How to Bake Cake in Jelly Roll Pan

Gorgeous spiraled cake turned in a roll with cream or jam filling in between; what more could you want? Though these look tricky to make, they certainly are not.

Cake rolls bring a new and unique twist to traditional cakes, but compared to the latter, they are much more versatile.

You can use any kind of flavor for your cake roll filling, from chocolate to strawberry or even cinnamon.

Most people use jams as a filling as well. However, to make a cake roll, the recipe will require you to have a jelly roll pan to bake it in.

If you don’t have this pan, it might be time you invest in it. These pans are much like baking pans but slightly smaller.

They are perfect for people who want to make layered cakes, Swiss rolls, or cake rolls, and more.

Wondering whether these pans will be worth the investment for you? Keep reading to find out all about them and how you can bake a cake in these jelly roll pans.

What is a Jelly Roll Pan?

Jelly roll pans are wide and flat baking trays that are designed for baking flat cakes. Compared to half sheet or baking pans, they are slightly smaller.

Though they are smaller than half sheet pans, they are also bigger than quarter sheet pans.

Their size is perfect for any kind of oven and even dishwasher.

If you get a jelly roll pan, you can rest assured that it will not just be sitting idly in your cabinet.

These pans are for more than just baking cakes. Here are some of the things you can make in jelly roll pans:

  • Roasting vegetables
  • Baking rolled cakes such as pumpkin rolls, Swiss rolls, jelly rolls, etc
  • Baking cookies
  • Baking scones
  • Making thin brownies or blondies

Jelly Roll Pan Dimensions

As we mentioned earlier, compared to traditional baking sheets and pans, the jelly roll pans tend to run a bit smaller.

You can typically find two sizes of jelly roll pans:

  • ¼ size jelly roll pans that have dimensions of 9” by 13” and are 1” deep
  • ½ size jelly rolls that have dimensions of 12” by 17” and 1” deep

How to Bake a Cake Roll in Jelly Roll Pans

You might now be aware of the fact that you can only use a jelly roll pan if you want to bake a rolled cake.

Using any other type will lead to your efforts being futile, and you will not achieve the same results you are hoping for.

Hence, if you have decided to invest in a jelly roll pan, here is how you can bake a cake in it.

This cake recipe is specifically designed to be used in jelly roll pans, which is why it is also often referred to as jelly roll cakes.

There are several versions of this cake, and it goes by many different names depending on the type of filling you put in between.

Ingredients You Need

  • Four large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar
  • One teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

Step 1: Prepare the Batter

First and foremost, you must preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and then prepare the sponge cake batter.

In one bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Then, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer in another bowl.

Once the mixture is thick, heavy, fluffy, and pale white color, you can stop mixing.

Then, sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt mixture. Add ¼ cup of this mixture to the batter and lightly fold it in with a rubber spatula.

Do not mix or dump the entire mixture altogether, or else the batter will be too heavy and deflate while baking.

You want the batter to be slightly thin and create ribbons when you pull it up.

Step 2: Bake the Cake

By the time you have prepared the batter, your oven should be warm enough and will be ready to bake.

First, grease your jelly roll pan with butter or nonstick vegetable spray. Then line the pan with parchment paper. You should also grease the paper with butter and sprinkle some flour.

Bake the cake for ten minutes or until it, has turned golden brown. To test if your cake is ready, press it gently with your finger.

If it springs back up, your cake is ready. Once out of the oven, sprinkle the cake immediately with a bit of powdered sugar.

Step 3: Transfer the Cake to Towel

Take a clean, dry towel and dust that too lightly with some powdered sugar. Loosen the edges of your sponge cake from the jelly roll pan with a flat knife.

Then flip it over gently on the towel. Start rolling the towel and cake together.

This will prevent the cake from sticking together, and the powdered sugar will prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.

Your cake is very likely to stick to any surface, so make sure to follow this step.

Step 4: Start Rolling the Cake

Now comes the tricky part. You have to roll the cake with the towel inside gently.

Since it is warm, it is more likely to break, so you have to do this slowly and carefully.

Start from the short side of the cake and keep rolling until you reach the end of the towel.

Set aside the rolled cake on a wire rack so that it cools down and sets into shape. This should take about an hour.

Step 5: Prepare the Filling

In the meanwhile, you can prepare your filling.

Depending on what kind of cake you are making and your preferences, you can prepare the filling accordingly.

Here are some options for filling your rolled cake:

  • Softened ice-cream
  • Whipped cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Jam
  • Chocolate ganache
  • Flavored cream (strawberry, peach, cinnamon, etc.)
  • Blueberry spread

Step 6: Spread the Filling

Once cooled and reached temperature, your cake will be ready for filling. First, unroll the cake and towel so that the cake is on top of the towel.

Now, using a flat knife or spatula, spread the filling evenly on the sponge cake.

Try not to spread the filling all the way to the edges; you should leave about one inch of space from the filling and cake.

After you are done spreading the filling, reroll the cake back in shape.

This time, you are only rolling the cake and not the towel with it.

Step 7: Cool the Cake

Your cake is ready to be served, and you can do it immediately. However, it would be better if you cool it in the refrigerator.

For example, if you have used ice cream filling, place the cake in the freezer to roll the ice cream cake.

However, cream and ice cream cakes should be served within a few hours since they can’t be stored for too long.

Other cakes, such as those with jam or cream cheese, can be stored for longer.

Substitutes to Jelly Roll Pans

If you plan to make any type of rolled cakes, it’s best to use jelly roll pans because they have the perfect dimensions.

However, you might be wondering that since there is only a slight difference in the sizes between other types of pans, you can consider other substitutes.

This is what will likely happen if you use the following substitutes of jelly roll pans:

Half Sheet Pan

Most recipes for cakes in jelly roll pans require you to fill the pan with the cake batter all the way up to its brim.

This causes the cake to be uniform and thick. However, when you bake a cake in a half-sheet pan, the results will not be the same.

Chances are, your cake will not rise much and will be too thin. As a result, you won’t be able to roll it out properly, and it will likely break.

Cookie Sheet

Cookies sheets tend not to have any rolled edges because they want even and thin baking of the cookies.

As a result, if you pour the cake batter in them, it will pour out of the sheet, and you will likely be left with an even thinner cake, which might also be too dry.

Making a rolled out of this will be impossible.

The Bottom Line

If you are bored with the traditional cakes, then you can consider making these rolled cakes.

However, whichever type of rolled cake you are making, it is imperative that you use a jelly roll pan for the best results.

If you don’t have one, chances are your cake will be too thin and will break when you are rolling it.

Besides, you can also use the jelly roll pan for various purposes, making it a versatile dish that will certainly not be lying idle in your kitchen.

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