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Candy Cane Cake Roll


posted: 12/10/13

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Candy Cane Cake Roll is a gorgeous and delicious cake for Christmas time!


Does your family do the Elf on the Shelf?

We went from being a family who wasn’t even going to do the whole Santa thing to a family that crazily searches for Star the Elf each morning.

It started with Gavin coming home one day and talking about what Santa was going to bring him for Christmas . . . Okay, what do you do at that point?? Turn to your four year old and tell them there is no Santa??? Especially after LOTS of pressure from your friends and family to do the Santa thing so that your kid isn’t the one to blow it for everyone??

Candy Cane Cake Roll coated with frosting and sprinkled with crushed up candy cane.

So we’re doing Santa. Though we tell our kids that we have a deal with Santa that he only gets to bring the kids one toy since Santa knows how much mom and dad love shopping for them.

And then the Elf. That is 100% on me. I saw all the funny and cute pictures on Pinterest of the the Elf doing funny and naughty things, and I was totally suckered in.

This year Gavin has been loving the elf (Yay!!) . . . or at the very least he has been loving looking for her and also not finding her in his bedroom each morning.

But now we have a new problem.


Birds eye vies of two slices of the Candy Cake Roll. The cake portion is swirled with red coloring.

Star seems to be taking some of the kids’ toys during the night, and we find her playing with them in the morning. The other morning it was Quinn’s pink Little People Jeep. Star borrowed it, parked it on the entertainment center and decided to chill in it for the day. While cooking breakfast I heard screams of “MY CAR! MY CAR! MY CAR!” Coming from the living room.

We had a conversation about the importance of sharing . . . how does anyone keep a straight face while talking to their two year old about the importance of sharing their toys with . . . a doll . . . ????

And this morning there were cries of “MY DINOSAUR! MY DINOSAUR! MY DINOSAUR!” Star is riding a T-Rex on our mantel. Hmmm . . . seems like Star is a little stubborn and likes pestering two year olds :)

Two slices of the Candy Cake Roll. The cake portion is swirled with red coloring.

The good news for you this morning? Making this cake roll is less complicated than explaining sharing with an inanimate object to a two year old. Yay!!

The base of this recipe comes from the Food Network, and the center frosting is the most delicious buttercream frosting flavored with peppermint. The rows of red and white go up and down the short length of the jelly pan. The candy cane on the top of the cake make for a very pretty cake, but I personally don’t love the combination of the textures, though it is easy to avoid while eating. So your call :)


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Candy Cane Cake Roll

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  • For the cake
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tarter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp
  • red food coloring
  • For the filling
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter softened
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • For the topping
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 TB milk
  • 2 candy canes broken


  • reheat your oven to 375 and line a 10 by 15 inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, and cream of tartar together, mix until just combined.
  • In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs and 1/3 cup of water together on high until they are light and airy, about five minutes.
  • Gently fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture, being careful not to over mix.
  • Divide the batter into two, and dye one half red.
  • Running parallel to the 10 inch side of the pan, gently pour a spoonful of the red cake batter all along one edge. Then a row of white, then a row of red, and so on. I had four rows of each color in the end, and had to work once all the batter was added to the pan to make sure it was completely spread out.
  • Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the white begins to turn golden brown.
  • While the cake is baking, spread a clean kitchen towel on a large cutting board. Use your 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to cover the kitchen towel completely.
  • When the cake is done baking, flip the entire pan over onto the kitchen towel and gently peel away the aluminum foil.
  • Working at one end, roll the cake into the kitchen towel. This will give the cake its rolled form. Leave the cake for at least one hour, but not more than four hours.
  • While you are waiting to unroll your cake, mix together two sticks of softened butter, two cups of powdered sugar, and the peppermint extract. Don't refrigerate the frosting while you are waiting for your cake!
  • Uroll your cake. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake and roll it back up. (This time without the towel ;)
  • Roll the cake in aluminum foil and chill for at least an hour before serving, but do not wait more than a day or two to serve or the cake will dry out.
  • When you are ready to serve, whisk together the topping of powdered sugar and milk. Pour over cake (you may need to do some spreading) and top with crushed candy canes.
Author: Lisa Longley

did you make this

Candy Cane Cake Roll

I'd love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

** Recipe adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli at the The Food Network and Instructions adapted from the amazing Dorothy at Crazy for Crust, if my instructions are confusing you definitely want to visit Dorothy!***

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Candy Cane Cake Roll coated with frosting and sprinkled with crushed up candy cane.

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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  1. Heather @ French Press says

    Lisa this is awesome! what a gorgeous cake – my rolls never look like that :)

  2. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar says

    You sound like a great mom Lisa! That story with Gavin is great – how awesome that he overcame a fear! And this cake roll looks delicious and so festive!

  3. Trish - Mom On Timeout says

    Just glorious Lisa! I love it!

  4. Dina says

    i love the colors. this really makes a presentation!

  5. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says

    How adorable is this?!

  6. tanya says

    I’m having trouble with our Elf this year….he’s boring. I think I did all the fun stuff last year and I cannot repeat anything! Lisa, this cake is gorgeous! I would love to have this on Christmas!

  7. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says

    This is seriously the prettiest cake roll I have ever seen. You win for the best cake roll ever!!!! And thanks for the link love. :)

    Jordan got a lesson in quantity vs. cost this year. I told her Santa is on a budget and we are too, and since she asked for a Saige doll AND a lego house (OMG why are legos so freaking expensive?) that she probably wasn’t going to get tons of other gifts. And she was so confused because she “always gets lots of presents”.

    #momfail No, wait. Let’s blame it on dad. #dadfail

  8. Heather says

    I just found this recipe today and can’t believe I actually have all the ingredients to make it, as long as I can get myself motivated this is happening tomorrow. I sympathize with your Santa dilemma! I also said I’d never do the Santa thing but my mother refused to accept that. She made sure my kids were informed and then I’d get, MOOOOM, you forgot to put cookies out. I had the strict policy that Santa left a small item like a stuffed animal or doll, unwrapped under the tree. It never had a tag that said from Santa. I’ve been very thankful that my kids are older (16 & 21) so I didn’t have to worry about the Elf stuff, that thing creeps me out. Today my 16 informs me that she’s buying an Elf on the Shelf next year and then doing random things like hanging it from my bed so I wake up and see it, or doing crime scene reenactments with it. Stuff that I’m going to find hilarious, while being creeped out!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Lol! Your 16 year old sound likes my kind of girl. :) I hope you enjoy the cake roll!


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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners