This incredibly easy chocolate Swiss roll cake is the perfect show stopping cake! Super moist and rich chocolate sponge cake filled with a strawberry buttercream frosting, and guess what? This is a secretly gluten free and vegan Swiss roll that absolutely no one will be able to detect!

Easy Chocolate Swiss Roll (Vegan + Gluten Free!)

Why you’ll love this easy chocolate Swiss roll cake recipe

If you’ve always dreamed of making a Swiss roll or a jelly roll cake, but were worried at how difficult they seemed, then this Swiss roll recipe is for you.

Not only is this the absolute perfect chocolate sponge cake that’s moist, rich, and somehow decadent while still being light, but this particular dessert recipe is also super approachable, even to the newer bakers. 

You just need a bowl, a whisk, and a jelly roll pan. And a hand mixer for the frosting 🙂 

Now of course, this is a vegan blog, and this happens to be both a gluten free and vegan Swiss roll, but trust me, you’d honestly never know. Even the toughest of cake critics will not be able to detect that this Swiss roll cake is dairy free, eggless, vegan, and gluten free!

slices of vegan chocolate Swiss roll

We’re also filling this chocolate Swiss roll with a lovely and light dairy free strawberry buttercream that’s bursting with fresh fruit flavor. However, you can also use my favorite vegan buttercream or vegan cream cheese frosting if that’s more your style!

You’re just going to absolutely love this vegan cake recipe, whether or not you’re vegan! It’s the perfect cake to make for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, and more!

What is a Swiss roll? I thought it was a jelly roll cake!

A Swiss roll cake is actually known as a jelly roll cake in America, but can also just be called a roll cake, cream roll, or roulade. It’s essentially a sponge cake that’s made more pliable with the use of eggs to be rolled and filled with whipped cream or buttercream. 

While jelly roll cakes appear to be more complicated than they are, given the beautiful swirl when you slice into it, they’re actually quite easy!

For Swiss rolls, you do need to have a jelly roll pan or a baking sheet with walls, a cooling rack, a clean tea towel or kitchen towel, and some patience, as we need the cake to fully set in the rolled position while cooling! 

plates of chocolate Swiss roll

Ingredients:

We’ll start by making a completely gluten free and vegan chocolate sponge cake for our secretly vegan Swiss roll. Don’t worry- if you’ve never baked vegan, it’s actually quite simple. Even the ingredients are really straightforward. 

Then we’ll make the strawberry buttercream and top with a dairy free chocolate ganache. However, I’ll give you a few options if you just want a classic chocolate Swiss roll with a vanilla frosting.

Ingredients:

  • Oat flour & cassava flour: I used a combination of the two to simulate a texture that most closely resembled all purpose flour. It really does work! The chocolate sponge cake is super soft, tender, yet pliable, and not at all gritty. However, if you don’t want to make a gluten free Swiss roll cake, you may use regular all purpose flour in equal amounts.
  • Cocoa powder: I recommend using all natural cocoa powder or Dutch-process cocoa powder, as both have a higher acidity level than cacao powder. 
  • Sugar: You can use coconut sugar or organic granulated sugar. Keep in mind that not all granulated sugars are vegan, which is why I specify to use organic. I personally use Florida Crystals, which is certified vegan.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: This replaces the eggs and egg yolks found in typical chocolate Swiss roll cakes. 
  • Aquafaba: Much like a traditional Swiss roll, we’re simulating the egg whites by using aquafaba, or chickpea water. If you’ve never used aquafaba before, no problem- it’s simply the liquid in your chickpea can!
  • Dairy free yogurt: Using a dairy free yogurt will help ensure that your sponge cake is soft and pliable, and still moist!
  • Leavening agents: This is your baking powder and baking soda.
vegan Swiss roll ingredients

How to make a vegan chocolate Swiss roll (overview)

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

To make the vegan chocolate sponge cake for your Swiss roll:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.

    This is the oat flour, cassava flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot (or cornstarch) and baking powder and soda.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and aquafaba.

    I opted for not making a vegan meringue for this sponge cake. I have in the past for my vegan Swiss roll cakes, but I’ve actually found it unnecessary – we can still achieve a great pliable sponge cake that’s all vegan without using a whisk attachment to whip a meringue into stiff peaks! I do use a whisk to get the granulated sugar to start to blend into the liquid, and the aquafaba to begin to foam.making the Swiss roll

  3. Then add in the remaining wet ingredients:

    This is your applesauce and dairy free yogurt.

  4. Add in the dry ingredients:

    Gently whisk everything together so as not to over mix the batter.making the Swiss roll

  5. Pour the batter onto your prepared baking sheet or jelly roll sheet and bake:

    Spread the batter to the edges of the pan lined with a piece of parchment paper. This will make it easier to remove the cake once baked. You’ll only need to bake this sponge cake for 12 minutes, or until it’s completely set!making the Swiss roll

How to assemble a Swiss roll

Once you have your chocolate Swiss roll baked, you’ll want to immediately roll it and get it into form.

