Make a Cake Roll from Box Cake Mix

Keep your cake roll desserts quick and easy and make a cake roll from a box cake mix! Use any flavor and a variety of fillings to make this fun dessert.

Jelly roll cakes are a classic dessert that may sound tricky, but are actually pretty easy to get the hang of. It’s important for cake roll cake textures to be pliable sponge cakes so that you can roll them and unroll them easily without them breaking.

Although we have from scratch cake roll recipes, what if you want to use a box cake mix? We’re sharing exactly how to do that today.

cake roll made from a cake mix

Ingredients & Tools Needed:

This recipe starts with a box cake mix, but you won’t just use the ingredients off the back of the box. We’ll tweak them slightly in order to get the right texture of cake.

  • 6 large eggs. Yes, 6! This is so that you get a nice, pliable, sponge-like cake texture. It will roll beautifully.
  • Box cake mix. Box cake mixes can come in a variety of weights. Any traditional 9×13″ style cake mix will work. They are generally around 15.25 ounces.
  • Oil. Canola oil or vegetable oil works the best for this recipe.
  • Water. You’ll need just ¼ cup room temperature water.
  • 10×15″ jelly roll cake pan. 12×17″ size would also work too!
  • Parchment paper. For lining the baking pan and rolling the cake roll.
  • Lint free towel. This also works well for rolling the cake roll.
  • Powdered sugar. This is what helps prevent the cake from sticking as you roll it.

These are the basic supplies you’ll need to make the cake roll cake. The filling ingredients vary and depends on what you want to fill it with.

How to Make a Cake Roll from a Box Cake Mix

It is very important to work quickly once the cake comes out of the oven. Have your towel or parchment with powdered sugar on it set out and ready to roll the hot cake right when it comes out of the oven.

Another note: In the pictures of this cake roll, I used all of the batter in the 10×15″ baking pan. However, it creates a very thick cake roll. You could scoop out a cup or two of the batter and bake a few cupcakes along side the cake roll so that your cake isn’t so thick. You could also use a slightly larger sheet cake pan (think 12×17″).

  • Preheat the oven to 375º Fahrenheit.
  • Using whisk attachment on a stand mixer, beat room temperature eggs for 6 minutes on medium speed. (My stand mixer was set to 6.) Set a timer and beat for the whole 6 minutes.
  • Add the cake mix, oil and water. Beat for 30 seconds on low speed. Scrape the bowl and then beat on medium speed for one minute, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed.
  • Spray a 10x15x1” jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Lay a piece of parchment paper overtop, pressing down to cover the bottom of the pan and pressing into the corners and up the sides of the pan.
  • Spread the batter into the pan, making it as even as possible.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it. If you used less than all of the cake batter, watch it closely as it won’t take as long to bake.
  • Lay out a lint free towel or sheet of parchment paper slightly longer than the cake and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Immediately after the cake comes out of the oven, turn the hot sheet cake out onto the prepared surface. Peel off the parchment paper and cut away any crusty edges of the cake if you’d like. Work quickly because you want to roll the cake while it is very hot.
  • Quickly roll the cake up in the towel or parchment paper sprinkled with powdered sugar. Leave at room temperature to cool for about 2 hours. Do not put it in the refrigerator. Allow it to cool slowly at room temperature.
a cake roll on a plate with one slice cut

Fillings for a Cake Roll

Here are different options for filling a cake roll. Click the links below and adapt the fillings as you’d like.

