Today let’s go old school with this classic retro recipe for jelly roll! I have very fond memories of jelly roll from my youth. A favorite that my mom and grandmother made and filled with classic raspberry jam. You can fill this simple sponge cake with anything you like. I love it with strawberry mousse, lemon filling or even with Nutella! No matter what direction you choose, this classic dessert is perfect for the warmer months of summer. It is light and delicious and requires little more than a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
I was recently roaming the internet for some inspiration with summer in mind and the jelly roll crossed my path. This invoked memories of my child hood when jelly rolls were as pervasive as Hostess cakes are today. I remember being able to purchase whole rolls of raspberry filled goodness in little cellophane packages in which the roll was protected by a pristine white corrugated board on three sides. Making it easy for you to see both ends and the tender sponge of the cake. I also remember being able to purchase individual slices that were wrapped in a similar fashion. Jelly roll was a ubiquitous dessert that just fizzled into the background, so much culinary ephemera of a bygone time.
The classics are the best, in my opinion and when my memory was jogged, I got busy making one. I seriously did! After dinner one Sunday evening a few weeks back, I whipped up this delicious dessert for the family to enjoy. This is the perfect sponge that bakes up fast and cools in no time, making way for the filling, the rolling and the slicing. It’s so simple, yet so delicious, if you have never had the pleasure of enjoying a jelly roll, I hope you will do so soon.
This all starts with a classic sponge cake. Lots of eggs, a bit of sugar and flour and just a scosh of levening and flavoring. Easy to throw together on the fly. This cake bakes in just 7 minutes! Don’t bake it one minute more because the cake will dry out and it will be difficult to roll and you will risk cracking.
Sadly cracking is a hazard of jelly roll making. If your cake cracks, fear not, simply fill it and roll with it. Cake and jelly are a magical thing. No one will even remember the crack after it has been enjoyed. I made my sponge and baked it and then as I was removing it from the pan it cracked. UGH! I was not happy! So off camera I went to make another sponge #$e!& I set them both to cool with the full intention of spreading Nutella on the cracked one and in my haste and excitement to get the video done, I unintentionally spread the “good” sponge cake with the camouflage Nutella. It was not until I had begun filming that I realized my boneheaded move. Alas, not everything is perfect in Noreen’s Kitchen, as I am sure it is not in yours. So we spread jelly and rolled with it. Moved on and as it turned out the crack was encapsulated within the roll and nobody will ever know!
Life is a lot like a jelly roll. It has cracks. Sometimes you can hide them with jelly and sometimes you can’t. You can choose to either moan about the cracks or you can simply embrace them! Life is too short to worry about such things. Embrace the cracks!
I hope this inspires you to brush off the retro recipes of your youth and make them for your family. Some of these things are fun touch stones to our past. They may have died out of popularity, but they are still worthy of our time and effort and definitely our enjoyment. Give this jelly roll a try and I hope you love it!
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