How to make a Biskuitrolle- A Versatile Biskuitrolle Recipe
The the Biskuitrolle (Swiss Roll, Roulade Cake) seems to stem from Austria instead of Germany, but since you find it in most German Recipe books, and I like it, I will include it here. The recipe first shows up in “Universallexikon der Kochkunst” von 1886 (Universal Encyclopedia of Cooking of 1886), so it’s not the OLDEST cake recipe, but it is certainly one of the most versatile cake recipes that any home baker could have in their back pocket. AND (thankfully) because we have electric mixers, bakers no longer have to “beat the eggs for 30 minutes in one direction” by hand.
Rolle or Roulade means “rolled”, so essentially, this is a rolled cake. Biskuitrolle can be dressed up with a “frosting”, or serve it dusted with sugar. You can fill it with jam, fruit, or whipped cream. It can be served to company, for Holiday Meals… or just to the kids for an afternoon treat. In Germany, I’ve enjoyed the Biskuitrolle mostly with süße Sahne (sweetened whipped cream) and some home-made Erdbeermarmelade (strawberry jam), and with fresh berries rolled up inside. This cake is pretty on a plate, and “light” enough that you can enjoy a second piece without feeling too much guilt (like any of us feel guilty about a second piece of cake..heehee). Here is a basic recipe for making a Biskuitrolle… once you have the cake, you can fill it as you like.
How to make a Biskuitrolle
You make the cake part of the Biskuitrolle without any leavening (so, no baking powder, baking soda, or yeast). Instead the air and lightness comes from beating air into the egg. Then the batter is carefully spread onto a lined baking sheet (you don’t want to squish out the air you just added). Bake it fast and hot! Then roll it up to cool. Really, the only “tricky” part is rolling it up without cracks (and sssshhh… here’s a tip, if it does crack, you can cover the cracks with whipped cream and no one will notice, or care).
How to make a Biskuitrolle
- 6 Eggs
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 4 tsp Granulated Sugar
- 2/3 cup Sifted Flour
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (yes 425...we are baking fast and hot)
- Line a 11 x 17 inch baking pan with parchment paper
- I sometimes spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray for insurance.
For the batter:
- Divide 3 of the 6 eggs... You will be whipping up 3 egg whites, set aside the yolks for a moment.
- In a very clean mixing bowl, whip up the 3 egg whites with the Cream of Tartar with an electric mixer until stiff. As they stiffen, slowly add 4 teaspoons of granulated sugar. The egg white will look a bit glossy. Remove the whipped egg white from the mixing bowl and set aside.
- (I do the egg whites first so that I don't have to wash the bowl between whipping the egg whites and egg yolks... most recipe books will have you do the yolks first, but I'm a bit lazy)
- In the mixing bowl, use the Whisk attachment of the stand mixer (or hand mixer) to beat the sugar, 3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks for 4-5 minutes. You want it to look pale, and thicken up a bit.
- Now to combine it all....
- Sprinkle the flour through a sieve into the egg yolk mixture, then gently fold it in to the egg yolk mixture.
- (Fold is sort of scooping through the batter with a spatula and bringing the bottom up over the top. You don't want to MIX it, just sort of combine it.)
- Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture... then fold in another 1/3... then the last 1/3. Again...You don't want to mix it. You want to lightly fold it in to keep as much volume as possible in the batter.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Edge to edge... spread it smooth.
- Put the pan into the oven for 7 minutes. It should start to lightly brown on top. Add another minute if needed.
- Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes.
- Prepare a cake landing place..... you can lay a piece of Parchment paper on the counter, and sprinkle it with Sugar, or like my Oma, you can use a clean dishtowel sprinkled with sugar.
- After 5 minutes of cooling, cut along the edges of the pan to loosen the cake (and maybe get rid of harder edges)... then take a deep breath, count to three, and flip the cake out onto the prepared parchment or towel.
- Peel the baking paper off of the top (previously the bottom) of the cake. Then with the help of the towel or parchment, roll the cake up (you want the roll to be 11 inches long, not 17... so roll the long part up). Let the cake cool completely all rolled up.
- Take this time to prepare whatever fillings you like... whip some cream, slice berries, make pudding or Lemon curd.
- Carefully unroll the cake.
- Spread the filling over the cake... avoid going over the edge the edge... the filling will squish out to cover it.
- Roll the cake back up. (Don't roll your towel into the cake!) Stuff will leak out. Use a spoon to gather the leaked stuff and eat it.
- Before serving, trim the ends so they are neat and tidy (feed the bits to a passing child... they will love you for it).
- Transfer to a serving plate
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with Powdered Sugar (shake it on through a sieve), or "frost" with whipped cream.
Filling Ideas for your Biskuitrolle
Fill your Biskuitrolle with whatever you like. The one pictured has sweetened Whipped Cream with sliced strawberries. (My youngest claims she doesn’t like jam, so I left it off this time … next week she will like jam again, and I can add it)
- Sweetened Whipped Cream- Whip up 1 1/4 cups of Whipping Cream with 2 tablespoons of Sugar
- Strawberries sliced, Raspberries, Mandarins, any fruit- use about a cup (maybe more). Best if you also add whipped cream or pudding
- Lemon Curd (This is so good)
- Pudding (chocolate, vanilla… any)
- ANY flavor of Jam, especially Strawberry. I love the combination of Strawberry Jam and whipped cream. NOTE- spread the jam on first. You can just use a thick layer of jam.
Step by Step Images
After whipping up the egg whites, whisk the remaining eggs, egg yolks and sugar until pale.
See the air bubbles?
Let the flour go into the egg mixture through a sieve.
Spread the batter into a prepared pan
Roll up the baked cake in a sugared towel or parchment
(yes… I left it in the oven a minute too long!)
Unroll, and Spread on your filling
maybe add some fruit… you can add more
Roll back up
You might need to trim up the edges to make them neat
Sprinkle with Powdered Sugar, Frost, or just leave it with the sugar from the towel…