Thursday, May 2, 2013

SnoBall Cake Roll


I am a lover of all things pink coconut, (remember this?) and spring is the time when it shows up in my baking the most. I blame the darling buds of May. Around here cherry trees are raining their pink petals down like snow. It's a magical sight, but the event is too short lived. I guess this cake is my way of prolonging the magic.

It's also a riff (yes, another one) on the Hostess Sno Ball (I'm obsessed!) and the flavors are reflected here with dark chocolate sponge cake, marshmallow buttercream and moist, sweetened coconut.


Cake rolls can seem a little intimidating to make. The first time I made one (waaay long time ago) I had this internal dialogue.

"So basically I'm going to try to bend this sheet of cake? This is not going to work. 
Um, it's not breaking into eleventy-nine pieces like I thought it would. 
Okay, that worked somehow. 
And what am I doing now - unrolling it?  But I just got it all rolled up!  Aaaarrg!"

The truth is, if you're good at following directions then you'll do fine. Back then, the whole process seemed like some magical thing I'd never master, but now it's just cake! After that first roll, you'll get a feel for the cake's spongy texture and you'll have an even prettier roll next time around. Occasionally the cake may split a little during re-rolling (because of the added weight of the frosting), but it rarely affects the cosmetic appearance of the cake. And if it's not perfect, it's still going to taste good.

Whenever I post a cake roll to this blog, I like to link this video. I feel it's a helpful visual, and I hope regular readers will forgive the repeat info. (smile)


My favorite part of this cake is the marshmallow buttercream. I could eat it strait from the mixing bowl with a spoon (and maybe I did)! The recipe uses ready-made marshmallow cream, but if you can't find it locally, there are recipes for homemade versions online, like this one.

SnoBall Cake Roll
[click for printable version]
Source: Cake portion adapted from the SprinkleBakes baking book (pg. 232)
Yield: 10 servings
Prep: 50 minutes
Total 2 hours

Cake
4 eggs
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cake flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar, for rolling the cake

Filling/frosting/topping
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup marshmallow cream
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups moist, sweetened coconut (Baker's Angel Flake recommended)
Pink food coloring
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a jelly roll pan with shortening. Line the pan with parchment paper and grease the paper also. If you have a flour based baking spray such as Baker's Joy or Bake Easy, you may use it to grease the pan and skip lining it with parchment.
  2. Place the eggs in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and with a timer set, beat for 5 minutes.
  3. Slowly add the sugar and oil. Beat well. Add the milk or cream. Switch to the paddle attachment. 
  4. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, and slowly add to the liquid ingredients. Beat for 2 minutes, until well combined. The batter will be very thin.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan and bake for 12-15 minutes. When done, the cake should spring back when touched in the center.
  6. As the cake bakes, sprinkle a thin tea towel with a generous 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar. 
  7. When the cake is done, immediately turn it out onto the tea towel and remove the parchment (if using). Starting from the narrow end, roll the cake into the tea towel. Place the cake seam-side down on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.
  8. To make the filling/frosting, combine the butter and marshmallow cream in a large bowl and beat until combined with an electric hand mixer. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat well until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
  9. Carefully unroll the cake and frost the inside with about three-quarters of icing. Re-roll the cake and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting.  Pour the coconut in a rectangular high-sided baking pan (9x13 casserole will work) and add a few drops of pink food coloring. Rub food coloring into the coconut with gloved hands, or stir together with a rubber spatula. Place frosted cake in the pan on top of the pink coconut and roll until coated.  Place cake on a serving platter. For perfectly clean-cut slices, refrigerate cake for 30 minutes Bring slices to room temperature before serving.

67 comments:

marcie@flavorthemoments said...

I used to love snow balls, and I was just thinking about them the other day. This looks so good!

ThisGirlBlogs said...

So pretty! I love the contrast of the pink against the black. Looks fab and I'm sure it tastes awesome too :-)

Angie Barrett said...

oh my goodness. I love this. The colors are so pretty together!

thyme Sarah said...

