Chocolate Peppermint Cake Roll with a cream cheese peppermint filling and chocolate ganache on top. A beautiful, festive dessert for the holidays!

Overhead view of a Chocolate Peppermint Cake Roll with two slices overlapping each other, next to a red dish towel.

I’m so happy to see how many of you loved my tips for making the EASIEST Pumpkin roll. I’ve loved all of the photos you’ve shared of your roll and the nice comments you’ve left on Pinterest.

So for all of you cake roll fans, here is another holiday favorite you can enjoy this Christmas: Chocolate Peppermint Cake Roll.

A delicious chocolate sheet cake, rolled up with peppermint cream cheese frosting in the center, and covered in chocolate ganache. This cake roll is heavenly! It’s perfect for wow-ing guests and beautiful for celebrating this special time of year.

The inside swirl of four slices of chocolate peppermint cake roll laying offset against each other.

Lots of people avoid making cake rolls because so many recipes have you invert the baked cake onto a large towel dusted with powdered sugar. The whole process seems messy and tricky. Fear not! This method is the easiest, fuss-free way to do it!

First, grease a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper.

Make the chocolate cake batter and pour it into the prepared pan.

Process photos for making a chocolate cake roll with the first showing batter being poured into a pan, and the next showing the baked cake being rolled up.

Bake, allow it to cool for 1 minute in the pan, and then lift the parchment paper and cake onto your counter to quickly roll the hot cake up inside the parchment paper. Let it cool on top of a wire cooling rack, and then in the fridge. Side by side photos of a chocolate cake roll making process with the first showing the frosting smoothed over the cake and the next showing the cake rolled up.

Unroll the cooled cake and spread the peppermint cream cheese frosting gently over it.

Roll it back up, this time without the parchment paper. Don’t worry if it’s not pretty to look at yet. The chocolate ganache will cover up any imperfections!

Overhead view of a chocolate peppermint cake roll.

Refrigerate it again for an hour. Pour chocolate ganache over the top.  ENJOY!

A piece of chocolate peppermint cake roll on a white plate with a fork and red towel and peppermint candies in the background.

Tips for making a perfect chocolate cake roll:
  • Make sure the cake is well cooked, before rolling it up. If it’s undercooked at all, it will be too sticky to release from the parchment paper.
  • When removing it from the oven, allow it to cool for just 60-90 seconds in the pan. Then remove it to the counter and roll it up immediately. I like to give the top of the cake a minute to rest before rolling it up, but you do need to roll it up while the cake is hot from the oven, to prevent cracking.
  • Allow the rolled up cake to cool completely, on top of a wire cooling rack so that it can cool underneath the roll, to keep it from sweating.
  • You really can NOT cut corners on allowing this cake time in the fridge (both after the initial rolling, after it’s filled with frosting, and after adding the ganache). If you try and unroll-it too soon, frost it too soon, or serve it too soon, it may be messy.
  • There are several ways to make this cake ahead! See my notes at the bottom of the recipe.

 

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Recipe

Overhead view of a Chocolate Peppermint Cake Roll with two slices overlapping each other, next to a red dish towel.
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 15 mins
Total 2 hrs 15 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

For the Cake:

  • 4 large eggs , separated
  • 1/2 cup + ⅓ cup granulated sugar , divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup water

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 20 starlight mint candies crushed

For the ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or 3 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • starlight mint candies , crushed for topping

Instructions
 

For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper.
  • Beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form; gradually add ½ cup granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. 
  • Beat egg yolks and vanilla in medium bowl on medium speed of mixer 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining ⅓ cup granulated sugar; continue beating 2 additional minutes.
  • Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to egg yolk mixture alternately with water, beating on low speed just until batter is smooth. 
  • Gradually fold chocolate mixture into beaten egg whites until well blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
  • Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool in the pan for ONE minute.
  • Lift the parchment paper and hot cake out of the pan and onto a flat (heat-safe) surface. 

