japanese roll cake, it’s crucial to select ripe and sweet strawberries and whip the cream to the perfect consistency. Each step, from combining the ingredients to the correct storing methods, impacts the final flavor and presentation of your cake.

Selecting the Best Strawberries

I always look for the ripest, most vibrant strawberries, as fresh fruit is key to a delicious filling. I rinse and hull them, saving a few whole strawberries for decoration later. I ensure that the line of strawberries I’ll use inside the cake is sliced uniformly for an even filling and beautiful presentation.

Whipping the Cream

Using a large mixing bowl, I add cold heavy cream and a dash of vanilla extract. With my mixer set to medium-high, I whip until soft peaks form. The goal is to achieve even lighter whipped cream, so I’m careful not to overmix and end up with butter.

Combining Cream With Fruit

Once the cream reaches perfect soft peaks, I use a spatula to gently fold in sliced strawberries, maintaining the airiness of the fresh whipped cream. I’m careful to keep the fruit evenly dispersed for a consistent flavor in every slice.

Refrigerating the Filling

Before spreading, I refrigerate the cream frosting for a bit, covered tightly with plastic wrap, to ensure it’s firm enough to provide structure when rolled. This chilling time helps maintain the fluffy texture.

Spreading Filling and Rolling the Cake

When it’s time to assemble, I spread a generous layer of cream filling across the bottom of the cake, leaving a margin at the short edge to prevent overflow. I begin rolling tightly from the filled edge using the cake’s flexibility to form a tight roll.

Finishing Touches

For a decorative touch, I use piping tips to add fresh whipped cream on top and strategically place whole strawberries and other fruit decoration for visual appeal. It’s all about the presentation, and these details make the cake stand out.

Storing and Serving Tips

I always store the cake in an airtight container, wrapped in plastic wrap to keep it fresh. My serving suggestions include slicing with a warm knife for clean cuts, and I recommend enjoying it within a day or two to savor the airy and light texture.

Assembling Your Strawberry Roll Cake

When assembling a strawberry roll cake, precision is key from trimming the edges to achieving the perfect roll. Let’s walk through the exact steps to create a delightful dessert.

Trimming and Spreading the Cake

After baking a soft chiffon cake, I ensure it cools on a clean sheet or a tea towel to avoid any moisture build-up. Once cooled, I trim off the crispy edges, particularly along the short side, to facilitate a tighter roll. I then evenly spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the cake, leaving about an inch around the edges to prevent any spill-over when rolling.

Placing Strawberries and Rolling

I place fresh strawberries along the short edge of the cake, distributing them evenly to guarantee each slice contains an ample amount of fruit. Starting from the short side, I roll the cake as tightly as possible without squeezing out the filling. My technique here aims for a bubble size that is small and consistent, ensuring the cake’s texture remains fluffy.

Final Wrapping and Chilling

Once rolled, I wrap the cake in plastic wrap or cling wrap, sometimes using aluminum foil for extra shape support. This wrap job isn’t just to hold the shape; it’s designed in a way to lightly compress the cake for a firmer roll. I then let it chill in refrigeration for at least an hour, which helps the cake and cream to set properly.

Slicing and Plating

I use a serrated knife to slice the chilled cake in a sawing motion to protect the delicate structure. The best way I’ve found to present it is by slicing the cake into 1-inch thick pieces, revealing the beautiful spiral on each plate, accompanied by extra strawberries or garnishes as desired.

Methods and Techniques for a Perfect Roll Cake

Through trial and experience, I’ve learned that sifting dry ingredients before making the cake batter results in a finer crumb. For first-timers, focus on rolling the cake while it’s still slightly warm to prevent cracking. I also recommend making mini rolls for practice before attempting a full-sized cake. Store any leftovers in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I’ll address some common inquiries about making your Japanese strawberry roll cake a delicious success, from achieving the perfect texture to exploring various flavor adaptations.

What is the secret to making a light and airy Japanese roll cake?

My main tip for a light and airy Japanese roll cake is to follow a proper whisking technique. I ensure the egg whites are beaten to the right consistency and folded gently into the batter to keep the air incorporated.

How can I prevent a cake roll from cracking during the rolling process?

To prevent cracking, I roll the cake while it is still warm. I use a tea towel sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar, which helps keep the cake’s surface from sticking and tearing.

What variations can I make on a traditional Japanese strawberry roll cake?

Variations are endless. I sometimes infuse the whipped cream with matcha or add slices of different fruits, like kiwi or peaches, for a twist on the traditional strawberry roll cake.

Roll Cake FlavorMain IngredientsDescription
Classic VanillaFlour, Eggs, Sugar, Vanilla ExtractA timeless classic with a soft, fluffy texture
Chocolate FudgeCocoa, Chocolate, CreamRich and decadent, perfect for chocolate lovers
Strawberry CreamFresh Strawberries, Whipped CreamSweet and fruity, with a light, creamy filling
Lemon ZestLemon Juice, Lemon Zest, Cream CheeseZesty and refreshing, with a tangy twist
Matcha Green TeaMatcha Powder, HoneyEarthy and aromatic, a unique flavor adventure
Salted CaramelCaramel, Sea Salt, CreamA sweet and salty delight, irresistibly smooth
Raspberry RippleRaspberries, Cream, SugarVibrant and tangy, with bursts of berry flavor
Espresso DelightEspresso, Cocoa, MascarponeA coffee-lover’s dream, rich and robust
Pumpkin SpicePumpkin Puree, Cinnamon, NutmegCozy and comforting, with warming spices
Almond JoyAlmonds, Coconut, ChocolateNutty and sweet, with a delightful crunch

How many calories are typically in a slice of Japanese strawberry roll cake?

Calories in a slice can vary, but I aim for moderation. Typically, a slice contains around 200 to 300 calories, depending on the ingredients and the size of the slice.

What are the key ingredients in a Japanese Christmas cake?

For a Christmas cake, which is a variation of a strawberry roll cake, I use sponge cake, whipped cream, and strawberries. The key is fresh, quality ingredients for a festive and flavorful dessert.

Can a store-bought cake mix be used to create a Japanese-style strawberry roll?

While I prefer making cake batter from scratch for the best flavor and texture, a store-bought cake mix can be modified. I usually enhance it with extra egg whites for fluffiness to mimic the Japanese style.

Japanese Strawberry Roll Cake

Recipe by kitcheneasylifeCourse: DessertCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Enjoy your delicious Japanese strawberry roll cake! Fluffy, sweet, and delicate!


  • 4 eggs

  • 100g granulated sugar

  • 100g cake flour

  • 30g unsalted butter

  • 200g fresh strawberries

  • 200ml heavy cream

  • 30g powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a 10×15 inch (25×38 cm) jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
  • In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until thick and pale in color.
  • Sift the cake flour into the egg mixture and gently fold it in with a spatula until well combined.
  • Add the cooled melted butter to the batter and gently fold it in until fully incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan and spread it out evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched.
  • While the cake is baking, sprinkle a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
  • Once the cake is done, immediately invert it onto the prepared kitchen towel and carefully peel off the parchment paper.
  • Starting from the short end, gently roll the cake and towel together and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
  • In the meantime, wash and hull the strawberries, then slice them into thin pieces.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.
  • Carefully unroll the cooled cake and spread the whipped cream evenly over the surface.
  • Arrange the sliced strawberries over the whipped cream.
  • Roll up the cake again, using the towel to help you create a tight roll.
  • Wrap the roll cake in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

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