Let's Roll: 5 Delicious Cake Roll Filling Ideas

Cake rolls are on the rise as a trendy dessert! While you usually need to use a specific cake when making a cake roll (you need a cake that's slightly springy and sponge-like to roll without cracking), the options for fillings are practically endless!


How much filling do I need for a cake roll? 

The amount of filling needed for a cake roll will vary from recipe to recipe, and depends on the type of filling you're using. For instance, you'd use less jam than you would whipped cream.

In general, I find that it's a good idea to have about 3 cups of creamy fillings or about 1¾ cups jam-like fillings. You want to have enough filling to evenly and thickly coat the entire surface of the cake.

My best advice? Always use a little more filling than you think you need; the filling will flatten slightly as you roll, and you want a distinct spiral for the prettiest visual. 

How do I fill a cake roll? 

It's as easy as pie — or rather, cake. Simply spread the filling to the edges of the cake, then roll it up from one end to there other. Roll gently, particularly with soft or delicate fillings, so that you don't squish the filling out the ends. After rolling the cake, slice off the ends for a pretty finish. 

Cake roll filling ideas 

Now that you have a basic idea of the mechanics of cake roll filling, let's talk about some of the many delicious substances you can use to fill them! Here are some reliably tasty filling ideas for cake rolls. 


Buttercream (be it a classic buttercream, French buttercream, meringue buttercream or even cream cheese buttercream ) is a delicious option for many cake roll flavors.

For the best results, make your buttercream a little softer in consistency than a buttercream that you'd use for piping. The softer texture makes it easier to spread across the surface of the cake and roll up the cake. 

Custard or pudding

Custard or pudding both taste great in cake rolls, while keeping the cake nice and moist. Make sure that the custard or pudding you're using is firm enough in texture that it doesn't ooze out of the cake. Chilling it before filling and then chilling the rolled cake before serving can help.


A chocolate ganache can make for an elegant and devilishly delicious cake roll filling. For the best results, I like to let the ganache set until firm but slightly yielding to the touch. Tthen, mix it with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to fluff it up just a little bit. This will give it a great consistency for spreading along the surface of your cake roll. 

Jelly or jam 

Jelly or jam fillings are ideal for making the classic cake roll known as the jelly roll. Visually, the bright, jewel tones of the fruit make for a pretty contrast with light-colored cakes in particular, though they taste great with all flavors of cake.

To make your jelly or jam perfectly suited for spreading, heat it with a small amount of hot water, which will give it a smooth, spreadable consistency. Try our easy jelly roll recipe here!

Ice cream

A rolled ice cream cake is an elegant chilled dessert. Let your ice cream soften just enough so that it's spreadable, then roll your cake up gently but as quickly as possible. Wrap it in waxed paper, then put it in the freezer for several hours to set before serving. You can check out our recipe for an ice cream roll cake here .

Stabilized whipped cream 

Whipped cream makes for a simple yet flavorful cake roll filling. For the easiest and most voluminous results in a cake roll, use a stabilized whipped cream , which won't deflate as much as you roll the cake. With whipped cream, be sure to pile it on pretty high before rolling.


With any of the filling options listed above, you can make the cake roll experience even tastier by stirring or mixing in different ingredients. Chocolate chips, sprinkles, chopped fruit or nuts are just a few of the many add-ins you can employ to personalize your cake roll. 

What's your favorite cake roll filling?

April 15, 2018
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Let's Roll: 5 Delicious Cake Roll Filling Ideas