Ice Cream Cake Roll

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Ice cream cake roll takes ice cream and cake and rolls them together into one beautiful dessert. You probably have seen it in the grocery store or your favorite ice cream parlor. Maybe you wondered, “How the heck do you make an ice cream cake roll?” Well, the guessing game ends right here and now. Time to learn the simple joys of making your own ice cream roll

Ice cream jelly roll cake

When I was a little girl, my mom used to make this ice cream cake roll every summer. It was my favorite dessert! Recently, she had told my brother and me that she made it when some friends came for dessert, and my brother and I were like “Hey! That’s not fair!” She hadn’t made it in forever!

She made it up to us on Christmas Eve when she made it for dessert. I fell in love with it all over again. I knew that I had to make one for Valentine’s Day!

How To Make Ice Cream Cake Rolls

Making ice cream cake rolls is much easier with a jelly roll cake pan to bake the cake. With that, you make the job much simpler. Because a uniform layer of cake provides a simple “mat” to roll up the ice cream with.  

Also, if you like, then you have the option of adding a layer of jelly too. Jelly cake rolls, and some Swiss Cake Rolls, feature a jelly layer, too. 


ice cream roll cake slice from the loaf

What is the difference between a Swiss roll and a jelly roll?

What’s in a name? In this case, it all depends on where you come from. In the States, people call rolled cakes, with ice cream and or jelly, a jelly roll. While in Great Britain, they are called “Swiss Rolls.” But, don’t be surprised if you also hear it called a “roulade” which is the French term for it. 

It gets complicated from there. Because a roulade doesn’t always have to use cake, and Swiss roll doesn’t always have to use jelly.  We’ll keep it simple though because cake and ice cream in any language is delicious. 

sweet piece of ice cream roll cake with cherry pie filling on top

How do you roll a jelly roll without cracking it?

Roll the cake while it is hot! I know that sounds crazy, but using a towel helps absorb some excess moisture. At the same time, the cake stays moist enough to roll. When you unroll it, then it will still hold the curve for easy re-rolling with the ice cream, jelly, or whatever filling you choose. 

Make sure your towel is clean and big enough for the cake. I have always used a flour sack towel or tea towel as I have always called them. 

Also, be careful not to overbake your cake! A nice moist cake makes all the difference too. Bake it too long and you might just as well call it cookies instead. Because a hard cake will not roll up!

Also, before spreading the ice cream, make sure the ice cream is nice and soft. To firm and cold risks breaking the cake.

You’ll need to work quickly, as the ice cream gets melty in no time. But don’t worry, the ice cream cake roll goes back into the freezer to set up. 


Ice cream cake roll ingredientsThe Ingredients In Ice Cream Cake Rolls

The chocolate cake for my Mom’s Ice Cream Roll is made from scratch. But don’t be intimidated, it uses really basic ingredients. 

  • Flour – all-purpose flour works great!
  • Cocoa powder – gives the cake that rich chocolate flavor. 
  • Baking Powder 
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Sugar-granulated sugar will be used to make the cake, and powdered sugar will be used for dusting the cake roll. 
  • Water
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Vanilla ice cream – I love vanilla bean! Of course, you can switch up the flavors in your cake roll easily by using a different kind of ice cream!

ice cream cake roll condiments

Cherry pie filling and fresh mint are optional, but make a pretty garnish for the cake. Fresh berries would also be really pretty!

Step By Step How To Make A Cake Roll

crisco for greasing cake pan

Step One: Grease the parchment paper before lining the jelly roll pan. I like to use a paper towel.

mixed wet ingredients for ice cream cake roll

Step Two: Using an electric mixer, beat eggs for 5 minutes until they are thick and lemon-colored. Then, turn the mixer to low and beat in sugar, water, and vanilla.

mixed ingredients for an ice cream cake roll

Step Three: Sift dry ingredients into the egg mixture and mix until smooth and combined.

jelly roll pan with cake

Step Four: Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared jelly roll pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Do not overbake!

When the cake comes out of the oven, dust it generously with powdered sugar. Carefully lay a tea towel over the top and invert the cake onto the towel. Carefully peel the parchment from the cake bottom. If you have rough edges, trim them while the cake is still hot.

Tip: My Mom dusts her cake roll with cocoa powder. That works great, too! Choose whichever method you prefer.

towel for making ice cream cake roll

Step Five: While the cake is still hot, roll it up “jelly-roll style” in the tea towel. Cool completely.

roll jelly roll cake dough

Step Six:  Make sure your ice cream is soft enough to spread easily. The cake will squish out a little so don’t put in too much ice cream. 

