Espresso Swiss Rolls

Espresso Swiss Rolls |


Chatting with a musician after a concert  a few months ago somehow led to him asking if I could makeover swiss rolls.  Random, I know, but that’s how this makeover came about.  Anyway, I thought it would be a fun project, but for some reason it  went to the back of my head with about a million other ideas. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when my mom randomly told me it would be lovely if I made a nice swiss roll. At this point I figured somebody must be trying to tell me something so I finally decided to take a hint & get this makeover started!

At some point I think we’ve all had them.  Little chocolate cakes filled with a sweet filling, and covered in chocolate.  Pretty good to begin with, but a little revamping takes them to a whole new level!  I decided to go with a flourless chocolate cake, and was really happy with it.  I used a good quality semisweet chocolate and a little instant espresso powder intensified the chocolate flavor even more. For the filling I didn’t want anything overly sweet, but I also wanted more than just whipped cream.  A creamy mascarpone filling lightened with whipped cream and a splash of Kahlua did the trick.  All the components worked, it was just a matter of putting it together.

It’s the rolling of the cake that always makes me nervous.  Ask me to make you a tiered, tilted cake, and I don’t blink.  Ask me to make a swiss roll, and immediately think the cake is going to crack, it will look like a big mess, and I get all sorts of dramatic… I don’t know what I was worried about because it turned out lovely.  I made this for Mother’s Day last weekend as one big cake and it was such a hit, but I love the look of the little ones!  As for the cake cracking, sure you might get a crack or two, but that can easily be fixed.  Like my mom always says “If you can’t lose it, decorate it.”  Well, that goes for cake too.  If you have a little flub, just give it a little zhush.  A little glaze goes a long way!

Espresso Swiss Rolls |

Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 6 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper & non stick pan spray.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler.
  3. Whip egg yolks in mixer on medium speed with sugar and salt until they are light in color, should take 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add instant espresso powder and then vanilla mixing till combined.
  5. Mix in the melted chocolate and set aside.
  6. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar till stiff peaks form.
  7. Stir a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it.
  8. Gently fold in the remainder of the beaten whites.
  9. Pour batter in prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes rotating once halfway through.
  10. Once the cake is out of the oven for a few minutes, cover it with a damp towel.  This is key because otherwise the cake can dry & then it will crack.

Espresso Mascarpone Cream Filling

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon kahlua
  • 4 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1. Whip heavy cream, powdered sugar, and Kahlua till stiff.

2. Mix instant espresso powder into mascarpone by hand.

3. Once cream is whipped, gently fold into mascarpone.

4. Refrigerate till ready to use.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 4 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate
  • 2 & 1/2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1. Melt all ingredients together in a double boiler. Set aside till ready to use.

2. Make sure when you glaze the cake, your glaze is warm, but not hot.


1. Make sure to remove the cake from the pan to a work surface.

2. Spread the mascarpone mixture evenly in a thin layer.

3. For mini swiss rolls, cut the cake in 5 sections, then once down the middle.  You should have 10 portions. Roll gently & quickly towards you.  For large cake, no cutting required.  Just roll cake towards you quickly. Refrigerate till ready to glaze.

4. Pour glaze over cake and chill till ready to serve.


1. Do not over bake the cake or it will crack!

2. The damp towel on the cake does wonders.  It will prevent the cake from cracking as you roll it.

3. If it cracks, don’t worry.  A little glaze goes a long way.


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49 Responses to “Espresso Swiss Rolls”

  1. 1
    Stephanie says:

    I’m too afraid to try rolls!

  2. 2
    Mac says:

    I am just loving your remake of this classic chocolate Swiss roll,I love the fact you use a flourless recipe. And you use Kahlua most underestimated ingredient.As for your notes if people follow these they should have very little or no cracks at all,by the way this looks divine nice post.

  3. 3

    I loved Swiss Cake Rolls as a kid, they were my favorite lunch bag treat! This is such a fun grown up version!

  4. 4
    Eftychia says:

    I am impressed! No flour, the texture looks perfect!

  5. 5
    Cassie says:

    I love flourless chocolate cake and adding coffee to chocolate sends anything over the edge, in a great way. These look incredible! Absolutely gorgeous!

