Turtle Cake Roll

This delicious Christmas roll cake looks so festive when served at a holiday party.

- Posted on Oct 24, 2014

Turtle Cake Roll

My Nana, who taught me how to bake, told me I had to learn to make a roll cake to wow people. In her honor I bake a turtle cake roll, or roulade, kind of a bûche de Noël simplified for us Americans. You can make it look like a yule log by adding chocolate shavings and meringue mushrooms.


30 store-bought caramels ½ c. heavy cream

3 large eggs 1 ⅓ c. water
1 ¾ c. devil's food cake mix 1 Tbsp. confectioner's sugar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, plus more for the pan  

½ c. heavy cream ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. milk chocolate chips 1 c. chopped pecans, toasted
1 ¼ Tbsp. light corn syrup  


1.Melt the caramels with the heavy cream in a microwave or double boiler, stirring until smooth. Refrigerate until completely cooled, 2 to 3 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a 10x15-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper; grease paper.

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add the cake mix, oil and 1⁄3 cup water, and beat on low speed for 30 seconds and then medium speed for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.

2. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched, but still looks moist, 11 to 14 minutes. Do not overbake, or the cake will be dry and crack when rolled. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges of the pan to make sure the cake does not stick.

3. Lay a clean tea towel on a flat surface and sprinkle with the confectioner’s sugar. Turn the cake upside down on the towel and peel off the parchment paper. While hot, carefully roll up the cake in the towel, starting at the short end. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour.

Heat the heavy cream in the microwave or on the stovetop, until cream just starts to boil. Stir in the chocolate chips and corn syrup. Let stand for 3 minutes and then whisk until smooth. Mix in the vanilla. Refrigerate, stirring every 15 minutes until frosting has a spreadable consistency, about 1 hour.

Put It All Together
1. Once the cake has cooled, remove the caramel from the refrigerator. Using an electric mixer, whip the caramel until it is spreadable and has a frosting-like consistency, about 3 minutes.

2. Unroll the cake carefully. Spread the caramel evenly over the cake. Reroll the cake, this time without the towel. It should roll easily. Put the cake on a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath to catch any drips. Frost with the chocolate frosting and top with the pecans.

Makes a 10-inch roll; serves 8 to 10.

Nutritional Information:  Calories: 660; Fat: 38g; Cholesterol: 130mg; Sodium: 510mg; Total Carbohydrates: 74g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 53g; Protein: 9g.

Try more of Francine's seasonal sweets and treats!

Read Francine's story!

Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen book coverFrancine Bryson is the author of the cookbook, Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen (Clarkson Potter; 2014).

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