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Christmas Tree Cake Roll

Dress up your holiday dessert table with this bright and cheerful Christmas Tree Cake Roll. Spice it up with candy cane cream cheese filling and decorate with candy Christmas lights. Let’s make it together.

Decorated cake displayed on a white tray showing the side of the cake.

HOW TO MAKE CHRISTMAS TREE CAKE ROLL

Decorated cake displayed on along white tray, showing the inside of the cake.

HOW TO MAKE PATTERN CAKE ROLL

Pattern cake rolls are super simple to make. 1st we need to pipe a pattern onto a parchment. Then we need to set the pattern. You can either bake it off or freeze it. I usually freeze the pattern.

TREE PATTERN

Print my tree pattern. Cut the parchment sheet to fit your baking sheet )(half sheet). Place the pattern under the parchment.

Hand holding a piece of paper with a printed tree pattern on it.

PATTERN BATTER

Prepare green pattern batter. Pour it into a piping bag. Cut the tip of the piping bag.

Cutting a piping bag with scissors.

Pipe all the trees onto the parchment. Then slide the parchment sheet onto a flat freezer save tray and freeze for 20 – 30minutes.

Piping leaves onto parchment paper.

SPONGE CAKE ROLL

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray the baking sheet with a nonstick spray or use soften butter. Prepare sponge cake batter following the recipe in the recipe card. Take out the tree pattern from the freezer and carefully slide it into a prepared baking sheet.

Spreading cake batter into the baking sheet.

BAKE THE CAKE

Bake the cake for 13-15 minutes. Immediately turn the cake out onto a surface lined with wax paper and dusted with powdered sugar. Peel off the parchment.

Baked cake on a surface dusted with powdered sugar.

While cake is still hot flip it so the trees are facing your work surface. Peel off the wax paper.

Baked pattern cake roll being flipped upside down.

Roll the cake while still hot into a log and let it cool to room temperature. I like to wrap it in a clean kitchen towel.

Rolling a cake into a log.

FILL CHRISTMAS TREE CAKE ROLL

CANDY CANE CREAM CHEESE FILLING

Prepare cream cheese filling, reserve about 2/3 cup. To the remaining filling stir crushed candy canes. Carefully unroll the cake and spread the filling onto the cooled cake. If you see any cracks in the cake spread the filling over those first.

Spreading filling onto an unrolled cake.

After you fill the cake roll it up again. Wrap it in a food wrap and chill for a couple of hours. Chilling helps to firm up the cake so it’s easier to decorate and slice.

Rolling a filled cake into a log.

DECORATE CHRISTMAS TREE CAKE ROLL

Use leftover plain Cream Cheese Filling. Color it with yellow and green food coloring. Fit a piping bag with a star tip and a round tip #3 or #4. Spoon filling into the prepared piping bags.

Piping bags filled with green and yellow frosting.

Take cake roll out of the food wrap. Transfer it onto a long tray. Then pipe yellow stars onto the trees.

Decorting cake with piped yellow stars.

Finish decorating by piping a green garland on the trees. Then you can decorate garland with sprinkles or Mini M&M Candies. They work great as Christmas lights.

Piping garland on a tree patterned cake roll.
Cake roll displayed on a white tray on a table.

TO MAKE CHRISTMAS TREE CAKE ROLL YOU NEED

MORE CHRISTMAS DESSERTS :

5 from 2 votes
Christmas Tree Cake Roll
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Cooling
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 40 mins
 

Makes one Cake Roll, about 17 inches long.

Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake roll, candy cane frosting, christmas cake, sponge cake
Servings: 9
Hanielas.com: Hani Bacova
Ingredients
Pattern Batter
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp room temperature butter
  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp water, use when batter is too stiff to work with
Cake Batter
  • 5 tbsp butter melted, cooled
  • 6 eggs separated, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 1 1/2 block cream cheese 1 block is about 226 grams, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar use more if you prefer sweeter filling
  • 2-3 tbsp cream or heavy cream
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
  • 3 -4 drops Concentrated Peppermint Flavoring
Instructions
Pattern Batter
  1. Cream butter (3tbsp) with powdered sugar (1/2cup). Beat until creamy. Gradually beat in egg whites (3 egg whites). Mix until well blended together. Then add vanilla extract (1/4tsp) and on low speed add flour (2/3cup). If batter appears too stiff beat in 1 tbsp of water.

  2. Color batter with leaf green food coloring. I used Americolor brand. Place tree pattern onot a flat surface. Layer a piece of parchment over it. With green pattern batter pipe trees onto the parchment paper. Freeze for 20-30 minutes.

