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Mardi Gras Cake Roll (+ cream filling)

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This soft and fluffy cake roll has the classic Mardi Gras colors of green, purple and yellow and is layered in a pattern that appears swirled when rolled up. This delicious cake is filled with a scrumptious cinnamon cream cheese filling.

swirled Mardi Gras cake roll with yellow, green and purple and cinnamon cream cheese frosting inside
cinnamon cream cheese = creamy goodness

YOU’LL LOVE THIS MARDI GRAS CAKE

This new twist on a favorite dessert is a swirled, rolled cake version of the traditional King Cake of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday holiday celebrations. The vibrant swirls of green, yellow and purple surround an amazing cinnamon cream cheese filling.

swirled king cake rolled with yellow, purple, and green
beautiful green, yellow, and royal purple

KING CAKE TRADITIONS

The King Cake is a New Orleans tradition for Mardi Gras.

A miniature plastic baby is typically hidden within the cake. If a lucky recipient grabs the piece of King Cake that has a little plastic baby hidden within, they’ll be the next party host.

During Mardi Gras, you can find me making Instant Pot Peach Bread Pudding {EASY!} or this amazing cake roll for Fat Tuesday.

INGREDIENTS

cake ingredients for Mardi Gras cake roll, including sugar, milk, vegetable oil, egg yolks, cake flour, baking powder, and vanilla extract
ingredients for the cake roll

Cake roll Ingredients

  • egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
  • sugar
  • almond extract
  • vanilla extract
  • vegetable oil
  • milk
  • cake flour- *all-purpose flour may be used (see substitutions)
  • baking powder
meringue ingredients for Mardi Gras cake roll, including salt, cream of tartar, egg whites, and sugar
ingredients for the meringue

Meringue Ingredients

  • egg whites
  • salt
  • cream of tartar- 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice may also be used
  • sugar
  • Green, purple & yellow food coloring
cream cheese icing ingredients for Mardi Gras cake roll, including cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, cinnamon, salt, and heavy cream
ingredients for the frosting filling

Frosting Filling Ingredients

  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • heavy cream 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • a pan or 10×15 cookie sheet (with a lip)
  • parchment paper (sprayed with baking spray)
steps for making a swirled Mardi Gras cake roll
beautiful purple, yellow, and green

CAKE DIRECTIONS

  1. To make the yolk mixture, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until frothy and lighter in color.
  2. Add in the almond and vanilla extracts and stir. Add in the vegetable oil and milk and whisk to mix. Next, stir in half of the flour until mixed. Mix in the remainder of the flour and baking powder.
  3. To prepare the meringue: add the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed for 45 seconds. The egg whites should have grown in volume and have a micro-foam on top. Add in the salt and cream of tartar and continue whisking for 45 seconds. With the mixer still running, carefully trickle in the sugar. Once the sugar is entirely integrated, let the mixer continue whisking on medium speed until a frothy meringue with firm peaks has formed, lasting around 10-12 minutes. Once the meringue has been created, use a rubber spatula to fold in half of the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the remaining egg yolk mixture until absorbed, aiming to maintain as much air in the meringue as possible.
  4. Separate the batter into 3 bowls. Fill each bowl with food coloring and stir well.
  5. Divide the batter into 3 piping bags. Pipe the cake batter in diagonal stripes and alternate patterns onto the parchment coated jelly roll pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack.

FROSTING DIRECTIONS

making a Mardi Gras cake roll
making a cake roll is simple

HOW TO MAKE A CAKE ROLL

  1. Dust a big kitchen towel with powdered sugar once the cake has cooled. Flip the cake onto the cloth. Dust the cake roll with powdered sugar. Cover the cake with a cloth. Roll the cake in the towels and let it cool for an hour.
    Pour the filling ingredients into the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. 2 minutes on high speed until a smooth and fluffy filling forms.
  2. Unroll the cake after it has cooled. Remove the cake’s cloth. Put filling on cake. Spread the filling over the whole cake using a rubber or offset spatula. Re-roll the cake.
  3. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.
Mardi Gras rolled cake log with cinnamon cream cheese icing in the middle
a real crowd-pleaser