Immediately, while the cake is hot, starting at one of the short ends, use your hands to gently and slowly roll the cake (and parchment paper!) all the way up.
  • Allow the rolled up cake to cool completely, on top of a wire cooling rack. (Setting it on a wire rack allows it to cool underneath the roll, and keeps the cake from sweating).
  • Transfer to the fridge to cool for an additional 30 minutes.
  • While the cake roll is cooling in the fridge, mix the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and peppermint extract together with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth.
  • Gently stir in desired amount of crushed peppermint candies, to taste. Save a handful for sprinkling on the ganache, at the end, if desired. 
  • Once the cake roll is cooled completely, unroll it very carefully. Gently smooth the filling in an even layer over the cake.
  • Roll up the cake, without the parchment paper. (If you see it start to stick at all to the paper you can use a butter knife gently scrape along the bottom edge of the cake as you roll it up, to help release it.)
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the Ganache:

  • Heat heavy cream in a saucepan until hot. Pour over chocolate and stir continuously until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Allow the ganache to cool for several minutes to give it time to thicken up a little.
  • Gently spoon/pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the peppermint roll. Sprinkle additional chopped peppermint candy on top, if desired.
  • Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving. 
  • Store in the fridge, covered, for up to three days.

Notes

Make ahead instructions: The cake roll can be prepared completely and refrigerated for 1-2 days before serving. OR, you can bake the cake, roll it in the parchment paper to cool. Once cool, refrigerate it (rolled in the parchment paper) for up to 1 day, before filling and adding the ganache. To freeze:  Prepare the cake roll completely, with the filling but do not add the ganache. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before adding the ganache and then slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 571kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 7gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 258mgPotassium: 302mgFiber: 3gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 905IUCalcium: 84mgIron: 2.8mg

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Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Peppermint Cake Roll
Amount per Serving
Calories
571
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
32
g
49
%
Saturated Fat
 
18
g
90
%
Cholesterol
 
150
mg
50
%
Sodium
 
258
mg
11
%
Potassium
 
302
mg
9
%
Carbohydrates
 
64
g
21
%
Fiber
 
3
g
12
%
Sugar
 
48
g
53
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
Vitamin A
 
905
IU
18
%
Calcium
 
84
mg
8
%
Iron
 
2.8
mg
16
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. I made the cake today, Tuesday and I want to serve Friday evening, should I freeze it? Or keep it in fridge without gamache?

  2. 5 stars
    My 11 year old loves making a bouche du Noel (Yule log cake) every holiday season and this year she was able to make it almost completely on her own! After years of watching the Great British Baking show, she knows the difficulty of a Swiss roll, and while she almost cracked the cake, she saved it, and covered it with ganache. It was a great hit at our New Years Eve Party—just the right balance of chocolate and peppermint. She didn’t think the cream cheese and peppermint would go together, but she loved it.

  3. 5 stars
    This was easy to make and so delicious! I replaced the starlight candies with chopped peppermint kisses and it was great. Simple to make and made for an impressive presentation after dinner.

  4. 4 stars
    Made the roll yesterday, was excited to Christmas bake! The chocolate cake has a good taste- the sponge is springy perhaps a tad bit too dry to roll flawlessly but it gets covered with ganache so who will know? Didn’t crack all the way through anywhere, but many surface cracks , so if you’ve made pumpkin rolls, it won’t look like those. The peppermint extract does NOT overpower- it’s quite subtle in this frosting so be sure to up the ante if you want the mint to be a powerful flavor in this cake. But this cake delivers as advertised! Don’t be afraid to bake it!!

  5. 4 stars
    I’m not sure what happened. I made it exactly as listed and when I unrolled it after cooling it on the wire rack until room temp and then the fridge for 5 hours it cracked and basically broke in 4 separate pieces. I did piece it back together and it tastes really good. Any tips for next time?

    1. Hi Lexi,
      I’m sorry to hear that the roll cracked! It’s hard to say exactly why it cracked – sometimes it takes a little trial and error. Maybe try rolling it slightly less tight next time!

  6. 5 stars
    Just made your Chocolate Peppermint Roll. It turned out beautifully and I hope it tastes as good as it looks. I’m sending it with my husband for his holiday office party so I won’t get to sample it ? I do have one question. The cake recipe calls for 1/4 cup of powdered sugar but I don’t see in the directions for the batter where it is added. I found it left over on my counter after I had put the cake in the oven. Did I miss something?

    1. So happy to hear it turned out great! I hope everyone at your husband’s work loves it! (And I hope he saves you a piece!) Thanks for noticing that–I removed it from the recipe. I had it in there originally to dust the parchment paper with, instead of flour. But it’s not necessary.