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 theHostess 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

1/4 cup 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. Preheatthe 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 (9×13 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.
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marcie@flavorthemoments
marcie@flavorthemoments
8 years ago

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

ThisGirlBlogs
ThisGirlBlogs
8 years ago

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

Angie - Big Bears Wife
Angie - Big Bears Wife
8 years ago

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

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

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

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

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
Rosa's Yummy Yums
8 years ago

So beautiful and perfect! A lovely roll.

Cheers,

Rosa

Jenn @ Once Upon a Tier
Jenn @ Once Upon a Tier
8 years ago

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

Manju @ Manjus Eating Delights
Manju @ Manjus Eating Delights
8 years ago

I love Cake rolls…and trust me, your thoughts when u first made one was exactly my thoughts 🙂

Wenderly
Wenderly
8 years ago

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

Sara
Sara
8 years ago

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

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

Wow… just Wow… so pretty.

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

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
Joanna / byblondie.se
8 years ago

Love the photos!
It looks really good! 🙂

Viviane
Viviane
8 years ago

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

Elizabeth -SugarHero!
Elizabeth -SugarHero!
8 years ago

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
Jocelyn
8 years ago

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

Brigette Olmos-Arreola
Brigette Olmos-Arreola
8 years ago

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
Erin
8 years ago

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

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

Lovely colours!!

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

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

Beatriz Mandarinas
Beatriz Mandarinas
8 years ago

qué precioso! seguro que estaba delicioso. Kisses

Bellenza Wedding Bistro
Bellenza Wedding Bistro
8 years ago

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

Leah
Leah
8 years ago

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
vanillasugarblog
8 years ago

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}
Tracy {pale yellow}
8 years ago

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

Bellezebabe
Bellezebabe
8 years ago

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

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
8 years ago

Hi! The tart server is from Leif.

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

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
8 years ago

OMG! Way too pretty to devour 🙂

Preppy Pink Crocodile
Preppy Pink Crocodile
8 years ago

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

KK

Veronica LaChance
Veronica LaChance
8 years ago

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

Have Apron....Will Bake
Have Apron....Will Bake
8 years ago

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
Tieghan
8 years ago

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

Vicki Bensinger
Vicki Bensinger
8 years ago

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
Patricia @ ButterYum
8 years ago

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

shaz
shaz
8 years ago

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

PS. Love your blog. You've got a follower 🙂

SreeBindu
SreeBindu
8 years ago

prettiest 🙂

Colette (Coco)
Colette (Coco)
8 years ago

Love the vibrant colours!

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

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!

Lisa
Lisa
8 years ago

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
italiangirlcooks
8 years ago

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

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
8 years ago

This is so colourful!! Yum!!

Kellie Michelle
Kellie Michelle
8 years ago

Gorgeous pics! What a treat.

funjani
funjani
8 years ago

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.

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

What size jelly roll pan?

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
8 years ago

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

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

Cake is dry and bad!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
8 years ago

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
Chella KS Nathan
8 years ago

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 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

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

Lora
Lora
8 years ago

This just makes me happy.