RECIPE FAQ

  • Substitutions
    • Almond extract – Vanilla extract can be used instead. 
    • Cake flour – All purpose flour can be used instead, simply remove 1 ½ Tbs flour and mix in 1 ½ Tbs cornstarch before adding it to the recipe. 
  • Storage
    • Cake roll may be stored in an airtight container or zippered bag in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
    • Freeze the entire cake log once baked. Roll, then wrap in plastic wrap. Then, store in a large zippered bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost for 24-48 hours in the fridge, then serve.
stack of cut Mardi Gras cake roll
the perfect cake for Mardi Gras
  • Tips 
    • Be sure the mixing bowl is extremely dry and does not have a trace of oil before starting the meringue. If the bowl is oily after washing and drying it, wipe it down with a paper towel and some white vinegar. 
    • Follow the exact times when making the meringue to ensure success. 
    • Do not increase the mixing bowl speed when whipping the egg whites. This will add too much air to the meringue and can cause an inconsistent final product. 
    • If the filling is too thick, mix in 1-2 tsp milk until the desired consistency has been achieved. If the filling becomes too thin, mix in 1-2 Tbs powdered sugar. In either case, be sure to mix well after each addition. 
Mardi Gras cake roll filled with cinnamon cream cheese frosting

Mardi Gras Swirled Cake Roll

A Mardi Gras isn't complete without this beautiful King Cake-inspired roll. Filled with silky cinnamon cream cheese frosting, this cake roll is always a huge hit at Fat Tuesday celebrations.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 240kcal
Author: Amber

Equipment

  • 10×15 cookie sheet (with lip)

Ingredients

CAKE ROLL (yolk mixture)

CAKE ROLL (meringue)

FILLING

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a jelly roll pan or 10×15 cookie sheet with a lip with parchment paper and spray with baking spray. 
  • To make the yolk mixture for the cake, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until fluffy and lighter in color. Add in the almond and vanilla extracts and mix. Add in the vegetable oil and milk and stir to incorporate. Next, mix in half of the flour until combined. Mix in the rest of the flour and baking powder. 
  • To make the meringue, place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed for 45 seconds. The egg whites should have increased in volume and have a microfoam on top. Add in the salt and cream of tartar and continue whisking for 45 seconds. With the mixer still going, slowly stream in the sugar. Once the sugar is fully incorporated, let the mixer continue whisking on medium speed until a fluffy meringue with stiff peaks has formed, taking roughly 10-12 minutes. 
  • Once the meringue has been made, use a rubber spatula to fold in half of the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the remaining egg yolk mixture until incorporated, working to retain as much air in the meringue as possible. Divide the batter into 3 separate bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl and mix until fully colored. Spoon the batter into 3 separate piping bags. Pipe the cake batter onto the parchment lined jelly roll pan in diagonal stripes and alternating pattern. Place the pan into the oven to bake for 12 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and place it onto a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes. 
  • Once the cake has cooled, dust a large kitchen towel with a layer of powdered sugar. Turn the cake over onto the kitchen towel. Dust a layer of powdered sugar over the cake roll. Place a large towel over the cake. Roll the cake roll up with the towels and let it finish cooling completely for about 1 hour. 
  • To make the filling, place all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat together on high speed for 2 minutes or until a smooth and fluffy filling has formed. 
  • Once the cake roll has cooled, unroll the cake. Remove the towel from the top of the cake. Spoon the filling onto the cake. Use a rubber or offset spatula to spread the filling over the entire surface of the cake. Roll the cake back up. Wrap with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours before serving. 

Notes

EXPERT TIPS
Be sure the mixing bowl is extremely dry and does not have a trace of oil before starting the meringue. If the bowl is oily after washing and drying it, wipe it down with a paper towel and some white vinegar. 
    • Follow the exact times when making the meringue to ensure success. 
    • Do not increase the mixing bowl speed when whipping the egg whites. This will add too much air to the meringue and can cause an inconsistent final product. 
    • If the filling is too thick, mix in 1-2 tsp milk until the desired consistency has been achieved. If the filling becomes too thin, mix in 1-2 Tbs powdered sugar. In either case, be sure to mix well after each addition. 
STORAGE
  • freeze for up to 3 months as a complete log in a zippered container after wrapping in plastic wrap
  • store in the fridge for up to 3 days
 

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 543IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg

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