Cake Batter
  1. In a clean bowl beat egg whites (6 egg whites) with a pinch of salt until soft peaks are formed. Then gradually beat in about 1/2 of the granulated sugar (1/2 cup). Beat until stiff and glossy peaks are formed.

  2. In a bowl beat egg yolks (6 egg yolks) with remaining sugar (1/2cup) until pale in color and doubled in volume(ribbon stage). Gradually add melted and cooled butter (5tbsp). Beat well. Lastly beat in Vanilla extract (2tsp).

  3. Sift flour (1 cup) and salt (pinch) into a bowl.

    Into the egg yolk mixture gradually and alternating fold in sifted flour and meringue. 

  4. Spray the jelly roll pan with non stick spray, lay the piped frozen tree pattern into a bakign sheet (half sheet) and spread the cake batter over the tree pattern layer.

  5. Bake at 350F for 13-15 minutes.

  6. Dust the wax paper sheet with powdered sugar, invert baked and still hot cake onto the wax paper. Peel of the top layer of parchment paper. Now it's time to flip the cake so the tree pattern is facing the surface. Place another layer of wax paper on the top of the tree pattern. Put a cutting board or another baking sheet on the top and flip the cake, peel the wax paper. Starting at the side with no tree pattern, roll the cake. Wrap into a kitchen towel, let cool completely before filling, about 3 hours.

Cream Cheese Filling
  1. Beat cream cheese ( 1 and 1/2 block of cream cheese) and butter (1/4 cup) until smooth and creamy. Then gradually add powdered sugar (1 cup and 1/4 cup) alternating with cream (2 -3 tbsp), beat well. Then mix in Vanilla extract (2 tsp). Reserve about 2/3 cup of cream cheese frosting.Place into a small dish, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

    Into the remaining frosting stir in crushed candy candies (1/ 2cup) and few drops of peppermint flavoring. Don't add too much as flavor will be overpowering.

Fill Cake Roll
  1. Carefully unroll cake roll and spread candy cane cream cheese onto the cake. Ten roll it up again. Cover with food wrap and refrigerate for couple of hours, until it firms up a little.

Decorate Cake Roll
  1. Divided reserved filling and color one portion with green and one with yellow food coloring. Spoon green frosting into the piping bag fitted with a round piping tip #3 or #4. And yellow frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small open star tip.

  2. Unwrap cake roll from a food wrap. Pipe yellow starts on the top of the trees. And green garland across. Decorate garland with Christmas lights. Use sprinkles or small candies, such as mini M&M candies.

Storage
  1. Cake roll should be stored loosely but well covered in the fridge. Prepare it up to 3 days ahead.

Recipe Notes
DO YOU HAVE A CHOCOLATE CAKE ROLL RECIPE?

You can use this Chocolate Cake Roll Recipe.

This post was originally published on December 22nd, 2015. On November 5th, 2019 I updated this post with new step by step photos, written text and a video.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love. Learn more about my affiliate policy here.

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12 Comments

      1. Would dearly love the tree pattern template, as I am hoping to make it today, December 21.
        You are so extremely talented!!

  1. Um, when I read this it has blue coloring and a snowflake pattern. I get the gist of it, and it also says to fill both piping bags with green. These are not dealbreakers for me. I can figure it out but just may want to check it since it is published on your site. Pinning this recipe and idea. I can’t wait to make it for Christmas Dinner.

    1. Thanks Teri,
      I’m a bit confused by your message, are you referring to the Snowflake cake roll? Thank you, Merry Christmas. Hani

      1. Hi! I think Teri’s comment above is about the cake batter steps 3 & 4 for the Christmas Tree cake roll….3. Into the egg mixture gradually, alternating fold in sifted flour and meringue. Once you are nearly done, add blue food coloring, fold the color in well but don’t stir the batter.
        4. Spray the jelly roll pan with non stick spray, lay the snowflake pattern on top and spread the blue cake batter on top……it seems the recipe for the Snowflake cake roll & the Christmas Tree Cake roll somehow got mixed together. This sounds so good! I’m going to make a few to gift to friends. Thanks so much for your great recipes. Have a great Christmas & a Happy Healthy New Year.

      2. Hi Deb,
        I finally found the typo. Thank you so much for being so specific. I was overlooking it all this time. I really appreciate it.Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy Healthy New Year. Hope it’s a good one.

  2. Hi… I Just want to ask please what is the dimensions of the baking pad to get the best result and thickness for this recipe please.

    1. Hello. I use a jelly roll pan, I believe the one I use is 18×13 inch, but I think you should be able to make with smaller size as well, cake will be bit thicker. Let me know how it goes. Thanks.

    1. Hi Angie,
      I haven’t tried it with a gluten free flour. I know Bob’s Red mill Gluten Flour Mix is really great and works well.

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