Japanese roll cake, fluffy cake base

Japanese roll cake, fluffy cake base

Eva 3 marzo, 2024
Este post también está disponible en Spanish

There are indispensable recipes for our closet and this Japanese roll cake, fluffy cake base is one of them. Without a doubt. Many times we need a sponge cake base for a preparation and we go crazy looking for one that gives good results, is tender and fluffy, elastic and with just the right amount of sweetness so that it does not hide the rest of the flavors.

This recipe is sensational, I give you my word. Very easy to carry out and we only need a few minutes to make it. We can leave it done in advance, very well wrapped in film, or even freeze it to advance work in future elaborations.

This cake base is the famous Japanese cake inspired by the Chiffon cake. Unlike other similar sponge cakes, such as the famous Swiss Roll Cake, the Japanese version has a much more delicate, soft and airy texture. Its sweetness is more subtle and, thanks to the balance of its ingredients, together with its elaboration process, the result is a very elastic cake that does not break or crack easily.

Japanese roll cake, fluffy cake base

Japanese Roll Cake origin.

The origins of the roll cake date back to Europe, where it became popular in the 19th century. However, its exact origin is a matter of debate, since several countries claim to be the cradle of this marvelous and versatile preparation in the world of pastry.

Swiss Roll Cake is considered one of the earliest forms of this type of sponge cake. It is believed to have emerged in Central Europe, especially in Switzerland or Austria, during the 19th century. It consisted of a thin sponge cake filled with jam or cream, rolled on itself, which when cut gave rise to a very striking spiral.

This sponge cake had a great influence in Europe during the 19th century, European countries such as France, Germany and England adopted the concept of this roll cake. Its popularity quickly spread throughout the continent, giving rise to variations of this delicious dessert.

Japanese roll cake, fluffy cake base

The Japanese version of the roll cake.

It became popular after World War II, when American soldiers introduced this preparation in Japan. The basic ingredients of the cake (eggs, sugar, flour…) were relatively affordable and readily available, which made it a popular choice for home baking.

However, the Japanese version of the roll cake has some distinctive features compared to the European one. The batter is much lighter and fluffier than the traditional European version, reflecting the Japanese preference for more delicate and softer cakes. Its preparation process is very similar to the famous Chiffon Cake, a cake that combined the fluffiness of Angel Food Cake with the richness of more traditional sponge cakes.

It is possible that the fact that it was the Americans who introduced it to Japan may be related to the similarity of the fluffy and light cake created by Harry Baker in the 1920s, the chiffon cake.

In addition, typical Japanese roll cake fillings include a variety of options, such as whipped cream, fruit jams or even red bean paste (anko), reflecting Japanese tastes and culinary preferences. In Japan, the roll cake, also known as “rooru keeki“, became an important part of the country’s culinary culture.

I looked at many recipes to make it, but finally I decided to follow (with some modifications) the U-Taste recipe. The mayonnaise decoration caught my attention and I had to try it! I do have to say that it adds a bit of flavor, mostly a salty touch. But, curiously, when you fill the cake, that flavor dissolves quite a bit.

Recipe Japanese roll cake, fluffy cake base


  • 5 large eggs, whites and yolks separate
  • 55 g sugar
  • 55 g cake flour, sifted
  • 50 g whole milk
  • 50 g sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • mayo


  • 250 g whipping cream, cold
  • mascarpone cheese, cold
  • strawberries


  • square mold 28 x 28 x 3 cm
  • cooling rack
  • bowls
  • whisk
  • silicone spatula
  • scraper
  • piping bag + outlining nozzle + BS 118 noozle
  • serrated knife