Ice cream roll

Step Seven: Roll the cake back up, and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Place the cake roll in the freezer until it’s frozen.

slice of ice cream cake roll

Step Eight: Slice and serve. There is no need for topping, but of course, I think the cherries and mint make the cake so festive! Especially if you are serving it for a holiday like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or even the Fourth of July!

ice cream cake swiss roll

Love it? Pin it!

Want to save this one for later? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board so you can easily find it when the mood strikes and you want to make your own ice cream roll!


What size is a jelly roll pan?

A typical jelly roll pan is 10″ by 15″. Jelly roll pans resemble standard baking sheet pans, but sheet pans generally run a few inches wider and longer. Still, in a pinch, you could use a standard-sized sheet pan, but the cake will be much thinner, and therefore you will need to adjust the baking time. Both sheet pans and jelly roll pans possess depths ranging from a 1/2 inch to about 2 inches.


Piece of Old Fashioned Strawberry Icebox Cake on a white plate

Need More Jelly Roll And Ice Cream Cake Inspiration?


Ice cream Roll Cake on a white plate

Let’s make this pretty Ice Cream Roll, shall we?  M. logo An Affair from the Heart

Ice cream jelly roll cake
4.67 from 6 votes
Print Recipe

Ice Cream Cake Roll

Rich chocolate cake, made from scratch, with vanilla bean ice cream, rolled "jelly roll' style, and frozen, becomes the prettiest ice cream cake! Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh fruit to make it even more festive!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Additional Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 27 minutes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake roll, ice cream cake roll, ice cream jelly roll, ice cream log cake, Ice Cream Roll recipe
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 263kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1.5 quart container vanilla ice cream
  • For serving: cherry pie filling and fresh mint leaves for garnishing if desired.


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper, greased with Crisco. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat eggs for 5 minutes until they are thick and lemon-colored.
  • Turn mixer to low and beat in sugar, water and vanilla.
  • Sift dry ingredients into the egg mixture and mix until smooth and combined.
  • Spread evenly into the prepared jelly roll pan.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes. Do not overbake!
  • When the cake comes out of the oven, dust it generously with powdered sugar. Carefully lay a tea towel over the top and invert the cake onto the towel. Carefully peel the parchment from the cake bottom. If you have rough edges, trim them while the cake is still hot.
  • While the cake is still hot, roll it up "jelly-roll style" in the tea towel. Cool completely.
  • Soften the ice cream so that it is easy to work with before adding to the cake.
  • Carefully unroll the cake. Spread ice cream in an even layer over the top of the cake. Don't go all of the way to the end edges, and don't spread it on too thick or it'll just squish out when you roll it.
  • Start at one short end and roll up again, "jelly roll" style, like you did inside the towel. Scrape off any excess. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until it's frozen.
  • Slice and serve.
  • Garnish with fresh mint and cherry pie filling if desired.


You won't need the entire container of ice cream for this recipe. I love using vanilla bean flavor. You could also sub other flavors of ice cream or make it non-dairy with frozen yogurt.
You can dust the cake with cocoa powder for another look.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 157mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g

This recipe is part of a #ChocolateWeek event. A bunch of my food blogger friends are all sharing chocolate recipes in honor of Valentine’s Day coming soon! Take a peek at all of the wonderful chocolate recipes shared by other bloggers for Valentine Chocolate Week:

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  1. Believe it or not I have never made a jelly roll cake or Swiss cake or anything like this! And me a self professed ice cream cake lover! WELL that is going to change especially with all of your great tips!

  2. I served this dessert at a dinner party and my guests were so impressed. Not only was this ice cream cake roll delicious, it was also easy to make with your well-written directions Michaela. Thanks for a great recipe. It’s a keeper!

  3. Your tips on how to keep the roll from cracking are so helpful! Plus the cherry filling and mint garnish are such a great addition

  4. I just tried this and I AM IN LOVE! So good, and so pretty to look at! Going to make this again for Valentine’s Day. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  5. Served this for dessert last night and it does not disappoint! Perfectly sweet and delicious; my whole family loved it!

    1. I am sure that you probably can? However I have not tried it – so I am not 100% sure if you mix it according to the box, or if you alter it at all? If you try it, will you come back and let me know?

  6. Ice cream cake roll!!?? That’s awesome! Such a great idea. I am totally making this. I love ice cream cakes. And cake rolls!

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