This decadent hot chocolate cake roll puts all the classic flavors of hot cocoa into one delicious cake roll. A moist, rich chocolate cake covers a creamy marshmallow filling. A drizzle of chocolate syrup and mini marshmallows complete this hot cocoa cake roll, making it the perfect dessert to serve this holiday season.
Christmas and hot cocoa go together like peanut butter and jelly or spaghetti and meatballs.
When we open presents or come back in from getting our Christmas tree, we almost always enjoy a steamy mug of hot chocolate. That classic flavor combination just always reminds me of Christmas.
I wanted to make a dessert cake version of hot cocoa that would be a show stopper after any holiday meal. That’s where this hot chocolate cake roll came from.
What is a hot chocolate cake roll?
A hot chocolate cake roll, also called a hot cocoa cake roll, is a variation on a classic Swiss chocolate roll. Swiss rolls generally are layers of moist sponge cake rolled around a cream cheese or jam filling.
If you want to get technical about it, pumpkins rolls are an autumn version of this classic dessert.
My hot chocolate cake roll is a chocolate sponge cake wrapped around a cream cheese marshmallow flavored filling. A drizzle of extra chocolate and a generous topping of mini marshmallows finishes this hot cocoa cake roll.
How to Make a Hot Chocolate Cake Roll
This cake roll recipe does require a little bit of work. There’s nothing too terribly difficult about it, but let’s break it down into some basic parts. The basic parts of this recipe are:
- baking the cake
- making the filling
- assembling the cake roll
Bake Your Cake Roll
Making the chocolate sponge cake for the hot cocoa cake roll is very similar to making other chocolate cakes particularly in the beginning of the process.
To make the cake, start by beating your eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer on high until the eggs are light and fluffy.
Once the eggs have turned light yellow, you can add in the sugar and let it beat until just combined. Make sure you turn the mixer down to medium speed.
Then turn the mixer down to low and add the water and vanilla extract.
Next combine your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk them together. Now gradually add them to the wet ingredients with the stand mixer still on low.
Let the batter mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients. Then pour into a parchment lined 11×17 baking pan that you have sprayed liberally with nonstick spray.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 to 8 minutes.
When the cake is done, spread a clean dish towel out on a flat surface. Sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder and powdered sugar on top of the towel.
Then carefully turn the pan over onto the prepared towel and remove the parchment paper. If there are any obviously crusted edges you can trim them away.
Then roll the cake up around the towel, starting at the narrow end of the rectangle. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 30 minutes.
Make the Marshmallow Cream Cheese Filling
While the cake is cooling, put together your filling.
To make the filling, combine softened cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat it together for 2 minutes or until the mixture is fluffy.
Then scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and add the marshmallow fluff. Beat the mixture again to combine the marshmallow fluff.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl one more time with a spatula and gently fold in the cool whip and marshmallows.
Assembling the Hot Chocolate Cake Roll
Now that we’ve made both the cake and the frosting, it’s time to put it all together.
To assemble your hot cocoa cake roll, carefully unroll the cake from the dish towel and place it on a clean flat surface. Then spread the filling out evenly over the cake, stopping about an inch and half from one of the short edges.
Now, starting with the narrow end that’s frosted, roll up your cake roll.
Transfer the cake roll with the seam side down onto the serving platter of your choice. Finish it off by drizzling it with chocolate and sprinkling extra mini marshmallows on top.
Tips and Tricks to Make the Best Hot Chocolate Cake Roll Ever!
If you’ve never made a cake roll before, they can be kind of intimidating. I have some tips and tricks to make sure your cake roll making will go smoothly and yield the yummiest cake roll ever.
- Use the right cocoa powder. You want to use the unsweetened baking version of cocoa powder and not some other kind of cocoa powder like hot cocoa powder.
- Make sure you liberally cover the dish towel with powdered sugar and cocoa powder. You don’t want to cake it on, pun intended, but you do want a dusting on the entire towel. Any spots that are uncovered will stick to cake roll and result in imperfections when you try to pull the towel away.
- Don’t worry about any tiny imperfections! You can definitely cover them up with the chocolate drizzle and mini marshmallows!
- While you can make this cake roll ahead of time, don’t make it more than a day ahead of time.
- If you do make this cake roll ahead of time, store in sealed in the fridge. Remove it from the fridge an hour prior to serving to let the filling soften up a bit. Otherwise the filling will be too firm.
- Don’t freeze the cake rolls. The frosting will separate and get grainy, which is just sad. Skip the sad frosting.
Other Holiday Cake Rolls You Might Love
I love serving this chocolate marshmallow hot chocolate cake roll for the holidays and other winter occasions. Make it for your next gathering and watch your guests go wild over this sweet hot cocoa treat.
Looking for other holiday cake roll recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:
Looking For More Hot Cocoa Inspired Desserts To Enjoy?
I can’t get enough of hot chocolate during the holiday season. I don’t always want it served hot, or even in a mug. Here’s some cooler ways to get your cocoa fix:
If you’ve tried this HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE ROLL, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Hot Cocoa Cake Roll
For The Cake
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- cocoa powder + powdered sugar for rolling the cake
For The Filling
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
- 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip thawed, but not melted
- 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows optional
For The Topping
- chocolate syrup
- mini marshmallows
To Make The Cake
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the eggs on high speed for 4-5 minutes- until thickened & light yellow in color.
- Reduce the mixing speed to medium, pour in the sugar and mix just until incorporated.
- Reduce the speed even further to low, and mix in the extract & water.
- In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, & salt- just until evenly combined.
- Slowly add this mixture into the stand mixer, at low speed, until all the dry ingredients are evenly incorporated- just until the batter's smooth.
- Line a 17x11 inch rimmed baking pan with an over-sized sheet of parchment paper. Liberally spray the prepared pan with non stick cooking spray, including the sides.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an inverted spatula, spread the batter out evenly into the pan.
- Bake the cake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven & run a butter knife all around the edges of the pan to release the cake.
- Spread a clean kitchen dish towel evenly out over a flat counter top. Sprinkle it with cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Being careful, working with the still hot pan, turn the cake pan upside down over top the prepared dish towel.
- Gently lift the pan off. Carefully remove the parchment paper from the cake. Trim away any obviously crusty edges.
- Working while the cake is still hot, start at the narrow end of the rectangle and roll the cake up, with the dish towel, like a jelly roll- but careful not to roll it too tight or to press it together.
- Transfer the dish towel rolled cake to a wire rack, and let it cool for thirty minutes.
To Make The Filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until the mixture's fluffy & smooth- about two minutes.
- Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl & add in the marshmallow fluff. Beat the mixture again, just until smooth and evenly incorporated.
- Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cool whip & use a spatula to fold it in. If using, fold in the marshmallows.
To Assemble The Cake Roll
- Gently and carefully unroll the cake roll from the dish towel onto a clean flat surface.
- Spread the filling evenly out all over the cake roll in a thick layer, leaving an inch and a half on one of the short ends of the rectangle clear.
- Starting with the narrow end that's frosted, roll the cake roll up like a jelly roll. Lay the cake roll, seam side down, on a serving platter of choice.
- Drizzle the chocolate syrup evenly out over the cake roll. Sprinkle mini marshmallows on top.
- Serve as is, or cover it & place the cake roll in the refrigerator until ready to serve.