Directly from my family archives to your kitchens: this Chocolate Espresso Roll is as classic as it gets. It features a light, coffee-infused chocolate sponge cake filled with a sweet coffee cream filling—making it the perfect dessert for any chocolate (and coffee) lover!
When I think of special occasions from my childhood, I think of this cake… and my sweet dad. In my family, it’s affectionately known as ‘Bob’s Favourite Chocolate Espresso Roll!’ A fitting tribute to his serious love for this recipe. This recipe comes from the woman who imparted all her culinary wisdom to me: my mama!
What is a Chocolate Roll?
This recipe is like a “Swiss roll” or “jelly roll” which are essentially rolled sponge cake filled with whipped cream, jam, or icing. When prepared and sliced properly, the cake reveals a beautiful swirl, making it a super impressive dessert.
How to Make Chocolate Espresso Roll Cake
To be fair, you might think this looks a bit complex, but trust me when I say: you’ve got this! Yes, you can really roll up a cake.
- Bake the cake: First, follow my instructions below for the best chocolate espresso infused sponge cake. The type of cake matters – not all cakes can be rolled.
- Make the filling: While your cake bakes, prep the coffee cream filling. Sampling with a spoon is encouraged here: just try to leave some for the cake, it’s THAT GOOD!
- Roll roll roll: As soon as your cake is done baking, loosen the cake around edges and invert the pan onto a clean dish towel dusted generously with icing sugar. Peel off the parchment paper, then gently roll up cake the prepared dish towel starting from the short end. Once rolled up, let the cake cool completely (this can be a couple hours) at room temperature.
- Spread the filling: When cake is cooled, carefully unroll it and evenly spread on about 2/3 of the Coffee Cream Filling. Then re-roll back, spread the outside with the remaining Coffee Cream Filling, and voilà!
- Chill & slice: Keep chill until ready to serve, or enjoy right away!
I LOVE make-ahead desserts when it comes to entertaining. It can be made ahead and chilled in the fridge a day in advance (cover loosely with plastic wrap if doing so). Here are some other incredible recipes that can also be made ahead!
Chocolate Espresso Roll
Chocolate Espresso Roll
Directly from my family archives to your kitchens: this Chocolate Espresso Roll is as classic as it gets. It features a light, coffee-infused chocolate sponge cake filled with a sweet coffee cream filling—making it the perfect dessert for any chocolate (and coffee) lover! It is best if made an hour or two in advance and refrigerated before serving. Use instant espresso if you don't have an espresso machine!
For the Chocolate Espresso Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cold espresso
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Icing sugar
- Shaved milk chocolate optional or extra cocoa powder
Coffee Cream Filling
- 1/4 cup cold espresso
- 2 cups heavy cream (33-35%)
- 1 teapoon vanilla
- 1 cup icing sugar
Make the Cake
Preheat the oven to 375F and spray a 10×15" sheet pan with cooking oil or spray, line with parchment paper, and spray the parchment paper again with cooking oil or spray.
Place a clean dish towel on the counter and very generously dust with icing sugar.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric hand mixer until thick and creamy. Gradually add in the sugar, beating until the mixture is very thick. Slowly add in the vanilla and coffee, beat to combine, and fold in the flour mixture until well incorporated.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until the centre springs back when pressed.
Remove the cake from the oven, loosen from around the edges and invert the pan on to the prepared tea towel that is dusted with icing sugar. Peel off the parchment paper, and tightly roll up the cake in the tea towel. Let cool completely at room temperature, while rolled.
While the cake is cooling, make the Coffee Cream Filling.
When cake is cooled, unroll carefully and spread about 2/3 of the Coffee Cream Filling evenly on the cake. Re-roll the cake with the filling on the inside, transfer to a serving platter and spread the remaining Coffee Cream Filling on the outside, leaving the ends exposed. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate or dust with cocoa powder if desired. Keep chilled until ready to serve (loosely cover with plastic wrap if storing for over 2 hours).
Make the Coffee Cream Filling
Combine the cream, cold espresso, and icing sugar in a bowl. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to use.