To do this, make sure that you have a sifter with a bit of cocoa powder nearby, as well as a wire rack and a clean tea towel or kitchen towel.

As soon as your chocolate roll cake comes out of the oven, lightly dust the top of it with cocoa powder. Place the tea towel over the still hot cake, followed by the wire rack or cooling rack on top.

Then using oven mitts, carefully and quickly invert the baking pan to be face down on top of the wire rack. Carefully lift the pan from the wire rack (your cake will still be on the wire rack). Then remove the piece of parchment paper.

Now to shape the roll:  

  1. Tightly roll the cake with the tea towel, but be careful not to make it too tight, as you don’t want the cake roll to break.
  2. Store the rolled cake in the tea towel in the fridge to fully and completely cool before making the frosting. This will take about 1-2 hours, depending on how cool your fridge is.
  3. Once the roll cake is cooled, prepare your frosting. I recommend the strawberry buttercream that I’ve included below, but you can also make this classic vegan buttercream or try my vegan cream cheese frosting!
  4. Carefully unroll the cake. It’s okay if there are parts of the cake that are starting to break. You can seal those with frosting. 
  5. Spread the buttercream evenly and to the edges of the cake. Then using the tea towel for assistance, roll the cake the same way as before, this time not rolling the kitchen towel in with the cake.
  6. You can place a piece of plastic wrap over the cake or just the tea towel, and allow it to set in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm your room was when making the frosting. Don’t worry- the fridge shouldn’t dry your cake out that quickly!
  7. When ready to serve, simply drip the ganache over the top of the vegan Swiss roll, and top with sliced strawberries!

Help! My Swiss roll cake is breaking!

This is why it’s so imperative to roll the cake when it’s warm- the heat and moisture from the cake actually makes things more pliable and will prevent any cracking in the cake. 

That being said, if you notice that your Swiss roll cake is breaking, don’t panic- you can still save the cake and achieve a beautiful swirl! 

In fact, in practicing this recipe a few times, I had an instance where the cake slightly cracked. I was able to smear some buttercream on it, and push the two pieces together. when I went to roll the cake and slice into it, no one could tell!

slice of chocolate Swiss roll

You’re just going to absolutely love this secretly vegan and gluten cree strawberry chocolate Swiss roll! The sweet fruitiness from the buttercream and the deep rich chocolate from the sponge cake is just the perfect pairing.

Make this show stopping special occasion dessert for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, a birthday, or any holiday where there’s a need for chocolate!

More vegan cake recipes you’ll love:

Best Ever Vegan Vanilla Cake

Amazing Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake

Vegan Chiffon Cake

Easy Vegan Zebra Cake

Best Vegan Red Velvet Cake

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Easy Chocolate Swiss Roll (Vegan + Gluten Free!)

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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Easy Chocolate Swiss Roll (Vegan + Gluten Free!)

Easy Chocolate Swiss Roll with Strawberry Buttercream (Vegan + Gluten Free!)

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 10
  • 2 hours, cooling:
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Swiss
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This incredibly easy chocolate Swiss roll cake is the perfect show stopping cake! Super moist and rich chocolate sponge cake filled with a strawberry buttercream frosting, and guess what? This is a secretly gluten free and vegan Swiss roll that absolutely no one will be able to detect!


Ingredients

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups (135 g) oat flour

  • 1/4 cup (30 g) cassava flour

  • 1/4 cup (30 g) cocoa powder

  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 cup (122 mL) aquafaba, room temperature

  • 1 cup (200 g) organic granulated sugar or coconut sugar, divided

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature

  • 1/4 cup (60 g) unsweetened dairy free yogurt, room temperature

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder for dusting the dish towel

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries, for garnish

 

Strawberry Buttercream:

  • 1 cup (226 g) vegan butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup (70 g) freeze dried strawberries, pulsed into a flour

  • 1 can full fact coconut cream, only the coconut fat

  • 3 cups (450 g) powdered sugar, sifted

Vegan Ganache:

  • 1 cup (240 mL) coconut cream

  • 1 cup (200 g) vegan chocolate chips

 


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease and line a medium jelly roll sheet (~14.5”x9.5”) with parchment paper. Grease the top side of the parchment paper as well. Set aside.

Notes

Not gluten free? You can swap in all purpose flour for both the oat and the cassava in equal amounts, and it will work just fine!

Different filling ideas: You can also use a vegan buttercream or a vegan cream cheese frosting as a filling instead!

Keywords: chocolate Swiss roll, vegan Swiss roll, jelly roll cake