My family fondly refers to winter as peppermint mocha season. Of course you can have it year-round, but there’s something about winter that makes that flavor combination absolutely right. The holidays are my favorite time of year to bake, so it was only a matter of time before this favorite flavor profile showed up in a baked good. Rich chocolate spread with a cream cheese filling and topped with crushed candy canes, this peppermint mocha rolled cake is the perfect dessert for the holidays!
Wow your guests and enjoy the indulgence of this festive season! Made with your favorite peppermint mocha coffee for maximum flavor, this rolled cake is a perfect addition to the dessert table.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Chill Time: 3 hours (at least)
- Additional Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes
- Makes: 10-12 slices
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp brewed Peppermint Mocha coffee
- 1⁄4 C unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
- 1⁄4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1⁄4 cup crushed candy canes
Eggs: make sure to separate the eggs when you crack them and if possible, have them at room temperature.
Sugar: finely granulated sugar works best as it blends in better.
Peppermint mocha coffee: though any coffee will work, you really want the peppermint mocha version to give a rich, festive flavor.
Unsalted butter and sweet cream butter: you want the butter melted before mixing It into the cake and softened before using it in the cream cheese filling.
Flour: make sure there is no large clumps in the flour as you mix in the rest of the ingredients.
Cocoa powder: the unsweetened version will help bring out the rich chocolate flavor.
Cream cheese: let the cream cheese sit at room temperature to make it easier to whip.
Powdered sugar: sift the sugar if possible before using it.
Heavy whipping cream: don’t skimp on grabbing full whipping cream as it helps make the cream cheese filling and chocolate ganache fluffy and indulgent.
Semi-sweet chocolate chips: the mocha roll cake is sweet enough that you only need semi-sweet chocolate chips for the ganache.
Candy canes: save yourself the work and buy pre-crushed candy canes to top the cake.
The basics: you’ll also need ingredients like baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract.
How To Make It
For the cake base:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prep a 12 X 17-inch baking dish with nonstick baking spray and put a sheet of parchment paper in the prepared baking dish. Then, spray a coat of nonstick baking spray on top of the parchment paper.
3. Sift flour, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with a medium bowl and whisk attachment, beat 4 egg whites and 1⁄3 cup of white sugar on high until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
5. In a second medium bowl, beat the egg yolks, 1⁄3 cup of white sugar, and vanilla extract for about 2 minutes or until it becomes a pale color and creamy.
6. Add the melted butter mixture to the sifted dry ingredients. Use the electric mixer on medium speed, beat it together until combined.
7. Gently combine the egg whites in the mixture with a rubber spatula until combined.
8. Do not over-mix. The batter will be light in color.
9. Gently put the batter in the prepared baking dish, spreading it evenly in a thin layer.
10. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
11. Position a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder directly on top (trust me!).
12. Immediately as the cake is removed from the oven, run a knife around the edges of the cake pan.
13. The cake should be loose from the pan. As soon as this is done, invert the cake into the kitchen towel.
14. Carefully remove the parchment paper from the cake.
Rolling The Cake:
1. Gently and slowly start to roll the cake up on the narrow end with the kitchen towel. Set the cake aside or place the rolled cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to a day.
2. When you are ready to put the cake together, set it aside and allow it to warm to room temperature.
Cream Cheese Filling:
1. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
Putting The Cake Together:
- Once the cake has reached room temperature, begin to carefully unroll it. Scoop the filling onto the cake.
- Spread the filling onto the cake allowing at least 1⁄2 inch border around the cake. Begin to reroll the cake, without including the kitchen towel.
- Carefully place the cake on a wire rack over a cookie sheet. Set aside.
1. Put the chocolate chips in a small bowl.
2. Heat heavy whip cream in a saucepan until it begins to come to a simmer.
3. Pour the warm whip cream over the chocolate chips allowing the chocolate chips to begin to melt, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Slowly stir the whip cream and melted chocolate chips together until the chocolate chips have completely melted.
Putting It All Together:
1. Spoon or pour the melted chocolate over the cake and spread evenly with a frosting spreader.
2. Sprinkle the rolled cake with the crushed candy canes.
3. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Important Teaching Tips:
When making the cake, take care not to overbake it. You want the top of the cake to spring back when touched.
The cake will still be warm when you roll it into the towel so be careful! Though you want to roll it as tightly as possible, it is delicate.
You can prep this peppermint mocha roll cake in advance by making the cake layer and rolling it. Leave it in the fridge for up to a day before letting it come to room temperature and smoothing the cream cheese filling on.
Yes, this peppermint mocha rolled cake is a bit of work, but it really isn’t that difficult to pull off what is sure to be a huge hit this holiday season!
For more rolled cake ideas and tips, try this pumpkin spice rolled cake!