  6. 6

    I don’t know which I love more your photos or you fabulous recipes…

  7. 7

    Wow, what a delicious and decadent treat! These look incredible, Meghan! I’ll be honest… I do sneak a box of Swiss rolls in the house sometimes, heh. Thanks for sharing. Also, I’m having a ChicWrap giveaway today that you should enter!

  8. 8
    Kim Bee says:

    These rolls look so amazing. Way to rise to the occasion. I love swiss rolls. So yummy!

  9. 9

    So beautiful and delicious! Love your photography too!

  10. 10
    April says:

    Wow, this looks so much better then the normal swiss cake rolls. I could go for this right now!

  11. 11
    Vicki @ WITK says:

    I’ve always loved those little swiss rolls! Excellent makeover, they look delicious!

  12. 12
    Janet@FCTC says:

    As a Ho Ho addict (it’s not all just Twinkies with me :-P ) and a son who loves those nasty Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, I have to say that the idea of upping the ante a bit and making these home made and no preservatives makes me squee…. hehe

  13. 13

    These are so pretty, and they sound amazing! They are so much better than storebought! I would never think of buying ho hos but I would love these :) !

  14. 14
    Susie says:

    You know what these look like a kick butt version of a hostess HOHO! Okay that’s totally what I thought about when I saw them. Only they sound 10 times better and look amazing. I could totally eat one right now as I just had dinner. :)

  15. 15
    Liz says:

    Wow, my family would LOVE these. They love Hostess products, and these are heads and tails better than anything found in the grocery store!!! Just gorgeous!!!

  16. 16

    These look absolutely fantastic. I want one!

  17. 17
    Peggy says:

    These swiss rolls look better than anything I’ve seen in a plastic package!

  18. 18

    Heaven! Those look so good!

  19. 19
    Kayleigh says:

    This looks sooo yummy. I’ve yet to attempt a rolled cake… Guess I’d better get at it.

  20. 20

    Congraulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  21. 21

    I love it that it’s flourless AND it has Kahlua. Yum! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  22. 22

    OMG…Your driving me up the wall with this, can you send me a slice…just a tiny piece ;)
    Congrats on your Top 9!!

  23. 23

    Yum! These look heavenly. I wish I could pick one up and eat it right now.

  24. 24

    Oh my your espresso swiss rolls look delish!

  25. 25

    Rolled cakes make me so nervous too. But, these are perfect! I love that there is no flour and not a ton of sugar! Sooo yummy!

  26. 26
    Baker Street says:

    WOOOHOOO! Congratulations on top 9! These are heavenly! I could eat 2 in a go! :)

  27. 27

    These look perfect! I love the espresso adaptation…it makes a treat from my childhood perfect for grown-ups!

  28. 28
    Ken says:

    These have to be better than what little debbies have become – tasteless dry cake, plastic-y glaze and whipped shortening filling. They were so good when I was a kid – but that was when they still used real ingredients and weren’t so worried about ‘shelf-stable’ – you made a batch, sold those, then made more. No stocking of an entire warehouse with a years’ supply. Definitely going to try this recipe – thanks so much for posting it!

  29. 29

    they look wonderful!!! I love swiss rolls!

  30. 30
    Parsley Sage says:

    Awesome! I guess I thought Swiss rolls would have been made of some special kind of rollable cake. I would have been frightened too but yours turned out beautifully! I love the espresso and kahlua components, nice touch!

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Debra Kapellakis says:

    I have to make this.

  33. 33
    Terra says:

    I believe your makeover of the swiss rolls is perfect! Especially because you included coffee, which is perfect in almost anything:-) I get nervous with rolling the cake too, your rolls really do look fantastic! Hugs, Terra

  34. 34
    spiceblogger says:

    I NEED these right now. LOL
    No other word but “Divine” would describe these. Your creations are always inspired :)

  35. 35

    These look heavenly delicious!

  36. 36

    My mom used to make some beautiful rolls for every special occasional. Wish I had inherited the skill of rolling it without breaking into pieces.
    Beautiful rolls Meghan

  37. 37
  38. 38

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