Toppings for a Cake Roll

Even when you are very careful, cake rolls can often crack. What do you do if that happens? Top the cake roll with a topping to make it look pretty! Here’s some ideas:

  • Pile it high with fresh fruit.
  • Cover the whole cake roll with whipped cream.
  • Drizzle chocolate ganache on top.
  • Dust the cake roll with powdered sugar or cocoa powder.
closeup of a strawberry cake roll
closeup of a strawberry cake roll

How to Make a Cake Roll from a Box Cake Mix

5 from 1 vote
Keep your cake roll desserts quick and easy and make a cake roll from a box cake mix! Use any flavor and a variety of fillings to make this fun dessert.
Servings 15
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours

Ingredients
 

  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 box strawberry cake mix (or other flavor) 15.25 ounces
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup water at room temperature

For the filling:

  • 1 cup salted butter 8 ounces
  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries
  • 5 cups powdered sugar 480 grams
  • 1-4 tablespoons heavy cream (as needed to thin the frosting)

Instructions
 

Make the cake roll:

  • Preheat the oven to 375º Fahrenheit.
  • Using whisk attachment on a stand mixer, beat room temperature eggs for 6 minutes on medium speed. (My stand mixer was set to 6.) Set a timer and beat for the whole 6 minutes.
  • Add the cake mix, oil and water. Beat for 30 seconds on low speed. Scrape the bowl and then beat on medium speed for one minute, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed.
  • Spray a 10x15x1” jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Lay a piece of parchment paper overtop, pressing down to cover the bottom of the pan and pressing into the corners and up the sides of the pan.
  • Spread the batter into the pan, making it as even as possible. **Note: In the pictures shown, we used all of the cake batter. However, this makes a very thick layer of cake for the cake roll and can sometimes be tricky to roll. If you'd like, remove up to two cups of cake batter and bake it separately in cupcake tins or a small cake pan. This will give you less cake batter in your cake roll.**
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it. If you used less than all of the cake batter, watch it closely as it won't take as long to bake.
  • Lay out a lint free towel or sheet of parchment paper slightly longer than the cake and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Immediately after the cake comes out of the oven, turn the hot sheet cake out onto the prepared surface. Peel off the parchment paper and cut away any crusty edges of the cake if you'd like. Work quickly because you want to roll the cake while it is very hot.
  • Quickly roll the cake up in the towel or parchment paper sprinkled with powdered sugar. Leave at room temperature to cool for about 2 hours. Do not put it in the refrigerator. Allow it to cool slowly at room temperature.

Make the filling:

  • We used a strawberry buttercream filling for this recipe. See the article above for other filling options if you don't like a sweet buttercream.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until it is almost white in appearance. This will take 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. After 2 cups of powdered sugar, add the diced strawberries. Keep the mixer running and allow the strawberries to soften in the sugar, butter mixture. Then continue to add the rest of the powdered sugar.
  • The strawberries will create juice from the sugar in the frosting, but if needed, add a tablespoon of heavy cream to thin the buttercream to get it soft. Add up to 4 tablespoons, but add it slowly so the frosting doesn't get too thin.

Assemble the cake roll:

  • Once you have the filling made, slowly unroll the cake roll, being careful with it so it doesn't crack.
  • Spread the filling gently on the cake roll, then roll it back up.
  • Place the cake roll seam down on a cake plate.
  • Sprinkle the top of the cake with additional powdered sugar if you'd like. You can also cover it with whipped cream or layer cut fruit on it. If you used a chocolate cake mix, you could top it with chocolate ganache.
  • Store the cake roll in covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.

Nutrition

Calories: 451kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 332mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 501IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 451
Keyword box cake mix recipe, cake roll recipe

Recipe Source: Betty Crocker

About Julie Clark

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Comments

  1. My cake mix only calls for one egg. It’s a cinnamon swirl box cake. Should I do 2 eggs or the full 6? My other flavors of cake call for 3 eggs so I figured you were doubling the eggs.

    Can’t wait to try this!

    1. Is the box cake about the same ounces? (makes a traditional 9×13 cake?). If so, I’d still try 6 eggs. It will help the cake roll and not break

      1. Hi, my cake box requires milk and butter as well, do I replace this with the suggested oil and water for the roll?
        Kelly

    2. Hi Kendra, my box requires milk and butter as well, do I replace that with the suggested oil and water for the roll?

    1. You want it to cool slowly so that it doesn’t dry out and crack when you roll it. You can store it in the refrigerator after it is already assembled.

  2. Can this be made a day or two before and kept in the fridge like a regular cake? Any advice on keeping it fresh?

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