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Basic Jellyroll Recipe

Traditional jellyrolls are light sponge cakes baked in a shallow pan. They are removed from the oven and immediately inverted onto a towel, rolled up, and allowed to cool. When cool, they are filled with a variety of fillings; jelly is common – hence the name, but there are hundreds of other fillings that can be used; the possibilities are limited only by imagination. Sometimes, as in the case of a Buche de Noel (French Yule Log), a plain jellyroll will also be frosted on the outside. Other times, a simple dusting of powdered sugar is all that is needed.
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Jellyrolls are easy to make, but because the eggs need to be beaten until very light colored, I would recommend using a mixer. To insure that your jellyroll turns out perfectly, warm the eggs prior to cracking them in a bowl of hot tap water; they whip up lighter that way. Also, it is important to sift the flour with the salt and baking powder to avoid lumps in the finished cake.

Jellyrolls do not contain oil, shortening, or butter; the small amount of fat in the finished cake comes from the egg yolks. One serving of cake (before the filling, of course) contains only 1 gram of fat per serving. The following jellyroll is quite sweet. If you’d rather make one with a little less sugar, you may substitute the jellyroll called for in Grandma Niederhauser’s Banana Roll in any recipe calling for a plain jellyroll.

Basic Plain Jellyroll


12 Servings

3 eggs, (1/2 to 2/3 cup)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oven to 375°.

  2. Line a jellyroll pan (15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch) with parchment.

  3. Spray the parchment with non-stick spray.

  4. Beat eggs in a mixer bowl on high speed until very thick and lemon colored, 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Gradually beat in granulated sugar.

  6. On low speed, blend in water and vanilla.

  7. Gradually add flour, baking powder, and salt, beating just until batter is smooth.

  8. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading batter to corners.

  9. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

  10. While the cake is baking, sprinkle a small amount of powdered sugar on a non-terry dish towel.

  11. When the cake is done, loosen it from the edges of the pan; immediately invert the cake onto the towel.
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  12. Using the towel, roll the cake and towel. For larger slices of finished cake, roll from the narrow end; for smaller slices, roll from the longer end.

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  14. Cool the cake on wire rack.

  15. When cool, carefully unroll and remove the parchment.

  16. Spread filling over the cake, then roll up.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 113 Calories from Fat 12
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 11% Protein 8% Carb. 81%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 1 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 53 mg
Sodium 94 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 2 g

Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 2%


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