So fun...I'm trying to imagine being handed something so fun as that!

Belinda Lo said...

Such a perfect roll! Only if could not get my sponge to crack. I love the use of dyed coconut on the outside.SO chic

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So beautiful and perfect! A lovely roll.

Cheers,

Rosa

Jenn @ Once Upon a Tier said...

The marshmallow buttercream sounds absolutely divine. I love your internal dialogue from your first cake roll! :)

Manju said...

I love Cake rolls...and trust me, your thoughts when u first made one was exactly my thoughts :-)

Wenderly said...

Divine. And that pink cake server? I. Die.

Sara said...

This is SO pretty...love love love. Great color!

peanutbutterandonion said...

Wow... just Wow... so pretty.

Becca Looney said...

This looks so pretty! I remember the first time I made a roll cake (it was last spring actually). It's amazing what you can make cake do for you :)

Joanna / byblondie.se said...

Love the photos!
It looks really good! :)

Viviane said...

So beautiful, I love de contrast, great color, bravo.

Elizabeth -SugarHero! said...

How sweet is this cake?! I was actually thinking of doing a Snowball cake for my blog, then I remembered that you've done one already--and if Sprinkle Bakes has done one, what's the point in trying to top perfection? I truly love your site, Heather, and I'm always excited to see what creative dessert you've come up with each week. :)

Jocelyn said...

That is seriously gorgeous!!! I absolutely love the pink coconut contrasting with the chocolate cake swirl!!! Swoon!!!!

Brigette Olmos-Arreola said...

So fun, I love putting a spin on childhood favorites! And I know what you mean about spring influencing your baking, I just shared a recipe for rose madeleines today.

Erin said...

So perfect looking! I just want to grab a spoon and eat the filling :)

Sonia OM said...

Lovely colours!!

Janine Eshelbrenner said...

Wow! I can't believe how beautiful the cake roll looks with the pink coconut! Stunning!

Beatriz Mandarinas said...

qué precioso! seguro que estaba delicioso. Kisses

Bellenza Wedding Bistro said...

Oh, I can just see this at a pretty pink bridal shower!

Leah said...

That is such a pretty dessert! I have made cake rolls before, but none as gorgeous as that. The pink coconut is a perfect touch.

vanillasugarblog said...

oh girl this is so cute.
i love making these sno balls.
next time i should try the roll.
how are you?
sorry I've been m.i.a. life has me wrapped up.
hope you are well lovee!

Tracy {pale yellow} said...

Gorgeous! Love the deep, dark chocolate against the white marshmallow buttercream, and pink coconut!

Bellezebabe said...

Love!!! Looks delish!! I must know, where did you get that gorgeous pink cake server? I love it!!! Xox :D

Heather Baird said...

Hi! The tart server is from Leif.

Here's a link: http://www.leifshop.com/

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said...

OMG! Way too pretty to devour :)

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Oh it's so cute!! It would be perfect for a girls lunch!

KK

Veronica said...

The black, pink, and white are gorgeous! This looks fabulous!!

Have Apron....Will Bake said...

Loving this! Am definitely going to have to try it...even though there is rolling involved (and I don't feel lucky). But so worth that risk I think. :)

Tieghan said...

So pretty!! OMG I am in love. WOW!

Vicki Bensinger said...

Wow I grew up on Hostess Snowballs, twinkles and Cupcakes. This is fantastic my mom will be tinkled pink when I surprise her with this. At 91 years old she ate a hostess cupcake or snowball daily for as long as I remember until they closed. Thanks for sharing.

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

oh heather - my favorite color. such a lovely cake!

shaz said...

Beautiful colours. Too pretty to be eaten if you ask me. :)

PS. Love your blog. You've got a follower :)

SreeBindu said...

prettiest :)

Colette Just for Foodies said...

Love the vibrant colours!

foodfitnessfaithblog.com said...

Where on earth did you get that beautiful pink cake server in the top photo?! The cake is the star here, obviously, as all your treats are - but that is just so pretty I need it in my life!

