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Skull Cake Roll for Halloween

This easy chocolate mint Skull Cake Roll is perfect for Halloween parties and Day of the Dead celebrations.


Updated post from 2015.


To make a Skull Cake Roll I used 2 cake batters.

  • 1st one I used to create skull pattern.
  • 2nd one is a chocolate sponge cake batter. Chocolate batter is poured over skull pattern and baked.


Let’s start with the skull pattern. You can use my skull template or make your own. Template is listed in the Tool section at the bottom of this recipe.

Prepare pattern batter (ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card). Divide batter and color it with red and black gel food colors. Spoon batter into piping bags.

Place printed skull template on top of a flat tray. Layer one piece of parchment over the template. Parchment should be as large as the baking pan you are using. I used half sheet baking pan (baking size 17.25×12.25×1 inch)

Start by piping red eyes and then pipe a nose (heart shape) and a mouth with black batter. Freeze for 10 minutes.

Finish making skulls with uncolored batter. Outline and then pipe white batter around eyes and over nose and mouth. Freeze again for 20 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare easy chocolate sponge cake batter following the instructions in the recipe card. Transfer frozen parchment paper with a frozen skull pattern into a half sheet baking pan sprayed with a nonstick spray.

Pour chocolate cake batter over the frozen skulls. Spread chocolate cake batter into the pan. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes.

Loosen the edges and invert hot cake onto a wax paper dusted with powdered sugar. Then peel off the parchment layer. Right after place another piece of wax paper on the top and turn the cake upside down. So skull pattern is facing your work surface. Peel of the wax paper.


Dust the cake with a little bit of powdered sugar. Place a fresh piece of wax paper on the top and roll the cake roll into a log. Wrap it in a clean kitchen towel and let cool for 2 hours, or until at room temperature.


This yummy chocolate mint filling is so delicious. It pairs nicely with chocolate cake.

Prepare filling according to recipe – see instructions in the recipe card.

Carefully unroll cake roll. Peel off the wax paper and spread cream cheese mint filling over the cake.

Then with both of your hands roll the cake into a log. Wrap it with a food wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Cake roll will firm up slightly. Remove food wrap, transfer cake roll onto a serving tray. Slice and serve. Cake roll can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Store it in the fridge. let come too room temperature before serving.



Skull Cake Roll

Make one Chocolate Halloween Skull Cake Roll.
Course Dessert, Frosting, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cake roll, halloween cake, skull cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling 6 hours
Servings 10
Author Hani Bacova


Pattern Batter

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp room temperature butter
  • 3 egg whites at room temperature (use 3egg yolks to make chocolate cake batter)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tbsp water to thin the batter down, as needed

Chocolate Cake Roll Batter

  • 5 eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 3 egg yolks (use 3 leftover egg yolks from the pattern batter)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Chocolate Mint Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 block cream cheese (8oz, 226grams)
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 10 drops Mint Chocolate Chip Lorann Oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or mini semi sweet chocolate chips


Pattern Batter

  • Cream room temperature butter (3tbs) with powdered sugar (1/2cup) for couple of
    minutes, until well blended and fluffy. Then gradually add egg whites (3 room
    temperature egg whites). Beat well after each addition. Beat in Vanilla Extract
    (1/4tsp) and then on low speed beat in flour (2/3 cup). Thin the batter down
    if it’s too thick with 1 to 2 tbsp room temperature water.
  • Divide batter into 4 equal amounts. Leave 2/4 of the batter uncolored. Color
    ¼ of the batter with red gel food coloring and another ¼ cup of batter with
    black gel food color. Spoon colored batter into piping bags.
  • Place a parchment over the skull template. With red batter pipe the eyes and with
    black pipe the nose and teeth. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  • Then with remaining white batter outline the skull shapes and pipe the
    batter around eyes and over nose and teeth. Freeze for 20 minutes. While in the
    freezer prepare chocolate cake roll batter.

Chocolate Cake Roll

  • In a bowl sift together flour ( 1/2cup), cocoa powder (1/2 cup) and salt
  • With a mixer and wire attachment pour egg whites (5) into a clean bowl, beat until foamy, then gradually beat in half of the sugar (1/2cup). Beat until stiff and glossy peaks are formed.
  • In a bowl beat egg yolks (5 +3, total 8 egg yolks) with remaining granulated
    sugar (1/2 cup). Beat until it reaches the ribbon stage. Mixture should be pale in color and doubled in volume. It takes about 5-6 minutes. Beat in Vanilla Extract (1/2tsp).
  • Gradually fold sifted flour into an egg yolk mixture, alternating with meringue. Pour chocolate cake batter over frozen skull pattern in a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven at 350F for 12-15 minutes.
  • Invert baked cake onto a wax paper dusted with powdered sugar. Then peel off
    the parchment. Place a piece of wax paper on the top and flip the cake so the
    pattern in on the bottom. Then carefully roll it into a log and let cool for about 2 hours, before filling. I like to wrap it into a clean kitchen towel while it's cooling.

Chocolate Mint Cream Cheese Filling

  • In a bowl cream room temperature butter (1/2cup, 1stick, 113grams) until broken up and creamy. Then beat in room temperature cream cheese (8oz, 1package, 226grams). Cream until smooth. Then gradually add powdered sugar (1cup plus 1/2cup). Beat well until creamy.
    After beat in heavy cream (3tbsp). Next beat in Vanilla Extract (1tsp) and with Mint Chocolate Chip Lorann Oil Flavoring (use about 10 drops). Color filling with orange gel food color. And lastly with a spatula stir in chopped dark chocolate ( 1/2cup).

Skull Cake Roll Assembly

  • Carefully unroll cooled cake roll. Spread chocolate mint cream cheese filling onto the cake. Then carefully roll it back into a log. Cover with food wrap an refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Remove the food wrap. Slice the cake roll as serve.
  • Cake roll can be made up to 3 days ahead. Store in the fridge.

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This post was originally published on September 26th, 2015. I updated this post on August 29th, 2019 with new step by step photos, written text and a video.

This post containsThis 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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  1. I guess I’m a little dumb haven’t made the skull cake roll yet would like to but reading instructions you pour the cake batter over the skull face up this is where I’m confused when it comes out won’t the skull be face down when you roll it up to me if you bake it with face up the face bakes into cake and all you have when you roll it up is back of skull head no face cause the face was baked into cake can you explain to me if I’m wrong to me you would put the skull face down then pour batter over that way the skull face would be face up when you rolled it up

    1. Hi Sharon
      thank you for your question. It’s a totally valid question, no need to feel silly about it.
      1. You pipe the skulls.
      2. You pour cake batter over skull sheet and bake. Skulls are on the bottom.
      3. To get the baked cake out of the pan, you need to invert it onto a flat surface lined with parchment or wax paper or silicone mat. At this stage, you’ll have skulls on the top.
      4. To get the skulls on the bottom where you need them before you can roll the cake roll. You need to flip the baked cake layer, so the skulls are on the bottom again.
      5. One you spread the filling and roll it up, skulls will appear on the outside.
      I hope it helps. Happy Baking.

  2. Hi! This was my first time doing a patterned roll cake. Your directions are so clear and easy to follow- thanks!! While they kept their color and shape, the pattern batter baked into hard, tasteless disks that you could easily separate from the chocolate cake.. Did I do something wrong?

    1. Hi Heather, I’m happy to hear it worked. In regards to the pattern dough it tends to a bit firmer but it really shouldn’t separate from the dough. Maybe try adding little more water next time.
      I’m also in the process making few new cake rolls using a different recipe for pattern part. Thank you. Happy Holidays.

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