Sponge cake has a special place in my heart. It was one of the first desserts my mother taught me growing up, and to this day, I still use her measurements whenever I make it. Her magic ratio: 1 egg to 1 spoonful of flour to 1 spoonful of sugar. I can’t recall a time this formula failed me. While my mom skipped the technical tablespoon and used a soupspoon instead, I measured everything out for this recipe.
A classic raspberry roll cake would most likely have puréed raspberries or raspberry jam spread inside the cake before rolling. I decided to change things up by baking the raspberries directly into the cake. More vibrant than jam or preserves, they add the most beautiful touch of color. While you can keep things simple by using plain whipped cream mixed with a bit of sugar, I highly recommend you try this white chocolate whipped cream. Thanks to the chocolate, it’s more stable than regular whipped cream, and it has just the right amount of sweetness.
The cake gets better and better the more it sits in the fridge, so feel free to make it up to a day or two in advance. It’s honestly my ideal summer dessert—light, not too sweet, and so easy to make. Yes, even the rolling part is easy, I promise. —Carolina Gelen
- Prep time 1 hour 50 minutes
- Cook time 35 minutes
- Serves 10 to 12
large eggs, separated
granulated sugar, divided
unsalted butter, melted
finely grated lemon zest
plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
raspberries, fresh or thawed and drained (from 2 pints)
3 1/2 ounces
white chocolate, coarsely chopped
heavy cream, chilled
Confectioners’ sugar, for topping
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 15x10-inch or 13x11-inch baking pan with parchment, then grease the sides.
- In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer or a whisk, beat the egg whites and salt to soft peaks. Still mixing, slowly stream in 1/4 cup sugar, and keep whipping until stiff.
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or a whisk, beat the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until doubled in size, pale yellow, and fluffy. Keep whisking while slowly drizzling in the melted butter, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Sift the ½ cup of flour and baking powder, then fold into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture in 2 or 3 additions.
- Pour the cake batter in the prepared pan. Coat the raspberries in the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, then shake off the excess (the flour will absorb any extra juices and help the raspberries not sink in the cake). Evenly spread the raspberries all over the cake batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown on top, checking frequently after 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt half of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, using a microwave or a double boiler, mixing it at 10-second intervals (white chocolate can burn quickly). Once melted, add the other half of the chocolate to the bowl and stir; the residual heat will melt it. Let cool to room temperature.
- While the chocolate is cooling, whip the chilled heavy cream to almost-stiff peaks.
- Add a dollop of whipped cream to the melted chocolate and, using a flexible spatula, vigorously mix it in—the chocolate will get slightly thicker at this point. Mix in the rest of the whipped cream. Cover it and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.
- Once you take the cake out of the oven, you’ll need to roll it while it’s still hot. Place a clean kitchen towel on a work surface, then place a piece of parchment paper on top of it. Cut around the edges of the cake to release it from the pan. Invert the cake onto the parchment-lined towel. Leave the parchment lining on the cake. Starting at the short end, roll up the cake with the towel and parchment in it. Allow the cake to cool, wrapped in the towel, seam side down, until it’s room temperature. You can speed up the process by letting it chill in the fridge.
- Once the cake has cooled down, gently unwrap it, fill it evenly with whipped cream, then roll it back. Let the cake chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before serving. Dust confectioners’ sugar on top and serve.