Cake Decorating Blog

A Valentine’s Day Swiss Roll Made Easy!

Roses are red, violets are blue, I’ve got a fun Valentine cake for you!

Rose Patterned Roll Cake | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Photos via Erin Bakes

Show your sweetie just how sweet they are with a stunning rose patterned roll cake. No fancy-schmancy artistic skills required — really! All you have to do is print and trace the template I’ve created for you here: Rose Roll Cake Template

Pattern Created With Piped Cake Paste Recipe | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Rose Patterned Roll Cake | Erin Gardner | CraftsyValentine roll cake tutorial


  • Cake paste (recipe at the bottom of this post)
  • Two walled cookie sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Piping bags
  • Dishtowels
  • Small round piping tip (optional)
  • Gel food coloring
  • FREE rose template (optional)
  • Marker
  • Sponge cake batter (I used the one in the Contemporary Layer Cakes class)
  • 3 cups of filling (I used American buttercream, but you could use your favorite buttercream, ganache or whipped cream.)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Step 1: Make and color the cake paste

Divide the cake paste recipe and add colors as desired. Color ¾ of the recipe pink and ¼ of the recipe green if you want to match what I did.

Place the colored piping batter into piping bags. Use a small round tip if it makes you more comfortable when piping the finer details of your pattern. 

It is possible to tint the sponge cake batter, but the design may not come out a sharp. The thicker cake paste holds its shape much better.

Step 2: Draw the pattern on parchment paper

Rose Roll Cake Pattern | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Draw your pattern onto a piece of parchment paper. If you prefer to use a template (like the free rose template I created for you), place the parchment paper over the template and trace.

You’ll notice I left a large portion of the paper open. This is the side that you’ll start your roll, leaving the designed part of the cake for the end where everyone will see it. 

Step 3: Put the parchment paper in place

Spray your walled cookie sheet lightly with pan spray and wipe it around with a paper towel. This will leave enough spray so that the paper sticks, but not so much that it warps the parchment.

Place the parchment paper sheet marker side down on the sprayed cookie sheet.

Step 4: Pipe the design

Piping the Roll Cake Design | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Pipe out your design, keeping in mind that the cake will be viewed in reverse. I started with the more intricate roses and then finished with the leaves.

Piped Rose Roll Cake Design | Erin Gardner | CraftsyPiped Roses and Leaves Roll Cake Design | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Once your design is piped, gently tap the sheet pan against your work surface a few times. This smooths out any piping lines in the larger spaces. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer until the batter is frozen solid, at least 15 minutes.

Step 5: Mix your sponge cake batter

While your design is setting up, prepare your sponge cake recipe and preheat your oven. It’s important to use a true sponge cake in this kind of recipe, like the one shared in Contemporary Layer Cakes. A thicker cake like a pound cake or boxed mix might break when you try to roll it. 

Step 6: Pour the batter and bake the cake

Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer and pour the sponge cake batter over your frozen design. Tap the cake pan against the counter a few times to make sure the batter gets down into all the little nooks and crannies of your design. Bake according to your recipe’s instructions.

Step 7: Flip the cake out of the pan

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool slightly.

Flipping The Roll Cake | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

While the cake is still warm, place a clean dishtowel or a piece of parchment paper on top of the cake. Then place an upside-down cookie sheet on top of that. Flip the whole thing over. Remove the sheet pan that the cake was baked in. You should see your patterned parchment paper.

Flipping The Roll Cake | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Place another clean dishtowel over the cake. Then place another upside-down cookie sheet over the dishtowel. Flip the whole thing over again. Remove the other cookie sheet and parchment paper. Your cake should now be design side down on a dishtowel.

Step 8: Roll!

While the cake is still warm and pliable, use the dishtowel to roll the cake up into a log. If you live in a humid climate, dust the towel with powdered sugar, which can prevent sticking. 

Rolling The Patterned Rose Cake | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Rolling The Patterned Rose Cake | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Let the cake cool completely while rolled up in the towel.

Step 9: Prepare and spread the filling

Prepare your filling while the cake is cooling.

Filling the Roll Cake | Erin Gardner | CraftsyOnce the cake is cooled, carefully unroll the towel and lay the cake flat.

Filling the Roll Cake | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Spread your filling onto the cake. I added a handful of sprinkles just for fun! You could add fresh fruit, chocolate chips or even chopped nuts.

Trimmed Roll Cake | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Roll the cake back up in the same direction as you did with the towel. Use a serrated knife to trim the ends of the cake. Stash these little baker’s rewards aside for yourself. 

Place the finished roll cake onto a platter and enjoy! One of the benefits of this kind of cake is no decorating time after the cake has been baked and cooled.

Enjoy the cake at room temperature on the day that it was baked. Store extra cake in the fridge, tightly wrapped with plastic wrap, for up to three days.

Cake paste recipe


  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Gel food coloring

International readers may find our metric conversion guide useful.

  1. Combine egg whites, sugar and flour in a small bowl. Whisk until combined. 
  2. Switch to a rubber spatula and add the softened butter until the mixture forms a paste. 
  3. Divide and add food coloring. 

Make layer cakes that would satisfy the best pastry chefs!

contemporary layer cakes

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2016 and was updated in January 2018.


jamie hill

I clicked the link but could not locate the recipe for the sponge cake to use.


I couldn’t either. I think we would actually have to pay for the class to get the recipe.

Erin Gardner

Hi! Yes, the recipe that I used for the sponge cake batter came from a Craftsy class. To access it you would need to purchase the class. Here’s a discounted link for you if you want to give it a try: . If not, then you can use your favorite sponge cake batter for a similar result. The piping batter recipe is included in the post and the template is free through the links above. Thanks!

Michael Prudhomme

Thanks for sharing your recipe with us. Your cake roll is perfect for this coming Valentines.


Hi! I wonder if the cake won’t stick in both papers because of the steam..

Erin Gardner

Hi! I haven’t had a problem with sticking, but if you’re worried you can dust with 10X first. Thanks!


What size of the cookie sheet did you use? And when I tried printing out the rose template, the size came out to be standard letter size 8×11. So does the cookie sheet have to be around 8×11 too? Thanks!

Erin Gardner

Hi! I used a standard size 1/2 sheet pan. You’ll need to adjust the settings on your printer before printing the template out. Most will allow you to change the size of the image before it’s printed. Office supply stores will also print larger images out for you, if you want something printed exactly to size. If neither of those options are available, you could also just print out a few 8×11’s and tape them together to get the size that you want. Hope this helps!


Hi, lovely design, unfortunately not able to access the free template.


When do you remove the patterned parchment paper? Is it before or after the rolled cake has cooled in the towel or after you spread the filling and begin to reroll it?

Erin Gardner

Hi! I would leave the paper on until the cake is frosted and you’re ready to roll it up for good.


Thank you for sharing the recipe with us. I made this cake roll on this valentine’s day and it was so delicious.


Thank you for sharing the recipe with us. I will definitely try it for upcoming mother’s day. Let’s see how mothers are reacting to it.


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