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Prepare sponge cake.
  1. Grease the square baking pan with butter and line with baking paper, set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 302ºF/150ºC, heat up and down.
  3. Separate the egg whites from the yolks, be careful not to get any yolk residue in the egg whites. Otherwise, when you prepare the meringue, it will not whip well.
  4. In a bowl, add the milk and the oil. Beat with the whisk until a good emulsion is obtained (in the video you can watch the texture).
  5. Add the sifted flour and whisk until there are no traces left. It is important to mix just enough, never too much.
  6. Incorporate the egg yolks together with the vanilla and beat again until homogenized.
  7. Whip a meringue with the egg whites and sugar, you must achieve soft peaks, not very firm.
  8. Add a small amount of meringue to the egg yolk mixture. Mix with the whisk to achieve a homogeneous mixture, do not stir or beat excessively, just until integrated.
  9. From here, gradually incorporate the rest of the meringue with the help of a silicone spatula. Make smooth and enveloping movements.
    Japanese roll cake, fluffy cake base
  1. Pour the batter into the mold and spread carefully to cover the entire surface of the mold with the batter. You can use a silicone spatula for this step.
  2. Smooth the surface with the help of a scraper. Gently tap the mold on a work surface to settle the batter and break up any larger bubbles.
  3. Put some mayonnaise in a piping bag with a nozzle and create a lattice on the surface. I warn you, the mayonnaise is not as easy to pipe as other preparations.
  4. Bake on a wire rack for 33-35 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan.
  6. Unmold and use for whatever you prefer.
Suggested presentation.
  1. Here is a suggestion for a simple but sensational presentation.
Preparamos la crema de mascarpone.
  • The cream must be at least 24 hours in the cold.
  • The bowl in which we whip the cream must be cold. I recommend using an aluminum bowl and placing it in the freezer for 20 minutes before whipping the cream.
  1. Pour the cream together with the mascarpone in the cold bowl and whip with an electric whisk on speed 1.
  2. Once it begins to firm, add the sugar little by little and without stopping beating.
  3. Increase the speed gradually, but never reach the maximum speed. Medium speed is ideal.
  4. Whip until you obtain a full-bodied cream. But be careful not to overbeat it or you will make butter...
  5. Transfer into a piping bag with the chosen nozzle, use or refrigerate until the time to decorate the cakes.
Cut and fill.
  1. With the help of a serrated knife, cut the edges of the cake to obtain the same height. Of course, these can be enjoyed while decorating the cakes.
  2. If you wish, divide the cake into 6 equal portions. Or you can divide it only in two and then cut into portions.
  3. Pipe the mascarpone cream the way you like it best. In the video you can see a suggestion for inspiration or guidance.
  4. Decorate with pieces of strawberries and cover with another sponge cake.
  5. Serve with a hot chocolate.
    Japanese roll cake, fluffy cake base


  • I have used a cake flour, with 8-9% protein.
  • This cake does not require leavening agents, baking powder. The fluffiness and volume is achieved thanks to the meringue.
  • When you have to integrate the meringue with the egg yolk mixture, I advise you to do it with a manual whisk at the beginning. The result is exceptional, as long as it is done with smooth and enveloping movements. Much better than working it with a silicone spatula. You can integrate the final meringue with a spatula.
  • To incorporate the egg whites with the spatula, turn the mixture on itself with a cutting motion, without beating. In this way, the egg whites will not drop and lose their volume, which is directly responsible for the fluffiness of the cake.
  • Spread the sponge cake batter over the entire surface and smooth it out. Removing large bubbles by gently tapping will improve the final result of the cake.
  • If you use a mold of other dimensions, you will have to adjust the final baking time according to its size.
  • Let the cake cool completely in the pan and place on a wire rack.
  • The sponge cake is very elastic, if you use it to fill a rolla cake, for example, you don't need to roll it. Once it has cooled, you can use it directly.
  • The top decoration with mayonnaise is optional, you can omit it if you wish.
  • In my case I used mascarpone cream for filling, but you can use whipped cream or Chantilly (whipped cream with vanilla).
  • It can be kept for 3-4 days refrigerated and in an airtight container if you fill it with whipped cream.
    Japanese roll cake, fluffy cake base

I am sure you will love this Japanese roll cake, fluffy cake base. A simple, versatile and wonderful preparation for hundreds of recipes.

The top decoration of the cake, with mayonnaise, is optional. If you want to give a decorative touch because it will be in the air, perfect. If it is a cake or pie base, omit it directly.

I'm sure you will love it and it will be in your recipe book on more than one occasion.

By the way, I remind you that you can watch all my videos on my YouTube channel. If you subscribe and turn on the little bell, I will be eternally grateful!

I wish you a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

Lots of love,

Sources: Cakere

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