Slice of Strawberry Roll Cake.
Why A Towel Is Key For A Smooth, Easy Cake Roulade
By Allie Sivak
When baking a cake roulade (aka roll cake, jelly roll, or Swiss roll), roll up your cake layer with a dish towel after baking to maximize your cake's flavor and appearance.
After baking your cake, lay out a clean dish towel and dust it with sifted powdered sugar. Then, roll your cake in the towel while it's still hot and straight out of the oven.
The cake is then allowed to cool down completely in its twisted towel before you unroll it, fill it, then roll it back up again (sans towel).
This pre-roll step ensures the cake is pliable and can seamlessly roll with frosting, whipped cream, or jam without breaking into pieces.
The dish towel keeps your cake from sticking to itself while pre-forming the roll. The powdered sugar (or cocoa powder for chocolate cake) keeps it from sticking to the towel.
Remember to remove any parchment or wax paper from the top of the cake, then fold the towel over the short edge of the cake and begin to roll the cake in on itself.
Even when using the towel-roll method to avoid breaking a cake roulade, the most seasoned baking pros still sometimes end up with cracks in their cakes.
If this happens, you can always top and cover your cake with additional frosting or a sugary glaze or coat it in a rich chocolate ganache.