LB said...

I just made a cupcake version of this from the back in the day baking book but I may have to try this soon as well. Yum!

italiangirlcooks said...

This brings me back to my childhood. Beautifully done, so pretty and tempting to make.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

This is so colourful!! Yum!!

Kellie Michelle said...

Gorgeous pics! What a treat.

funjani said...

My husband loves my vanilla cake rolls with chocolate frosting. He also loves coconut cake. Now I can combine both. Thanks so much for the recipe.

Kristen Rizzo said...

What size jelly roll pan?

Heather Baird said...

I used a 10 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 1

Kristen Rizzo said...

Cake is dry and bad!

Heather Baird said...

Hi Kristen,
Sponge roulades are more dense than regular cakes. Also, this makes me wonder if it was baked too long. It should not be so very dry.

-h

Chella KS Nathan said...

hi, I have been hooked to your blog since i found it two weeks back and ure awesome. I can never reproduce what you do, ever but i love watching your magic. each one of ure cakes or goodies r to die for and the technique and love you put in is amazing.:) u rock :)

blueskydaze said...

This looks amazing, I love the gorgeous colour of the pink coconut!

Lora said...

This just makes me happy.

Courtney @ BakeMeBetter said...

I love snowballs! I've never known anyone to like them too! The pictures are so pretty with the pink and white.

Linda V @ Bubble and Sweet said...

Haha as I was reading the post Link Within had brought up your Pink snowball cakelets and Pink Snowball Cake. Obsessed much - yup and how lucky for all of us :)Oh and have to love comments like cake is dry and bad. I think it's pretty obvious from your pics that it is not (or it would have cracked into eleventy-nine pieces) so maybe your lovely readers just need to check their technique and ingredients against your recipe.

Katrina Bahl said...

ahhhh I just want to tuck myself inside and roll up in there!!

Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen said...

This looks SO good! I really love the pink coconut frosting!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'd love to see a riff on funny bones.
I've tried one on the web with no success.

Miss those funny bones!

Mercedes said...

This is so gorgeous! I have always wanted to make a rolled cake and this just might be the cake to finally get me to try it!

Sue said...

Sooooo pretty, Heather, and so perfectly round! Love the pink against the dark chocolate:)

pnoodaqplz said...

Hi Ms. Heather! I've been a fan for almost a year now and I really love your site! I live in Japan and marshmallow cream is not available here and I'm kind of scared to make my own because of raw egg whites. I'm thinking of melting real marshmallows but still pondering on what to add for it to become similar to marshmallow cream. It would be great if you could help me on this as this cake is too pretty no to try to make. Thanks in advance!

Heather Baird said...

Hi there!

Meringue powder is a good option if you can find it locally. The eggs have been dehydrated, so the risk that raw egg whites possess is eliminated.

xo
h

crumbsoflove said...

Love it!

SweetSugarBelle said...

This is just one of the reasons you're amazing!

ashley - baker by nature said...

This is SO friggin fun and girly. For sure making it for my birthday dessert party ;)

Dave @ Fit Chef Chicago. said...

Wow - looks amazing! I'm starving!

DM loves to bake said...

Question; Do you use Hershey's original cocoa for the snoball cake roll or the Hershey's special dark chocolate cocoa, I want to make the roll tomorrow night, and want to make sure I use the right one.

DM loves to bake said...

To. Make snowball cake roll do you use Hershey's original cocoa powder or Hershey's dark chocolate cocoa powder? I want to make the cake roll tomorrow night and want to make sure I use the right one. HELP

Heather Baird said...


Use the Hershey's dark chocolate cocoa powder if you can find it. Both will work but the dark will provide greater contrast in appearance.

xo
h

DM loves to bake said...

I HAVE SEEN HERSHEYS SPECIAL DARK CHOCOLATE, I WASN'T SURE IF THAT WOULD BE TO BITTER OR NOT THAT IS THE ONLY ONE I HAVE SEEN THAT SPECIFY "DARK CHOCOLATE"

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xo
H

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